Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Happy Subjects No More

As the coronavirus continues to spread, the Chinese people reevaluate their social contract with the Communist Party

February 12, 2020

A fter the Chinese government cracked down on the pro-democracy movement in 1989, the Chinese people in effect signed a social contract with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Nothing was officially written down, but the terms have been well understood: The people would accept limited rights and freedom in exchange for the prosperity and stability the CCP promised to provide.

For several decades, the social contract has seemed to work well for both sides. China’s GDP per capita rose from $310 in 1989 to $16,186 in 2018. Many Chinese cities have been transformed from economic backwaters to commercial and industrial centers with lots of shining skyscrapers and large neon signs rivaling New York City’s Times Square. Western corporations have been bending over backwards, willingly giving up their technology and imposing unabashed self-censorship in order to gain access to Chinese consumers. Chinese tourists have been welcomed everywhere because of their deep pockets and seemingly insatiable taste for luxury goods.........To Read More....

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