Talk:Chinese views of democracy

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In the "Proposal for Confucian Society" section, I would recommend removing the question in the beginning of the paragraph. In writing a wikipedia entry you have to try and sound like an encyclopedia. It's a great tactic for papers, but not for this format. Just a suggestion! Mscarles (talk) 18:20, 13 May 2012 (UTC)


I love the organization of this article and thinks it does a great job laying out the main ideas. I also really like the background paragraph and thinks it does a great job setting up the scope and aim of the following information. I like how the Chinese ways are continuously compared the Western ways throughout. I wonder if the article might be stronger if at the end there were a section for DIFFERING VIEWS. The article seems a little one-sided in that it does not pose ways that some Chinese (and Western) philosophers see Democracy and Chinese society being able to function together, and in some cases compliment each other. It does not have to be a long paragraph because obviously this is not the topic of this entry, but perhaps a quick description/outline of competing views/other thinkers with links to other wiki articles that expand upon them more. Abfinard (talk) 18:48, 14 May 2012 (UTC)


Great article. Could you articulate some of the different Chinese philosophical stances regarding the role of family? I know that, as you've mentioned, family plays an integral part in traditional philosophy. I think that others, however, argue the impediment that family creates in terms of progress. I think this is relevant to the discussion of Chinese democracy. Perhaps you could link to other Chinese intellectuals that philosophize about the role of family in China's future. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Njosephs (talkcontribs) 23:33, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Also interested in the role of family to skepticism towards Democracy and to the relationship it has to corruption. Looking at "Consanguineous Affection" Liu Qingping's displaying of the conflicts between filial piety and relationships to government. Corruption as the main problem with the People's Republic of China may lead to or dissuade trust in Democracy. By placing more power in the individual the values that lead to corruption may be lost, but a traditional Confucian value of piety can also slip away. The destroying of the filial sphere could lead to a loss of identity for the Chinese people. Democracy and the procedural system could alleviate corruption, but also lead to what looks like another wholesale acceptance of Western values. I think this is a very interesting, contemporary debate and would love to see more scholarship on it. Npetrillo (talk) 18:17, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps some talk of Filial Piety could find its way into the discussion on family. There is an importance on family, but not just family, on loyalty to family and the proper role that each member is supposed to play in the family. This often contradicts with Western views of individualism, upon which the entire economic system of capitalism and political system of democracy is based. I definitely think that what is written already connects, and perhaps Filial Piety could be a more specific connector. Abfinard (talk) 18:45, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

See Also[edit]

Solid article; captures the many of the most significant factors of Chinese Skepticism of Democracy. I found that in my research of the Chinese New Left, much of the information overlaps with a general skepticism of democracy. Perhaps a "See Also" section could be added to provide a link to access the Chinese New Left page? I think adding more individual thinkers to your article may be helpful as well. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dukelouie (talkcontribs) 18:51, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

General Comments and Further Suggestions[edit]

I agree with the ideas suggested in the previous sections. Firstly, the scope of information that the entry is quite extensive in that it covers a wide range of relevant topics pertaining to Chinese skepticism of democracy. While this article is mainly useful for an individual who seeks a basic knowledge of the Chinese sentiment for it explores multiple areas of the subjet and provides accurate information, it is also useful to a researcher because it serves as a good place to start familiarizing himself with the subject. Moreover, I especially like the last section, "Evolving Debate: From the Philosophical to the Pragmatic," where the multiple views of scholars who study this topic are offered. Perhaps Pan Wei's idea should be more explained more clearly: Pan Wei suggests that as China develops it will not become democratic like the West. Rather, it will take on the path of “consultative rule of law,” or “ a ‘mixed’ regime out of the Chinese tradition of civil service via examination and the Western tradition of legalism and liberalism via the separation of power to form checks and balances, thereby eliminating problem of corruption.

Also, it should be included somewhere in the article, perhaps in the Background section that the prediction that China will eventually become ‘democratic’ is likely to be based on the insular the assumption that in order for a country to fully modernize it must follow ‘the Western model.’ Although market competition and technological advancement are certainly prerequisites for modernization, ‘democracy’ is very debatable, especially in the case of China. The Chinese have a long history and rich culture. They have their unique customs of ancestral worship and notion of social relationships, such as the Confucian values of filial piety and guanxi, which altogether influence people’s view of the state. Unlike in the West, the Chinese state enjoys a special significance as the representative and serves as the patriarch of the Chinese civilization. Its hegemony has not been threatened for over a thousand years. Under such environment, the demand for rights and rights consciousness is relatively low in China compared to Western nations. Furthermore, what seems to matter to people most is their welfare, i.e., if they are satisfied with their lives to a level then the government should be able to remain in power without substantial opposition.

Lastly, similar to Pan Wei, Jiang Qing (Jiang Qing Confucianism) should also be mentioned subsequently in the article for he also opposes the Western idea of liberal democracy, and suggests instead that China should be operating under a trilateral parliament system. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Achirathivat (talkcontribs) 19:37, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Logical Fallacy? and addressing bias in article[edit]

"Two distinct causes have devalued the appeal of the West and its democracy. Firstly, the boom of the Four Tigers and other growing Asian economies has severed the links between Western culture and material wealth in the eyes of many Chinese."

...the article fails to mention that the Four Tigers--Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea--are heavily influenced by Western democratic ideals and are in a very real sense democracies (Taiwan more so, Singapore and South Korea having strong elements, Hong Kong formerly so until the PRC disrupted elections following annexation--all undoubtedly leagues more democratic than China). Japan, the "Big" Tiger, is also one of the strongest economies in Asia and is probably the most democratic nation in East Asia alongside Taiwan. The article's sentence makes as much sense as me saying "Bob has become rich through investing in tech companies, therefore I now believe tech investments lose money". Can those who condoned keeping the sentence in the article explain to me their logical progression?

I'm going to go a step further and say that it's faintly ridiculous to have such a sentence under a section labeled "pragmatism". It is not up to the editors of this article to claim what is pragmatic and what isn't, particularly if they are insinuating something as inaccurate as "Taiwan/South Korea/Singapore/Hong Kong aren't democracies". Maybe, instead we should reword "Pragmatism" to "Chinese Pragmatism" or "Chinese Values".

Finally, the article indirectly states that Taiwan is an authoritarian society, which is about as accurate as saying China is a liberal democracy, or that the United States is an absolute monarchy. (talk) 02:35, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

Agreed with the above. I would also add that some of the writing is opinionated at best--such as the Four Tigers "debunking" the belief that Western democracy is required for successful economies. (talk) 13:51, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

Modern Thinkers[edit]

The article may benefit from an in-depth survey into Chinese political thought as it relates to democracy, rooted in Maoism and its variations and offshoots, itself rooted to some degree in Marxism-Leninism.

In the modern age, there are some noted speakers, economists, and those in political science who have shared skepticism of Democracy, some speaking on behalf of the PRC itself, and I'm wondering if some of them or their arguments would merit inclusion into this article (based on whatever criteria Wikipedia requires- notability, rigor, popularity, relevance etc.)

1. Eric X. Li, venture capitalist. His core argument is noted in here, in this New York Times Op-Ed Why China’s Political Model Is Superior

It is expanded on here in a response to critics of the PRC system in favor of a more orthodox Democracy\ Counterpoint: Debunking Myths About China

An interview with him fleshed out these views

Finally his arguments were hosted by TED Partially transcripted here and his presentation recorded here

2. Yasheng Huang, Economist On the one hand, Huang ties Democracy with Capitalism, and the PRC political system with its economic system, so it's a bit harder to demarcate one topic from another when he's referencing them.

Furthermore, it doesn't seem that he offers any specific condemnation or skepticism of Democracy per se, but offers what he (and the PRC) sees as negative consequences of it.

In Foreign Policy, he alludes to the view India's Democratic form of governance and bottom-up policy-changing as one of the reasons for its slow growth and falling behind in various metrics when compared to the PRC, which can institute and enforce policy rather swiftly

He expands on this in his own TED talk, transcripted here and its recording hosted here the video hosted here.

Paraphrasing his presentation, the PRC believes that the maintenance of infrastructure is paramount in securing a strong economy and economic growth, state ownership is requisite for that, and limiting the democratic process necessary to that end. The Chinese are skeptical of using more volatile metrics in making policy.

(That is to say, it's not his personal value judgement that Democracy is 'better' or 'worse' than the PRC system, in fact the argument of the presentation was the opposite; he was just relaying reasons why the PRC may be skeptical of Democracy, based on apparent consequences of each system within certain parameters, and the perception of these consequences. In fact he criticized the PRC's failure to accept democracy in "Democratize or Die" )

"The idea there behind these two pictures is that the Chinese government can act above rule of law. It can plan for the long-term benefits of the country and in the process, evict millions of people -- that's just a small technical issue. Whereas in India, you cannot do that, because you have to listen to the public. You're being constrained by the public's opinion."

3. Misc Other sources have also relayed some of China's misgivings about Democracy, e.g. (talk) 00:08, 12 January 2016 (UTC)


Rename article to Chinese views of democracy[edit]

I will move the page. I think one of the most fundamental flaw of the article is the biased title. Under views, there are many more that should be listed. --Ghormax (talk) 09:54, 19 October 2016 (UTC)