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Commentary: Why the Chinese Communist Party Has Still Survived

Posted by Author on July 2, 2011

By Cao Changqing, political commentator-

An entire generation in China has grown up since the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. While a democratic upsurge is shaking the Middle East and North Africa today, China remains frozen under the iron grip of a totalitarian rule.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has not only failed to make any political changes, but it is now repressing dissidents more severely. Under these circumstances, whether a revolution to overthrow the oppressive authoritarian regime is possible in the near future in China is not clear.
Are Chinese people not as courageous as Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans, Yemenis, and Syrians, who are fighting for their freedom? Are the Chinese people really the “sick man of East Asia?” Will China be the world’s last country to have democracy?

China does have a “unique” situation; I see at least four reasons why the CCP has still survived.

Trading Political Rights

First, the CCP has used economic development to buy the Chinese people.

After the June 4 massacre, Deng Xiaoping, then leader of the CCP, didn’t go back to the Mao era, but chose to continue the path of economic liberalization. He believed that only economic development could help the CCP hold on to power.

Deng astutely used economic reform and opening-up as a means to secure the CCP’s one-party-rule by promising prosperity in exchange for people relinquishing their political rights.

Twisting the Truth

Second, the CCP has built a huge propaganda machine, which it uses to deceive and confuse people.

The CCP’s powerful propaganda is embodied in two aspects. On the one hand, it makes people believe that the CCP alone has brought the economic development and prosperity to China, rather than the Chinese people’s ingenuity and hard work. It intentionally mixes up the concept of the Party with the country, claiming: the CCP represents China, and China is the CCP.

It does this by promoting nationalistic pride in people, in how powerful China is now, and how great the CCP is. The appeal to nationalist sentiments over the past 60 years has made the Chinese people accept the CCP’s rule as legitimate.

The other side of this propaganda tale is the CCP’s promotion of the idea that China would be lost and in total chaos without it. The CCP uses the Chinese people’s fear of instability to strengthen its grip on power.

Propaganda playing on this “fear of chaos” has led the Chinese to be wary of changes and willing to endure repression to “maintain stability.”

It has also made people forget the fact that the CCP itself has been the root of all the chaos in China during the past sixty years.


Third is the CCP’s policy of repression.

The CCP uses harsh means of repression towards anyone who dares to challenge its totalitarian rule.

Deng was quoted as saying, “Nip the dissident voice in the bud.”

Hu Jintao, the current leader, has not only continued Deng’s policy, but has developed additional means of creating terror. The CCP is not just “killing one man to warn a hundred,” but also “killing one man and detaining a hundred” to make sure it doesn’t miss any person with a differing opinion.

None of the dictators in North Africa and the Middle Eastern countries has been as skillful as the CCP when it comes to repression and control. The CCP employs the most subtle, most cruel, and most horrifying means of oppression in the world.

Hoping for a ‘Good Wolf’

Fourth is the misguided belief by some pro-democracy leaders and dissidents that the CCP can be reformed, or that dialogue with the CCP can have an effect.

In the face of the CCP’s tyranny, some pro-democracy leaders still attempt to engage in a positive dialog with the CCP. They say that they don’t have enemies and would like to resolve issues in peace and harmony.

Some of them have a limited understanding of the CCP and thus still hope to find a “good wolf” within the CCP’s ranks.

Others know the CCP’s true nature, but choose not to directly confront the CCP, as it is safer, gives them the moral high ground, and helps them be well connected with international leftist ideas.

People Still Chained

So, is there any hope for China? Of course, there is hope! First, we need to do away with the above four myths that are blocking the Chinese people’s understanding of the CCP.

China’s economic development is not due to the Communist Party.

When the CCP loosened its grip on economic development a bit, the Chinese people brought forth a tremendous burst of entrepreneurial activity. One can easily guess what would have happened if the CCP’s stranglehold had completely been removed.

The communist regime has ruled China for over sixty years. Chinese people were completely tied down for the first thirty years, with their fetters slightly loosened during the later thirty—but still chained. Why do people still thank the CCP?

With China’s long history and cultural traditions, without the CCP’s control, China would have developed a long time ago.

Taiwan and Hong Kong achieved economic success decades ago, without the “assistance” of the CCP. Also, if one compares the Chinese who are living overseas with those in the Mainland, most overseas Chinese are wealthier.

Yes, Chinese are richer than before, but it has nothing to do with the CCP. Rather, it is due to the results of people’s hard work and ingenuity. If China did not have the CCP, following the economic development path in the 1930s and 1940s, Chinese people would have been prosperous a long time ago. Without the CCP’s layers upon layers of repressive controls, everyone in China would be more prosperous than they are today.

The CCP is Not China

The CCP does not equal China and definitely does not represent the people of China, as it never faced an election by the people.

The CCP says it is the only political power in China, and without it, everything would sink into chaos. However, being the “only” political power was achieved by eliminating other political options through violence.

Russians and Eastern Europeans have ended communist rule in their countries, why aren’t any of them in chaos?

I have said in the past, that even from a technological perspective, China is similar to the old Soviet Union. If the CCP’s rule in China were ended, the current political structure, with provincial, city, and county governors in place, would still operate, and a new government would be established.

When the CCP ends, thousands of new parties will appear overnight. The logic that everything would be in chaos without the CCP, is the same as saying, China will be in chaos without a tyrant. And that leads to the logic that only the Chinese people deserve to be slaves

Desire for Freedom

The CCP has always used fear, following the saying “killing one to scare the rest.”

All totalitarian rulers maintain power by instilling fear. If people do not fear, the regime falls.

A fifth century Greek philosopher said, “The secret to happiness is freedom, and the secret to freedom is courage.”

From ancient times to the present, this was the only path to freedom. Humans, by nature, desire freedom, this desire is in everyone’s heart. I have never doubted that the Chinese people are any different.


Before defeating the CCP, we must first defeat the idea that there is no enemy in China.

For the past few decades, many dissidents have supported the CCP’s claims to “internal reform” and also promoted a policy of “positive dialog” with the CCP. These dissidents have occupied the pages of the democratic movement’s publications and attained near-celebrity status. These activists and intellectuals stressed moderation, working within the system, and a non-violent approach.

On the surface, they were fighting against totalitarian rule, but in fact they were helping the CCP continue its rule. This type of pro-democracy movement is, in fact, worse than the silence and fear of the general public.

This intellectual opposition force, in the age before the Internet, when ordinary people did not have a way to speak out, really impeded the Chinese people from breaking through their mentality of needing to rely on the ruling power.

The Internet has changed the myth that only celebrities, philosophers, and intellectuals have the right to speak. The desire for freedom is in the hearts of all. For this reason, the Internet has shaken the roots of the regime that rules through lies. This is the main reason why the North African and Middle Eastern dictatorships fell like dominos.

Without a doubt, this great technology shared by mankind, will help the Chinese people break free from the fetters in their minds. China will not continue to remain “special,” as the CCP says; China’s opportunity will come.

Cao Changqing, a well-known political commentator, is originally from mainland China and currently resides in the U.S.

– Source: The Epochtimes

One Response to “Commentary: Why the Chinese Communist Party Has Still Survived”

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