China and the impeding of democracy

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Posted by: | Posted on: December 14, 2011

Danger of new autocrats underestimated

The new autocrats’ priority is political control: A person prepared to acknowledge the ruling group’s supremacy and follow its directives is allowed a certain amount of autonomy to operate. “Loyalists are rewarded, enemies are punished, the neutral are neglected or casually abused,” says the report…

On Cambodia, Kurlantzick writes, “members of China’s Communist Party have advised Prime Minister Hun Sen’s party on how to use laws for libel and defamation to scare the independent media, create a network of senior officials who can control major companies, and instill loyalty in special police and bodyguard forces.”

Dec. 14, 2011

Danger of new autocrats underestimated

A. Gaffar Peang-Meth

Two years ago, I presented in this space a June 2009 posting in Foreign Policy Online titled “Authoritarianism’s New Wave,” about a “new class of autocrats” and their “most serious challenge” to the rules of law, human rights, and open expression. The piece was jointly written by Jennifer Windsor, Jeffrey Gedmin and Libby Liu, of Freedom House, Radio Free Europe, and Radio Free Asia, respectively.

The three organizations also published a report, “Undermining Democracy: 21st Century Authoritarians,” on the strategies and methods of five countries — China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and Venezuela — “to impede human rights and democratic development” within and beyond their borders.

The report asserted “advocates for freedom” — democrats in those countries — receive little attention and few resources from the democratic world because the systems that persecute them “are poorly understood” and that Western “policymakers do not appear to appreciate the dangers these 21st century models pose to democracy and rule of law around the world.”

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