Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The Voice of China advertorial that appeared in the November 27 edition of  Business Day gave me pause. I’ve yet to see a better take on how a government should view good governance and corruption. I’m sure the Chinese are sincere in this regard. In addition, no-one can contest the enormous economic and technological strides cited in their advertorial.

But what do they mean by the “system of socialism with Chinese characteristics”? Later in the piece they talk about a “socialist market economy”. I suspect social cohesion, intolerance of corruption and law and order, (as it applies in China) comes with certain sacrifices. Look no further than the editorial in the same issue regarding the ongoing dissent in Hong Kong (“Return to normalcy in Hong Kong best the world can hope for, November 27”).

But perhaps the surrender of certain freedoms we take for granted (such as having the publication of advertorials in a free press?) is worth the price of good governance? I’ve read that Singaporeans are happy to trade certain liberties for the stable governance they enjoy.

How does this socialist market economy compare to the brand of socialism displayed in some of our local political manifestos? Either way, should we ever get this kite to fly, it would be a rare and welcome sight in SA skies.

Anthony Hocking

Via e-mail