Xue Li of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences published a comment piece in the October 8th issue of the Chinese language Financial Times. URL (checked) is http://www.ftchinese.com/story/001064230?full=y
I am often impressed with the articles on the ftchinese.com website.
This paragraph stood out for me:
Conclusions Drawn from China’s Rapid Development
Over the past thirty-plus years, several factors have made it possible for China to enjoy rapid economic development and to maintain overall social stability. The most important factor has been the political legitimacy that economic effectiveness has brought with it (GDP-based legitimacy). An enormous amount of capital has been expended on maintaining social stability. However, we face constraints on the rate of increase and intensity of spending on social stability. Social stability expenses already exceed military spending and there is just limited room for further increases. Another factor is that officials have co-opted political, economic and cultural elites. Elites are allowed to join the Party on political grounds. They are given status as members of the people’s congresses or as members of the political consultative congress. They are invited to join government leaders’ delegations visiting foreign countries etc. Elites enjoy special permissions and support for their commercial activities (Jili’s purchase of Volvo is a classic example). In the cultural arena, elites are given some authorities and advantages. This is particular obvious in the academic world. Some elites there get opportunities to participate in politics, participate in planning and policymaking, and thereby earn a comfortable income. Most people, and particularly elites, fear chaos. They feel that once they have finally been able to achieve some stability in their lives, although they have less than some and more than others, they’ll say “Let’s not make waves. What the people really want is to be left alone to tend to their own affairs.”
Xue also had a comment on Tibet: he writes that the Party had better negotiate with the Dalai Lama now since HH is more moderate than the younger generation of Tibetans and has not openly advocated for Tibet independence.
Unfortunately I’d guess that Xue is far ahead of the Party. If he worked for the Party’s United Front Work Department this would be more significant.
The full text is at http://www.ftchinese.com/story/001064230?full=y