If you see something called China 3.0 you won’t be surprised to learn that it’s by Mark Leonard. You will be surprised to find that it seems to be a pretty good survey of the current political landscape in China, which, given Beijing’s fairly open approach to policy input, is fairly wide-ranging. Since Beijing’s attitude to who gets to implement policy is very firmly settled, it’s important to note that policy advocacy does not amount to dissent. For instance:
That is the reason why some of the economic liberals who have written for this collection, such as Zhang Weiying, would prefer strong political leadership to elections. Like many of the intellectuals in this collection, he came of age intellectually during the Cultural Revolution, and fears that mass democracy can rapidly become ‘mob rule’.
Or put another way, as China’s foremost Hayekian Zhang would rather the Communist Party evolved a Pinochet than face the risk that the Chinese public might vote itself an NHS. There is a tendency in the western media to conflate advocates of political and economic liberalization, a mistake compounded by the fact that people who want privatization above all and people who want democratic change and have no particular interest in the economic system are often lumped together as being on ‘the right.’
In the discourse of the ‘right’ meanwhile, people who are actually left wing are lumped together with people who back the government as ‘the left’, except where the latter are explicitly rightwing economically, which automatically makes them ‘democrats’, even when they’re not. Meanwhile, the actual leftist threshold between policy advocacy and dissent occurs at the point where neo-Maoists start saying that China is being run by a ‘fake communist party’ and getting jailed for it. Those guys aren’t democrats either. It’s complicated, as they say.
Anyway, read the whole thing. Some useful background on various foreign policy viewpoints as well.