Monday, August 20, 2018

The Guardian view on China: unease at home and abroad

Editorial, The Guardian

There are real and important problems to address, but Donald Trump’s trade war will not solve them

image (not from article) from

The claim that the world, or at least the west, “got China wrong” is not quite right; more accurately, governments and businesses were often too hungry to do their due diligence, or to act upon the warnings they did receive. In any case, in the age of Mr Trump, climate change and a globalised economy, working with China is not a choice, but a necessity. This trade war is not a solution to the problems. What is needed is not more hostility, but more attention: a serious investment (not least linguistic) in truly understanding what China seeks and how it tries to achieve it. It means more nuance and sophistication, not less. It means recognising that it is normal for rising powers to seek to reshape rules, but determining what concrete problems this poses in light of its priorities and values – and how to address them. It means, for instance, closely examining Beijing’s systematic efforts to enlist the Chinese diaspora in its foreign influence work, without overreacting to public diplomacy [JB emphasis], or scapegoating or stereotyping communities. ...

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