chapter  11
25 Pages

The Alternative of Loyal Opposition: The Chinese Youth Party and Chinese Democracy, 1937-1949

WithEdmund S.K Fung

Loyal opposition was distinguished from other types of opposition to the Guomindang leadership-such as warlord revolts, intraparty strife, student and intellectual dissent, and the revolutionary challenge of the Chinese Communist Party--in that it provided a framework for cooperation with the ruling party. This chapter explores the idea and practice of loyal opposition during the period 1937-1949, focusing on the Chinese Youth Party's (CYP) conception of democracy and the ways in which it attempted to achieve constitutional reform. It explains the CYP's failure to achieve its objectives, as well as the larger failure of democracy in Nationalist China. The CYP's idea of loyal opposition could best be understood in the context of its conception of democracy, which was inspired by Anglo-American thought, Zeng Qi admired Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, but his wartime heroes were Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, "the models of Western democracy." The CYP's was the pluralist conception of democracy, which reflected a continuing movement against party dictatorship.