The New Yorker recently published this in-depth article covering the reaction of young Chinese (called the “post 80s generation” in reference to the 1976 Opening and Reform policy) to recent Chinese global political events – mostly related to the Olympics and Tibet.
It’s definitely worth a read. Some excerpts:
Sitting in the cool quiet of a California night, sipping his coffee, Liu said that he is not willing to risk all that his generation enjoys at home in order to hasten the liberties he has come to know in America. “Do you live on democracy?” he asked me. “You eat bread, you drink coffee. All of these are not brought by democracy. Indian guys have democracy, and some African countries have democracy, but they can’t feed their own people.
“Chinese people have begun to think, One part is the good life, another part is democracy,” Liu went on. “If democracy can really give you the good life, that’s good. But, without democracy, if we can still have the good life why should we choose democracy?”
“[Young Chinese] see . . . that liberalism in the West has lost its belief in itself, and they turn to… conservatism that is based on principle, on ‘natural right.’ This conservatism is distinct from a status-quo conservatism, because they are not satisfied with a country that has only a status quo and not a principle.”