It is Hong Kong’s good fortune to possess, in addition to its corporatist elite, a vibrant civil society, the rule of law, and a free press; China has no such safety valves for the discontent of its people, no resilience in its politics. The echo chamber of today’s Chinese regime–with its slogans and show trials, its claims of expertise and openness, its pretense of oversight and accountability–cannot do the work of pluralist democracy. As James Madison knew, an extended republic, even a “people’s” republic, requires institutional checks and balances if it is not to devolve into a tyranny–or to remain one.

My Short March Through China,” by Gary Rosen, Commentary, December 2007

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