Minxin Pei makes the case:
Chinese leaders seem unconcerned with their inability to translate strength into real gains on the international stage. That's because they're far more concerned with domestic stability. Yet here again the news is hardly reassuring. Antigovernment riots and collective protests throughout China are on the rise. Corruption remains rampant. More than a dozen senior officials, ranging from a vice minister of public security to several CEOs of giant SOEs, were arrested in 2009. The political maneuvering for the next succession, due in 2012, has already begun, making Chinese leaders all the more cautiouseven a tiny misstep between now and then could be politically catastrophic.
Fallows had some vaguely related thoughts yesterday.
(Hat tip: Judis)
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