Today is 1st October, the National Day of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This year is also the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, which in celebrations in July, was marked by a 90 minute speech by the Party’s General Secretary Hu JinTao.
Perhaps more significantly, this year is the 100th anniversary of the XinHai revolution, that had begun with the Wuchang uprising on 10 Oct and led to the abdication of the last Emperor of the Qing Dynasty.
Dr Sun Yat-Sen, hailed by all as the father of democracy in China, had not himself taken part directly in the uprising in 1911. He was travelling in the United States at the time, seeking financial support from overseas Chinese. Apparently he only found out about the uprising from reading a newspaper report.
However, were he to view developments in China today, I wonder if he would be proud of China’s achievements, or frustrated by the pace of change. How far have the Chinese people come in the last 100 years on the road to democracy?