China has a public relations problem that gets worse every day. The world has awoken from its enchantment with communist state capitalism and has a clear picture of what life would be like if the Chinese regime replaced the United States.
It’s a nightmare the world can certainly do without.
It wasn’t so long ago that much of the world admired China. For nearly 10 years, the Chinese Communists Party (CCP) touted its state capital economic model as the successor to American style liberal capitalism in the 21st century, and many nations agreed.
And why wouldn’t they?
From 1990 to 2020, China went from an economic basket case to a global leader in manufacturing, technology, and military prowess. And of course, the CCP has taken full credit for the country’s dramatic transformation.
But that’s not the whole story. A little historical background is helpful.
A History of Failure and Oppression
For the first three decades after the communist takeover in 1949, China suffered failure after failure, with one tragedy following another. From famines to floods to massive civil unrest to state-orchestrated murder on an industrial scale, life in China was brutal and difficult—except, of course, for members of the CCP.
From 1958 to 1962, the disastrous Great Leap Forward led to the Great Famine, industrial failures, and dozens of dam failures that killed hundreds of thousands of people, if not more. From the mid-1960s to the late 1970s, the Cultural Revolution resulted in the persecution of anyone with a trade or education and the starvation of millions more. By 1979, the CCP had its back against the wall. The communist-led country remained a technologically backward agrarian nation that couldn’t feed itself.
Fearing the wrath of the people, the CCP, led by Deng Xiaoping, decided to play the American card. Beijing invited American money and technological know-how into China, and dangled the world’s largest slave labor force before their eyes in return. The United States jumped at the offer with both feet, as did Europe and Japan.
By 1989, China’s GDP had grown from about $178.3 billion in 1979 to over $348 billion, with a middle class made up of merchants and manufacturers. Their college-aged children, who knew only a rising standard of living, held aspirations of a new, free, and prosperous China. Fearing obsolescence in the face of a new generation accustomed to the idea of liberalization, which was championed by the deceased leader Hu Yaobang, the Party crushed the liberty demonstration at Tiananmen Square at the cost of 10,000 or more young lives.
And it worked.
A Rapid Transformation
By 2010, China’s rapid transformation was unprecedented. The “China Miracle” seemed to show the way for other nations in Asia and around the world. But along with the elevation of some 400 million of its citizens out of poverty, it also involved the enslavement of tens of millions of Chinese in factories.
There was also the confiscation of property, the imposition of the one-child policy, a horrific organ harvesting industry, the utter despoilment of its natural environment, and the worsening of religious persecution of Christians and Falun Gong practitioners. And of course, over the past several years up to today, up to 1 million Muslim Uyghurs have been detained in re-education camps.
Grand Schemes for the World
Recently, with its new wealth and technological development and descent into a one-man dictatorship, the CCP set up several grand schemes targeting the rest of the world. This soft power play was Beijing’s toxic version of foreign aid and foreign trade.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI, also known as “One Belt, One Road”) sought to develop new, emerging markets and trading arrangements with mostly less developed nations. But within a few years, China’s foreign “partners” found themselves losing their sovereignty through debt traps that transferred ownership of resources, assets, and infrastructure to China.
In 2015, the Made in China 2025 plan targeted the most technologically developed nations with the intent of relocating the world’s technology research and manufacturing to China. It would thereby reduce nations such as the United States, Germany, and Japan into technologically dependent vassal economies.
Both of these nefarious, foreign-targeted schemes are now seen for what they are. So, too, was China’s Confucius Institutes, thinly-veiled “cultural” exchange associations on American universities. Their purpose was to facilitate intellectual theft and faculty penetration, as well as indoctrinate American college students into supporting the CCP’s mission. They are now being kicked off university campuses coast to coast.
The Push Back and the Pandemic
At the same time, the Trump administration was blocking Huawei and its spyware-laden hardware from the United States and its trading partners. It also raised tariffs on $325 billion of Chinese goods, further armed Taiwan, and warned Beijing to back off from its aggression toward Hong Kong or pay more tariffs.
Then, of course, came the CCP virus. Many people believe the Chinese regime brought the COVID-19 pandemic upon the world from the state-controlled Wuhan lab. Beijing hoarded medical devices and equipment, and set travel restrictions within the country but allowed infected people to travel the world. Furthermore, the CCP lied to the world about every aspect of the pathogen it had created.
A More ‘Lovable’ China?
The pandemic gave the CCP the cover it needed to subjugate Hong Kong and ramp up intimidation tactics against Taiwan. But if any nation had any questions about the nature of the CCP, the pandemic answered them. Threatening to target Australia with nuclear weapons only reinforced the negativity with which people view China.
A Pew survey last year confirmed it.
Or Just ‘Underappreciated’?
Yet strangely, China is somehow feeling “underappreciated” by the rest of the world—I’m not making this up. This has prompted CCP leader Xi Jinping to order a “rebranding campaign” to make the world think of China as “trustworthy, lovable, and respectable.”
At the same time, as it continues its absorption of Hong Kong, Beijing is ramping up its campaign of military threats and intimidation among its neighbors, particularly Taiwan and Australia. Presumably, the people of both targeted nations understand that any aggression from China will be visited upon them in a “trustworthy, lovable, and respectable” manner.
The myth of the “China Miracle” is a lie that’s becoming much harder to sell these days. But “trustworthy” and “lovable”?
The CCP is a brutal and lethal totalitarian power bent on global domination, and everybody now realizes that fact.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.