The Economist‘s cover is both cheeky and prescient: China’s Communist leaders are, in fact, ruling and reforming the country much like the late Qing Dynasty a century ago. Back then, the Manchu rulers instituted widespread reforms in almost every sphere of life in China. The empire underwent massive social and economic transformation. There is one area, however, where the Imperial rulers of yore, like the Communists today, refused to make significant changes. That’s political reform.
Some 120 prominent activists and scholars have penned a letter calling for political reform and supporting Nobel Peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo. This comes on the heels of earlier letter by Communist Party elders calling for Beijing to lift censorship which stifles and warps civil society in China..
The awarding of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese citizen, has drawn strong reactions both inside and outside China. This is a major event in modern Chinese history. It offers the prospect of a significant new advance for Chinese society in its peaceful transition toward democracy and constitutional government.
Beijing: Reawakening After two years trekking across the Silk Road, Gustaf Mannerheim arrived in Peking on July 26, 1908. He stayed at a posh hotel kitty-corner to the Russian legation in the capital’s Legation Quarter. He remained in Peking for two months working on his military intelligence report on modernization and reform in the late [...]