Lecture on “Rise of China” by Prof. James Mann

The Department of Political Science, Jamia Millia Islamia,  in collaboration with Aspen Institute India organized a special lecture on the topic, “Rise Of China In The Global Order: Perspectives From US & India,” by Prof. James Mann, the author of, “The China Fantasy” and Author-in-Residence at Johns Hopkins University, USA.

Students listen to Prof. James Mann speak at Dept. of Political Science, Jamia Millia Islamiya, New Delhi
Students listen to Prof. James Mann speak at Dept. of Political Science, Jamia Millia Islamiya, New Delhi

Addressing students in the seminar room of the Department of Political Science, Prof. James Mann spoke at length about the country that China has become, where it is headed, the distinct nature of private industry in China, the growing discontent of middle class in the last three years and what all the changes mean from the point of view of India and the US.

He spoke of three possible scenarios that China is seen to be heading towards. The first is the ‘soothing scenario’ which believes that with growing trade and investment, China’s political system will automatically move towards a more open one. This integrationist assumption foresees China entering the international order as we know it. The other option could be the ‘collapse scenario’. This sees China as being incapable to hold itself together in the future since there is too much unrest. Rejecting both these scenarios as not too likely to happen and looking at a third scenario, Prof. Mann said, “There will be no substantial change but the economy is going to remain powerful. China will be for decades an authoritarian regime … It has the power to suppress dissent.”

Prof. Mann emphasized that the USA wasn’t imposing its democratic ideals on China and if not for anyone else, it was in China’s benefit to have a democratic form of government. “Chinese people want to have a say in (choosing) their leaders. It’s for the good of the people of China to have a democracy”, stated the well known author and journalist.

Responding to a question on China opposition to India’s entry into the United Nations Security Council due to India’s application with other nations that China wouldn’t want to see as part of UNSC, Dr. Mann pointed out, “China wants to be the only Asian vote in the UNSC. Whether India applies on its’ own or with others is irrelevant. That is China’s bottom-line policy.”

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