Posted by: mulrickillion | March 23, 2012

Reform doses differ for China and Russia

By Francesco Sisci, March 14, 2012 —

I would like to thank The Economist, si parva licet compenere magnis, for the article "How to rig an election", [1] expounding on all Vladimir Putin did in recent months to win last week’s presidential vote in Russia. . . .

Russia has no democratic tradition to speak of. . . . Glimpses of freedom could be seen in Russia only in the 1980s with Mikhail Gorbachev’s famous reforms, and those were just these: glimpses fading into costly illusions, as Moscow lost its empire by pursuing a dream of socialist amendments. . . .

The real issue seems to be, can Russia change its destiny and stop being a geopolitical threat? Can it give up on the old and dangerous idea of a Czarist or Soviet empire?. . . .

Here the destiny of Russia once again crosses that of China. As Russia needs greater economic reforms and then political improvements, China needs the opposite: political reforms and then economic restructuring. Two weeks ago, a thick paper released by the World Bank called for drastic economic restructuring while also attacking the excessive power and monopolies of state owned enterprises (SOEs). [5] It was very strongly worded and cosigned by the China Commission for Reform of the State. In his speech on March 5 at the National People’s Congress (NPC, China’s parliament), Premier Wen Jiabao mentioned the word reform 70 times. [6] He has been very vocal in calling for political reforms in recent years. . . .

Asia Times Online :: Reform doses differ for China and Russia


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