Further to my post below, I thought it worth commenting on what I saw of politics in China, given this is an occasionally political blog.
However, this is a hard piece to write, even in short, as there is nothing to report.
The people and businesses tolerate the over-arching government which appears to manifest itself in the form of rampant bureaucracy that consumes time and effort for all things. There are though no police on the streets except glorified traffic wardens. In Beijing the police I saw travelled in a golf cart and looked distinctly nonthreatening.
My take is that this is a very clever ploy on behalf of the PRC. The people are allowed relative freedom and encouraged to worship mammon. In this way their energies are turned from demanding rights and democracy. Who needs democracy if you are rich?
There is little crime in the country, amazing given the huge and rapid changes over-taking the populace. The Government also achieves much by being inactive. Notice how little China does in foreign affairs relative to its new status. This provides a stability for the countries' businesses to enter the world stage; yet China is also capable of shifting the goal posts to its own advantage. It's managing of the Renminbi to keep its exports competitive is a classic example.
All in all, there is something impressive about how they are moving away from a Maoist insanity to a full market economy without enormous political upheaval. I promise not to praise socialists on this blog again, but I have a hunch that the leadership of China gave this up some years ago now.