Democracy with Chinese Characteristics

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Having written before about what I believe are bogus notions of “intra-party democracy” it’s probably worth mentioning again that despite a great deal of talk, the idea that democracy outside the party is making any headway is even more fallacious. That despite the fact that President Hu Jintao mentioned the word democracy no less than 60 times in his speech opening the 17th Party Congress yesterday, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. As the china elections website notes, democracy has a special meaning when it is used in a Chinese context. In fact, the one thing it doesn’t mean is, well, democracy. You see, as Xinhua points out in a separate piece, Western Democracy isn’t suitable for China. So that’s that issue settled, once and for all.