May 26 - "China’s Political System" with Robert Sutter, National
Intelligence Officer, East Asia, National Intelligence Council.
Dr. Robert Sutter gave an overview of the historical forces, present
conditions and future scenarios that could shape China’s political
regime. He discussed the effect of the "100 years of humiliation,"
the rising popularity of the Chinese Communist Party in the mid 20th
century, and the excessiveness of the authoritarian regime which led
to a loss of prestige and a need to legitimate itself in the eyes
of the people. The solution to this problem for the CCP was to initiate
liberalization of the economy and society. But China has been slow
to liberalize its political system for fear of losing control when
it faces challenges such as during the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations
at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Dr. Sutter explained that there would
continue to be internal challenges to the current regime, but it would
be able to cope and adjust to these challenges for the next several
years due to the pragmatism of the current leadership. He also expressed
that China will continue to have a tumultuous relationship with the
United States, but in the end Beijing will work to come to terms with
the United States on disagreeable factors in the relationship.