The Middle Kingdom has been forbidden for most of the analysts (poor and heavily filtered information) but that is not a concrete proposition anymore.
So, this time, when dear Mr. Wen Jiabao, again, advocates for political reforms and opening-up of a closed society, it reflects a realistic assessment and not some surface-deep appeasement rhetoric.
In last few months, this coastal Guangdong village has become a roll model for many suppressed voices in this iron-curtained country. And now that they have been allowed to hold their own election, we can say the unilateral democratic measures (better say a pseudo-democracy, if at all it sees the light of the day) being advocated for by the likes of Wen Jiabao would not be booed down by the Politburo elite as has been the case in past.
Yes, very emphatically, we can say it is not going to bring any miraculous change, a surge of expression of unquenched desire to see the change rising, spreading with this example, acquiring a pan-China canvas.
But indeed, the common Chinese with his benchmark protest address, the non-descript street around the corner, armed now with the social media tools would be seen as the potent symbol of change. (We, out of China, already have started smelling it.)
And equally emphatically, we can say, it has been heard across even in one of the most tightly controlled regimes, in China, where this non-descript village Wukan rose to protest the land-grab policy of the administration and got a stay on further acquisition of the village land. Here we need to take note that the party secretary Wang Yang, who heads the provincial government of Guangdong, played an important role.
It becomes even more important when we place it in the context of the scheduled regime change of the Communist Party this year. Mr. Wang Yang is a potential contender to join the elite nine-member body of the Community Party, the Politburo Standing Committee.
So when dear Wen sounds pro-democratic again using words like farmers’ voting rights, self-governance and direct election in villages, it provides a fascinating platform for the study of the sociological churnings in the world’s most populous nation.
One of the core reasons behind this seemingly sea-change in the thinking of some of the Chinese power elite is the realization that the phenomenal growth of the Internet (adjunct to the improved earnings), mobile communication and social media platforms has armed the ordinary Chinese with tools to share ideas that is very hard to control.
Though, every communication platform including the social media is heavily regulated in China, the extent of users spread squeezes out the mileage from an effective control on the communication flow that intends to kill the waves at the source.
Had it not been the case, the world would have never known about Wukan for the reasons it is known today. We still have varying versions of what happened at the Tiananmen Square in 1989. But we know many things about Liu Xiaobo, Ai Weiwei and many other Chinese activists in clear terms.
Information empowers. Anarchy is good as there has been no order. Chaos is the perfect breeding ground to dimension the order.
But anarchy, in the geopolitical context, becomes a very subjective term.
What is the subjective pretext (if any) in the prevailing Chinese context here?
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/