China: A kinder, gentler nation?

According to this article, Hu’s style is markedly different than Jiang’s, and holds the promise of more toleration and a willingness to listen and learn.

Simply put, the biggest difference between Jiang’s old and Hu’s new leadership is that Jiang vowed to rule with an iron fist, while Hu enshrines the more common touch and urges leaders to listen to and learn from the people. Jiang’s mindset and approach to social control were similar to those of old bureaucrats in the former Soviet Union where government/party control prevailed in every aspect of life – politics, economy, culture and daily life at the grassroots level. As in the Soviet Union, the Jiang government even tried to determine and regulate what the normal and acceptable lifestyle should be.

Hu’s governance style is characterized by the government’s looser control of the state and greater leeway to trusted, reform-minded colleagues. The government retains firm control of political affairs but not of all aspects of life. In addition, diversity of lifestyle is tolerated by the Hu’s Communist Party regime.

I sure hope so. I always, in my heart, thought Hu and Wen were a different breed than their predecessors. Of course, Hu’s unwillingness to loosen control of political issues is depressing, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt — that won’t happen overnight. But don’t get any ideas; I’m still going to criticize them whenever i think they’re fucking up, just as I will John Kerry after he’s sworn in.

The Discussion: 4 Comments

So much conflicting information. I’ve heard before that Hu is a reformer, but on the other hand I’ve also heard that hes a hardliner. A Chinese Andropov, albeit one much younger and in better health.

November 2, 2004 @ 8:39 pm | Comment

Asia by Blog

Asia by Blog is a twice weekly feature, posted on Monday and Thursday, providing links to Asian blogs and their views on the news in this fascinating region.

This edition contains riots in China, kimchi, Chinese women’s attitudes to sex, tourism in th…

November 4, 2004 @ 12:13 am | Comment

Encouraging, as I have expected (or rather hoped for)!

Give China time – it may yet be “free”.

November 6, 2004 @ 8:16 am | Comment

Simon’s China and East Asia Briefing: 30th Nov 2004

The following is a digest of highlights from the past month’s Asia by Blog series over at The round-up has four key areas of focus: China, Taiwan & Hong Kong (Politics, Economy & lifestyle, History sport & culture, Information), Korea…

November 29, 2004 @ 10:52 pm | Comment

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