Here is a thought provoking article
Thinking is hard. Scholarship is hard. What makes it hard is that it’s easy to be blindly in favor of the Chinese Communist Party, but it is just as easy to be blindly against the Chinese Communist Party, and the conclusions that you come up with by assuming that everything that the Party says or does is wrong are likely to be as incorrect as the conclusions that you come up with by assuming that everything that the Party says or does is right. Trying to sort through and figure out what is going on is hard work.
The way that the Chinese Communist Party manages to co-opt people is interest. They just talk. If you talk with most Chinese officials, you end up finding that they are normal, decent, well-meaning people, and if you spend a lot of time talking with someone that seems nice, normal, and decent, you end up starting to see the world in the same way that they do.
Let me point out one thing that Dr. Holz didn’t mention and that is the huge impact that Iraq has had on discourse. Before this Iraq thing, there was a clear coherent ideological alternative to the Chinese model of development. Now there isn’t. If you open your mouth today and talk about freedom and democracy spreading across the world, the first thing that people will think about is George W. Bush and the war in Iraq. The amount of damage this has done to democracy promotion efforts throughout the world is incalculable since Beijing looks infinitely better than Baghdad at this point.