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As a result, political reforms and adjustments of foreign strategies are engulfing the whole world.
(China and its Reactions to Globalization)
Therefore, as the economic changes and reforms in China interface with the international community, the structure of the countries governance also changes. This has led critics to claim that new models of government have begun to emerge in China. But they also suggest that these new models "…differ considerably from those conceived under both traditional socialist and liberal Western models." (Globalization and Changes in China's Governance -- BRILL)
With regard to the issue of globalization and democracy, there is no clear and definitive link between these two concepts. While there are broad trends that indicate that an increase in globalization is a motivation that may lead towards the adoption of more democratic forms of governance, this is only one possible scenario. This trend towards globalization in China therefore, in the view of many experts, cannot at this stage be directly lined to an increase in democratization. (Dalpino)
On the other hand there is the view held by a number of U.S. administrations over the years that by maintaining trade relationships with China and encouraging that countries entry into the Word Trade Organization, this will "….provide a back-door route to political reform." (Dalpino). This argument is supported by the view that adherence to the rules of the World Trade Organization will force the government to become more transparent and accountable. (Dalpino) Furthermore, it is envisaged that foreign telecommunications companies will become more important in the country and that the spread of technology will eventually result in a reduction of centralized and governmental control, over the Chinese people. (Dalpino)
3. Conclusion: the future
It is difficult to predict the direction that China will take and exactly how it will develop in the 21st century. While globalization has energized various liberal and democratic tendencies in the country, there have recent signs of a more hardliner and conservative approach within the government of the country. One can refer to the recent curtailment of individual freedoms; for example the censorship of the Internet and the "cyberwall" that effectively prohibits "…internet users from reaching pro-democracy websites…" (the Changing Face of China: John Gittings)
Actions like these do not bode well and cast some doubt over the future direction that the country might take socially and in terms of more open and democratic approaches. This has led to experts asking questions such as; "Will China's Communist Party be able to balance an economy which demands liberal reform with their own hard-line approach to government control? " (the Changing Face of China: John Gittings)
On the other hand internal pressure and growing social movement that is inclined towards globalization and connecting with the democratic world might be a factor that could lead to further changes and reform in the country. If one considers that China has approximately seventeen million Internet users and that this number represents only a very small number in terms of the larger population (Dalpino), then this would suggest that as technology increases and access to the online and interconnected world accelerates, so will the internal pressure for more social and political reform as one study suggests, "In the long run, the prognosis is favorable. In countries where technology is growing, control of global media may alternate between government and society, but the advantage will usually go to society." (Dalpino)
In the final analysis, the thesis that globalization will lead to internal reform in China seems to be holding true. There are many signs of significant changes in the hardliner attitude of the regime and that these changes are linked to the impact of international and global communications and economic factors. The question however still remains as to the extent of these changes and the direction that that they may take.
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2006. April 10, 2009. http://www.nber.org/papers/w12373.pdf
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Dalpino C. Does Globalization Promote Democracy?: An early assessment.
April 8, 2009.
Gilboy, George J. And Read, Benjamin L. Political and Social Reform
in China: Alive and Walking. April 8, 2009. http://www.twq.com/08summer/docs/08summer_gilboy-read.pdf.
Globalization. April 9, 2009.
Globalization and Changes in China's Governance -- BRILL. April 9, 2009.
Reform of the Economic System, Beginning in 1979. April 8, 2009.
The Changing Face of China: John Gittings. April 8, 2009.
WHO chief says China's health care reform in line with WHO principles. April 8, 2009.
Yong Deng and Moore T. China Views Globalization: Toward a New
Great-Power Politics? April 8, 2009.
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