You are on page 1of 15

China’s ‘Perfect Dictatorship’ — An

Interview

We should always be aware that the Chinese system is very much of its own kind.
It’s very different from anything else, but it is a system that has taken very clear
likenesses with the characteristics of fascism under the rule of Xi Jinping.

( Nov 7, 2018
Nov 7, 2018
November 7, 2018, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Teng Biao interviewed Prof.
Stein Ringen on August 2, 2018 and October 5 via Skype. Stein Ringen is Professor
of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Oxford and Professor of Political
Economy at King’s College London. Teng Biao is a visiting scholar at the U.S.-Asia
Law Institute, New York University and a Chinese human rights lawyer.
Excerpts;
Teng Biao (TB): I think your book, The Perfect Dictatorship: China in the
21st Century, is one of the best books on Chinese politics in recent years. Is this
your first book on China? What inspired you to study China?
Stein Ringen (SR): First, I’m interested in governments and states and how they
work. This is the biggest and most challenging one. So if you want to understand
states you need to understand the Chinese state, and so there’s the challenge.
The other reason is that I had already done a study of the South Korean state. And
I thought that the developmental states’ experience of Korea might be a relevant
background for looking into the Chinese story. I thought it might be rather similar.
In fact, it turned out that the Chinese story is very, very different.
TB: Yes, and then you wrote the book The Perfect Dictatorship. Why did you
choose this title?
SR: I found that it is a dictatorship that is, from its own point of view, functioning
very well. It is a dictatorship that is in full control. So my idea with the title was
not to praise the Chinese system but to give a warning that this is a dictatorship
that is very hard, and very much in control.
TB: In your book you created some interesting concepts, like “controlocracy.”
What do you want to suggest by creating this term?
SR: The idea was, on the one hand, to say that this is a regime that is dictatorial,
but in a way that sometimes it doesn’t even look dictatorial. It is obsessed with
being in control. It is not obsessed with dictating everyone in their daily lives. It’s
not like under Mao that people have to dress in a certain way or like certain forms
of entertainment. But, it is in control. So control is the commanding feature of this
dictatorship and it is very good at keeping and staying in control. The party-state
is everywhere. It sees everything and knows everything, and they are in their very
big population in perfect control.
TB: Another thought-provoking term in your book is “sophisticated
totalitarianism.” In a piece I wrote recently for ChinaFile, I cited your term and
elaborated on it a bit. I wrote: “This totalitarianism is strict and refined without
being brittle and dogmatic; it’s cruel and barbaric without being chaotic. China’s
booming economy, social stability, and apparent popular support for Xi have
fooled both the world and most Chinese citizens.” What’s your view on the
difference between this “sophisticated totalitarianism” and Stalin or Mao Zedong-
style total control system? Is this system more adaptable, flexible and resilient,
than traditional totalitarianism? Is the CCP able to learn from the collapse of other
party-state dictatorships and maintain its own monopoly on power for quite a
long time, say 40 or 50 years?
SR: It’s not acceptable. It is a very hard dictatorship and is therefore an
unacceptable form of government. But they are very clever in making themselves
look acceptable. I think both within China, but also in the outside world. As you
know, people keep travelling to China and when they come back they are starry-
eyed in admiration of the delivery of the system. So they are very much able to
control their own narrative both at home and abroad. And, of course, they have
learned very much from the collapse of the Soviet Union, which in Beijing was
studied very carefully. And they understood the weaknesses in the Soviet Union
that they had to prevent at home. These are, for example, to never lose control of
the narrative, to always consolidate the alliance between the Party and the
military, to maintain surveillance and propaganda and censorship ruthlessly, and
to never let go, and also to not allow factions in the Party system. This they
learned from the collapse of the Soviet Union and they are determined that there
shall not be a similar kind of collapse in the Chinese system.
TB: Former Singapore UN ambassador Kishore Mahbubani once said that every
year tens of millions of Chinese people travel internationally and then they
voluntarily go back to China. He used this as a strong example to praise the so-
called “China Model.” What do you think are the reasons? Do you agree with
that?
SR: Many Chinese are traveling. Mainly, I think, because they can afford it; they
have enough money to be able to travel internationally. We know that very much
in Europe, for example, that there are very many Chinese tourists who travel
here. They go back. On the other hand, there are many people in China who leave
the country either because they have to, you know something about that, or
because they wish to send their children to education outside of China. They try
to bring their own money out of China to invest it and secure it outside of China.
So many of those who are able, are showing with their behavior that they do not
have much confidence in the future of the Chinese regime. The idea that the
Chinese regime is better, the Chinese model is better than a democratic model,
for example, is a very powerful narrative from the regime’s side. But we need to
keep priorities right here. It is not a system that is better just because it delivers
development, because it does that at the cost of depriving all Chinese of freedom.
We know about authoritarian, totalitarian regimes previously, and that is the
main characteristic of this regime. It is to the benefit of some, but it deprives
everyone of liberty and freedom.
TB: Relatedly, George Orwell’s 1984 was famously regarded as a perfect
dictatorship, do you think China’s “controlocracy” is equal to 1984, or is it even an
advanced version of 1984? And I also used the term “technical totalitarianism” to
analyze the advanced version of totalitarianism in China, with such examples as
networked “stability maintenance,” big data, street cameras, facial recognition,
voiceprint recognition, artificial intelligence, DNA collection, strengthening of the
secret police, the Great Firewall, etc. Are we exaggerating the ability of the
dictators’ use of high-tech? Aren’t high-tech and new tools a double-edged sword
that can be utilized by civil society or resisters as well?
SR: Yes, China is very much like Orwell’s warning, including in the control of
language, control of history, control of the narrative. But they have moved on
because they now have technologies that Orwell could not even imagine at the
time. And these technologies, these modern technologies, are being used for
control in a very sophisticated way by the Chinese authorities. They are in control
of the Internet. It was long thought to be obvious that no dictatorship can control
the Internet. But the Chinese dictatorship is in control of it. They are actively using
the Internet by engineering the stories that circulate. They are using other
technologies, big data systems, facial recognition. All of this in order to control
what is happening in their country. I mean this is now very advanced, particularly
in Xinjiang, which is a police state of the kind that has never been seen previously.
In the last few years, as you well know, the security budgets in that province have
doubled year by year. And the control, explicit control there, by old-fashioned
means –– police and military forces –– and modern means –– electronic
surveillance, is still a kind that has never been seen previously. There has never
been control of this kind anywhere in any country before, like the way we see
now. We now see it unrolling in China.
TB: You know I was a human rights lawyer for 14 years in mainland China. Harshly
speaking, during Hu Jintao’s era, we had some space to develop our human rights
movement. And we felt that the Internet-related technology were more in favor of
the civil society than the government, even though we knew both the human
rights communities and the rulers made use of high tech. Now it seems that we
should not be that optimistic.
SR: You know better than I do. The community of human rights lawyers has
suffered very badly in China in the last several years. What was at one time, you
say, a movement is now really crushed, and it has become very much more
difficult for your brave colleagues to continue their work in China. Many have
their businesses shut down. Many have been imprisoned, persecuted in other
ways, and their ability to stay in touch with each other has been reduced very
strongly. So it’s a very sad story what’s happened to that brave community. This is
a story you know better than I do, but it is very hard to watch from the outside.
There was a vibrant, brave community of lawyers, and they have really been
taken down.
TB: Yes. The 709 crackdown on rights lawyers is the worst crackdown on lawyers
since the legal system was reconstructed in 1978 after the Cultural Revolution.
TB: Most people know that China is one of the most unfree countries, but forget
China is also one of the most unequal countries. How does this inequality affect
the CCP’s political legitimacy? Or is it a necessity of the one-party rule of the
Communist Party?
SR: Well, in my book about China, I looked at both inequality, poverty and public
services. And I looked at taxes. I found that the tax burden of the Chinese people
is very, very high. What is returned to the people in the form of services is
minimal. Inequality has been increasing very rapidly. So now China is one of the
most unequal societies in the world. And I think this is part of the reason for the
dictatorship, because these are realities that could not be maintained under a
democratic system ––the combination of very heavy taxes and very inferior
services. It just doesn’t always look like that to observers, but that is the way it is.
So the system, the political economy, extracts enormous resources from
households and returns to the household sector a system of rising inequality. That
is explosive in any society and is part of the reason why this regime needs to
maintain such draconian controls as they do.
TB: The ideology of Marxism-Communism-Maoism has gradually declined in
China. The CCP, and most Chinese people believe in money and power. How does
this shift influence the CCP’s rule? Is this the reason why Xi Jinping tried to resort
to a return to ideology and a cult of personality?
SR: Yes, among the innovations of Xi Jinping is the reintroduction of ideology, but
now not Marxist ideology, but a strongly nationalistic ideology. His slogan of the
“China Dream” and all that is a nationalistic narrative. So here we have a regime
that is very strong, very dictatorial that is giving itself guidance by an ideology of
nationalism and chauvinism. These are Xi Jinping’s innovations, the heart of his
relentless movements of the regime into a heavier and heavier dictatorship.
TB: You mentioned nationalism. You know when the Chinese Communist Party
founded the People’s Republic of China, they strongly — and successfully —
utilized nationalism. Theoretically, nationalism is in conflict with Marxist theory—
i.e., communism and internationalism. So, from the beginning, paradoxically, the
CCP employed a mix of Marxism and nationalism, and now maybe they feel they
need more nationalism. Do you agree with that?
SR: Yes I do. I think that part of the regime’s efforts to control the narrative is that
they need an ideological superstructure. They need a story of purpose for the
regime, and for the nation. And that they are now finding not in Marxist
internationalism but in Chinese nationalism. And that story of nationalism has
been notched up very strongly and very explicitly by Xi Jinping. This is again part
of the control system. This is a regime that gives itself the praise that they have
the support of the people, but at the same time, it never ever trusts in the
support of the people. So they never relax controls even though they say that
they are governing in such a way that they have the support of the people. They
do not for one moment trust that that support is genuine. So they rely on
controls.
TB::Some scholars noticed the similarity between the current Xi Jinping regime
and Hitler’s Third Reich. The one-party rule and the total control of society.
Ideology, propaganda, brainwashing, nationalism. What happened in Xinjiang is
race discrimination, mass detention and cultural elimination, secret police and the
cult of personality. So in your opinion, how possible is it that China’s political
system goes toward fascism in the future?
SR: Well it’s a system that has very many characteristics of fascism in it now.
Important in that statement is the use of ideology. Deng Xiaoping and his
followers presented themselves as non-ideological, just pragmatists, engineers of
economic progress. That is all gone, and the regime is back to ideology. So it is a
dictatorship that is very hard. I now call it a totalitarian system. It is a totalitarian
system that is informed by ideology and that ideology is nationalistic. These are
characteristics of fascist rule. Now, I think, we should always be aware that the
Chinese system is very much of its own kind. It’s very different from anything else,
but it is a system that has taken very clear likenesses with the characteristics of
fascism under the rule of Xi Jinping.
This regime does not present itself to the world as a bully in the way, for example,
Putin’s Russia does. It is a bullying state. Ask democracy activists, who routinely
get beaten up. Ask human rights lawyers, who are now pretty much forbidden
from practicing. Ask the people of Xinjiang, now a horrific police state, complete
with a vast network of concentration camps. Ask international corporations that
are forced to humiliate themselves and pay tribute if they want to do business, or
governments in smaller countries if they want collaboration. Or ask neighboring
countries around the South China Sea. But it is also a state with the clout and skill
to disguise its bullying side and make itself look sophisticatedly elegant.
TB: In a recent letter, you were publicly calling for China analysts to describe China
as a totalitarian, not an authoritarian state. It aroused interesting debates. In your
opinion, what are the academic and non-academic reasons behind the reluctance
to categorize China as totalitarian?
SR: I think there are now very few academic reasons for not categorizing the PRC
as a totalitarian regime. I go by Hannah Arendt’s pioneering work and I think the
PRC under Xi now fits the bill. The final straw has been the imposition of outright
terror in Xinjiang.
In the debate following that open letter, there was much support for my position,
but also, as you note, reluctance. Some of that reluctance is simple self-
censorship. Many China scholars have invested their careers in work that requires
being in China, having access to Chinese universities, archives and so on, and they
cannot risk this being refused. That is understandable and I do not find it
particularly upsetting. Another reason is what I have called “China fascination.”
China, with its long history and rich culture, has an uncanny ability to fascinate. I
think some academics in the field really wish for the best for China and the
Chinese people and are for that reason reluctant to accept so negative a label as
“totalitarian.” I think this kind of reluctance is misplaced, but also understandable.
Related is a view that China is unique and that it is, therefore, too crude to apply a
categorization that puts the Chinese regime in the same class as various other
unpalatable regimes.
I should add that when I speak about totalitarianism in China it is of course the
regime I am talking about and not the country, the culture or the people.
TB: You had analyzed the Chinese state as “trivial”. How “trivial”–– in your
context, it means having no purpose beyond itself ––is the Chinese state? F.A.
Hayek emphasized the “purposelessness” of a state. How should we understand
the difference between purposelessness and triviality?
SR: I thought that one kind of dictatorship could be called “trivial” in the sense
that it is nothing but control for the sake of control. There is no mission, no idea. I
do not think that applies to the Chinese system, certainly not now. There is now a
mission; there is an ideology, a vision of what this is for, and that vision is for
China to regain its position as the Middle Kingdom in the world. This is a very
ambitious idea that gives the dictatorship a purpose that makes it–– in my
terminology––more than trivial. It makes it an ideological system, a system with a
strong purpose of its own definition.
TB: So you mean Deng Xiaoping had no big ideology, and his successors Jiang
Zemin and Hu Jintao, had less ideology, and Xi Jinping has more ambition to
“make China great again?”
SR: I mean that may have been the ambition all along. Deng Xiaoping perhaps
understood that it would take time before China had the economic and other
powers to really accept the ambition of making itself the central power in the
world. Now, they have the economic and other powers. And they are hard at
work in making China the dominant power in the world.
TB: Some people argue that Xi Jinping’s personal dictatorship is a collective choice
of the Communist Party, when it is facing comprehensive crises –– political,
financial, and ideological crises. Do you agree?
SR: There’s always one branch of thinking about the Chinese system that says that
it is in crisis. As you know, people have been predicting that it would collapse for a
long time, but that hasn’t happened. I think it’s a system with many tensions in it.
And I think Xi Jinping made his first mistake from his own point of view, his first
mistake, when he had the time limits on the presidency abolished earlier this
year. That was a mistake, because it wasn’t necessary. It was a display of power
that was demonstrative; it pulled aside the curtain for the rest of the world to see
that this is a ruthless dictatorship where the top man can change the constitution
by flicking his fingers, and it exposed the inner conflicts in the regime. Of course,
there are disagreements and conflicts within that regime. And this step by Xi
Jinping was demonstrative towards anyone who is not firmly within his camp, and
he gives those others a motivation for organizing factional activity. We see some
signs of that now, so I think this was a mistake on the part of Xi Jinping. He
undermined, to some degree, his own position. And he let himself become the
victim of the hubris of too much power.
So he committed a great mistake, in my opinion, and that mistake has followed
through to some tensions within the system. Those tensions are now being
stimulated by what is seen as not strong enough economic growth, and so on. So
there are now visible signs of tension. That tension has been stimulated by Xi
Jinping’s mistake. I think this was really the first mistake he did in his first five
years. Otherwise, he has been consolidating power and cohesion within the
system. And suddenly he took a step that undermined some of the
“achievements” that he had made in his first years. However, I do not think this is
a system on its own terms that is in any way in crisis. The control is very, very
strong, and the strengthening of control that has happened under Xi Jinping is in
anticipation of difficulties with economic growth, for example.
TB: Relatedly, will Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaigns hurt the dynamic or
motivation of the CCP cadres? As to the totalitarian dynamic, like interest,
ideology, nationalism, brainwashing, violence, or fear, will they be exhausted in
China or elsewhere?
SR: The anti-corruption campaign has had two intended results, I think. One is to
make the regime look more attractive in the eyes of many Chinese people. There
have been improvements in the corruption environment. So most Chinese are
now less exposed to arbitrary corruption than they have been previously, or at
least, they have seen improvements in that respect. The other result is that it has
been a powerful weapon of power, control within the system. When everyone is
corrupt, anyone who needs to be taken down can be taken down in the name of
corruption. So under the auspices of the corruption campaign, Xi Jinping and the
other leaders have been able to eliminate anyone within the system whom
they’ve seen as not approving of them, or are seen as in anyway threatening.
These “achievements,” dictatorial achievements, have been notable in the anti-
corruption campaign. It has worked in both respects. It’s a remarkable system in
the way it gives itself credit for liberating the people from the miseries that it,
itself, has imposed on them.
TB: Some Chinese people, I think, are unhappy with the anti-corruption
campaigns, even though they feel good once some corrupt government officials
are arrested or sentenced, or even executed. But first, some privileged families are
not affected. Most of the privileged families, those very high-level families, are not
affected, like Deng Xiaoping or Li Peng’s families. And second, more and more
Chinese people realize that this kind of corruption is embedded in the political
system. It exists everywhere and is systematic. So what’s the next step of Xi
Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign? Will the anti-corruption campaign influence Xi
Jinping’s political agenda?
SR: As I see it, I think the anti-corruption campaign has done its work. You know,
we hear much less about it now than previously. I think there is less ordinary
workday corruption. So it’s done its work, cleaning up a bit, in the daily lives of
many people. Many potential opponents of the regime have been eliminated, so I
think it’s really done its work. As I understand it, it goes on, but now it’s more of a
routine. It’s not a big show anymore. I think it’s mainly had its time; it has run its
course. And it does not have the prominence in the regime’s self-presentation as
it did for a while. I’ve no doubt it will continue, but it is not the central instrument
that it once was.
TB: Samuel Huntington distinguished performance legitimacy from procedural
legitimacy; and A. John Simmons made an even clearer theoretical distinction
between legitimacy and justification, arguing that recognition, through free
elections, is the only source of modern legitimacy. In the context of post-Mao
Chinese politics, is “performance legitimacy” enough for the regime’s political
legitimacy?
SR: Well, not in the opinion of the leaders themselves. They do not trust that they
are seen as legitimate, so this is why they never relax controls. They praise
themselves for the delivery to the people. They praise themselves for the
gratitude that they are getting back from the people. But they never trust that
they are seen genuinely to be legitimate, so they always fall back on control —
never relaxing controls and always maintaining controls. No genuine trust that
there is genuine legitimacy.
TB: Has the world had second thoughts about China after Xi Jinping removed the
presidential term limit from the Constitution? Is the image of China changing in
light of the facts of the deteriorating human rights situation, failure to abide by
WTO rules and UN norms, even the CCP’s abduction of dissidents on foreign soil?
You know the Gui Minhai case, a Chinese publisher with a Swedish passport who
was kidnapped in Thailand and sent back to China and detained. So can we say
that the presumption many people accepted, that is, that a market economy and
globalization would lead China to become a democratic, open society, has been
proven wrong?
SR: Yes, I think so. It is now very difficult for anyone in the world to escape the
recognition that in China there is a hard dictatorship. It’s a dictatorship that in
many ways is good for business. Many people are fascinated with China and want
to see the good in the system. But the development under Xi Jinping clarified to
the rest of the world that this is a hard dictatorship. This is not a mild, benevolent
autocracy; this is a hard dictatorship. I think the regime has brought upon itself a
more difficult evaluation from the outside world.
TB: Have you seen many scholars, Beijing watchers, start to rethink the
assumption that the market economy and globalization will guide China to
become a liberal democracy?
SR: I mean this was a strong theory for a while. But it is not a theory that anyone
subscribes to anymore. In the long run, we do not know. In the immediate future,
it’s clear that this is not a system that is on a path towards a more open society.
It’s a system that, for the last five or six years under Xi Jinping, has been on a very
clear road towards tighter dictatorial controls. In a way, it is moving politically in
the opposite direction than was previously assumed because of its economic
development. Economic progress, and political regression –– this was not thought
to be possible previously. We are seeing in China that this is possible. It’s possible
for the country to modernize economically and to regress politically towards an
increasingly hard dictatorship.
TB: For the past two decades or so, there has been a return to totalitarianism, the
expansion of authoritarian influence, in Russia, Turkey, the Philippines and, of
course, China, and some countries in South America. What’s behind this
phenomenon?
SR: I think that there are, at least, some very clever dictators out there. Vladmir
Putin in Russia is from his own point of view a clever operator. I think also there is
a problem on the democratic side that democracies have been functioning quite
poorly in many ways in recent years after the global crash. In 2007-2008, the
democracies had not really managed to govern in a way that seemed to be
beneficial to most people. And to be fair, I think we are seeing a revolt against
what is perceived to be inadequate governance in the democratic countries, in
particular, in the United States and in Britain. So that is weakening the democratic
side. Why the autocratic side is strengthening, for someone like myself, that is a
source of great concern and sadness in the world. And, I think, we on the
democratic side really need to get our own house in order and to step up and to
see that there have been real shortcomings in the way we are managing our
affairs. That’s true in much of Europe and the European Union. It’s true in
America. We really need to step up and do better than we have been doing.
TB: What’s your view about Francis Fukuyama’s claim (deepening a tradition of
Hegel and Kojève) that liberal democracy is the end of history?
SR: Well, the history of democracy is not a very encouraging one; it was invented
2500 years ago but we have had very little democracy since then, so it’s possible
that democracy will not survive. And right now, there is, for my tastes, too much
admiration of autocratic strength and not enough appreciation of democratic
liberty. And what I’m, in modest ways, trying to do is to encourage the
understanding of the importance for our way of life of democratic governance. I
think again, we need to step up and to do better in the democratic world.
TB: When Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the Chinese government
tried to punish Norway with “Salmon politics.” My personal experience is that the
American Bar Association rescinded my book proposal for fear of angering the
Chinese government, and some universities canceled my scheduled talks to avoid
the risk of infuriating Beijing. In Hong Kong, China has torn up the “one country,
two systems” commitment and the Sino-British Declaration. Hong Kong’s freedom
is in danger and the UK has remained silent to a great extent. From your point of
view as a Norwegian scholar living in the UK, is the policy of “buying silence”
successful? What should the world do to fight the growing aggressiveness of the
CCP?
SR: Yes, the policy of buying silence is successful. This is sad to say, but it’s the
case. You see that in my own country, as you mentioned, in Norway, they have
normalized relations with China on the condition, in writing on paper, that the
Norwegian government shall do nothing to disturb the new normal relations
between the two countries–– a commitment to silence. And in Britain, the
authorities here want Chinese investments for various purposes. They are silent.
So severe human rights abuses that occur in China, they go on without much
mention in the rest of the world. What we should do, I think, is to continue to be
in contact and collaboration with Chinese people and Chinese authorities. For
example, in the academic world where I operate, we should continue to be in
contact. But, we, and our governments, should at the same time speak, in clear
language, about the Chinese regime’s transgressions against human rights and the
regime’s aggression in international politics. This happens to some degree but it
does not happen as clearly and straightforwardly as I think it should, given the
harshness of the Chinese dictatorship. And I think the democratic countries
should collaborate and find some kind of common voice against the excesses in
dictatorship and aggression from the Chinese side; we should speak with clear
language.
TB: China is playing a more and more active and aggressive role on the
international stage, and shapes the international order. How far will China go on
the way to influencing the international order? Or how possible is it for the West
to give up its appeasement policy toward China, before it is too late?
SR: I’m very pessimistic about all of this. I think that the Chinese regime is, by and
large, able to control the narrative, and they are widely regarded to be a positive
influence in the world as they present themselves. This is for many reasons; partly
it is for reasons of self-censorship. Many of us have interests in China, economic
interests, interests in being able to do research, for example, and we exercise self-
censorship. So there is no common voice from the democratic side in response to
Chinese totalitarianism.
TB: To what extent does the CCP in foreign affairs, represent the interests of China
and the Chinese people, and to what extent does it represent only the Party itself,
every diplomatic choice is aiming to maintain its one-party rule and the interest of
the privileged?
SR: I always start from the basic premise that the PRC is a political project.
Policies, domestic and foreign, are always designed to the perpetuation of the
party-state. In foreign policy, that includes making this party-state ever more
influential and dominant on the world stage. Is it in the interest of the Chinese
people that the party-state gains in strength? I would say no, since it is not in the
interest of the Chinese people that the dictatorship becomes stronger and more
invincible. However, the nationalistic narrative of “national rejuvenation” no
doubt has resonance in much of the population. This dictatorship, as many others,
finds nationalism a strategically useful card.
TB: So these are my questions, do you have other comments before we wrap up?
SR: I know that many China observers always see signs that things are cracking in
the Chinese regime. The economics are not performing well enough. There is
disagreement within the regime, and so on. Personally, I think that the right
description is to see this as a regime that is in control and that we can expect very
little improvement in that respect in the foreseeable future. So I’m deeply
pessimistic about any movement on the Chinese side towards a more open
society, and a more collaborative profile in international relations. I think, on the
contrary, it’s increasing control domestically and increasing its quest for
domination internationally.
TB: Thank you very much, Professor Ringen.
Teng Biao is a Visiting Scholar at the U.S.-Asia Law Institute at New York
University, where his research is focused on the rights defense movement in
China. Teng previously was a Lecturer at China University of Political Science and
Law and the Director of China Against the Death Penalty in Beijing.
– China Change
Posted by Thavam