In This Review

Opposition and Dissent in Contemporary China
Opposition and Dissent in Contemporary China
By Peter R. Moody, Jr.
Hoover Institution, 1977, 342 pp

A timely study of dissent in China and how the regime deals with it. As the author himself observes, the study shows most clearly the limits of opposition to the system and, furthermore, the trend is away from serious opposition. In 1957, the "rightists" could still talk of a multiparty system; by the 1970s, dissidents speak only of a vague "democracy." But if a Western-style multiparty system is not in the Chinese future, change most certainly is. The main weakness of this book is its failure to prepare us for the quiet de-Maoization that is now sweeping China. The reason for this weakness is that the author does not distinguish carefully enough between revolutionary challenges to the system itself and "reformist" programs for change that emanate from within the elite.