Monday, February 21, 2011

Attempt To Extend "Jasmine Revolution" To China Are Stopped Cold

The revolution in Tunisia not only set up a chain reaction within that region--some are trying to extend the momentum that has rushed through the Middle East to other oppressed countries--such as China.

But the Chinese government is ready.
Police in several mainland cities detained top activists amid heavy security to squelch a web-based campaign for action on the lines of the democracy- demanding "Jasmine Revolution" sweeping the Middle East.

Crowds gathered yesterday afternoon in several cities, including in front of a McDonald's in Beijing, but dispersed in the face of a massive police presence.

And campaigners claimed that close to 100 top rights lawyers and activists have "disappeared" since Saturday.

In a fast-spreading message on the internet, the public was urged to shout slogans such as "Long Live Freedom" and "Long Live Democracy" and call for food, work, housing and justice. But police were out in force in 13 cities involved in the call, including Guangzhou, Shanghai, Chengdu and Harbin as well as the capital.
The line that the Chinese government is taking in addressing the situation is that there is no comparison between China and those 'other' countries:
But the office's director general of publicity, culture and sports, Hao Tiechuan, said there will not be a Jasmine-style revolt in the mainland. Leaders in Beijing "are clear-minded" and only in power for two terms, he said. They do not hold on to power for decades like in some countries.

Economic growth meant a "high- degree of confidence" in the central government, Hao added, and people who plan social unrest are irresponsible.
Of course, one could argue that it doesn't make much difference whether a ruler is power for 2 terms or for decades if the same policies are still being followed.

Twenty-two years later, would the Chinese government contemplate another Tiananmen Square?

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1 comment:

NormanF said...

The Chinese government cannot be sure the army would back them if there is another revolt.

The Communist regime would be advised to make a gradual transition to democracy now before its forced out later. If it can control the transition, it will be in a much stronger position to compete in free elections.

What the Chinese leaders haven't grasped yet is once people lose the fear of the regime, all bets are off.