October 7, 2009
“The great trends of urbanization, globalization, climate change, and demographic change in China as elsewhere are going to pose enormous pressures and challenges on the system. They are going to pose problems for the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese State to handle, and the solutions will impose costs on some sectors of society as well as perhaps providing benefits to others. I think the key will be in looking ahead as to whether these issues as they emerge are going to push the system to the breaking point or whether it will show [China’s] continued impressive degree of adaptability, which means that 20 years from now, just as 20 years ago, we’ll be asking the age-old question: When will China ever democratize?” So said Asia Foundation’s Vice Chair Harry Harding, who is the newly-appointed Dean of the Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy at the University of Virginia and Asia Foundation’s Vice Chair, at a World Affairs Council panel this week, co-sponsored by the Asia Society and moderated by The Asia Foundation’s Country Representative in China Jonathan Stromseth. Other panelists included Orville Schell, from the Asia Society Center on U.S.-China Relations and Minxin Pei, Senior Associate, China Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Listen to the spirited discussion that took place Monday night at the World Affairs Council. The program will also be aired on KQED, San Francisco’s NPR station.
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