• SHARE

Is the rest of the world getting China wrong yet again? Maybe the country is not doomed to live out unending top-down rule. What is history, after all, but the realization of the wills of countless unpredictable human beings.

Past mistakes about China are too numerous to mention. When it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, many thought China would liberalize. Since Japan, Taiwan and South Korea had all gone on to become full-fledged democracies after periods of autocracy, the pattern was clear: Once they were fairly wealthy, the growing middle classes demanded a say in their government. At the time, it hardly seemed crazy to believe China might go down a similar path.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)