The Complexities of China's Liberal Nationalism

Only Nixon can go to China. The now-forgotten aphorism once represented so much in American politics. After Nixon met with Mao, relations between the Communist country and America thawed. Trade opened up and, the popular notion went, with economic benefits would come a lessening of authoritarianism in China and the eventual end of Communism.

Here in 2023 the idea that economic modernization and prosperity would lead to a flourishing of democracy in China seems quaint. What happened? And do the West’s preconceptions of what democracy and freedom are vibe with what’s actually going on in China.

That’s what we’re here today to talk about. With us is Sungmin Cho, the author of the new article Does China’s Case Falsify Modernization Theory? Cho is a professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.

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