One area where I disagree with both Sinophobes and Sinophiles is excessive admiration for the political unity of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Willy Lam is not seeing too much unity:
Liberal intellectuals who are disappointed by President Hu’s perennial foot-dragging on reform point to the fact that a few years before he became the head of the CCP, the then vice-president had demonstrated considerable interest in the socialist democratic party (SDP) model. Hu, who was also the president of the Central Party School at the time, had assembled a team of researchers to study the ideology and organization of a number of European SDPs. A retired party cadre noted that Jiang Zemin, Hu and current Vice President Zeng Qinghong have toyed with the idea of borrowing individual elements of the SDP model. Discussion on this topic among members of official think tanks petered out by 2003, however, and Hu is known to have privately scolded the likes of Xie Tao and Li Rui for "adding confusion to the political climate." Political observers fear that if Hu and his associates remain single-mindedly focused on boosting the political fortunes of their own factions, the largest and richest political party in the world would degenerate into a hodge-podge collection of cabals interested only in power, perks and prerogatives, and little else.
I also loved a previous graph where some Party members were criticized for believing more in gods and ghosts than Marx and Lenin!
At some point, the US might start to wish China were really as cohesive as they fear, but, by then, there will too much of a mess to clean up.