China has no Khadaffi-style ruler, lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty, writes Helen Wang in Forbes. But the increased government control shows its rulers do not think China is immune for a home-made popular uprising.
The last few years saw a regression in the government’s openness. Since 2008, the Chinese government has increasingly censored the Internet, detained dissidents, and disbarred lawyers who are actively involved in civil rights and corruption cases.
If the government thinks the tightened control will help maintain stability, it will prove to be the opposite. The demonstrations in the Middle East provide a clear case that the more repressive the regime, the more chaos and protests it will brew. The “Jasmine Revolution” seems not going away. Boxun issued a new call for protest in 23 cities around China this coming weekend. It encourages people to take part of the “non-violent and non-cooperative” demonstration by “strolling, watching or pretending to pass by.” “As long as you are present,” the statement says, “the authoritarian government will be shaking with fear.”
Read in Forbes why Helen Wang thinks the government should loosen control.
Helen Wang is the author of The Chinese Dream: The Rise of the World’s Largest Middle Class and What It Means to You. She is also a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. When you need her at your meeting or conference, do get in touch.