Reforming Reform in China

Brad Alsup /

The head of China’s People’s Congress announced Friday that any movements toward a Western-style democracy were off the table.

Within the announcement, Wu Bangguo specifically ruled out multi-party elections, the division of the People’s Congress into two houses, separate branches of government with power to balance one another, and formal privatization. According to Wu, “Different countries have different systems of laws, and we do not copy the systems of laws of certain Western countries when enacting the socialist system of laws with Chinese characteristics.”

Then again, why should they? After a quarter-century of economic insanity under Mao, China has had an economic miracle that is nothing less than remarkable. Since Deng Xiaoping took control of the party at the end of the 1970s, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has lifted more than a billion people—one-sixth of the entire world’s population—out of poverty. China’s total GDP is more than 30 times what it was in 1978. And even during the current economic situation, the Chinese people are the most optimistic in the world when it comes to their economy. (more…)