Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times | May 22, 2008
The earthquake in Sichuan may be remembered as a milestone in the Chinese “peaceful evolution” toward capitalism and democracy. ++ Private Chinese donations have already raised more than $500 million. ++ That kind of bottom-up public spirit is a mark of citizens, not subjects. ++ There are 75 million blogs, often critical of the government, and tens of thousands of citizen protests each year. ++ The rise of wealth, a middle class, education, and international contacts are slowly undermining one-party rule and nurturing a new kind of politics.