Why There Is No Solution To Our Age Of Crisis Without China

from The New Statesman

In the summer of 2021 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is marking its centenary. It has much to celebrate. The most powerful communist party and by far the most powerful political organisation in the world, it has presided over the largest surge of economic growth ever witnessed. For both the West and China’s immediate neighbours, this unsettling and unexpected fact defines the early 21st century.

China’s rise has undone any assumption that social and economic progress naturally leads to liberalism. Hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty in 40 years by an authoritarian one-party regime, dedicated to what it calls “Marxism for the 21st century”.

Against the backdrop of this triumph, the CCP is planning its second century. In Europe, the US and Asia, the political classes are scrambling to keep up. American strategists have designated a newly minted world region, the Indo-Pacific, as the arena for a battle royal between democracy and authoritarianism.

Some influential voices on both sides of the Atlantic relish this confrontation. Others are suffering from a sense of shock. They hanker after the 1990s or early 2000s, when coexistence seemed assured – an era that contemporary hawks dismiss as a period of naivety when the China challenge was underestimated.

Historical perspective does suggest that the era of calm was the exception. After all, the West’s sense of historic pre-eminence rests on what in China is known as a century of humiliation. Reversing China’s decline has been an ongoing struggle for more than a hundred years, a struggle that has involved commerce, communication, creativity and exchange. It has also involved violence, sometimes on an epic scale, both within China and in battles with foreign powers.

More here.

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3 Comments

  1. I liked how this article goes extensively into China’s history back to the Second World War where it explains how China lost 15 to 20 million people. I think that’s relevant because that is the turning point where China found that other world powers did not respect them and that for their own safety, they must get stronger. While the article does bring up a lot of relevant points about the rise of communism due to the influence of the Soviet Union, and the rise of Mao Zedong and his genocide, but with the infringement on human rights that China has, I think the article does fail to fully contextualize China as a nation. As I learned back in high school in AP world history, China was the world’s First Nation state. For most of human history civilization existed through the use of empires. However, empires usually fell after a certain number of years due to too much diversity, but especially diversity of values. China was considered to be one of the First Nation-states where all the people in a state that share game and culture, Mainly Confucianism. Ethno-states usually do better since there is a stronger sense of unity and more companies with people. I believe that since China is still primarily and has no state to this day, marks might actually not be a bad system for them. If everyone in your state had the same idea of success, and there was a strong sense of pride, then the idea that you could work together towards a collective good seems a lot more plausible than say in the USA. While I do not think that we must change China’s economic system, we need to be cautious about being too dependent on them while also realizing that there Marxism would not work well in our country with us being the most diverse country in the world. I feel that capitalist ideals would give most innocence the best opportunity to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  2. In this day and age, we have significant growth of change throughout the world, and of those main factors is China. As emphasized in the article, we see that China has refuted what many of us were taught in school, “economic progress leads to liberalism”, and even perhaps the other way around.

    However, China has refuted this with its methods of domination through a variety of aspects. Especially within the realm of trade. China has come up with a plan of establishing efficient trade routes throughout Asia, and Africa. It goes by the name of BRI, the Belt Road Initiative. This will directly make almost all nations dependent on China. It’s as if China is taking us down with 1,000 paper cuts.

    Only time will tell what will happen in the future and who will be leading the world of trade. The United States does have a significantly powerful stronghold, yet we must watch every move we make. As of right now, we have many dependencies on China, and it looks like many nations will be even more reliant on the nation. We see a change in demand for vital resources, changing from oil to renewable energy. And China has been on top of this aspect for years, and under the Biden administration it seems we have picked up on the idea for renewable energy, yet sooner or later we will see the effects of the change of these vital resources.

  3. China has the United States beat in many areas, and this was exposed to me with the pandemic. When hospitals were overflowing with COVID patients in June 2020, China built a very respectable shantytown capable of housing thousands of COVID patients in a matter of days. This made me question why America could not keep up with China. It feels like China has been working in the shadows for years and is just now emerging on to the scene, but this is not true at all. Any economist would tell you that China made an unforeseen resurrection of their economy starting from the mid 90s to where it is now. Once laughable compared to the United States in the early 90s economy to being projected to surpass it by 2030 is a remarkable feat, but not one that came out of nowhere. We Americans always proclaim that we have the greatest country in the world and that American exceptionalism could blind us to any real competition. We as a nation have to realize that in the race to be first, there are competitors who also want to be able to claim to be the best, and some competitors will try whatever it takes to reach the top, even at America’s expense

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