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Posts Tagged ‘zhang weiwei’

Zhang Weiwei and Martin Jacques against Western assumption liberal democracy is panacea for China

November 13th, 2012 16 comments

Following is a debate hosted by Intelligence Squared recently pitting Zhang Weiwei and Martin Jacques arguing together against Western assumption that liberal democracy is panacea for China. A few points raised by these two really struck me. Jacques cautioned the West to tone down its arrogance and engage China with more humility. Zhang pointed out that China’s present day system is one of meritocracy and intra-party elections. Zhang also stated that the Chinese are confident of their system. In the 1700’s when the British Empire first encountered the Chinese, China was arrogant and failed to recognized that a country of measly 20 million could industrialize and pull far enough ahead to invade it – then the wealthiest civilization on the planet. He cautioned that arrogance is gripping liberal Western democracies. China’s continuing rise economically will further undermine those who believe in this false dichotomy: that anything not exactly a Western liberal democracy must be “anti-democracy.” It’s like during the Crusades where many Christians believed non-believers must be evil.

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Former Deng Xiaoping translator, Zhang Weiwei, on Chinese thinking

January 17th, 2012 7 comments

Zhang Weiwei was a translator to former Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping. We have a prior article (translated from Chinese) of his arguing there is a progression for which ‘democracy’ can be achieved, but more than that, China should borrow and adapt practices that are useful for China’s own conditions. In this interview (use this link if the embedded video below doesn’t show) with Al Jazeera (h/t Ray), Zhang provides a ‘Chinese’ response to strongly held notions in the West about “multi-party democracy,” explains how China is advancing her ‘model’ through localized experimentation, and details what he means by the ‘civilization state.’ (See also Martin Jacques.)


NPR reports, “India’s China Envy”

May 24th, 2010 11 comments

All Things Considered (National Public Radio (NPR)) had an interesting report on May 20, 2010, “India’s China Envy,” expressing three prominent Indian nationals’ “envy” for China’s recent success.   India is a very important consideration in this debate about democracy.  Zhang Weiwei, former Deng Xiaoping interpreter, has postulated (and later on written an Op-Ed piece for in the New York Times), in order to fully realize “democracy”, other developments such as economic and civil reforms must precede it.  Many point to China a bigger success where China focused on economic reforms first and India given similar circumstances lagged – and if we ask Zhang Weiwei why, he’d probably argue it was due to premature and disproportionate focus on “democracy” at this stage.

For that reason, Indians views about democracy should therefore at least be more sober compared to Americans.  Are they really so?  Let’s take a look.

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(Letter from btbr403) Translation:Can you provide an example to refute this senior fellow?

September 20th, 2009 209 comments

admin’s note. The following is a blog post from 多维博客(h/t to Snow). Besides re-posting an article originally published on the Study Times (a weekly publication of the CCP’s Central Party School) in 2008, it drew a vigorous debate among Chinese with nearly 300 comments (I hope that someone could translate them too), many of them are interesting. Although we posted the Chinese version last year and A-gu commented on that, it was until recently that btbr403 volunteered to translate it. DeWang and Allen helped with the translation.

Following is the translation of the original post:

The Study Times of The Central Party School published an article by Zhang Weiwei (he was Deng XiaoPing’s interpreter, and he wrote an opinion piece The allure of the Chinese model ), a senior research fellow at the Modern Asia Research Centre, University of Geneva, Switzerland. He showed his excellent eloquence in the invitation only Marshall Forum on Transatlantic Affairs, saying that he had visited more than 100 countries, but couldn’t find one that achieved modernization via democratization. The European and American scholars present couldn’t find any examples to refute him.
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