Any ignorant Westerner who had once thought that China was a backward communist country would be shocked if he had visited China recently. Not only is modern China not backward, it has put the US to shame in terms of infrastructural and economic development. Why are people like Bannon complaining? Is it because they are jealous of China’s imminent rise to become the new superpower?
Recognition for China’s progress does not just come from within mainland China. Many ethic Chinese who were born and raised overseas are proud of their ancestral home. Yes, they are going to be the dominant economic power in the world, but is that a problem? Are Western critics just being jealous? Is there real cause for concern? Is the use of the adjective “predatory” appropriate?
Of course, both men were speaking from the American point of view and most of us (except maybe for some Americans) realise that America isn’t the centre of the world (and neither is China). Bannon thinks that America is just starting to wake up under Donald Trump. He believes that there is something seriously sinister about the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). It appears to be a move to dominate Eurasia or even parts of Europe. Building and occupying islands in the South China Sea, turning them into unsinkable aircraft carriers (my own observation) is another move to control shipping routes in that region. Sinister or not, some examples given in 36 Dirty Tricks can be seen in the BRI.
Bass is worried about American endowment and pension funds invested in China through Hong Kong. In order for those investments to be protected, Hong Kong must be sufficiently autonomous and be governed by rule of law. Many Chinese people simply assume that America is not minding its own business when it appears to interfere with Hong Kong’s domestic politics.
But the situation in Hong Kong is worrying Bass, not just that activists are jailed, but defending the HKD to USD peg is costing Hong Kong too much. Their banks are now one of the most leveraged in the world.
Joe Biden, why is he so pro-China? Should Americans be worried about leaders like him?