KwanAaron-termpaper

KwanAaron-termpaper - Aaron Kwan November 11, 2010 EASC 150...

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Unformatted text preview: Aaron Kwan November 11, 2010 EASC 150 | TA: Qinqhua Li Economic Freedom and Political Repression: The Chinese Paradox For citizens of the United States, the luxuries of economic and political freedom have long been at the core of fundamental rights. Since its independence, the nations citizens have continually expanded their control over personal wealth and increased their influence on the tides of American politics. Although often taken for granted, many of what are typically understood to be basic freedoms in America are in fact rare privileges in China. But as a part of an economy second only to the United States and projected to surpass its gross domestic product (GDP) in the next 10-20 years, it is certainly understandable why Chinese citizens would be content with such consistent growth and continued development of the nations infrastructure (Callick 36). This attitude depicts a system focused on justifying the repression of political thought by overvaluing the importance of a strong economy, a concept all-to-familiar to the history of China. Although recent studies have shown that developing countries with only economically free citizens have in fact been outperforming those exhibiting both economic and political freedom, China has shown signs of a movement toward the expansion of human rights and an emergence of what is known as sot democracy (Zhu 34). In order to analyze Chinas capability of eventually attaining those rights, it is crucial to first understand the factors that have contributed to the oppressive state of China today. In the same way that Confucius once said, Study the past if you would define the future, the history of China t ruly holds the key to its future successes (Confucius). Some of the greatest influences on Chinese culture, Confucian ideals have been present in the minds of Chinese citizens for thousands of years and have certainly been a factor in their ambivalent attitude toward the Chinese government. While Christianity asserted its Western influence in China in the 19 th century and Buddhism has remained an important facet of both Tibetan and Mongolian identity, the principles of Confucianism have provided an essential foundation for Chinas values and ideologies. Emphasizing order, balance, and harmony, as well as respect for authority and concern for others, Confucianism often parallels the ideals of Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This relationship seems a highly probable reason for the ease in which Mao was able to impose his control over the Chinese people. Convincing the population to subscribe to Confucian-like ideals would have been far from difficult, and allowed Mao to slowly manipulate the majority of Chinese citizens toward the support of the CCP essentially without their knowledge. Not long into Maos regime was Confucianism banned in China, and until 1982, such was the case for all religion (Confucius). However, the past decade in China has seen much...
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KwanAaron-termpaper - Aaron Kwan November 11, 2010 EASC 150...

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