Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou said history gives him hope for political change on the Communist-ruled mainland. He’s not talking about the rise of a liberal democracy like in the West, but ancient China’s own lessons on dissent.
Asked about the prospects for political change in modern China, Ma cited the example of Zichan, a statesman who lived during the country’s Spring and Autumn period some 2,500 years ago. Zichan, so the stories go, refused to close a public forum where citizens criticized the government, arguing the state needed to hear the people’s complaints. Confucius later praised him as an exemplary leader.