How to deal with China
There are better strategies available. President Biden sees the world as two ideological blocs; democracies led by the G7 defending human rights against the rest. According to Liberty house there are 82 nations that are “free” and 128 that are not. But if this is the new touchstone, and the goal is to deal with China in a non-hostile way, the G7-led group should not only criticize China, but all nations, including its own, that violate rights. humans. Since China recognizes only one international order, that of the United Nations, the plight of the Uighurs, Tibetans and Hong Kongers must be pursued by democracies through the UN Human Rights Council.
Regarding Australia’s relations with China, we lead the world in blocking Chinese technology (Huawei 5G), exports (steel and aluminum products), influence (raids on the homes of Australian-based Chinese journalists) , investment (including blocking the purchase of a beverage maker) and research (elimination of CSIRO cooperation on climate change). We demand that pandemic inspectors visit China without first notifying their government.
China in 2020 retaliated by blocking many of our exports. If we want to restrict trade with China, we must say so and request a formal end to the existing free trade agreement that covers not only goods but also services, investments, movements of people and corporations, intellectual property, electronic commerce, regulatory transparency, dispute. agreement and a code of conduct. When it was signed in 2014, both parties agreed that it amounted to a “comprehensive strategic partnership”.
However, China is the economic engine of the world and disengaging from its market, technology, manufacturing, capital and people would condemn us to lukewarm growth. Engaging with it in a respectful way (while supporting the human rights of all nations) should make it possible not only to coexist with China harmoniously, but also to interact with it productively.
In fact, that is what most countries do. Our closest neighbor, New Zealand, is a good example. Singapore also gets along with China. His The prime minister recently told ours: “You do not have to become like them, nor can you expect them to become like you”, and that with “difficult moments … treat them as problems in a partnership that you want to continue and not as problems, than joining an adversary who he is trying to repress ”.
China’s totalitarian governance model, although it has generated enormous economic benefits to date (by crushing opposition to the secularization of its society and modernization of its economy), is not sustainable in the long term. To escape the middle-income trap, China must become more innovative, which is difficult if contrary ideas and nonconformist thinking are stifled. Unless China’s standard of living continues to improve, its population will become restless.
Encouraging China to open up to the world through travel, trade, investment, research, and other forms of cooperation will expose its citizens to free thought and democratic practice. The more complex your economy and society become, the more difficult it will be to maintain central control over all aspects of your citizens’ lives. However, any movement to unfreeze their society must come from within, as China is too big, powerful, and proud to transform from the outside. In any event, previous regime change efforts (such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Cuba, and Nicaragua) failed miserably.
Percy Allan is a public policy economist and visiting professor at the Institute for Public Policy and Governance at the University of Technology, Sydney. In the early 2000s, he was a consultant to China’s Ministries of Finance and Personnel as part of AusAID’s capacity development program. Pearls and Wisdom, The John Menadue Policy Magazine published an earlier version of this article.
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