China's coming out moment - vulnerability, power, democracy

Tony Curzon Price
Tony Curzon Price
21 August 2008

Behind every ritual show of control, look for the unconfidence that it masks. Kerry Brown notices it in the the Olympic pageant. The perfectionism, the mime, point not so much to manipulative control of appearances as to a desire to come out and shine on the stage of nations. Kerry Brown sees a very positive dynamic here. A year of challenges and crises has shown "that the Chinese people, complex and segmented and dispersed as they are, have and want a voice," and the leadership must now see that the next task after a splendid Olympics is to build "a transparent, modern democracy." Look to the October 2008 meeting of the leadership for signs that the leadership has understood the next step on the steep, post-Olympian road.

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