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Geopolitics

China And The Arab Uprising: Could It Spread?

The reverberations from Tunis, Cairo and Tripoli can be felt in Beijing, where Party leaders are clamping down and counting on economic growth to prevent any similar Chinese uprising.

Student protest in Beijing (SFTHQ)
Student protest in Beijing (SFTHQ)
Arnaud de La Grange

BEIJING - Tiananmen Square, alas, is not Tahrir Square. At least, for 2011. And yet, Colonel Gaddafi's threatening parallel between the Libyan rebellion and the (crushed) 1989 democratic revolt in China did not bring comfort to the leadership back in Beijing.

Since the early Arab uprisings, there has been a palpable edginess from Communist Party leaders, beginning with the censorship of the keywords surrounding the popular revolt in the Arab world after calls for "jasmine gatherings' circulated on the Chinese Web. We even saw the U.S. ambassador to China – by pure coincidence -- in the streets of Beijing at the moment that a mini democratic rally was kicking off.

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Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Sveiki!*

Welcome to Thursday, where more Ukrainian soldiers surrender in Mariupol, Sri Lanka defaults on its debt,and George W. Bush offers an epic geopolitical gaffe. Meanwhile, Lili Bai in Chinese-language digital media The Initium looks at what’s driving the current “expat exodus” at play in Shanghai.

[*Latvian]

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