What bothered me was the ignorance of the comments below the shorter Beliefnet piece. “We know what happened when the Velvet Revolution tactics that worked in Eastern Europe were tried in Tiananmen Square—the protesters were crushed to death under tank tracks.… We and they are almost in a prisoner’s dilemma here—doing the morally right thing is hugely dangerous but alone can deliver those 1.2 billion from a form of slavery”.
Not counting sexual slavery, which is a global problem and illegal in China, there are no slaves in China. Those factory workers are free to go home to the rural village any time they want. Also, there is an expanding middle class with lifestyles equal to Europe and America.
Most people in the West have no concept of the effort it has taken to lift China from where it was in the 1950s, when Chiang Kai-shek, protected by US military might, fled with most of his troops and all of China’s wealth.
Prior to the Western nations and Japan invading China in the 19th century, China had the world’s largest economy and it wasn’t built on manufacturing or exports. China’s leaders are aware that China cannot rely on this type of economy for long and must return to an economy that supports itself from within. China is not a Maoist Communist country. It’s a blended capitalist, socialist system and is evolving with a Chinese twist.
And by definition, China is not a dictatorship.
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