Opinion｜Would Western liberal democracy be WRONG for China?
By Angelo Giuliano
"One man's medicine could be another man's poison", China has found its system and it has delivered unprecedented results bringing prosperity to its people, China did learn all it could from the mistakes of the Western liberal democratic system and adapted it to its unique system that is only a continuation of an over 2000 year system of meritocracy "mix of selection and elections".
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the disintegration of the USSR, the world has been experiencing a big push for Western style democracies, lead mainly by the USA through NED "National Endowment for Democracy" which is a better marketing wording for "CIA". Through the use and appropriation of terms so "noble" and "lofty" such as "Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights", USA has been promoting government changes in order to better control the world for its hegemonic agenda.
Many places around the world have been experiencing the disastrous results that this imperialistic approach brought, the latest victims were Iraq, Libya, Syria, Venezuela and unfortunately lately in my home: Hong Kong City. USA and UK started their HK chaos plan already before the 1997 handover by slowly penetrating Hong Kong society, from education books, teachers' unions and also by investing into: media, opposition political parties, NGOs. They found the people were willing to be traitors, pawns or "useful idiots". It is a slow work of conquering the mind of people at the subconscious level. It is subtle, Western soft power techniques are powerful, Hollywood penetration of minds are gradual and very efficient if done from early age. It manages to conquer the emotional side of people's mind rather than their rational mind, people not much familiar with 實事求是 (Chines idiom, meaning looking for truth in the facts).
I was born in a country with a very efficient political system in the world, Switzerland. It has a very legitimate system with great support from its population. It is a direct democracy with referendum rights. I had this great model as a foundation before leaving for China 25 years ago.
Once in China, I had to unlearn and relearn a new model. It was a hard journey as I was looking at the Chinese reality with my Western eyes, with over 20 years of education and in some ways indoctrination: because we are taught in the West that it this is the ONLY right model the world should follow.
After 25 years in China I have realized that there is not a right universal model, that we need to use the beauty of plurality and respect each country choices and should never interfere in other countries affairs and political choices.
Why it would not make sense for China to head towards Western style democracy?
- It is important to learn Chinese history and see what it has gone through, especially the 200 years of humiliation, partial colonization. China had missed the industrial revolution and it is only now taking back its original position it has been holding most of human history.
- China is just way too big, with a population of 1.4 billion people, western style democracy would bring only chaos to China like it did in 1911 when it brought civil war between the KMT and the Communist Party. To put into perspective, China is about 100 average size European countries, The EU itself has not been able to introduce universal suffrage mainly because of the size challenge.
- Over the last 30 years, China political model has been able to deliver great results to its people by lifting out 700 million people out of poverty.
- The success of Western democracies is just an illusion. Unlike what Lincoln was promising its citizens, Most Western democracies have turned into government of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1% or better say of the money, by the money, for the money.
- While in the USA governments plan for the next elections to hold onto power, China is planning for the next generations.
- While in the West we see democracy as the least of the worst options, China has chosen to seek excellence by learning from the mistakes of the West and applying 2000 years of country management techniques based on meritocracy "mix selection and election".
- The West tends to make the wrong assumptions of China political model. And the wrong assumptions are rigidity, politically closed, and morally illegitimate.
Those are purely false and unfair allegations.
The current system in China is based on meritocracy, very adaptable, and very legitimate. The CCP functions is to act as a huge human resource agent, where the best graduated are selected in a pyramid like structure. It is a system of constant performance review, public opinions surveys that makes the best individuals move up the ladder of the government all the way up to the Politburo. It takes 20-30 years for people to move up to the highest level of CCP.
While in the West we are constantly in a vicious circle of "elect and regret", where elected people are there for a very short period of time and have to deliver not for the people but mainly for the special interest groups, the ones that actually financed their elections. It is no more about leaving a legacy but more about how to hold onto power and extract as much value as possible for themselves or for the elites they represent during the short tenure in power. I think the West should instead do self-reflection and stop trying to export its failed model, especially since it is drawing a huge discontent and is becoming less and less legitimate. In some countries like in the USA it is turning into a fascist-police-prison state. On the contrary, Western democracies should look into reforming and maybe try to learn from China and also be humbler and face its limitations and failures to deliver prosperity and sustainable environment and development.
We are facing a similar situation we faced before the first world War, where Germany was emerging as the new superpower and England was scared to lose its position. Germany had a great economy due to its hard-working population; it was expanding very fast and was about to challenge England hegemony. England was holding its leading position because of the profits and tributes it got from the vast British empire, a system that was not sustainable as it was based on domination and brutality.
The present situation is not much different, China is the new industrial powerhouse built on the sweat of a hard-working generation that is taking its revenge on 200 years of humiliation. The revolution started in 1978 with the bold move of Deng Xiaoping that decided about reforming and the opening up of China. China had used a non-aggressive path with a focus on the prosperity of its nation.
While on the other side USA has become the largest superpower by its domination in army, dollar hegemony, threats and bullying of enemies as well as partners. It owes trillions to China that it cannot repay. It is a fascist-police-prison state that holds 2.5 million people in its jails and keeps brutalizing its people.
The world is facing a huge challenge, it is a time where countries will start siding with either USA or China-Russia block. There are cultural affinities as well as geographical-historical that each country will have to consider. But ultimately, same as WW1 and WW2 countries will take a pragmatic approach to side with the potential winner and some might change sides along the way. China will not strike first but there is a risk that USA will do the first strike in a false flag operation or do something similar to Pearl Harbor. Do a blockade of Japanese trades to provoke a strike.
It seems only a much bigger chaos in USA would prevent the world from a long cold war or potential WW3, if it is so, I hope there will be a color revolution in the USA. For American people and for world peace.