Realizing the China Model
This chapter considers three basic principles of the China model and how they have guided political reform in the post-Mao era: democracy at the bottom, experimentation in the middle, and political meritocracy at the top. There remains a large gap between the ideal and the reality, however, and the chapter suggests ways of closing that gap, noting that the legitimacy problem is perhaps the most serious threat to the meritocratic system. It argues that the Chinese government may need to secure the people's consent to the Chinese adaptation of vertical democratic meritocracy by means such as a referendum. It concludes by discussing the exportability of the China model: while the model as a whole cannot readily be adopted by countries with a different history and culture, its different planks can be selectively adopted and the Chinese government can play a more active role in promoting its model abroad.
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