I once read Martin Jacques' magnum opus, When China Rules the World. In the process I maintained my usual reading philosophy, measured optimism, an open-mind, with lots and lots of curiosity, but never forgetting the value of thinking critically. During the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen "Massacre," or June 4th Incident depending on one's perspective of what took place there, 100 days ago, I became infuriated with the West's media outlets, for their malicious stupidity, and ill-conceived reportage. Not surprising seeing how they let their more anti-Semitic, unrealistic, hypocritical, and for that matter, ignoramus colleagues, get the lion share of the reporting of the events unfolding in Gaza.
That China is not a nation-state, is one of my most profound discoveries reading Jacques' wonderful argument and analysis. It's a civilization-state. Its attempt to become a nation-state only commenced as a means to conform to the global order of the 20th century. Evidence of this reality is the wholehearted embrace of the "One China, Two Systems" regime by Beijing. Whereas in the West, the system is valued above unity, it's radically opposite in China. People forget that "Chinese" as a single language doesn't exist. Nor does Chinese, or for that matter any other race, doesn't exist. China's overwhelming majority, the Han (pseudo-racial social construction) comprise 91.5 % of its population, while there are 55 other ethnic minorities. Two major written scripts, Traditional (used in Hong Kong, Taiwan, etc.) and Simplified (used in PROC, Singapore, etc.). The point is the diversity of the Chinese continent is huge, that the nation-state formula can't simply work (it does for Taiwan though, built and run by "Nationalists").
People's failure to understand the value of the Communist Party of China and its achievements are fooling themselves into believing that the country can be saved by the universal values of the the West. As Mao himself indirectly hinted to Nixon (which most China watchers now know), the CPC isn't really communist. Its task is not to establish world socialism and lead it. Its raison d'être is to simply re-unite China (the civilization and its glories), and restore its proper place in the world. After the "Century of Humiliation" culminating in the invasion of the Japanese, it's only understandable that via the Dialectic Materialism, the road shall be paved undeterred.
"Classes struggle, some classes triumph, others are eliminated. Such is history; such is the history of civilization for thousands of years." -Mao
In Deng Xiaoping's own words in different occasions; "Reform is China's second revolution; To get rich is glorious; Let some people get rich first."
What this should serve is a reminder that far from truly believing world revolution, their explicit intentions has always been to seize the opportunities socialism provides during an earlier period of a country's development (at least that's how they see it), which hopefully, would culminate in the gradual-and continuous-granting of freedom as a reward for "GDP-ism" and only when the right time has arrived, not only when their economy becomes the largest again (the last time it was so was 1820, as was ever since, it was Britain's industrial revolution that changed the long held status quo), but more importantly, when China is no longer just a developing country with a massive population living as destitutely, when its per-capita income becomes just like those of Hong Kongers, or Macanese, and/or Taiwanese, then the CPC shall now metamorphosize into something that shall be the mainstay, that which will continue to be the guardians of the Chinese civilization, by this time, freedom shall already reign.
A common misconception among people outside Zhōngguó is that the CPC doesn't possess any legitimacy, actually, it does, as long as it delivers on its promises specially after the Cultural Revolution. No more political upheavals. In turn, we shall make you rich. That is the primary role of Beijing, of the Mandarins/Mandarin class/ as what it has been mandated since time immemorial. Another is that it is heavily centralized a la française, as the author proved via worthy models of highly devolved regions in China, that is not the case. Furthermore, the author prophesizes that this degree of decentralization will also be an influence to the outside world in the coming years as China becomes more powerful, it'll aid in the unravelling of the nation-states, and give rise to civilization-states. Hello Scotland! Hello Catalonia! Hello EU!
The Gang of Four left within the CPC a strong and formidable factional base (still strong during the '80s and up to now). Deng framed it this way, when he privately told Pierre Trudeau that if hadn't done what he had ordered, the country risked civil war.
"The basic line governs one hundred years and must not be shaken."
That's policy. The Chinese people with their mastery of party lingo understand what is meant by that. In the darkest hours of the Cultural Revolution, when newspapers were heavily ideological, fell victim to the factional wars occurring within the Party (then and now), Shanghai people (with all their sophistication) managed to decipher even the most cryptic language these papers were ordering the people to think, feel, act, what have you, and what they meant, adjustments were regulars (from one violent swing in the political spectrum to another).
When Zhou Enlai died, millions of Chinese mourned openly. Millions descended to the Monument to the People's Heroes at the Gates of Heavenly Peace. What does the bourgeois decadent apparatchiks in the West make of that "Incident?" The CPC is legitimate as long as poverty is rampant in China, and the level of development isn't satisfactory yet. The CPC will deliver on its promises. The question is, is the West delivering on the value-promises? How are freedoms in the West at the moment? People are locked in Russia, and the EU maintains its xenophobic stance on Russian emigre's, on the "migrants," the level of insularity is beyond anti-climactic, it's almost as if they want no one to live. The Chinese elite are moving towards gradually removing the walls it had built (and the catastrophic repercussions it brought with it), Where is the West going?
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