The American fantasy that refuses to die…
For one, Shambaugh rightly reminds us that China’s political system can be quite unstable despite the appearance of stability on the surface and efforts at reform. China’s political system does need to be more open, more inclusive, and more democratic; and it will someday. The ultimate outcome of Xi’s ongoing reforms remains to be seen. Nonetheless, all existing indicators point to the development of a stronger and more effective system of governance within China. Instead of a quick collapse, a mighty, confident, assertive, and authoritarian China will be around for quite a while. As such, discussion about China should take this reality into account, rather than imagining the victory of the West’s vision for China, however uncomfortable this may be.
Dingding Chen is an assistant professor of Government and Public Administration at the University of Macau and Non-Resident Fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) Berlin, Germany. His research interests include: Chinese foreign policy, Asian security, Chinese politics, and human rights. He can be found on Twitter at @ChenDingding.
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