Xu Wenli ,one of the founders of the democracy movement in China, is visiting America, and he has some insights on the source of our freedoms.

Seeing people of all different colors walking peaceably along the same New York streets provides one insight. I know that there has been much strife and sorrow in the history of the United States and the world because of differences: religious, political, racial. But in responding to the call of democratic beliefs, people come to realize that democracy is not merely a political system but a way of life. Only when people respect freedom, human rights and the many things that make them different, only when they realize that democracy is as essential as bread, air and water -- only then has constitutional democracy truly planted its roots.

He's no de Tocqueville, but it's a good piece.

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