August 12, 2005
Capitalism and Freedom
Posted by Gordon Smith

My colleague John Ohnesorge brought this article on China to my attention. Earlier this week, John and I were discussing China's future, particularly, whether years of economic reforms were creating a new generation of Chinese who will demand more freedom. Not so fast, warns David Lynch, who describes the political crackdown by Communist Party General Secretary Hu Jintao, then opines:

After a quarter-century of economic reform, Hu's hard line is confounding the conventional wisdom that economic liberalization inevitably will unravel China's one-party system. Most analysts still expect market freedoms to someday spawn greater political openness. But that evolution appears likely to take longer than once thought.

... China's Communist Party is trying to accomplish something unprecedented: a permanent marriage of economic freedom with political repression.

China seems poised for continued growth, at least through the Olympics in Beijing, though in light of the continued political issues, it looks like a very risky place to invest at the moment. I fear that American businesses may still be too enticed by the thought, "If Everybody Bought One Shoe."


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