While Terzani stresses the negative side of contemporary Chinese life, Shapiro and Liang provide a richly detailed account of the new artistic and intellectual freedoms. They show both the degree of intellectual liberation that has occurred since Mao's death and the continuing constraints. They emphasize the unevenness of the development of the new freedoms and the threat to them from party hardliners. They conclude that "increased Sino-Western contact could be crucial to the continuation of the reforms after Deng's death. Many reformers firmly believe that certain aspects of Western values and culture hold the key to the release of China from the feudalistic politics of personality. The more dealings China has with the West and the more stable its economic policies, the greater will be the number of Chinese . . . unwilling to return to an emphasis on ideological orthodoxy and class struggle."
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