From: Head to Head

Is democracy wrong for China?

Mehdi Hasan challenges Chinese scholar Dr Zhang Weiwei on whether China can afford Western-style democracy.

“Liberal democracy may be great or less great for the West, but it would be miserably wrong for a country like China,” argues Dr Zhang Weiwei, the author of the controversial book The China Wave and outspoken defender of the Chinese political model.

If others think our model is good, you can learn from us. If you think our model is not good, we don't care.

by Dr Zhang Weiwei

But is a lack of human rights and freedom of expression really the unavoidable cost of China’s development? And will China’s rise as a superpower change the world as we know it?

In this episode of Head to Head, Mehdi Hasan challenges the public intellectual Dr Zhang Weiwei on the trends, myths and realities of modern-day China, and asks why he thinks a meritocratic one-party system is the only way forward.

Joining this discussion are Dr Diane Wei Liang, a business professor and novelist who participated in the student protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989; Dr Martin Jacques, the author of the bestselling book When China Rules the World and co-founder of the think-tank Demos; and Professor Stephen Chan, a professor of International Relations at SOAS in London and former international civil servant.

To watch this episode on Youtube click here