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  • Tiananmen Square 1989 successful

    What if the 1989 Tiananmen Square did not result in a blood bath but became a catalyst to bring about a multiparty democracy in China.

    1.) Would China still achieved its rapid economic rise with a "chaotic" democratic model?
    2.) Would the Western world embrace China as it has India?

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    1.) Would China still achieved its rapid economic rise with a "chaotic" democratic model?
    2.) Would the Western world embrace China as it has India?
    1. First, the protesters did achieve some of their goals, however belatedly, at least in the realm of economic reform. I would argue that it would be hard to imagine China enjoying greater economic growth than they have managed since. I know there are true-blue Reagan free-marketers out there who will cringe, but China may become the economic model for the the new century. That having been said, they have some very serious problems that could stifle that growth. One is their aging population with a much smaller pool of workers to support them thanks to the "One Child" policy and a second is the uneven growth which is still leaving the mostly rural population behind. Add to that their growing dependency on an oil-based economy with no proven reserves of their own. These are all daunting problems for a One-Party system. I find it difficult to comprehend that a multi-party system in a society/culture that has had no history of one would be remotely as successful in dealing with these problems as the current government.

    2. At least from the American perspective I think you have the question backward. They have embraced us to the point of owning a significant portion of our national debt. I also find it surprising that, at least for me, I know far more people who have traveled in China than have traveled in India and isn't that one "embracing" is all about?

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    • #3
      I think that for question 1:

      Hardliners would unleash the military, and quell any such actions. Swiftly and cruelly, had it succeded. At that time, China had little to lose, except for internal power. This they already retain with the cost of whatever "rope" they wish to reel out.

      As for #2, they would have been as embraced as those Eastern Europeans who revolted against the USSR were.
      In Vino Veritas

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      • #4
        Successful would have meant a civil war in China, IMHO. All units would have had to disobey the orders to attack the protesters or even join them for the protesters to succeed. IOW, a commander of one of the major tank units would have had to decide to fire upon another Chinese unit.

        It was commanders on the ground who decided amongst that even though the Party apparatus might be outmoded and the desire for more freedom legitemate, it was not worth the kind of chaos and bloodshed a civil war would entail.
        "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
        George Mason
        Co-author of the Second Amendment
        during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

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