Can the Internet Tame Governments? – Part II: China’s fast-expanding internet and media development pose new challenges to authoritarian party rule by Borje Ljunggren

While the world is transfixed by the Tahrir Square struggle in Cairo and the role of new media, China quietly removed “Egypt” as a searchable term on its web. Egypt has brought to the fore the challenges China’s next generation of leaders, no less concerned about the way forward, confront.A popular Chinese joke these days is about a pilot telling passengers that he has good news and bad news: “The good news is that we’re ahead of time; the bad news that we’re lost.” The challenges for the fast-growing economic power range from rebalancing the economy and bridging the gap between urban and rural China to coping with climate change and the ongoing global power shift. According to an increasing number of accounts, the biggest challenge may be the long-term effects of the growing complexity of the relationship between the party state and civil society with cyber media as a major driver.

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