The orchestra of rhetorics is playing full swing with America seemingly furious while the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) apparently sees them as ants trying to shake a big tree, that being a Chinese idiom.
China changes or it changes us, Michael Richard Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, said in a speech that the Chinese appear to have not heard at all for soon after they closed an American consulate in the Sichuan region.
There are suggestions Chinese authorities required American diplomats in Wuhan be searched if they want to return to the consulate, with that apparently being a measure to contain this pandemic.
Americans clearly saw it differently, closing the Houston consulate in a tit for tat. So getting back another tit for tat from China.
Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, has been touring his own country. Why, asked Indian media, there’s no elections in China.
No formal elections, but before Xi Jinping there were kind of informal elections. The president was subject to a two terms limit. Xi removed it, with Vladimir Putin of Russia copying him in effectively declaring himself a dictator by amending the constitution to rule for life.
And thus democracies have banded together more and more under the American flag, with that old rhetoric of freedom versus tyranny seemingly back.
Can China Change?
Indian media also reports Xi is to meet the elders in an unpublicized yearly affair where past presidents speak candidly with the present one.
Whether they will chastise him for removing the term limit is unclear, but the trade war clearly showed who would be the loser.
China’s economy slowed down significantly, while the American one even roared. It is now the Shanghai stocks that fall, -10% in the past two weeks, not Dow Jones.
Pressure is now growing significantly for western companies to get out of China, making India potentially a big winner.
The long connections of the english speaking world to India, their seemingly independent judiciary, their right to free speech, public debate, public assembly, their huge population and cheap labour, mixed too with many highly educated Indians, plenty of them English educated, makes the country less deaf to our opinions.
Plus, why shouldn’t the slums of Calcutta be raised to beautiful skyscrapers, just as those of China were raised by the good will of what was and remains a far more advanced western civilization.
Not least because free speech in China has been proven to be a global health issue, with their initial silencing of doctors being a massive failure on the part of CCP.
The Chinese people for their part made their displeasure known back in February 2020, and their anger towards the heavy censoring hand of CCP has been expressed a few times.
Censorship of an alleged sex scandal, for example, reached the point where Chinese people used ethereum to bypass it.
Likewise in 2018 they uploaded a document to an ethereum smart contract in Chinese, this time concerning a pharmaceutical scandal.
Both internal matters for China, but this pandemic has now made free speech there a matter that affects us all as had there been a quicker reaction, this could have potentially even been contained.
It is because freedom leads to quicker reaction that it wins and has won throughout history.
Had it been otherwise, then we would have taken a different approach and perhaps would have even asked that we too remove our term limits and bring back dictators, but it isn’t otherwise and as much has been proven time and time again.
Look at Russia’s GDP growth and see how it was around 10% when it looked like Russia might go the European way. Since about 2010 it barely does 2%, acting like a developed country when their buildings don’t even have paint.
Likewise Xi’s removal of term limits and the slow down in economic growth are probably not a coincidence.
You can grow by copying somewhat, but to prosper you need freedom. And we need more freedom even in America and in Europe, let alone in China where even their professionals, like doctors, apparently can’t speak freely about professional and fully apolitical matters.
Still China is a great country, but its government has to ease its grip, especially where freedom of speech is concerned, and the independence of the judiciary, so that there is a rule of law, instead of long discredited rule by dictators.