A consensus seems to be forming among students of international relations that China is entrenching authoritarianism. They point to President Xi Jinping’s sweeping expansion of internal surveillance and systematic crackdown on freedom of speech and political dissent. Yet political philosopher Jiwei Ci believes that the forces of history won’t sustain Xi’s momentum. Taking his cue from Alexis de Tocqueville, he provocatively argues that the days of an undemocratic China are numbered. Although not everyone will find Ci’s argument convincing, his essay provides a welcome counterpoint to the prevailing wisdom on China.
About the Author
Jiwei Ci is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hong Kong and the author of the forthcoming Democracy in China: The Coming Crisis.