The Next Tahrir Square?

by Patrick Appel

Evan Osnos questions whether events in Egypt foreshadow an uprising in China:

[S]hould the Chinese regime rest easy as long as the economy improves? Not exactly. As Fareed Zakaria rightly points out, Egypt and Tunisia were vulnerable to unrest not because their economies were ailing, but precisely because their economies had improved in recent years, which only accentuated how far the economic gains were outpacing political liberalization. “It is this revolution of rising expectations that often undoes a dictatorship because it is usually unable to handle the growing demands of its citizens.” China has secured the loyalty of a critical mass of its people by improving their lives on some important measures. Before too long, I suspect, maintaining peace will depend on extending those improvements to other parts of Chinese life as well.