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The Contender
Con (against)
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Is China Democratizing?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/12/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 345 times Debate No: 81971
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
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This debate shall be over the subject of whether or not the People's Republic of China will transition to a democracy in the coming years. The participants in this debate shall be required to provide arguments either for or against the question of China democratizing. BOP is shared. The debate structure shall follow as such;

Round 1: Acceptance and Opening Arguments
Round 2: Main Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Closing Statements

I shall take the position of Pro for this debate. I will argue that China is experiencing the beginnings of situations that happened to the Soviet Union right around the time of its collapse, and if similar situations happen to China, then the end results will likely be similar; with China transitioning away from a single-party, authoritarian, communist state, to a more western style democracy.

Con is free to argue otherwise.


Con will argue that China is not democratizing. This is because of the countries China is near. Instead religious fanatics from the middle east with invade and conqueror China and the new government will be a militant fundamentalism government.
Debate Round No. 1


Now, when looking at China and claiming it will democratize, I believe the best way to look at how China will democratize is to compare it to the Soviet Union, and comparing the conditions at its collapse to the current condition China is in now. When looking at the two countries, China and the Soviet Union have two major similarities, both are, or were at one point, authoritarian communist states, and both rivaled the US in terms of overall power in the world, with China expected to have become the largest economy in the world by 2050. [1] Now, looking at the collapse of the Soviet Union, there were two main issues that it faced around the time of its collapse, falling GDP, and unrest among its republics. From 1985 until 1991, the GDP of the Soviet Union fell by roughly 1% annually [2], this would have likely contributed to dissatisfaction among residents of the Soviet Union, as was evidenced in several uprisings that took place across the Soviet Union, starting in 1988, and ending after Boris Yeltsin targeted several major Soviet leaders as pert of a coup, which resulted in the Soviet Union's ultimate collapse. [3]

Now, when looking at the conditions that were present at the Collapse of the Soviet Union, and comparing them to how China is today, the conditions that led to the Soviet Union's collapse are not present in modern China. However, while the exact conditions that led to the Soviet Union's collapse are not present, precursors to those conditions are. As of right now, China's GDP growth is slowing down rapidly, from an average of 10.6% annually between 2000 and 2009, to just 8.6% between 2010 and 2014. [4] Now while that might not seem like a statistically significant difference in GDP growth, the numbers listed are just an average over several years, with actual GDP growth in 2014 being just 6.8%. [4] What this indicates is that China's GDP growth is slowing down, and if this trend continues, then China will soon be facing negative GDP growth before too long. As for current dissatisfaction with the central government, while slowing GDP growth is likely to contribute to any such dissent, there already appears to be growing dissent against the Chinese government, as evidenced by the expenditures used to maintain domestic stability [5]. Assuming that indents of dissent among the Chinese people continue to increase with time, then the Chinese government will have to spend more money to maintain domestic stability, add that onto the fact that a slowing GDP growth will likely increase dissatisfaction with the Chinese Government, leading to more instances of dissent among the Chinese, and the fact that a slowing GDP growth rate will prevent China from having the economic resources to combat this dissent, and China's communist government will be fighting a losing battle in the future. It is for those reasons that I believe that within the next few decades, China will abandon its communist government in favor of a government more representative of its people.



Con contends that China will not have time to achieve Democracy. That China is in a different geographical location than Russia. [1]. From this 2nd map, a person can see that China is much closer to the middle east than Russia. [2].

Its common knowledge that the middle east is warlike. Nobody can turn on the news for long and not hear about war in the middle east. Con contends that the process of democratization will take so long that China will be destroyed before democracy can take place.

Which invasion force will hit first is hard to tell. Will China get destroyed by global climate change, Russia [3]., the middle east, or perhaps another unseen threat. Most importantly is Russia doesn't seem very democratic right now. [4].

Debate Round No. 2


Let me try to counter my opponent's points one at a time. First and foremost, my opponent mentions that China's geographic location would make it a prime target for middle-eastern forces to invade while it's in the process of democratization, yet provides no evidence to support such a statement. My opponent tries to argue that because the Middle-East is in a warlike state at the moment, that makes China's proximity to the Middle-East especially precarious since any invading armies would not have to go far to take control of the country. I must argue against this point for a significant reason; since the year 2000, most of the conflicts in the Middle-East have not gone beyond the borders of the nation where they originated,[1] leading me to question the capabilities of any Middle-Eastern nation to invade and conquer China.
Apart from the Middle-East, my opponent argues that Russia could potentially invade China, I must question my opponent's judgement, as he has provided little evidence that Russia would want to invade China to begin with.

With all that in mind, I see little evidence that China would be invaded by any neighboring country, and thus see little weight behind my opponent's arguments. I now give my opponent the chance to refute any claims I have made.



Con will use history to reinforce that the middle east is a threat to China.

Claim 1: The middle east has invaded India many times.

Warrant: "There were many causes for Muslim conquest but the major reason was the spread of Islam. The Muslim dominated Kabul, the Punjab, and Sind, before intruding in to India." [5].

Impact: Middle eastern states have spread out of the middle east and towards China in the past.

Claim 2: The middle east has invaded Africa in the past

Warrant: [6].

Impact: The middle east is capable of invading outside itself.

Claim 3: There is still a strong middle east influence in India today.

Warrant: [7].

Impact: There is a strong Muslim culture persistent in India today.

Given the evidence Con contends that the middle east will invade and conqueror China before China can become a democracy. This is just of many threats.

Perhaps the greatest threat to China is pollution and Global Climate Change.

Claim 4: Air pollution claims over a million Chinese lives annually.

Warrant: Study Links Polluted Air in China to 1.6 Million Deaths a Year [8].

Impact: Already a great number of lives are claimed by pollution. It is logical to assume that a stone in motion will stay in motion and that this problem will be worse, thus weakening China. "A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by an outside force" [9].

Claim 5: Global Climate Change is a dire threat to China.

Warrant "Climate change could have a "huge impact" on China, reducing crop yields and harming the environment, the country's top weather scientist has warned, in a rare official admission."[10].

Impact: Reducing crop yields is a threat to any nation. Considering China's huge population this could lead to famine and riots which would leave China vulnerable.

Claim 6: Global climate change can cause sea levels to rise threatening coastal regions of China.

Warrant: "Sea level rise is caused primarily by two factors related to global warming: the added water from melting land ice and the expansion of sea water as it warms" [11]. This map proves China has many coastal areas. [12].

Impact: Sea levels rising will create stress for people not only in China, but in other countries. Refugees escaping rising sea levels will cause chaos. Perhaps even World War III.

Claim 7: There is enough nuclear devices to blow up the entire world several times.
Warrant: "Do We Really Need to Blow up the Planet Five Times Over?" [13].
Impact: World War III will most likely end the world.

Claim 8: Global climate change could cause the end of the world.

Warrant: "Apocalypse perhaps a little later
Climate change may be happening more slowly than scientists thought. But the world still needs to deal with it" [14].
Impact: If the world ends before China can democratize, then China will not have democratized and Con will be correct.

Claim 9: There is already an accelerated rate of extinction.

Warrant: "Some centuries might see more than one mammalian extinction, and conversely, sometimes several centuries might pass without the loss of any mammal species. Yet the past 400 years have seen 89 mammalian extinctions, almost 45 times the predicted rate, and another 169 mammal species are listed as critically endangered." [15].

Impact: Current extinction rate suggests mass extinction underway. Perhaps end of the human era.


Con has produced evidence that the China faces many threats. The main threat being a combination of Global Climate Change, invasion, and nuclear world war III. Sea levels rising will cause refugees. Fleeing refugees will spark tensions causing invasions. Famine will further agitate the problem. The invasions will escalate tensions until a nuclear apocalypse occurs ending the world including China. Even if this somehow avoided, the threat of global climate change is like a freight train and China may not democratize in time.

Thanks for the debate.

Debate Round No. 3


When one looks at China today, one cannot help but see a country in flux; on the one hand, it has a booming economy with a population holding increasingly more economic power, but at the same time it holds a government that significantly restricts the rights of its citizens. Right now, the Chinese government's hold over the country is slowly slipping away from it, with trends pointing more and more towards eventual democratization. What we are seeing with China are the earliest signs of governmental collapse, signs that also appeared when the Soviet Union was on the decline, and eventually broke apart; if these conditions continue to plague China, then there is little to no doubt that China's current communist government will collapse, leading it to be replaced with a freer and fairer democratic government.

Vote Pro


"Right now, the Chinese government's hold over the country is slowly slipping away from it, with trends pointing more and more towards eventual democratization." Pro

Con contends that the process of democratization will take so long that humans will be extinct before China can become a democracy. Global climate change will induce friction including fleeing refugees from rising sea levels and famine. These frictions will lead to World War III and nuclear Armageddon. Thanks for the debate, Con had a lot of fun. I hope Pro did too. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by cha-the-politician 11 months ago
If by democratize you mean a US style democracy, I have mixed opinions, therefore I will debate you.

If you mean by democratizing that China will become a society that offers more freedom to it's citizens and protects the human rights of it's citizens, then it will be near impossible to debate you.
Posted by markuswashere 11 months ago
I don't quite follow what you mean, since most of the former Soviet Union has not become democratic since the end of the Cold War and remains authoritarian.
Posted by Go4thegold 11 months ago
Just to elaborate my position, I am arguing that Chinese society will eventually democratize in the coming years, and that it will happen because China is experiencing the beginnings of events similar to those that led up to the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Posted by markuswashere 11 months ago
Before I consider accepting this debate, I would need to know whether Pro is arguing that the government of China is actively democratising or intends to become more democratic, or if this is merely the most likely outcome of Chinese society in the coming years.

I'd also like Pro to clarify how China is transitioning into a democratic country like the Soviet Union, when Russia is currently a single-party undemocratic authoritarian state.

No votes have been placed for this debate.