"The China Fantasy: How Our Leaders Explain Away Chinese Repression"
March 8, 2007
James Mann is author in residence at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and the author of Rise of the Vulcans, About Face, and Beijing Jeep. He was previously the Los Angles Times Beijing bureau chief. In his new book, The China Fantasy, Mann explores two scenarios popular among the policy elite. The "Soothing Scenario" contends that the successful spread of capitalism will gradually bring about a development of democratic institutions, free elections, independent judiciary, and a progressive human rights policy. In the "Upheaval Scenario," the contradictions in Chinese society between rich and poor, between cities and the countryside, and between the openness of the economy and the unyielding Leninist system will eventually lead to a revolution, chaos, or collapse. Against this backdrop, Mann poses a third scenario and asks, What will happen if Chinese capitalism continues to evolve and expand but the government fails to liberalize?
From the World Beyond the Headlines Series.