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The Forum > Article Comments > How China harmonises the West > Comments

How China harmonises the West : Comments

By Chin Jin, published 22/6/2010

Xi Jinping visits Australia: from Beijingís point of view, the West is gradually being 'harmonised' by Chinese policy.

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Mao a "capable" leader.

Hmm. Let it pass.

In the interests of full disclosure, when it comes to foreign policy I am a non-interventionist. Among other things that means Australia should refrain from lecturing other countries. Least of all should the pompous, self-righteous Mr. Rudd deliver any lectures. His pretensions to a place on the world stage would have made Australia a laughing-stock in Beijing, Jakarta, New Delhi and Tokyo had they even noticed him.

What we should do is develop business ties with our Asian neighbours without trying to influence their politics.

And we should make sure we maintain a potent military. Ultimately we may want to go for virtual nuclear power status like Japan. Japan has no nukes but has the capability to deploy in short order should a threat arise. And the biggest threat to both Japan and Australia is a decline in the relative power of the US Navy.
Posted by stevenlmeyer, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 9:04:29 AM
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Mao "a capable leader".

Yeah right. Reminds of the time that the Communist leadership thought it would improve food production by wiping out a bird species, thought to be pest because it ate the crops. While initially trucks full of dead birds were celebrated, in time the peasants suffered a major famine because there were few birds to eat the insects.

It is pretty logical why a pluralist society will always prevail over a dictatorships, although China's rise does pose some challenges, and no society is perfect.

I, for one, am not impressed by articles about the virtues of Communist China. Leadership potential for the world? Hardly, as hopefully will be revealed in coming years. Even Geraldine Doouge on ABC radio last Saturday noted how a reporter she was with had her computer hacked and mobile interfered with on a trip to China. You would have to be an idiot to be impressed by a paranoid leadership in a mercantile nation supposedly communist yet still increasing inequality.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 9:46:06 AM
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The article states: "There was a simplistic view held by some in the West that once China achieved substantial economic growth, liberty and democracy would automatically arrive. That clearly hasnít happened."

The above statement is simplistic in itself. Of course it will not automatically happen, but there is some evidence that it is happening. Workers have been striking for higher pay and have been winning pay increases. A summer of industrial disputes is expected, and the Chinese government has apparently recognised that they cannot continue keeping the lid on in that area.

Page 48 of the June 28, 2010 issue of Time magazine has an article on the subject.
Posted by david f, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 11:25:20 AM
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Steven criticising other countries over human rights is not "interventionist". It should of course be handled in the right way, but open and constructive dialogue in the international community can go a long way to establishing norms that encourage good behaviour.

China is at a prescipise at the moment. Like another poster said, there is some evidence that a growing middle class in China is leading to a cultural shift. This is of course a slow process. But the writer of this article is right to highlight the potential contradiction. A booming Chinese economy gives the CCP an increasing hubris and ability to ignore international concerns over human rights. As domestic social movements grow they may increase their force to suppress them, confident that the rest of the world will do nothing. If Steven had his way they wouldn't even say anything. Kind of like listening to your neighbour beat his wife while you sip tea and read the paper.

As someone who has lived in China and has a great affection for its people, I worry that it is heading to a bloody revolution. The worst and best thing for China would be economic collapse. The middle classes would revolt and possibly shift towards Democracy - but the ruling elite are unlikely to move aside peacefully.
Posted by Grayzie, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 11:59:02 AM
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David f

You are right about labour unrest in China.

Grayzie, you are right about the danger of revolution in China.

However my post focused on what I thought AUSTRALIA ought to do.

Given Australia's reputation for self-righteous preachiness I think a lecture from any Australian PM - let alone one from so preposterous a figure as Rudd - would be counter-productive.

There is also the fact that Australia is such a minor player that no one will take critique from an Australian leader seriously.
Posted by stevenlmeyer, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 12:30:41 PM
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Thanks Chin Jin

An excellent article.

And yes I agree Mao was "capable" though a total self-seeking bastard.

China appears to be becoming increasingly like Orwell's Animal Farm - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm#Plot_summary with the Party higher ups emulating the worst capitalists.

I'm not confident though that a social revolution will sweep the Party away or democratise it. If the Party survived, while inflicting the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution on the people, the current inequalities between city dwellers and country peasants are minor by comparson.

The PLA (Army) launching a coup may be one process of change. A close examination of the Tiananmen Square Massacre reveals some serious disagreements in the PLA over the Party's "crush the protest directive":

"It has even been said that within the military there was some dissent on whether or not they should break up the protest through aggressive tactics. This left the government working hard to try and piece together a group of troops to go into Tiananmen Square.

...In fact it was even reported that members of the local army (38th Division) burned their own vehicles and left them in order to join in with the protestors." http://learnchinese.elanguageschool.net/tiananmen-square

So armed force (with the PLA the most powerful) could topple Party rule.

The spirit of the PLA's 38th Division in 1989 offers hope.

Here's an article on Australian-Chinese relations http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=7324)

and Tiananmen http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=9004

Regards

Pete
Posted by plantagenet, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 9:55:05 AM
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