Thursday, October 01, 2009

Reflections on the 60th Anniversary

A Brazilian reporter asked me some questions about the 60th anniversary, here are my answers:

1- What’s the meaning of this celebration in China that starts this Thursday in your opinion? Is it an internal celebration, or the main goal is to impress the world?

Both. Of course, the leaders want to show the world its unity and military might. However, a parade is also a way to monitor the effectiveness and loyalty of military and civilian units.

2- Why the Chinese people is not part of the celebration?

The participants in the parade and even the audience are carefully selected because the government doesn't want any disruption to the celebration. Any sign of protest would be highly embarrassing to the government and its leaders.

3- Generally, the recent history of China is divided in two phases, the socialism under Mao Zedong, and a much more pragmatic era since Deng Xiaoping. Do you think it’s possible to estimate what’s going to be the next phase?

This is difficult to estimate. Some China scholars, including myself, believe there will be a "Latin Americanization" of Chinese politics in which special interests like real estate developers and large state owned enterprises will increasingly drive policy making. If true, this would lead to a period of economic stagnation without any fundamental reform.

4- Will the presence of the State still be so strong in the future of China, or it may be eased in the next years?

The presence of special interest groups will be strong, and they will use state power to drive out competition, both domestic and abroad.

5- What are the main challenges in Chinese future, in your opinion?

Overcoming the influence of special interest groups to enact much needed reform. Because China is such a world player, I think this is important for the world as well. Highly subsidized Chinese firms drive out competitors in the US and Europe, as well as other parts of the world.

a "Latin Americanization"

how does this differ from the Asian Godfathers in hk and SEA
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