Is there a global backlash against China? - SupChina

Is there a global backlash against China?

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Author, veteran China journalist, and occasional SupChina contributor John Pomfret writes in the Washington Post that a “global backlash is brewing against the People’s Republic of China” at exactly the same time that Beijing is expressing “unprecedented confidence in its economic and political model.” The phenomenon he describes is captured in various headlines from Western news organizations from the last couple of days:

  • Chinese journalists may be required to register as foreign agents if the U.S. Congress adopts recommendations from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, according to Reuters.
  • The U.K. is also worrying about influence from Beijing. The University of Nottingham’s China Policy Institute asks: “David Cameron’s new China job: Is it time for a debate on the role of elites?”
  • New Zealand‘s deputy prime minister has called for an investigation into a China-born MP, who spent years working in a Chinese military college and is alleged to have “intervened in a sensitive national security vetting case on behalf of a constituent,” according to the Financial Times (paywall).
  • The Taiwanese government says a pro-China political party is suspected of spying on behalf of Beijing — see the New York Times (paywall) for details.
  • And of course, Australia has been, as the Times puts it in a new article (paywall), “thrown into turmoil over allegations that China is trying to buy its politicians and sway its elections.” Read more reporting on Down Under here on SupChina.

Pomfret also says that “the growing negative reaction to China’s rise belies reports that the United States under Trump is no longer capable of cooperating with America’s traditional allies,” citing the Trump administration’s joint WTO case with the European Union in rejecting China’s claim that it should be granted market-economy status, which would protect China from anti-dumping duties.

Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.

One Comment

  1. fkkdi Reply

    SubChina says in its report “Is there a global backlash against China?”, “Author, veteran China journalist, and occasional SupChina contributor John Pomfret writes in the Washington Post that a ‘global backlash is brewing against the People’s Republic of China’ at exactly the same time that Beijing is expressing ‘unprecedented confidence in its economic and political model.’”

    It mentions China’s trouble in the US, UK, New Zealand, Taiwan, Australia and EU that are all developed countries and region. Do these countries and region need Chinese model for lifting out of poverty and economic growth? Certainly not. Chinese model offers an alternative to Western democracy for developing countries. Western countries are a minority in the world in terms of population and area of territories. Mr. John Pomfret seems to believe that there are only Western countries in the world other than China.

    As China has lifted the large majority of it poor people out of poverty and achieved fast economic growth, it is justified to be self-confident. No one is sure whether China will keep its growth for a long time to come, but at least it has grown rich and strong to be regarded by the US as a competitor. Even if its growth has slowed, China is still financially capable of lifting the remaining 50 million Chinese people out of poverty.

    China has good reasons for optimism while the West has nothing to prove that its democracy can enable developing countries to achieve such fast economic growth and lift people out of poverty so quickly.

    The four Asian Dragons were not Western democracies when they were achieving fast economic growth. Singapore has never been a Western democracy. Hong Kong grew rich when it was Britain’s colony without democracy while Taiwan and South Korea were both autocracies when they grew rich. They became democracies only after they have grown rich; therefore, they have not been made rich by Western democracy.

    Both Chinese and Western systems have their strong points and weakness so that one has to learn from the other’s strong points. China has learnt a lot from Western democracy in industrialization, urbanization, technology, financial management, etc. It is a pity that the West willfully ignores China’s strong points and stresses China’s weaknesses to remain self-confident in spite of being surpassed by China not only in economic growth but also in fighting corruption to prevent officials and rich people from becoming privileged vested interests, providing medical and retirement insurance for almost all the people, lifting almost all people out of poverty, etc.

    China is superior to the West in its self-consciousness in keeping on reform to adapt to the changes in situation while Western countries, especially the US, remain conceited about their outdated system in spite of lots of problems such as financial deficit, heavy national debts, poor infrastructures, military inefficiency, etc.

    China has set a successful model of socialism with Chinese characteristics for developing countries to learn from.

    Western democracy is a good system, but it needs reform for improvement to be commensurate with the changes of situation. Without reform, it problems set poor examples for developing countries.

    Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SubChina’s report

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