Growing Cautiously Into a Modern Republic – Part 2/7

October 23, 2010

In Part 1, I talked about how Sun Yat-sen was the father of China’s republic and how Chiang Kai-shek destroyed any chance of having a two-party republic after Sun died.

Even after the Chinese civil war ended in 1949, it would take decades to prepare the people so Sun Yat-sen’s dream becomes a reality.

By reading India Falling Short, you will discover what happens when a democracy or republic moves too fast from a feudal society to a modern one.

For a republic or a democracy to survive, people must be educated and literate.

In fact, literacy in the US is listed at 99 percent. However, studies assert that 46% to 51% of U.S. adults read so poorly that they earn “significantly” below the threshold poverty level for an individual. This means that the chances of the US surviving as a republic or democracy are grim.

In 1949, when the Communists came to power about 32% of the people above the age of 12 could read.

By 1976, literacy was 20% when Mao died. The reason literacy had dropped so much was because of Mao’s Great Leap Forward and The Cultural Revolution, which the nine top leaders of the Communist Party voted against.

Mao had those men eliminated or removed from power one at a time and went ahead with The Cultural Revolution.

Today, literacy in China is more than 90%. See China’s Literacy Policies

During the Tiananmen Square incident, Deng Xiaoping said that the Party wanted democracy for China, but Western style democracy would bring the economic growth to a grinding halt because the country (as India still is) wasn’t ready yet to become a democracy or the kind of republic Sun Yat-sen envisioned.

In 1989, China’s literacy program was in its infancy. Almost a billion people in rural China lived in conditions similar to serfs during Europe’s Dark Ages.  China’s cities had not been rebuilt.

Return to Growing Cautiously Into a Modern Republic – Part 1


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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