The geniuses over CNN seem honestly surprised to learn that the Chinese government spies on its own citizens.
China is an authoritarian, one-party state. The question of whether or not China is truly communist anymore is, I will acknowledge, highly debatable. But the Chinese Communist Party still runs China with unchallenged and unchecked power. Every citizen of China accepts levels of daily government interference that no resident of a Western democracy would accept.
For forty years, we’ve been trying to convince ourselves that China is something other than what it actually is: a dictatorship.
This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t maintain civil, even cordial, relations with the PRC. But China is not a larger version of Japan or South Korea. In the way in which it is governed, China is much closer to Burma or North than to any of the Asian democracies.