Peace and Freedom


Young Chinese middle class

Young middle-class Chinese are more questioning of the state

Some commentators have argued over the years that, whatever its material growth, China will always be held back by its lack of democracy.

I would argue, with Winston Churchill, that, for all its defects and annoyances, democracy does offer a good working system for modern states, leaving citizens free to develop while providing a safety valve and the chance of peaceful changes of government.

It cannot stand alone – independent rule of law and a certain degree of tolerance are also essential.

In the case of China, the reality is that some essential building blocks are absent were the country to wish to head in the direction of competitive democracy.

The idea of the independent rule of law is lacking – rather, China has long embraced the creed of legalism, which means…

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