China's fear of instability - New York Times
The erosion and collapse of the Chinese state was the result of internal conditions, but also from interventions by the leading Western powers. From the second part of the nineteenth century, these countries - joined by Japan and Russia - disregarded Chinese sovereignty in order to attain economic and strategic benefits. Consequently, the Chinese central government lost what it needed most for its survival: political legitimacy among its own population. Thus the political instability that produced China's current political system was itself partly caused by the West.
The lesson from history for China's leaders is that foreign interference leads to political instability.
Published on the Opinion page of The International Herald Tribune (print edition). Click on the image below to go to the article.