The world’s China delusion is over. For three decades, the global elite has assured us that China’s rise to great-power status was “peaceful.” But great powers rarely rise peacefully, and Communist China has hardly been the exception. What China did was mete out its aggression carefully enough to give our elite plausible deniability, then bought their silence.
That game has now run its course. The coronavirus that spread from Wuhan has exposed it for the lie it is – and imposed upon the global elites the sorts of costs they were never willing to incur.
The game began the moment the West decided to put the Tiananmen Square massacre behind it. US president Bill Clinton campaigned hard to normalize China as a trading partner and to push for its membership in the World Trade Organization, allegedly on the theory that if Chinese interests were anchored in global commerce, it would be irrational for China to disrupt the liberal world order.
From that point onward, preserving the theory became the global goal; facts were deemed relevant only to the extent that they proved helpful.
Yes, the world concedes that China has imprisoned millions of Christians, Muslims, Falun Gong, and other religious minorities – but writes it off as a distasteful internal matter.
Yes, the world understands that China manipulates currency and steals intellectual property – but prefers to focus on the many contracts it does honor, along with the cheap labor and lucrative markets it provides.
Yes, everyone knows that China censors news, monitors speech, and arrests political prisoners – but recognizes that such problems are amenable to diplomatic condemnation, not economic sanctions or military force.
Yes, it’s clear that China’s artificial islands violate numerous maritime treaties – but who has the appetite to wage a naval war on behalf of Southeast Asia? Full Story - BRUCE ABRAMSON - Asia Times
What started as a catastrophe for China is shaping up to be a moment of strategic opportunity, a rare turning point in the flow of history. Suddenly, the protests in Hong Kong, carrying a mortal threat to political stability in the mainland, became a physical impossibility. More important, the pandemic set in motion a global competition, to contain the virus, for which China and the Chinese Communist Party seem uniquely prepared.