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:...

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