Considering China as a Democracy – Part 1/3

Using history, the US and India as examples of what democracy offers may show what might happen in China if it were to become a multi-party republic with a democratic political system.

India became a democracy in 1947, and more than 60 years later, about 40% of the population is still illiterate and lives in severe poverty due to political gridlock and government corruption, while the CIA reports that only 2 1/2 percent of Chinese live in similar poverty today.

For India, that’s 400 million people while China has 33 million living in severe poverty mostly in remote and rugged areas of China.

Thirty years ago, about sixty percent of Chinese lived in severe poverty. When Mao ruled China (1949-1976), 30 to 40 million died from famines. No one has died from famine since Mao’s death.

However, in 2009, the Times of India reported that India tops world hunger chart. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) reported some staggering figures. More than 27% of the world’s undernourished population lives in India while 43% of children (under 5 years) in the country are underweight. The figure is among the highest in the world…

In India, which has a democratic parliamentary political system, there are six recognized national parties and more than forty recognized state parties. Source: Wikipedia

While China’s one political party has managed to almost end poverty and boost literacy from 20 to more than 90% in thirty years, India’s many-party democracy has failed.

In Part 2, we will see why China may not survive to become a successful democracy if US history is an indication of what the future holds.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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