Much has been written about China´s slowing economic growth, its new outspoken foreign policy and general assertiveness. Xi Jinping´s project is on track, writes analyst Arthur Kroeber in the Huffington Post, and we better get used to it.
In short, China is a successful authoritarian developmental state which is now rich enough to start setting its own rules rather than just accepting other peoples’. That is the Xi project. To recognize this fact does not require one to celebrate it, or to ignore the costs of the authoritarian strategy. So long as it insists on clamping down on information networks, China can never become a global technological leader or anything close to it. So long as it deprives citizens of political and civil rights considered basic in virtually every other middle- or upper-income country in the world, it will remain a cultural desert and its “soft power” will be stunted. These are real costs, and big ones. But they are costs the leadership has decided to bear, and it is a fantasy to think they will be punished for this decision not to emulate the liberal democratic ideal. China, to steal John Connally’s famous phrase about the dollar, is its own country, and other people’s problem. It will develop in its own way, on its own terms, and others will just have to work with it as best they can.
Much more arguments in the Huffington Post.
Arthur Kroeber is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers´request form.
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