Have We Got It Wrong On China?

Politically incorrect as ever, Samuel Brittan asks an interesting question in today’s FT: have we got it wrong on China. Have Western leaders so obsessed themselves with the need to lecture China on what they should be doing with the Renminbi that we are missing a historic opportunity to put pressure on them about human rights and democracy issues?

Western statesmen have every duty to remind Chinese leaders of their still appalling human rights record ? from the Tiananmen Square massacre to the occupation of Tibet and the continued veneration of Chairman Mao, who has been exposed as a killer on the level of Hitler and Stalin.

Unfortunately, they have gone quiet on these issues and have instead lectured the Chinese on the need to revalue the renminbi. It is not as if China were making a mess of its economy. On the contrary, it has a higher growth rate than any country in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. And, far from appealing for handouts from the west, it is one of the main sources of the financial inflows sustaining the US economy“.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo' is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".

3 thoughts on “Have We Got It Wrong On China?

  1. Every Western politician is kowtowing before the Chinese rulers and yet it’s China which needs West much more than the West needs China.

  2. Amazing how little comments this extremely important post elicits.
    “It is not as if China were making a mess of its economy.”
    We should really think a bit longer about this understatement.
    Yes I think we got it wrong on China as long as political statements on China’s (and India’s and Brazils) growth are part of a show for the national audience.

  3. We have definitely got it wrong on China. Most of the discussion about China is about economics. Only a few articles have appeared on China’s military and political ambitions.

    Have a look at what they are up to in Zimbabwe for a taste of things to come.