After China’s state-run news agency Xinhua posted the music video online overnight, it’s gone viral. A quick listen to the lyrics makes Communist centralized economic planning seem cheery:
Hey have you guys heard about what’s going on in China? / President Xi Jinping’s new style? / Yes! And there’s more! / The Shi San Wu! / The what? / China’s 13th five-year plan! / Yeah! The Shi San Wu! / Oh! / Every five years in China, man, they make a new development plan…
The video raises a lot of questions, like: Why are hippies with guitars and bongo drums atop a VW bus singing about China’s 13th five-year plan?
Or: Why did Xinhua think this would appeal to foreigners?
Or, simply: Why?
Posted in AP China | Comments Off on What’s China gonna do? Better check this music video
People everywhere are better off living in liberal democracy: that has been the reigning assumption of the western world. But could it be we’ve got it wrong? If you were one of the world’s billions of poor peasants might you not be better off under a system dedicated to political stability and economic growth – one that has lifted 400 million out of poverty – rather than one preoccupied with human rights, the rule of law, and the chance to vote out unpopular rulers?
So is China better off without democracy? Or is that just the age-old mantra of the tyrant?
Speakers for the motion
Author of When China Rules the World, visiting senior research fellow at the London School of Economics, and visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing
Senior Fellow at the Chunqiu Institute, author of The China Wave: the Rise of a Civilizational State, and former translator to Deng Xiaoping
Speakers against the motion
Former Chief Secretary of Hong Kong and campaigner for democracy
Historian of China, and former China correspondent for The Observer and East Asia editor of The Times
Come to class with detailed notes from this debate. Your notes should detail:
The speaker’s arguments
Evidence deployed to substantiate his/her arguments
Rebuttals made to 2 and/or 3 above
Though you may type or write your notes, use this note organizer. Your notes will be collected and assessed.
Watch (or listen to) the entire program; the first 55 minutes is opening speeches, the second 45 minutes is debate and closing remarks.
We will continue the debate over this motion in class. Come to class decided on the motion. But be prepared to argue both sides in class, as I might choose to assign sides.