Dismissing Democracy

Addressing a meeting of senior Communist Party officials in Beijing last week, visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld emphasized the need for China to open its political system and to ease any policy that "limits speech, information or choices." Perhaps he hadn't yet seen Beijing's white paper, Building of Political Democracy in China, issued that same day. The document, a 74-page policy statement issued by the State Council's Information Office, recognized that democracy is "the common desire of people all over the world." But it also noted that, in China, democracy's goal should be to ensure "that the party's views become...

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