The Space Between Us

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A summary of discord between the west and China

The Space Between Us. James De Burghe 17th November 2021

It is not unusual in the run of human affairs for differences in culture and beliefs to drive wedges between nations and peoples. In past centuries these wedges often led to bloody and protracted wars.

When you look at todays’ world you can still see these old prejudices and tribal instincts at play in international politics and trade. In the relationships between the west and the Islamic world they have been played out in violence and protracted wars that have brought only death and economic ruin to all parties. In the relationship between the Anglosphere and China there is a conundrum. This seems to be based on a deliberate act of misunderstanding initiated within the Anglosphere.

If I sound a little harsh I believe that the facts bear me out. China opened its doors to the west back in the 1970’s. This initiative led by an agreement between China and the USA was the beginning of a process that yielded benefits not only to these two countries but began a number further processes that had a profound and beneficial effect on the rest of the world. When the fall of the Soviet Union happened there was a huge expectation in the Anglosphere that China would now adopt western style democracy and more important western style capitalism. It did not happen.

The usual attempts at the destabilisation of China, using students failed to gain popular support and led to the myth of the Tienanmen Square massacre. A story acknowledged as false by Bill Clinton but which is still used as a propaganda story against China to this day. Despite this western capitol continued to pour into China attracted by low wages and high productivity. These capital investments ignored the social consequences of their acts on their own national economies. Tens of thousands of workers in the west lost their jobs and that meant a huge drain on government funds in unemployment benefits whilst at the same time losing tax income. Likewise these western governments did nothing at all to stem this outward flow of capitol, claiming that free trade, globalisation and the free movement of capitol was more important than the welfare and livelihoods of their citizens. In the west this attitude led to growing poverty and a huge disparity between rich and poor.

China itself recognised the growing problem and made a conscious decision to develop its own industries. To this end it made huge investments in education, science, and research and development. This was all carried out in a political environment described by China as Marxist Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. Capitalism was welcomed but controlled and as time passed and lessons were learnt it was continually modified to suit the purpose and aspirations of China. The country progressively opened up more and more of its economy, joined the World trade Organisation and promoted multilateralism at the United Nations. The Chinese economy grew rapidly and surpassed every western nation except the USA. China was also aware of the impact that its growth had made on other nations and it set out to ameliorate these impacts by buying government bonds in the USA and other western countries to help shore up their economies. China invested two trillion dollars into the USA alone. Chinese companies also began to invest directly in western countries creating taxes and jobs in the USA, UK and other western countries.

China warmly embraced western culture, music, art, food and language were all warmly welcomed by the Chinese people as were the thousands of foreigners who poured into China. English became a compulsory subject in all Chinese schools. Today 60% of all Chinese people can have at least a basic understanding of English, but in the west only around 1.5% of the population can understand any Chinese language.

In the west and in China there were always those who opposed any kind of détente between the two cultures. In China they were disregarded but in the USA and UK in particular from the year 2000 onwards they began to gain political power and an undercurrent of anti-Chinese rhetoric began to swell in both the USA and UK in particular. By the time we reach the present day that undercurrent has turned into a mainstream torrent of abuse, propaganda, false news and distortion. Ignoring the fact that China bailed out the west of its last major economic disaster, ignoring the fact that China has lifted more than 800 million of its own population out of poverty, ignoring the fact that Chinese medical aid and vaccine gifts have saved countless lives in the third world and that Chinese investment has started to lift Africa out of poverty. Today western warships patrol off the coast of China and the west is indulging in a new cold war with China. But are China threatening the west? Well according to western news media everything China does threatens the west, Everything China achieves is a lie and The Chinese people are the subjects of a repressive authoritarian regime. Either deliberately or in ignorance they omit to tell their readers that China has 8 political parties, that no one can enter politics in China without a popular vote and that every process of law and policy in China has to be approved by the Peoples congress manned by people voted for by the Chinese population.

There is a small ray of hope, the USA now faced with rampant inflation and growing unrest has at last held talks between the US president and the Chinese President in the hope of normalising relations between the two countries. Of course this was largely ignored by the western news media.


Submitted: November 17, 2021

© Copyright 2021 JDB401. All rights reserved.

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