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China's political system is more flexible than US democracy

Many people believe the Western democracy is superior to a one-party system because the rotation of political power gives government the flexibility to make needed policy changes. But China’s one-party system has proven over time to be remarkably adaptable to changing times.

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Change is in the air. By revolutions, elections, and other methods, governments are changing hands across a wide swath of the world. Two of the most notable peaceful successions are occurring in none other than the most important pair of countries in the world, the United States and China. In the next 13 months, America’s two-party electoral democracy will elect a president and a new Congress, and China’s one-party state will also produce new leadership.

With the myriad of seemingly intractable problems facing human societies everywhere, people are again hotly debating: What is the “best” system of governance?

Intellectual giants no less than Francis Fukuyama are entering the fray. In his new tome, “The Origins of Political Order” and in related writings, Mr. Fukuyama points out that the obvious success of China’s one-party system does not solve the “bad emperor” problem: How do you make the emperor go away if and when he turns “bad”?

A newspaper commentator has gone so far as to pronounce that despite the wide popular support (as measured by opinion surveys) enjoyed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the fatal flaw in the system is that there is no way to “induce” the party to give up power if and when it loses the people’s support.

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