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As always there are two main arguments when issues relating to China are considered. One is critical and, one is positive. That is the position regarding allegations of genocide in Xinjiang; China’s right to view Taiwan as its own land; border hostilities between China and India; regarding democracy in Hong Kong; China’s Belt and Road Initiative and so on. As has been said before, the US tries hard to portray China as the Bad Boy of International Affairs.

Why? Because the US is determined to discredit China, to prevent it from appealing to developing countries and, thereby, diminish the power and influence of the US. The Chinese model of development – the Marxist model of development – cannot be allowed to succeed says the US.

You will be familiar with the view of Western Governments – though divisions are beginning to appear between them – so let’s look at the Chinese position. After two centuries of poverty and humiliation China has stood up and put its people first as the standard of living has risen and approx. 1bn people removed from poverty.

It is an enormous achievement. It attracts the attention + interest of Governments in the developing world. “If China can do it – why can’t we” they say as the pour over the policies pursued by China. The US knows its model of development is broken. Most importantly, China from being the Sick Man of Asia in 1949 will soon be the largest economic power in the land. China is winning. The US disapproves.

China does not have a history of military aggression beyond the defence of its own borders. It has just one foreign base in Djibouti for anti-piracy purposes and UN activity. In contrast the US has more than 800 military bases including Guam, Diego Garcia, Republic of Korea and Japan that encircle China. The US would be neurotic if Chinese vessels patrolled the Californian Coast or Florida or if China had a B-52 type aircraft based in Mexico.

China has not engaged in military activity for the past 40 years (just two brief wars in India in 1962 and Vietnam in 1979) By contrast, the United States in the course of the 20th century, has participated in 38 armed conflicts, or one every three years, and since 2000 it has engaged in at least 11 wars, the equivalent of one every two years.

It should also be noted that China has land borders with fourteen other countries. Unsurprisingly China focuses on domestic issues and the protection of its borders. Of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (who represent the great powers), only one has not fought a war in 40 years – China.

#xijinping #biden #chathamhouse #tugendhat #hilarybenn

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