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  Will China have truly competitive multi-party elections by 2040?
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Question: Will China have truly competitive multi-party elections by 2040?
#1Yes  
#2No  
#3IDK  
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Total Voters: 45

Author Topic: Will China have truly competitive multi-party elections by 2040?  (Read 1484 times)
Blue3
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« on: December 23, 2018, 10:32:36 pm »

Will China have truly competitive multi-party elections by 2040?
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BundouYMB
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2018, 11:20:23 pm »

I can't imagine it. In 2018 the CPC is nowhere close to collapsing. China is going to become the world's #1 superpower before 2040. Living standards across China will continue to rise. The CPC is going to be riding this wave for a long time. Possibly for over a hundred years. Even when living standards one day stagnate, and China's global influence starts to wane, the government won't collapse over night. It takes time for dissatisfaction to build up enough for there to be a revolution. I don't see any realistic scenario where China is a multi-party democracy in 2040.
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Blue3
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2018, 11:51:16 pm »

I can't imagine it. In 2018 the CPC is nowhere close to collapsing. China is going to become the world's #1 superpower before 2040. Living standards across China will continue to rise. The CPC is going to be riding this wave for a long time. Possibly for over a hundred years. Even when living standards one day stagnate, and China's global influence starts to wane, the government won't collapse over night. It takes time for dissatisfaction to build up enough for there to be a revolution. I don't see any realistic scenario where China is a multi-party democracy in 2040.

Who said anything about collapse or revolution?

Someone I know who is a Chinese citizen studying here thinks the PRC will transition to multi-party elections within 20 years.
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Tulsi "Both sides" Gabbard
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« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2018, 12:01:08 am »

I can't imagine it. In 2018 the CPC is nowhere close to collapsing. China is going to become the world's #1 superpower before 2040. Living standards across China will continue to rise. The CPC is going to be riding this wave for a long time. Possibly for over a hundred years. Even when living standards one day stagnate, and China's global influence starts to wane, the government won't collapse over night. It takes time for dissatisfaction to build up enough for there to be a revolution. I don't see any realistic scenario where China is a multi-party democracy in 2040.

Who said anything about collapse or revolution?

Someone I know who is a Chinese citizen studying here thinks the PRC will transition to multi-party elections within 20 years.

Assuming they suddenly decided to be more democratic, I don't see why they they would go straight to multiple parties. Instead they could try to play it safe and allow the already existing multiple factions inside the Communist party to formally organize themselves.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2018, 01:16:02 am »

The correct answer is:

LOLno.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2018, 08:26:54 am »

The correct answer is:

LOLno.
^ Exactly my thoughts when I saw the thread title.
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tack50
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« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2018, 10:47:17 am »

Lol no, try more something like 2240.

Even if the CPC were to collapse (which it's not), I'd say a more likely scenario is some sort of dictatorship like modern day Russia. Other than Hong Kong (and Macao I guess) and Taiwan, which is not part of the PRC ("real China") anyways, there is no history of democracy in China.

Best case scenario, Taiwan becomes fully independent and so do Hong Kong and Macau. They all have free multy party elections. The rest of China stays a dictatorship.
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Lord Halifax
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« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2018, 11:34:12 am »

Lol no, try more something like 2240.

Even if the CPC were to collapse (which it's not), I'd say a more likely scenario is some sort of dictatorship like modern day Russia. Other than Hong Kong (and Macao I guess) and Taiwan, which is not part of the PRC ("real China") anyways, there is no history of democracy in China.

Best case scenario, Taiwan becomes fully independent and so do Hong Kong and Macau. They all have free multy party elections. The rest of China stays a dictatorship.

It's impossible to know for how long the Communist Party of China can hang on, but every ruling party loses power at some point. The CPC has already been in power for nearly 70 years, which is almost as long as the PRI (71) and the CPSU (74). So the question is under what circumstances it loses power and what replaces it, not whether it will lose power.
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pikachu
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« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2018, 02:09:28 pm »

Lol no, try more something like 2240.

Even if the CPC were to collapse (which it's not), I'd say a more likely scenario is some sort of dictatorship like modern day Russia. Other than Hong Kong (and Macao I guess) and Taiwan, which is not part of the PRC ("real China") anyways, there is no history of democracy in China.

Best case scenario, Taiwan becomes fully independent and so do Hong Kong and Macau. They all have free multy party elections. The rest of China stays a dictatorship.

Can't this be said for most democracies, especially the Asian ones?

To answer the question, most likely not, but 20 years is still a long time.
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Beet
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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2018, 08:21:16 pm »

Hopefully. What I'd like to see:

1) transition to liberal democracy
2) grant Taiwan independence
3) settle LOAC border with India
4) cede Diaoyu islands
5) settle SCS disputes
6) fix demographic problems
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Bismarck
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« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2018, 12:33:15 am »

Hopefully. What I'd like to see:

1) transition to liberal democracy
2) grant Taiwan independence
3) settle LOAC border with India
4) cede Diaoyu islands
5) settle SCS disputes
6) fix demographic problems

Democracy will not happen by 2040 or ever if the CCP doesn’t split or collapse. And if democracy comes it will not result in a China that is any less aggressive.
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Make Politics Boring Again
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« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2018, 01:03:01 am »

My answer: yes, at least on the path to that. And you can thank Xi Jinping for that.

tl;dr methinks Xi Jinping is like Brezhnev who will be known for presiding over the stagnation that eventually causes the Party's demise.

By turning the Communist Party from a bureaucratic machine into a one-man show, he's setting the seeds for the Party's demise in the 2030s.

By the late 2020s, he will be in his late 70s, and whether he likes it or not there will be senior moments, which will inevitably start speculation and horsetrading about his successor. To protect his position and prevent the emergence of any clear successor, he will devote more and more of his time fending off internal challengers.

His inability or even unwillingness to introduce major economic reforms - as opposed to piecemeal changes - means the 40-year-old boom has quietly fizzled out. GDP growth averages at 4-5%, which is high by first world standards, but the loss of momentum means the state is less able to continue its infrastructure spree at home and buying largesse abroad. Overseas, China sees more and more pushback on its trade policies.

By the early 2030s, Xi Jinping is widely seen as senile and in office but not really in power. He makes a few public appearances where he's clearly no longer fit for office. He spends the remainder of his energy on fending off challengers. By the mid-2030s, even he understands his time is up, and he's forced to announce his retirement at the 2037 Party conference where he will be 84 years old. His replacement is an empty suit who was born in the 1970s, who struggles to unite the Party.

That replacement is then quickly nudged out by China's first millennial leader. That leader could either become a Gorbachev (a well-meaning reformer who quickly gets overtaken by events), or a Yeltsin (an insider who decides the Party is the problem and wants to destroy it).

Maybe there won't be democratic elections by the year 2040, but my guess is the Party will be in terminal decline by then.
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TML
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« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2018, 03:38:39 am »

It's still early to say at this point, but if I had to pick one side, I'm currently leaning toward negative.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2018, 12:13:50 pm »

To degree that PRC/USSR comparisons are useful, Xi is a somewhat competent Khrushchev, not a Brezhnev.
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Lord Halifax
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« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2018, 12:57:15 pm »

To degree that PRC/USSR comparisons are useful, Xi is a somewhat competent Khrushchev, not a Brezhnev.

That doesn't make any sense.

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brucejoel99
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« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2018, 06:57:22 pm »

By 2040? No, democracy won't happen by 2040. If the Communist Party ever splits &/or collapses, then perhaps it does so by around 2070 or so, but definitely not 2040.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2018, 08:00:50 pm »

To degree that PRC/USSR comparisons are useful, Xi is a somewhat competent Khrushchev, not a Brezhnev.

That doesn't make any sense.



Neither does assuming the PRC will follow the same trajectory as the USSR. My main point was that we're nowhere near the end of single party rule in China.
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Lord Halifax
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« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2018, 08:55:46 pm »
« Edited: December 25, 2018, 09:02:27 pm by Lord Halifax »

To degree that PRC/USSR comparisons are useful, Xi is a somewhat competent Khrushchev, not a Brezhnev.

That doesn't make any sense.


Neither does assuming the PRC will follow the same trajectory as the USSR. My main point was that we're nowhere near the end of single party rule in China.

It's not just the USSR, it's every country that has ever had single party rule. Everything ends at some point.  

Xi is an authoritarian and not a reformer, so he is a Brezhnev type.
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True Federalist
Ernest
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« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2018, 12:24:01 am »

To degree that PRC/USSR comparisons are useful, Xi is a somewhat competent Khrushchev, not a Brezhnev.

That doesn't make any sense.


Neither does assuming the PRC will follow the same trajectory as the USSR. My main point was that we're nowhere near the end of single party rule in China.

It's not just the USSR, it's every country that has ever had single party rule. Everything ends at some point.  

Xi is an authoritarian and not a reformer, so he is a Brezhnev type.

Maybe a Stalin type, but Xi is not presiding over the last gasps of single party rule, so comparing him to Brezhnev is ludicrous.  Unlike the USSR, the PRC has no external empire to collapse and plunge the core into chaos. Also it has the lesson of what happened so that it is unlikely for any faction within the CPC to be in favor of political liberalization. As you say, nothing lasts forever, but there's zero chance the CPC relinquishes control within the next two decades.
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Make Politics Boring Again
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« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2018, 01:15:56 am »
« Edited: December 26, 2018, 01:19:58 am by Make Politics Boring Again »

Maybe a Stalin type, but Xi is not presiding over the last gasps of single party rule, so comparing him to Brezhnev is ludicrous.  Unlike the USSR, the PRC has no external empire to collapse and plunge the core into chaos. Also it has the lesson of what happened so that it is unlikely for any faction within the CPC to be in favor of political liberalization. As you say, nothing lasts forever, but there's zero chance the CPC relinquishes control within the next two decades.
The USSR was seemingly strong and stable during Brezhnev's rule, and nobody believed the USSR could collapse except in a sea of fire. But in retrospect, he had promoted a personality cult that led to the disembowelment Party's bureaucracy (i.e. ability to regulate itself independently of any one person's diktat). When Xi first assumed power, he wanted to strengthen the Party bureaucracy by reminding Party members of the USSR's collapse. But based on what has happened since then, he is becoming exactly what he feared.

By eliminating term limits, Xi now has total dominance over the Party, but he has also eliminated any avenue for a successor to emerge. This means that Xi's final years will be consumed by infighting, which will only intensify following his departure (whether by resignation or death).

It's also a truism throughout history that a strongman will do all he can to prevent the emergence of a clear successor to protect his power, resulting in a period of chaos or at least uncertainty following his demise. Typically, a compromise empty suit emerges as the strongman's successor, but he's unable to unite the regime and is before long pushed out by someone younger, more charismatic, and cunning.

Mao himself was succeeded by Hua Goufeng, who is best remembered for being quickly pushed aside by Deng. Stalin was succeeded by Beria (KGB chief), then Malenkov (#2 on the Politburo), then finally a complete nobody who had the support of Marshal Zhukov (who was himself tossed aside).

By the 2030s, more time will have elapsed since the fall of the USSR (1991-2033 = 42 years) than the period since the PRC's founding (1949-1991 = 42 years). The political elite of the time will have been born in the 1960s and had their political formative years during the beginnings of China's boom. Younger, more ambitious figures in the Party would be millennials who grew up listening to Jay Chou songs about his love for his ex-girlfriend rather than songs praising Mao for the glorious harvest. Their political formative years will be defined by Xi's own consolidation of power and China's own increasing global isolation, perhaps with its boom running out of steam by the 2020s.

This means that Xi is setting the stage for a generational conflict between boomers and millennials by the 2030s.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2018, 02:13:20 am »

You're focusing too much on internal conditions rather than external ones in my opinion. The collapse of the Soviet Union and thus of the CPSU was due primarily to what happened outside the Soviet Union. But China's relationship to the rest of the world is nothing like that of the Soviet Union after the Great Patriotic War. Also, the slowing of economic growth as China becomes more economically developed has long been expected. That slowdown may cause Xi some problems, but is unlikely to cause the CPC problems unless it turns into a collapse.

The Soviet Union's foreign influence was based on military support, which proved unsustainable. China's is based on economic intervention and it currently has ample means.
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Very Legal & Very Cool
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« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2018, 03:06:09 am »

I don't see any opening for democracy to reach China by 2040. Every step China has taken these last few years has only solidified the power of CPC. Xi Jinping has certainly done all he can to suppress opposition even within CPC, steps taken to censor, control and harass political opposition will only become stronger the longer they remain in place. There's not too many places in the world right now where freedom and democracy are actually growing.
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Make Politics Boring Again
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« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2018, 03:19:02 am »

Since China has the world's largest population, of course its politics will be primarily guided by what happens within its borders. And, since the Communist Party has unquestioned dominance over Chinese politics, of course China's internal politics will be almost entirely determined by the Party's internal politics.

We should of course also remember that the Soviet collapse occurred not because of Afghan rebels, Polish miners, or Reagan's hot air. It was primarily because "we pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us". In other words, its internal politics had become rotten. Gorbachev tried to reform the Party, but either because of his naivety or because it was beyond saving, it crashed.

Of course, growth rates of 8-10% cannot last forever. But, with reforms that promote a safer investment atmosphere, it could enjoy another generation of 6-7% growth to propel it to first-world status by 2040-ish. Without these reforms, it could easily become another Brazil where per capita GDP straggles at $10,000 with growth of 2-3%. Moreover, its bloated state-run banks are already now pretending to loan money and pretending to collect payments. The aging population is another strengthening headwind which will decrease the savings rate and hence pool of capital for investment.

A decade of a Brazil-style stagnation will cause discontent with Xi within the Party just as he ages. He will respond the way he has governed so far: lay out grand visions in speeches but introduce piecemeal measures that protect his own power within the Party. If Xi had preserved the more collegial collective leadership model of his predecessors, his rivals would have gradually gained seats on the Politburo before one of their own took power in 2022/3. But since the Party has become his personal machine, that channel for internal competition is closed. Some younger members of the Party hierarchy might even privately conclude that the Party itself will crumble without his iron grip. Then, once these doubts spread to generals in the military, the game is up.
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pilskonzept
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« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2018, 07:32:34 am »

Soviet military aid did not matter in places like Romania or Albania. The key thing, IMHO, was the exposure to a development model that was both more successful and more sustainable.

Looking back at the past 40 years, China IS the model - I guess the UN Human Development Index is neutral enough even if you are not a Chinese nationalist. This won't last forever.

There will be *something else* by 2040, but I doubt it will be both competitive and multi-party. And not necessarily "nicer" than the current system either: see Myanmar.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2018, 07:43:21 am »

Without external turmoil, the Soviet Union would likely have been able to survive intact despite its internal problems. As it is, after a decade of multi-party chaos, Russia has returned to single party rule. Having learned from history, I can't see any major actors in the CPC or PLA seeking to liberalize politics in China for at least the next half century.
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