'Chinese Democracy' - Chinese what?

"'Chinese Democracy': A history" - is apparently an album title by Guns N' Roses:

While I'm at a loss for most of the lyrics and titles that are created for music, this one isn't completely out of the question, as baseless as it probably is to this specific music piece. When we think of China we think of a Communist country, and we would be right. China has an official Communist party, which actually numbers in the millions (just about everyone is part of the party, or they're against it, which is why no one is against it...).

Here are some interesting facts from the cia.gov website regarding China's political structure:

- Conventional long form: People's Republic of China, abbreviation: PRC
- Government Type: Communist state

- Legal system: Based on civil law system; derived from Soviet and continental civil code legal principles; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislation; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Boiling all those complex words down, it essentially means that China has a very "you do bad or we don't like you, you will disappear" type of policy, with some mix of "we'll hear some of you out in a sort-of court room process because it looks good internationally" for good measure. While this is surely biased in telling the whole story, scary enough as it is China does indeed have some harsh enforcement methods:

China Moves from Bullets to Mobile Execution Vans to Improve International Image

At least it isn't quite as scary as some Middle East policies:

In trying to improve their image China "shifts" some of the bad things around to make it appear less of a human rights issue.

Not all is bleak in terms of a growing power that lacks growing passion for its own people. Before I went to China I pictured it as some developing country (which it is technically) that had few major cities and those few cities were huge dusty barren farm towns more than anything else. I couldn't have been further from the truth in my assumptions (though the smog really gets you on certain days, like Sunday through Saturday).

After returning from China I understood there would be a new super power in the world in the 21st century, though it wasn't going to be through China's existing government, but through its people. If you spend a week in any major city in China you quickly understand the people have consumerist values just like we do in the United States. They go shopping at malls, hang out at Starbucks (and there are a LOT in China), and have all sorts of social problems like we do (and then some, unfortunately).

As China grows and its people expand their horizons I see the country moving beyond those that are stuck forever in ruts of anger and hate, like many extremists in the Middle East. If the people stand up for themselves, I see China in the future not as a Communist state, but as a 'Chinese Democracy'.

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