Why China Will Democratize

Yu Lin, Dingding Chen
Content Type
Journal Article
The Washington Quarterly
Issue Number
Publication Date
Winter 2012
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Behind the political stagnation on the surface, signs abound that a fundamental political transformation is taking place in China. In the fall of 2011, an unusually large group of independent citizens launched very vocal campaigns to compete for seats in various local congresses. Around the same time, groups of ''netizens'' went to a small village in Shandong province to try to visit Chen Guangcheng, a human right activist under house arrest, despite repeated reports about visitors being beaten. In July 2011, a train crash near the city of Wenzhou caused a storm of criticism against the government on ''weibo,'' micro-blog sites in China that claim nearly 200 million readers. Although these are just three pieces of evidence, they represent a rising independent civil society and illustrate that China's political regime is increasingly being challenged.
Political Geography