Outspoken Chinese constitutional scholar Zhang Xuezhong (above) was detained overnight after he publicized a letter to the regime’s rubber-stamp legislature that criticized the one-party political system and proposed a transition toward a genuine democratic government, reports suggest.
In his letter, Zhang wrote that Chinese constitution ”is a just a manual used by the ruling party to organize and run its regime…..China has not built a modern political system in accordance with a genuine constitution. The outbreak and spread of the epidemic have been a good indication of the problem”.
”The last 70 years in which the Communist party has ruled over China, have been a complete failure not only in nation-building but also in social governance,” he added.
A growing number of experts are warning against what they call a “new Cold War” with China. But many Chinese Communist Party elites already view the rest of the world as a staging ground for competition between China and the United States, Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian reports for Axios:
When Chinese government officials criticize what they explicitly call a “Cold War mentality” in the U.S., they aren’t calling for an end to ideological competition or great power rivalry, but rather to U.S. attempts to stymie Beijing’s plans.
“The challenge Beijing represents is not to Washington’s status in Asia, but to the nature of the global order’s predominant values,” Dan Tobin, a faculty member in China Studies at the National Intelligence University, wrote in congressional testimony on March 13.
Viral alarm: When fury overcomes fear
Allen-Ebrahimian cites a newly updated translation of Xu Zhangrun’s incisive essay in the Journal of Democracy, that criticizes the cult of personality surrounding Xi Jinping and his response to the coronavirus. The author has been held incommunicado since its publication.
“Do you not see that although everyone looks to the One for the nod of approval, the One himself is clueless and has no substantive understanding of rulership and governance, despite his undeniable talent for playing power politics? The price for his overarching egotism is now being paid by the nation as a whole.”
In a pandemic, biodata is an essential asset for the purposes of epidemiology, as well as the developments of vaccines and treatments. But for authoritarian states like China and Russia, the accuracy of epidemiological assessments has a special significance., analyst Tamsin Shaw writes for the New York Review of Books. It’s essential to shaping a strategic political response to the crisis. They want to know not just how many will die or be incapacitated, but also who will and where, as this will affect the global balance of power—which they want to tilt in their favor.