China Beat Archive



Sun Liping

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April 28, 2009 in the China Beat


Copyright April 28, 2009 Sun Liping. Used by permission.


China Beat checks in regularly with Xujun Eberlein at her blog Inside-Out China, and we’ve run pieces by Xujun in the past. In early April, she ran another in her series of translations of Chinese materials. We thought this continuation of her translation of Professor Sun Liping‘s works on social protest was interesting enough to reproduce in full (with Xujun’s permission).

Note: About a month ago I translated an essay from Prof. Sun titled “The Biggest Threat Is not Social Unrest but Societal Breakdown.” His rational and perceptive view attracted wide interest from readers, and that post was linked by many influential websites, including WSJ’s China Journal and For further discussion, I here translate another, more recent article from Prof. Sun. Note his none-confrontational language in treating a confrontational subject, which makes his arguments much easier to consider by different sides. Just one little quibble from me: he makes the US sound too perfect. :-) – Xujun)

[In translation]

Looking back at the mass incidents over the recent few years, one can find a fluctuating curve: Before 2005 it trended upward, was down a bit in 2006 and 2007, and rose again in 2008. What can we make of these trends?

Faced with the same facts, different judgments lead to different paths. For example during the global economic crisis of the 1930s, the situation in the US was the most severe, with very sharp and prominent social conflict. However the Roosevelt administration carried out a series of changes and saved America’s democracy and prosperity. Under the same economic crisis however, German, Italy and Japan turned to fascism.