In 2019, everyone from seven-time NBA All-Star James Harden to the writers of South Park has something to say about China. The narrative is fairly simple: China is an economic behemoth, full of billions of consumers ready to support American business – as long as said business keeps quiet about Chinese authoritarianism and human rights abuses.

Almost twenty tears ago, after China liberalized much of its economy and opened up to foreign investment, Arthur Waldron spoke of the paths its government might choose. Chinese economic liberalization could be followed by political liberalization, or it could double down on authoritarianism and militarization. Waldron’s Bradley Lecture, “China after Communism,” explores those very themes – and cuts to the heart of what it means to be a free, democratic country.

This lecture was originally delivered in September 2000.

Listen to the full lecture here.


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