월드뷰 2화 – How the West got China wrong

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[VON교양]WORLDVIEW월드뷰 2화 – How the West got China wrong
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How the West got China wrong

The Economist Mar 1st 2018

It bet that China would head towards democracy and the market economy. The gamble has failed

LAST weekend China stepped from autocracy into dictatorship. That was when Xi Jinping, already the world’s most powerful man, let it be known that he will change China’s constitution so that he can rule as president for as long as he chooses—and conceivably for life. Not since Mao Zedong has a Chinese leader wielded so much power so openly. This is not just a big change for China, but also strong evidence that the West’s 25-year bet on China has failed.

Mr Xi has used his power to reassert the dominance of the Communist Party and of his own position within it. As part of a campaign against corruption, he has purged potential rivals. He has executed a sweeping reorganisation of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), partly to ensure its loyalty to the party, and to him personally. He has imprisoned free-thinking lawyers and stamped out criticism of the party and the government in the media and online. Though people’s personal lives remain relatively free, he is creating a surveillance state to monitor discontent and deviance.

China uses business to confront its enemies. It seeks to punish firms directly, as when Mercedes-Benz, a German carmaker, was recently obliged to issue a grovelling apology after unthinkingly quoting the Dalai Lama online. It also punishes them for the behaviour of their governments. When the Philippines contested China’s claim to Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, China suddenly stopped buying its bananas, supposedly for health reasons. As China’s economic clout grows, so could this sort of pressure.

Mr Trump needs to recast the range of China policy. China and the West will have to learn to live with their differences. Putting up with misbehaviour today in the hope that engagement will make China better tomorrow does not make sense. The longer the West grudgingly accommodates China’s abuses, the more dangerous it will be to challenge them later. In every sphere, therefore, policy needs to be harder edged, even as the West cleaves to the values it claims are universal. Rivalry between the reigning and rising superpowers need not lead to war. But Mr Xi’s thirst for power has raised the chance of devastating instability.

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Dictatorship surveillance

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Engagement rivalry

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