Li is far too confident in the benefits of Chinese authoritarianism. So far, what has held China back is not any lack of demand for democracy, but a lack of supply. That gap should start to close over the next ten years.
Even as Chinese society is growing more robust, its authoritarian state remains committed to social and political control. Emerging tensions between the two could push forward social and political reform.
WE shall have, some day, a history of China that pictures vividly the unique succession of the seasonal cycles in her national life: long winters of stagnation of thought and activity, following on days of real harvest; and followed, in turn, by the freshness of spring, when the sap of vitality crowds the blossoms out on every branch before the frost has disappeared. It is spring, though winds of violence scatter petal and seed pod, delaying, even destroying, much of the fruitage. Of no period will the historian say with such assurance as of today, "This was spring.