"The deeper reality is that China, like all of the world’s major civilizations, is large, complex, and hard to understand. This is not to say that generalizations about China are always wrong — only that, just as past narratives have been wrong, so might be current ones.
For myself, I don’t have a coherent story about how the Chinese might move to greater liberty in the next 10 to 15 years. But I do think the actions of the current regime can be read as signs of vulnerability rather than entrenchment. Taiwan and Hong Kong, despite its current crisis, remain strong examples of the benefits of liberalization. Meanwhile, the notion of the internet — even with censorship — as a liberalizing force has been too quickly dismissed, especially in an America that has fallen out of love with Big Tech."