Conrad Black: As China looks outward, the West looks inward


Left: People protest against a statue of Winston Churchill in London on June 21, 2020. Right: A statue of Mao Zedong is seen in Wuhan, China, on April 4, 2020. PHOTO BY HENRY NICHOLLS/ALY SONG/REUTERS

Canada, like other Western countries, is facing the challenge of responding effectively to the still-rising wave of self-loathing that is engulfing and distracting the whole Western world, as historically pre-eminent classes are made out to be oppressors and asked to atone for the alleged sins of their forefathers. This painful process is occurring simultaneously with China’s corresponding push for global dominance. Through the Cold War, which may be said to have extended from 1948 to 1990, the competition between Western and Eastern bloc countries for the goodwill of the proliferating numbers of emancipated former colonial territories and the tension of the superpower competition between the United States and the U. Though the Han Chinese tend to feelings of superiority and managed to do so even when China itself was enfeebled and victimized, the overt Chinese program asserts no racial motive as Nazi Germany did, nor any ambition to sweep the world with an ideology as the Soviet Union did. In pursuit of its goals, China has ignored the requirements of the World Trade Organization, its admission to which was represented by Western leaders as the surest passport to China’s responsible conduct in the world and even its development of democratic institutions.

China has deliberately manipulated its currency, cheated on trade deals and conducted industrial espionage on an unprecedented scale, the pillaging of Canada’s Nortel Networks being only one of the more egregious examples. president Donald Trump’s accomplishments that he aroused his country to this challenge and received considerable bipartisan support, and managed it while professing respect for China and for its leader, Xi Jinping. This was a considerable achievement in the circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, which, however it originated, the Chinese suppressed as only a dictatorship can internally, while doing nothing to prevent its spread to the outside world and exploiting its subornation of the World Health Organization to dissemble outrageously about the dangers of the coronavirus. Though the Chinese government could not have anticipated how it would play out, it lied its way into a thunderous strategic triumph as the Western world shut down in response to what could unkindly be construed as China’s unleashing of biological warfare, though likely not intentionally.

The rise of China has been accompanied by this period of hostile introspection in the West of a kind that can only occur in the absence of a serious foreign threat. The consequences of the leadership of the world passing to a non-Western country with a radically different cultural tradition is troubling, and China should not be underestimated. We can certainly meet this challenge, which should be refreshing, since we have so conspicuously failed to respond to those among us who defame Western civilization. When a young Abraham Lincoln said that America «will either flourish as a democracy or perish by suicide,» he may, as he often did, have spoken for the Western world generally.

Source: Conrad Black | NP

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