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China’s Democratic Baby Steps

WASHINGTON, DC – During the state visit to the United States of Chinese President Hu Jintao, President Barack Obama pressed Hu on human rights. He probably should have asked more about spreading democracy in China, because he might have been surprised by what he heard.

In September 2010, Hu gave a speech in Hong Kong in which he called for new thinking about Chinese democracy. He said, “There is a need to…hold democratic elections according to the law; have democratic decision-making, democratic management as well as democratic supervision; safeguard people’s right to know, to participate, to express, and to supervise.”