In today's edition of WSJ, Harvard scholar Merle Goldman has a nice piece on how China's market development engenders freedom of expression there.
"Although China remains an authoritarian Communist party-state, its totalitarian controls have been loosened due to China's opening to the outside world and moves toward the market. As most newspapers lost their government subsidies and had to support themselves, they became more daring and more responsive to their constituencies' concerns in order to attract readers.
In addition, China's exposure to the outside world through business, travel and the Internet has allowed a limited degree of freedom in the personal lives of individuals. Such changes have made a small number of people less fearful and more willing to speak their mind. This new stage of unprecedented boldness may in time help introduce political institutions that can deal more effectively with the urgent problems that China faces today."
Read the whole thing here.