Sun, Jun 23, 2019 - Page 6 News List

Checking the Tiananmen narrative

By Sushil Seth

Is the continuation of a political system based on submission, rather popular participation, a durable solution?

In China, these questions are not allowed. Indeed, as the Tiananmen massacre is never supposed to have happened, nobody would need to ask questions about a “hypothetical” tragedy.

At another level, under Xi’s regime, China is spruiking its political system as a superior alternative to Western democracy, pointing out, at different times, its record on colonialism, slavery, ongoing racism and the on-off crisis of capitalism, the latest being the global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 still working itself out.

It is true that Western democracy, as it has evolved, is far from perfect and lately is tending to descend into populism and authoritarianism. This means there is need for more vigilance by strengthening constitutional provisions to guard against a descent into authoritarianism or even fascism.

China is hardly the desirable political alternative where Xi is now the country’s president for life.

Sushil Seth is a commentator based in Australia.

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