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The False Dichotomy of Autocracy and Democracy

Many portray today’s Sino-American rivalry as an epic battle between autocracy and democracy, and conclude that authoritarian rule is superior. But such a verdict is simplistic, and even dangerously misleading, for three reasons.

ANN ARBOR – Unlike the old superpower contest between the United States and the Soviet Union, the incipient cold war between China and the US does not reflect a fundamental conflict of unalterably opposed ideologies. Instead, today’s Sino-American rivalry is popularly portrayed as an epic battle between autocracy and democracy.