In one of the latest official editorials to attack the idea that Jasmine-style protests can take root in China, the overseas edition of the CCP’s People’s Daily newspaper wrote yesterday that those “hoping to whip up ‘street politics’ in China” would fail.
The piece uses the familiar hardline phrase “those with ulterior motives” to point ambiguously at the forces — both inside and outside China, the editorial says — that are conspiring against China and its Communist Party leaders.
There is also the familiar theme that dissent can lead only to chaos, and chaos would spell disaster for all the gains of economic development.
“But ‘street politics’ will only result in a shock to society, making things worse,” the editorial says. “It will only result in making a China that is right now steadily developing stop in its tracks, or even move backwards.”
“China is not the Middle East“
The upheaval in Libya has claimed at least 1,000 lives, according to United Nations estimates. Valerie Amos, United Nations Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said on March 7 that one million Libyans are in need of humanitarian assistance. We see on the television news that countless Libyan refugees have fled the country, beginning desperate lives of wandering, and not knowing when they can return. This causes us to sigh deeply: in the midst of national chaos, it is ultimately the ordinary people who suffer hardship.
Since the end of last year, there have been dramatic fluctuations in many countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and the people have faced major disaster. And just as the world is seeking solutions for the Middle East, a number of people with ulterior motives both inside and outside China are conspiring to turn the disaster toward China. They have used the Internet to fan the flames, hoping to whip up “street politics” in China and thereby upset order in China.
However, China is not the Middle East.
The hearts and minds of the Chinese people are steady. The people have enough to eat and enjoy moderate prosperity, and they are making small steps toward lives of prosperity. The Chinese people know only too well that the precondition of living a good life is national stability and social harmony. Through 60 years of the New China, and 30 years of opening and reform, the nation has progressively thrived and prospered, and its comprehensive strength has appreciably risen. The people have made real gains. In their hearts now, people are wary of unrest, of rocking the boat. They desire calm and stability, harmony and peace. They throw all of their energies into development and living better lives. The vast majority of people are steady in their hearts and minds. Only a small minority want chaos, and they will not have it.
The rule of the Chinese Communist Party is fundamentally secure. In recent years, China has hosted the Olympic Games, the World Expo, the Asian Games, and what joy haven’t the Chinese people felt at hosting these events successfully? What heroic emotions the Chinese people feel in knowing that we grappled so successfully with the Wenchuan Earthquake, the Yushu [quake] relief effort, successive financial crises, and most recently the evacuation [of Chinese] from Libya. The whole world have marveled at how a poor and weak nation has become the world’s second-largest economy. All of this came from the leaders of what party? The Chinese Communist Party. Last year, a survey conducted in 22 countries showed that the vast majority of people are unsatisfied with the direction their countries are heading, but China was the exception. The survey said: “Only in China did the majority (87%) of residents express satisfaction with the situation in their countries.” . . .
China long ago abolished the system of life-long tenure in leading posts, and the orderly replacement of leaders is already our practice. China no longer has this situation where leaders rule for 20, 30 or 40 years. China has already build a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics and it is right now working to perfect its system of socialist democracy. The Chinese people can participate in and discuss state affairs already within our existing legal system and democratic system — there is no need to achieve our political goals through “street politics.”
Chinese leaders all along have heeded public opinion, using the methods of reform and development to resolve the issues emerging in the midst of reform and development. For example, Chinese college students were few and far between in the past, but now one in four Chinese between the ages of 18 and 22 are college students. As college graduates have risen, the problem of employment opportunities has emerged. There are high housing prices, inflation, the gap between rich and poor and other problems. In the government work report under discussion at the two meetings [of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress] there are a whole range of solutions.
The problems emerging in the midst of development are solved by the methods of development; the problems emerging in the midst of reform are resolved by the methods of reform. Development and reform alone are the correct way to solve problems. Of course, as old problems are solves, new problems emerge that need to be tackled. It is in the solving of problems that a society moves ahead. But “street politics” will only result in a shock to society, making things worse. It will only result in making a China that is right now steadily developing stop in its tracks, or even move backwards.
China is not the Middle East, and the schemes to direct the chaos of the Middle East toward China are destined to fail.
FRONTPAGE PHOTO: Protests in Egypt in January 2011, photo available from darkroom products at Flickr.com under Creative Commons license.