If there’s one thing worth knowing about China—in terms of geopolitics and American national security at least—it’s that its rulers are almost as afraid of the people as the people are afraid of them.
Think about it. Why would a government place secret cameras everywhere? Censor any criticism of the government? Mount massive propaganda campaigns to defend the infallibility of the ruling Communist Party?
If the people were all in for their form of government and their way of life, this wouldn’t be necessary.
“In 2013 the party issued a list of seven topics that could no longer be discussed with students: universal values, a free press, civil society, civic rights, the party’s past ‘mistakes,’ corruption and an independent judiciary,” veteran China correspondent Isabel Hilton wrote in The Economist in 2018. “This speaks of fear rather than confidence.”