Give Me Liberty! in Hangzhou

There is a saying – with guanxi, you can do anything.  Without guanxi, you can do nothing.  Sometimes, with guanxi, you can get Liberty! in China.  A story about ordering textbooks in China.

What Chinese are Talking About (3) - Love Mr. Xi, Love Mr. Trump

We know that mainlanders, particularly those in CCP, have a fondness for Mr. Trump.  There are several reasons – Chinese historically have been willing to defer to strong leaders, and Trump projects arrogance, if not wisdom.  It was clear before the 2016 election that if Trump won, Mr. Putin would win and Mr. Xi would also win.  Events bear this out.  There is no adversary so easy to fool as one convinced of his own superiority, particularly one with such poor justification.  Flattery and artifice will get you … everywhere.  For Chinese interested in foreign policy, all they need do is sit back and wait.  Trump’s unforced errors – TPP, belittling allies, cozying up to dictators, removing US from environmental treaties, threatening friends and foes alike – make Chinese arrogance and Mr. Xi’s own unforced errors look positively innocuous.  What’s not to love about someone willing to play the fool for you?

Learning from China ... and Hong Kongers

 “Don't trust China” is what the recent Hong Kong protesters told the G20 representatives in Osaka.

 I think that is right. It has been a sea change for me.  Fool me once.  Maybe even a few times. Still, over the last 15 years, I have come to realize that we should listen to the Hong Kongers (who don’t wish to be called Chinese).

CCP Internal Resilience – post 10 of 10

Bonding - A conclusion

Martin Jacques wrote When China Rules the World in 2009.  His analysis ignores the potential dangers in Chinese politics.  But his observation that the western world must learn to understand how Chinese think, those rules of the cultural road that are foreign to us, is quite correct.

Concepts about survival of authoritarian regimes need to account for China as sui generis.  Modernization theory, which sees regime change in China as a logical next step in an upper middle class society, has not confronted an occupying elite like CCP anywhere else in the world. 

CCP Internal Resilience – post 9 of 10

Strength Through Struggle – Nietzsche, anyone?

Western political theorists would like to find a single theory to explain changes in authoritarian governance patterns over time.  How to explain regime longevity and collapse in Europe, in Africa, in Asia?  How to explain transitions into and out of authoritarianism?  Why do some regimes collapse and others ride out similar shocks to the system?  What makes a regime more stable?  When and how does the authority in an authoritarian regime collapse?

CCP Internal Resilience – post 8 of 10

United we stand

As David Shambaugh pointed out in China's Communist Party: Atrophy and Adaptation, CCP has expended great effort in analyzing the collapse of the CPSU in 1991.  The principal conclusion is that dissolution comes from dissension at the top. Xi admonished the Party in a December, 2012 speech.  Analyzing the reasons for the fall of CPSU, he saw individuals and factions vying for power, and “nobody was man enough to stand up and resist.”  Xi sees himself as the man to stand up in China now.  Loyalty to Xi is the only test of loyalty to CCP.

Recent

  • What Chinese are Talking About (3) - Love Mr. Xi, Love Mr. Trump

    What Chinese are Talking About (3) - Love Mr. Xi, Love Mr. Trump

    We know that mainlanders, particularly those in CCP, have a fondness for Mr. Trump.  There are several reasons – Chinese historically have been willing to defer to strong leaders, and Trump projects arrogance, if not wisdom.  It was clear before the 2016 election that if Trump won, Mr. Putin would win and Mr. Xi would also win.  Events bear this out.  There is no adversary so easy to fool as one convinced of his own superiority, particularly one with such poor justification.  Flattery and artifice will get you … everywhere.  For Chinese interested in foreign policy, all they need do is sit back and wait.  Trump’s unforced errors – TPP, belittling allies, cozying up to dictators, removing US from environmental treaties, threatening friends and foes alike – make Chinese arrogance and Mr. Xi’s own unforced errors look positively innocuous.  What’s not to love about someone willing to play the fool for you?

    Read more ...  
  • Learning from China ... and Hong Kongers

    Learning from China ... and Hong Kongers

     “Don't trust China” is what the recent Hong Kong protesters told the G20 representatives in Osaka.

     I think that is right. It has been a sea change for me.  Fool me once.  Maybe even a few times. Still, over the last 15 years, I have come to realize that we should listen to the Hong Kongers (who don’t wish to be called Chinese).

    Read more ...  
  • When Internet Blocking Fails

    When Internet Blocking Fails

     An internet not coming to a computer near you …

    CCP gets more paranoid than usual around June 4 of every year, particularly those years a multiple of five from 1989.   This year is 30 years since the Tian’anmen massacre.

    I was in Chicago around June 4 of 2009, but I made the 2014 anniversary.  Internet blocking began early in May.  Every foreigner in China gets accustomed to internet and social media blocking, but in 2014 the online ban was nearly total.  It was a lesson in how particular the censorship could be.   You know, it’s China – it’s complicated.

    Read more ...  

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