Thailand's military lightened its grip on power after staging a coup on Thursday. The political confrontation between the two opposing parties that had lasted for several months ended in the same way as ever. After experiencing the circle of democratic elections and coups, it is difficult to single out the coup this time. It is just one part of the country's political process.
Thailand's political chaos has severely damaged the country's economy and social order and led to casualties. At least, the coup has brought back peace temporarily. It is not the military's seizure of power, but a compulsory end to the domestic political turmoil.
Nonetheless, the side effects remain — it broke off the Thai democratic process and reinforced the military's ultimate authority in social governance.
The Southeast Asia's second largest economy can be called a "partial democracy," as its pursuit of democracy has been pushed forward but is not that dedicated. Thailand hasn't completed its industrialization. Wealth is waiting to be redistributed, and it is common to resort to political means to pursue private interests. At this stage, the competitive elections are more like a revolution in which different classes struggle for power. The Red shirts and the Yellow shirts represent different social classes and their rivalries have been irreconcilable.
Besides, the democratic system in Thailand lacks authority. Democracy has cultivated powerful anti-democratic forces and provided convenience for people to overthrow election results.
Many developing countries have experienced similar pains of democratic disorder.
Currently, Thailand has no alternative but to rule the country in the Western style. It does not have the ambition or capability of exploring its own political path.
Many medium and small-sized countries can only blindly accept Western democracy and then leave it unchecked.
As Western democracy requires a high standard of industrialization, many underdeveloped countries have fallen into political tragedies. It is hard to perceive how long they will take to walk out of the crisis.
Unlike these countries, China has become aware of the necessity of exploring an independent political path. As a complex huge country, China has to undertake potential risks that are barely seen in small countries. As Western democracy has thrown many small countries into disorder, more and more people began to realize that destructive elements may be activated if China adopts it.
Fortunately, China has the wisdom and capability to seek an independent political path.
Some democratic thoughts have long existed in many societies and Western-style democracy is only one practice and development. It is not the end, and China's political experiment in universal values will be borne out eventually.