While the evolution of China’s civil society was put on hold during the Olympics, Bequelin and others say they think the longer-term outlook is bright. “It’s a battle in which Chinese are trying to get government off their backs,” says Bequelin. “This has nothing to do with the legitimacy of the Communist Party or debates about political systems.” What’s being fought for is access to information and greater personal freedom, the “fundamental tools Chinese people need to organize their lives in a market economy. I don’t see how progress on those fronts can be reversed or slowed down in the long term.”
…China stands at a critical juncture in its tumultuous modern history. Many scholars and analysts say that Chinese society has reached a point where maintaining the societal status quo is no longer an option.