James Mann, The China Fantasy: Why Capitalism Will Not Bring Democracy To China
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Americans need not wait long for it to become abundantly clear—assuming it is not clear already—that choices made in China are having ever greater implications for US prosperity and security. In recent years, observers have speculated as to whether China will suffer some manner of implosion (environmental, political, or otherwise) or a general slowdown in the growth of its economic and political influence. Inquiries of this nature have their place but should not divert us from very pressing questions that need to be faced at this stage, namely: what use will China make of its influence in world affairs? Will China choose to use its power to advance reform and openness at home and to promote internationally accepted norms abroad, or will it follow a different path? For Americans, these are among the crucial issues of the era.
China’s rise is occurring at a time when Americans are feeling increasing unease about global trends. The reasons are not far to seek: America’s economy is...