This is Part I of a two-part series. Part II will appear tomorrow, and will examine the Chinese government and society's struggle to adapt to the information age.
BEIJING -- China's rise is one of the critical geopolitical variables of our time, with many in the West fearing the advent of a politically repressive, secretive new superpower. However, Chinese society is more open than is commonly believed, and in certain spheres, Chinese citizens may even enjoy greater liberty than their Western counterparts. Moving to a more realistic appreciation of the distribution of freedom and repression in contemporary China can not only improve the quality of international debates on the subject, but also moderate perceptions and elucidate the true nature of "the China threat." ...
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