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The seduction of the West by China

By Chin Jin - posted Wednesday, 23 February 2011


Since the landmark event in Tiananmen Square, China has experienced dazzling changes . However, the way those changes are perceived vary amongst those observing the changes.

The world may admire the economic progress of China - and I am happy to acknowledge the economic success of China. But I feel that we must pay close attention to the four pillars which will have to underpin the development of China:

  • a well developed political system, and
  • a robust and healthy internal and external economy, and
  • an embedded social morality, and
  • environmental sustainability.
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The Western world has been focused on China’s economic development over the last three decades and has been blind to the other three pillars. While the Chinese government has skillfully taken advantage of the country’s massive purchasing power, the dark side of the new China has been very effectively concealed by that government. Well-informed activist concerns are being ignored by the West.

The social morality problem

The burgeoning Chinese economy gave birth to a large number of corrupt officials and billionaires - almost overnight. Their success was the result of an unscrupulous collaboration of power and interests. As many ordinary people who were in a position to grab at a little of the action, did so, there has been a general deterioration of social morality

The case of poisonous milk powder is only a tip of the iceberg of this moral crisis. Many kinds of food are toxic. Farmers don't dare to eat their own produce planted on contaminated soil. There is nothing in the system to prevent contaminated food from reaching the tables of families.

The Chinese official media the International Herald Leader, a newspaper that is affiliated to the Xinhua News Agency, reported about three weeks ago that suspicion and vigilance have become part of the Chinese people's way of life.

The people used to have faith in everything - the leaders, the revolution, the inevitable demise of capitalism and the glorious future of communism. Now they seem to put their trust in nothing. They don't believe what the local government says, what the media broadcasts - even the words of someone they know quite well. This mistrust is like a cancer threatening to crumble the very structure of society.

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The environmental problem

It appears that of the top 10 most polluting power stations in the world, four are in China. The arable land of China is being polluted on a large scale. “Cancer villages” and “AIDS villages” are growing in number.

Overgrazing and deforestation for agricultural or mining have intensified the desertification of the pastureland. The areas affected by these disasters have expanded from northern China to eastern and northeastern China. Even Japan and Korea are affected by the sandstorms.

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Article edited by Brian Holden.
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About the Author

Chin Jin is an M.A. graduate of the University of Western Sydney and Chair of the Federation For A Democratic China, Australia.

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