China: CCP’s survival strategy ‘exhausted’?


Some may dismiss Gao Zhisheng’s prediction of the downfall of the Chinese Communist Party as the wishful thinking of a persecuted dissident, says Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy. In fact, however, it is consistent with a growing trend among China scholars, one of whom, David Shambaugh, wrote an article in the WSJ called “China’s Coming Crack-up,” which he later developed into a book entitled China’s Future, he told this week’s China Aid forum.

Shambaugh gave five reasons for thinking that the Chinese regime suffers from systemic and ultimately fatal weaknesses: 1) The wealthiest Chinese citizens are parking their money abroad and are thinking of leaving; 2) there is increasing repression that Shambaugh considered to be a sign of weakness, not strength; 3) the regime was ideologically bankrupt; 4) It could not deal with the massive problem of corruption that is rooted in the authoritarian system; and 5) the reform process had reached an impasse, meaning that if the regime couldn’t adapt and modernize, it would fail.

There are other important China watchers who share this view, among them Minxin Pei who has written that “The Communist Party’s post-Tiananmen survival strategy is exhausted, and its new strategy” – which essentially consists of growing repression and virulent nationalism – “is likely accelerating the party’s demise.” And Andrew Nathan, who in the past has written about China’s “authoritarian resilience,” now says that the Chinese regime “behaves as if it faces an existential threat.”


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