Had China democratized in 1989, what would the last 30 years have looked like for China?

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,150
Lisbon, Portugal
In India we take extreme pride in our ethno-regional identity and never saw it as hindrance towards our national identity of our ancient nation.

Compared that communism try to suppress the such ethano regional and nationalism is groomed for communist ideology and not for a sense of common history. One of such classic example was Yugoslavia. When communism was gone people were directionless in entire Eastern Europe.
Many Communist regimes didn't suppress ethno-regional identities at all, even in the Soviet Union, ethnic identities were actually very much idolized by the Soviet authorities.
 
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robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,150
Lisbon, Portugal
The PRC focuses plenty on narrating a common history between ethnic minorities and the Han; so much so that it is often becoming a political issue. The western media focus too much on more rebellious groups such as Tibetans or Uighurs and ignores the fact that the vast majority of China's 55 recognized ethnic minorities, including the three most populous ones, the Hui, Zhuang, and Manchu are fully integrated into the mainstream society. Overall I consider the PRC ethnic policies (in terms of making minorities feel a sense of Chinese nationalism) a success, not a failure.
Those Chinese minorities are fully integrated in the sense that they share the same level of national identity as the Han majority, and those minorities are fully accepted in mainstream Chinese society as fully Chinese, but on a socio-economic level, it's fully known that most minorities in China live in a developmental level lower than average.
 
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Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,638
Many Communist regimes didn't suppress ethno-regional identities at all, even in the Soviet Union, ethnic identities were actually very much idolized by the Soviet authorities.
Unfortunately in the kind of sanitized, harmless formats that meant they were co-opted for Soviet purposes. Behind it the questions of identity and regionalism remained unresolved and pent up. Russia as a successor state to the USSR didn't create those issues, it just inherited them.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,638
Those Chinese minorities are fully integrated in the sense that they share the same level of national identity as the Han majority, and those minorities are fully accepted in mainstream Chinese society as fully Chinese, but on a socio-economic level, it's fully known that most minorities in China live in a developmental level lower than average.
That's clearly the official version. Unfortunately as long as China is a one-party-state, i.e. operates on a political monopoly, actually testing that kind of assertion will be impossible. That is, until events line up in such a fashion as to challenge it.

Since it clearly already doesn't apply viz the Uighurs.
 
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Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,638
Had China embraced democracy in 1989, it would be owned economically by the western multinational corporations. That would undoubtedly slow down Chinese companies which would have a direct impact to the Chinese development. All the assets that are now firmly in hands if the Chinese government, directly or indirectly, would probably be owned by Western companies.
Which amounts to a declaration of faith and loyalty to the Chinese government, indirectly to the CCP then.

That would only happen if done wrong. The main problem is always the lack of attention to the legal system. China as is can still end up like that because the Chinese legal protections for property are disturbingly weak. (That empowers the state and the party.)

But for the purposes of argument of the blessings of the one-part-state it is of course still rhetorically useful as a proposed reason to assume that the Chinese would be asshats about the process of a Chinese democratization of China.

Do what the Japanese, Koreans, Singaporeans (or for eff's sake even the darn Taiwanese, who should be sufficiently Chinese for at least comparison purposes), and that non-sequitur boogeyman of western-take-over-of-economy-because-democracy is a non-issue. But then again the message here is that the Chinese people, unlike these others, need the guiding hand of the Communist Party, or else woe betides.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,197
SoCal
Many Communist regimes didn't suppress ethno-regional identities at all, even in the Soviet Union, ethnic identities were actually very much idolized by the Soviet authorities.
Minority ethnic identities were encouraged in the USSR and Yugoslavia, but plurality/majority ethnic identities (specifically Great Russian and Serb), not so much.
 
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Mar 2012
4,412
Those Chinese minorities are fully integrated in the sense that they share the same level of national identity as the Han majority, and those minorities are fully accepted in mainstream Chinese society as fully Chinese, but on a socio-economic level, it's fully known that most minorities in China live in a developmental level lower than average.
That has more to do with regions than ethnicity. Tibet for example still has a higher GDP per capital than provinces such as Gansu, meaning the Han of Gansu are poorer on average compared to a Tibetan. Mongols also currently have the highest literacy rate in China, higher than any ethnic group, including the Han.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,197
SoCal
That has more to do with regions than ethnicity. Tibet for example still has a higher GDP per capital than provinces such as Gansu, meaning the Han of Gansu are poorer on average compared to a Tibetan. Mongols also currently have the highest literacy rate in China, higher than any ethnic group, including the Han.
Why'd China focus more on Mongol education than on Han Chinese education?
 
Mar 2012
4,412
That's clearly the official version. Unfortunately as long as China is a one-party-state, i.e. operates on a political monopoly, actually testing that kind of assertion will be impossible. That is, until events line up in such a fashion as to challenge it.

Since it clearly already doesn't apply viz the Uighurs.
Uighurs of Xinjiang were always closely supervised compared to other ethnic groups; even before 2008. It's just that the west only started paying attention to them after that. The Chinese government was always suspicious of independence movements there so its not as if these events challenging the government completely caught China off the guard or that policies after 2008 was a 180 degree turn from precedents. As I already said, Uighurs and Tibetans (although to a much lesser extent) have always been the two ethnic minorities with the most potential for instability. The fact that the Chinese government do not have strict surveillance policies in any other part of China, such as the minority loaded provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi or even Inner Mongolia compared to Xinjiang and Tibet shows the confidence the government have in the fact that the minorities of these regions would not cause trouble.
One can say that tests are impossible, but it doesn't mean we have no clue whatsoever, or you might as well not discuss any facts in regard to China. The western media focuses so much on minority problems (and its not like the western media has any reliable statistics of its own; relying mostly on partial anecdotal evidence, so even what you think is "clear" for Uighurs, might not be clear at all) that the overall picture is often distorted. For example, the Tibetan Government in exile did a secret survey of their own in Tibet right after the 2008 uprising and still only found 29% of the Tibetans in China wanted actual independence; and this is probably the second most unstable ethnic group in China. I've also heard my Tibetan friend lament on certain youths in Lhasa today who tends to speak Mandarin and look down on speaking Tibetan, but such news will never be reported in the west. We even see Chinese nationalism by minorities exported overseas causing discomfort. Some South Koreans today are wary of flooding the country with ethnic Koreans from China (which is the current policy of the government to deal with population decline), as many of them found out that they are essentially letting in ethnic Koreans who have Chinese mentality into their country. I have a South Korean friend who personally told me he thought ethnic Koreans in China are Koreans at heart; but had a rude awakening when one of them started to brag about the Chinese military and how it would perform against the US military at war.
 
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