November 09, 2004

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Taking a moment to smell the flowers

In the day to day grind of commenting and criticising China it is easy to forget what a magnificent place it is. A country of 1.3 billion resourceful and intelligent people, rapidly rising living standards, 5,000 years of history and culture, stunning beauty, sensational and varied cuisine, fierce patriotism, a widespread yet culturally unified diaspora. As a country it has often succeded in spite of itself, overcoming poor rulers, invasions, natural and man-made disasters - a testament to the tenacity of its people and the strengths of the system that has more or less remained the same for hundreds of years.

That is why the rule of the Communist Party has been such a mixed blessing for China. The chaos that proceeded it and the bitter divisions of the civil war, combined with overcoming the Japanese in Manchuria and World War 2 gave way to a strong central Government run by a madman. That the CCP remained in power after Mao's demise shows the effectiveness of the reign of terror. Thankfully later leaders, particularly Deng Xiapong, did more for people by starting a process of economic liberalisation. That has lifted literally millions out of poverty far more quickly and effectively than years of Western aid has for other "Third World" nations. That economic liberalisation has also sowed the seeds for duplication in the political sphere, despite the best efforts of the Communists. China ceased being a Communist economy years ago and it will one day (hopefully soon) cease being a Communist polity as well. It is the very least the country and its people deserve.

posted by Simon on 11.09.04 at 04:36 PM in the


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Simon's China and East Asia Briefing: 30th Nov 2004
Excerpt: The following is a digest of highlights from the past month's Asia by Blog series over at The round-up has four key areas of focus: China, Taiwan & Hong Kong (Politics, Economy & lifestyle, History sport & culture, Information), Korea...
Weblog: Winds of Change.NET
Tracked: November 30, 2004 01:55 PM


Well said. For all the progress in living standards that have been made under the CCP, I still cannot forgive them for the millions that have died and suffered under their rule.

posted by: fabian on 11.10.04 at 09:05 AM [permalink]

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