Dr Pradeep Taneja says that while communism in China is dead 'practically', the 60th anniversary of the creation of the People's Republic of China is particularly significant. "It comes about a year after China hosted the Beijing Olympics, so there's an added significance that China has demonstrated to the rest of the world that China is an important country and one that has achieved remarkable success in its economic development and modernisation."
A lecturer in Asian Politics in the School of Social and Political Sciences, Dr Taneja says that while there have been many changes over the past sixty years leading to increased personal freedom for the population, there are still many internal problems. "These are problems not just of the Xinjiang province or Tibet, but for example employment in urban areas. Literally millions of people have lost jobs due to China's market orientated economic reform policies."
"And in the rural areas too there is disquiet - the rural population in China feels they have not benefited as much from the economic reforms of the past thirty years as the people in the cities."
"Externally however, China's standing in the international system has grown tremendously. China today clearly is important, there's no solution to any of our global problems without China's involvement. That is why foreign powers - such as the EU, US and Australia - feel they have very little influence on China."