In 2012, the Chinese Communist Party chooses a new Politburo. This once-in-a-decade event will set China’s course through 2025. The new Politburo must decide whether the Communist Party will continue as the dominant force in politics and society, or will China evolve towards some kind of pluralism.
China’s successes over the past three decades should give “liberals” a strong claim to a solid Politburo majority. Under a continuing “liberal” majority, private enterprise will outgrow state enterprise, China will deepen its integration into the world economy, the party will explore pluralism, at least at the local level, and Maoist philosophy will become a remnant of the past.
The “Red Campaign” offers a quite different path: The partyreasserts its central role, rejects Western or universal values in favor of “red culture, enacts statist policies to replace free-wheeling capitalism, and crushes challenges with a powerful security apparatus.