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China: Not Quite a Revolution

Jeremiah Jenne
February 23, 2011
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There has been a lot written in the past 24 hours about China's still-born "Jasmine Revolution," and I agree with those commentators who feel the chances of an Egypt-style revolution are very remote -- at least in the short term.

First of all, while many in China are griping about inflation, rising food prices, and the great difficulties in finding affordable housing in China's booming cities, there is a general sense -- especially those in urban areas -- that life is steadily improving.

That's not to say there are not conflicts and contradictions in Chinese society.  Each year there are thousands of cases of unrest, local demonstrations, and violent clashes between the disaffected and those felt to have benefited unfairly from the system or against the system itself.  But despite all the sparks, the tinder never catches, and the reason is that China's leaders have learned from history.

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