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Sieren, Frank

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Handelsblatt - Germany | 25/02/2011

Frank Sieren on why the Chinese don't demonstrate

While people in North Africa and the Middle East are catching the Jasmine Revolution freedom virus, the Chinese seem immune to it, observes Frank Sieren in the liberal business paper Handelsblatt: "There are stable and unstable dictatorships. Authoritarian regimes like China keep their head above water with high economic growth, much of which trickles down to the population. Dictatorships like the former Egyptian regime, by contrast, only survive on oil revenues, foreign military aid and tourism, which ultimately isn't enough for most people. ... The Chinese economy is running at full tilt. ... All in all people have the feeling that their lives are improving. And not only their lives but also their country, which is now becoming a world power. But that's the big difference between them and the Egyptians, Yemenites or Libyans. Most Chinese currently have better things to do than take to the streets en masse. The fact that we in the West would prefer things to be otherwise is hardly any concern to them. Because they now act of their own free will, and can choose to act differently any time they like. And the Chinese leadership knows that too."

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