On June 21, the Asia Society presented ‘How Stable is China?,’ a panel discussion that included the ever-outstanding Rod MacFarquhar of Harvard, Ian Johnson, author of many insightful pieces about China for the New York Review of Books, and Orville Schell of the Asia Society.
Here’s a summary of their discussion:
Schell questioned whether this legitimacy has a “shelf life,” suggesting that things may be changing in the country today. According to MacFarquhar, today’s China is craving civil society and reform, particularly since “it was opened in the past 30 years to the outside world more than it had ever been in 3000 years.” As a Beijing-based journalist, Johnson observed, “the sense of social spirit is lacking. There is a lack of cohesive sense of society, or a cohesive sense of nation. It creates very siloed individual lives.” He sees this spiritual hunger encouraging the growth of alternative education in some cities: “Parents are sending their children to Montessori schools because they believe that this creates a sense of cooperation.”
Here’s a 7 minute video of highlights:
And, here’s the whole discussion itself: