| China's Slow Road to Democracy

In a February 2007 article, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao predicted China would continue in the “primary stage” of socialism for the next hundred years—considered by many a signal of Communist Party thinking about the slow-motion development of democracy. At the same time, a rise in social protests and nongovernmental organizations demonstrates Chinese popular demand for a more open society. But thanks to a burgeoning economy and clampdowns on press freedoms and dissent, experts say the central government in Beijing has an increasingly firm grip on power.

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