Wednesday 25 Nov 2020 | 02:39 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 25 Nov 2020 | 02:39 | SYDNEY

Chinese think tank wants (some) democracy


Sam Roggeveen


20 February 2008 12:59

The SMH reports that a major Communist Party think tank has released a public report calling for democratic reform, including greater political, press and religious freedoms. The FT's write up says they bought the report at a Beijing bookshop, and I can't find it online, so it might be a while before the world gets to read it (I assume it has to be translated too). But if these two press accounts are a guide, the report shows an interesting tactical emphasis on the part of reformers.

The impression is that the report is reasonably conservative — it endorses one-party rule and some level of censorship. The emphasis is very much on curbing corruption, which is also a serious concern of the leadership. I guess if you want political reform in China, arguing that liberalisation can help fix corruption is probably going to get you a better hearing than saying you want China to be more like a Western democracy.