THE SYDNEY MORNING POST – 12 july 2021
President Xi’s speech on his party’s centenary celebration must have disappointed China hawks. No mention of conquering foreign countries. His most strident remark was that the Chinese people would cause “bloodshed” to any foreign force that tried to “oppress or enslave us”.
China is a totalitarian state so lacks the legitimacy of majority rule and minority rights. A long history of foreign invasions, civil war, destitution, famine and Red Guard terrorism convinced post-Mao governments to crack down on any internal dissent lest it rekindle fracturing and secession.
To outsiders that is intolerable, but most Chinese accept a tightly policed state as preferable to a turbulent and broken one. Also, they value being lifted out of poverty in just 40 years. Most take pride in China’s achievements in sports, space travel and science. Any visitor knows that its people are not dispirited. In failed states, street crime is endemic. In China it is non-existent.
So how best to deal with China?
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