This is interesting.
Liu's backing of democracy is purely practical, and really has nothing to do with political beliefs. He describes American democracy as a system designed by a genius for effective use by stupid people. As Liu puts it, ''a bad system makes a good person behave badly while a good system makes a bad person behave well. Democracy is the most important reform for China, for without it there can be no sustainable growth.''
That's Chinese Lieutenant General Yazhou Liu, by the way, a political officer in the Chinese military.
Can't get a better endorsement for the wisdom of the founding fathers than this.
Of course, even a system designed by a genius for effective use by stupid people can be destroyed by those who think they can do it better. No system can be designed to be fool-proof, especially when those who meddle with the system in the name of "progress" are the biggest fools.
This also points to ... interesting changes going on in China.
Liu points out that communists can compete in a democratic environment, especially since Chinese communists have abandoned the most destructive aspects of traditional communist doctrine (state control of the economy). But growing corruption, especially among communist officials, is crippling China and threatens the economy, as well as continued communist control of the country. Better to compete in a democratic environment, and risk losing national power, than to proceed with the current system and risk everything. Liu is being listened to by a lot of senior officials, both military and government, who back clean government. But the "dirty communists" are opposed, and that is a formidable opponent for someone like Liu.
Liu is a special kind of officer. He's a political officer, a job invented by the Russians during the Soviet period. The political officer is assigned to units from company size on up, and is second in command of the unit. The political officer is responsible for the political loyalty of all the officers and troops in the unit. He also acts as a (non-religious) chaplain, morale officer and publicist for the unit. These days, political officers rarely say much about communist doctrine, as few Chinese care for it. Political officers do serve as a source of grassroots information on what's going on with the troops, and the word is that corruption is a big issue with military personnel as well. Change is in the air, whether communist officials want it or not. Liu offers a way out, but there's no guarantee that enough of these officials will take it.
If the events that Liu hopes for come to be, this would be, for the Chinese, the best of all worlds. Clean, non-corrupted government could be that which saves China from collapse and chaos. The US system of checks and balances has been proven time and time again to be the best system to prevent corruption of the entire government: while parts go bad now and then (and more now right now than then...) it is virtually impossible, despite the best efforts of the Chicago machine, to corrupt all parts of the government within a single legislative period.
Whether they continue to try during the rest of the President's term is yet to be seen.