A freer flow of information and a more critical media in China would help sustain economic growth and strengthen prospects for democracy. The global spread of SARS shows that they could also help to save lives - both in China and abroad.
Discussants debate the impact of the internet revolution in China on the future development of politics and bureaucracy.
Next week Jiang Zemin is expected formally to cede the presidency to Hu Juntao. Will China's low-profile foreign policy change too? It is time the leadership re-evaluated the geopolitical assumptions underlying Chinese foreign policy.
It is commonly believed that privatization and economic modernization lead, if not directly then at least indirectly, to democratization. China, however, illustrates the limits of such wisdom.
Minxin Pei participated in a Frontline online roundtable discussion, "Democracy, Sooner or Later?" assessing the prospects for democracy in China.
While America is focused on fighting terror, it has turned the attention of policy makers and citizens away from Northeast Asia. China is no longer seen as the primary threat to the US. This has given China room to wield a new foreign policy in the region that establishes China's influence. Meanwhile, Russia and China are growing farther apart.