Reader Mail

Expect no changes in China soon

Yuen Yuen Ang, in his Feb. 19 opinion piece “Is political change coming to China?” suggests I am being “too optimistic” in predicting the coronavirus outbreak will not change how China is governed into the future.

It is true that the current crisis has resulted in unprecedented pressures on President Xi Jinping’s authoritarian leadership. But the likelihood of this bringing about anything approximating regime change is limited.

For those who don’t remember the events of 1989, the determination of a Marxist-Leninist party to retain power was on full display at that time. Over the last 30 years, the party leadership’s control of the Chinese military, paramilitary and security and intelligence services has become even stronger. That does not mean that long-term fundamental change is impossible, but it is far from probable in the near to medium term.

KEVIN RUDD
PRESIDENT, ASIA SOCIETY POLICY INSTITUTE, NEW YORK

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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