in Economics

Prosperity vs. freedom in China

The recent Frontline documentary on China, The Tank Man, set a striking contrast of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests against the business and economic boom created since then. They describe this flow one to the other as an unspoken social contract between the government and the people: we’ll give you jobs and prosperity if you accept the status quo on social freedoms. And yet they also point out the rapid growth in protests throughout the country. Is this a contradiction? Is the government just buying time?