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Graham Perry
Graham Perry
Experienced Arbitration Lawyer | China & Chinese Business Affairs | Public Speaker/Lecturer.


“Ya-Boo” politics in the UK is the term used to describe confrontational party politics in the House of Commons. The ruling party – the Government – sit on one side of the Chamber and the Opposition – the Labour Party, Liberal-Democrats and others – sit on the opposite side. Sometimes the two sides debate but often the coming together results in insult + name calling.

Parallels are often drawn with rival football fans who engage in ritual confrontational shouting as the two teams take to the pitch. And in the UK since the Brexit Referendum of 2016 the mood of political exchange is more about scoring points off the opponents than discussing the issues.

Some of this mood and atmosphere pervades the debate in the West about the rise of China. “China is genocidal. China is expansionist. China wants to overrun South East China and then the World. China’s statistics are lies. Belt and Road is mere Debt Diplomacy”. These are the usual headlines. Ya-Boo politics at work.

But there is a context to this development which this Column has previously mentioned  – the West has never experienced a challenge such as China. China, not without its own problems of development, will shortly become the largest economy in the world on a Gross Domestic Product measure. The living standards of its 1.4bn people will continue to rise from approx. income of USD 13,000 per person to much higher levels. China’s infrastructure now outstrips that of the West in terms of railways, ports, and airports. There are many other measures of progress.

In response the West refuses to accept the reality of the challenge. It remains mystified. “But China is led by a Communist Party. It is authoritarian. It is racist. Its people groan under a dictatorship” and more. The real story of China is distorted and misrepresented

lest the truth begins to dawn that China will be the most significant country throughout the rest of the century.

So this is not a question of Arsenal v Spurs or Federer v Djokovic. It is not even a matter of personal preference. There is only one test – the objective test not the subjective test.  What works? What creates prosperity and progress?

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