China just doesn’t know how to make friends in a free world
China’s great weakness — or rather the Chinese Communist Party’s is that no one likes authoritarian rulers, or people that lie, steal, spy and send out bioweapons. As I said over a year ago, The one thing China may have achieved with the Covid is to rally the rest of the world against it. It’s taken a year because the craven media couldn’t admit Trump was right about the lab leak, but there’s no hiding it now.
China has few friends. As well as infecting the whole world, it has fought with Indians, threatened the Philippines and Malaysia over the South Sea, flown fighter jets over Taiwan, and bullied Australia, even saying our weak military would be the first hit in a war. China is leaning on Japan to give it strategic islands, and to distance itself from the US. Like a mafia state, the threat is blunt: “no rational country would want to contain or offend its biggest trading partner” says Beijing. Nice economy you have there, be a shame if something happened to it. The PRC even took on a boy band in South Korea last year and lost.
To give just a taste of the pushback coming: In Budapest, Mayor Gergely Karacsony said he will rename all the streets around the planned Fudan Chinese University. One will be named after a Chinese Catholic Bishop who was jailed. The rest will be called Free Hong Kong Road, Dalai Lama street, and Uyghur Martyrs’ Road. It shows a great sense of humour. Every day the administration at the Fudan Uni will have to tell people to park at “Free Hong Kong Road” and such. Like a shot of daily pain.
With the world showing signs of rallying against it, Xi’s new big plan is an advertising campaign on global media to boost the image of China and create a loveable trustworthy image. It’s straight out of a communist propaganda book. As if a few nice adverts will undo the threats, petty trade wars, and the creation of a deadly disease.
As Thomas Lifson argues, it may sound hard to believe but President Xi may be mismanaging things even more than Joe Biden.
But China under the near-dictatorial rule of Xi Jinping is alienating most of the world’s great economies.
Late last week, as veteran China-watcher Katsuji Nakazawa of Nikkei Asia wrote:
The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to freeze the ratification process of an investment pact with China — a deal that Beijing six months ago considered a big strategic victory.
It has sent shock waves throughout China, with only one month and change before arguably the most important event in President Xi Jinping’s era, the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s establishment, on July 1.
It is not just the U.S. and the E.U. that China has alienated. The entire world has been traumatized by the COVID pandemic that we now know (after over a year of media and tech complicity in pushing the cover story of wet market origins) came out of the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s lab. And we know that when people got sick in Wuhan, China shut down travel to the rest of China while allowing Chinese to travel overseas, a near–smoking gun bit of evidence that China saw it as a bioweapon, whether or not it was deliberately engineered as such.
Australia has had the effrontery to demand a reckoning from China on COVID’s origins and has been mercilessly bullied by China for doing so.
Lifson points out that China has no experience in modern diplomacy, only in coercion:
I predict China will have grave difficulties in leading the world into a post-American new world order with itself at the top [because of] China’s own multiple millennia of history…
China had no experience at all of diplomacy as the relationship of sovereign states with equal standing as such — the so-called Westphalian state system. China was the “central kingdom” to which all others paid tribute as vassals of a sort if they wished to engage in relations.
The 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party comes in one month.
We can only hope China matures into a modern free trading citizen of the world as fast as possible.
June 3, 2021