Eyewitness: An Experiment in Voting, If Not Democracy

It has been hard for outsiders to see, following the recent crackdowns in China, that there is a place for democracy in this vast nation. There is--though it remains limited. Two weeks ago, I joined an American delegation from the Atlanta-based Carter Center to observe a township election of government officials and People's Congress representatives in China's Sichuan province. When we arrived in Banqiao (pop. 1,987), a hamlet of thatch-roof houses and muddy roads, the villagers had gathered on the basketball court of a local school to elect three representatives to the township. People's Congress. There wasn't a lot of choice:...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!