It seems that more and more America speaks with one anti-China voice which becomes more threatening and belligerent by the day. In March, finally, there was a chink of light. A statement by the Editorial Board of the New York Times called for a strategy of engagement rather than confrontation with China, arguing that confrontation was in neither America’s interests nor China’s. Whether it will have much influence remains to be seen, but hopefully it will encourage other voices to speak out too.

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The West has always regarded modernity as singular. There is only one form of modernity and that is Western. Every country will eventually follow the Western path. Of course, this is a nonsense. Modernity is shaped by history and culture as well as economics and technology. There is not one modernity but many. The first example of non-Western modernity was Japan. China, having made enormous technological progress, is now thinking of the ways in which its modernisation will be distinctive and Chinese. Of course, Chinese modernisation will continue to share many features with Western and other modernities, but as a civilization-state, a huge country, and with an extraordinary history, Chinese modernity will also be strikingly different.

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China has been making serious progress in its diplomatic influence since the beginning of the year. The most dramatic example is its pivotal role in the rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia which took the whole world by surprise. It was an extraordinary demonstration of China’s power and diplomatic potential in seemingly almost any area of the world. Increasing attention is now being paid to how China might play a central role in bringing the Ukraine war to an end.

With unexpected speed, China has abandoned its zero-Covid policy. The West predicted a crackdown on the anti-Covid demonstrators. There has been no sign of it. China is once more open for business. It is seeking to restore its economic growth. This will help to galvanise the global economy. We are beginning to emerge into the post-Covid world.

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On May 26th, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken introduced the Biden administration’s long-awaited strategy to compete with China’s rise as a global power. He suggested that China poses the most serious long-term challenge to the international order. He argued that the Chinese Communist Party is becoming more repressive at home, and more aggressive abroad. Are the criticisms by the US justified?

Presenter: Mohammed Jamjoo

Guests: Martin Jacques – Author, When China Rules the World; Michael D Swaine – Director, East Asia Programme, Quincy Institute; Henry Huiyao Wang – Founder, Center for China and Globalization

If the central priority in Hong Kong in 2020 was to restore order and stability, the main task now confronting the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government is winning the support of the Hong Kong people. This is not an easy task. Ever since the handover, there has been grudging, but never enthusiastic, support for the government. I was present at the handover of both Hong Kong in 1997 and Macau in 1999 and the contrast was telling. While there was little evidence of popular support on the streets in Hong Kong, in Macau many thousands turned out to greet the arrival of the PLA. By 2014 there was growing dissatisfaction about the state of affairs in Hong Kong that culminated in the riots in 2019 and was exacerbated by Western interference. That year was to mark the end of One Country Two Systems Mark 1. It was no longer sustainable.

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Photo: GT

The overwhelming assumption in the West is that the world, with a few exceptions, is strongly opposed to Russia’s military actions in Ukraine. The West itself, including the great majority of Europe, seems to be of one voice in its condemnation. But worldwide the picture is rather more complicated. In the UN General Assembly on March 3, while 141 countries condemned Russia’s invasion and called for an immediate withdrawal, 35 countries abstained and five voted against. In the recent vote to exclude Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, 93 countries voted in favour, 58 abstained and 24 were against. Read more >