Video

Martin Jacques and Zhang Weiwei discuss why the great majority of Western commentary on China is misleading, ill-informed, simplistic and hopelessly biased. No real effort is made to understand China except in the most superficial terms. Western forecasts about China have proved hugely wide of the mark, be it concerning the economy or the stability and longevity of the Chinese government. Even when it is crystal-clear that China has performed brilliantly – most notably on the pandemic – the Western media has made little or no attempt to report the fact, preferring to smear and demonise. In the long run the West would be better served by honesty, sobriety and the truth. Because China’s rise is here to stay.

In this 30 minute interview, Martin Jacques discusses what America’s humiliating defeat in Afghanistan means for it and for the world. The last twenty years have been disastrous for the US, greatly reducing its standing in the world. There has been a chronic failure of political, economic and political leadership. And now there is no way back. Its influence is much diminished. What does all this mean for the so-called new Cold War?

There is virtually zero knowledge or understanding of the Chinese Communist Party in the West. It is seen as a clone of the Soviet Communist Party. In reality it is entirely different. It has been extraordinarily successful, not just transforming China but is also in the process of changing the world. Everyone needs to know about CPC and understand the reasons that lie behind its extraordinary success.

When will China replace the US as global leader? How do we assess the impact of China’s rise compared with that of previous hegemons? Why is the West so ignorant about China? What is the meaning of China as a civilization-state? How to understand the question of ethnicity in China? These are some of the issues discussed by Martin Jacques in this fascinating interview with Aaron Bastani from Novara. For the first time on video, Jacques discusses recent events in Xinjiang. And he argues that, contrary to the Western belief that China is incapable of change, history suggests the opposite, that more than any other culture, China has been extraordinarily adept at reinventing itself multiple times over the course of two millennia.
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2020 was an historic year. It was dominated, of course, by the pandemic. And the extraordinary disparity between the Chinese and Western responses. While China largely succeeded in eliminating the virus, the West failed miserably. It was the greatest test of governance since the Second World War and China passed with flying colours. As a result, China was the only major economy to grow in 2020, with all the other major economies contracting. The disparity between the Western and Chinese performances will shape not only 2021 but the rest of the decade. The prospects for the West look bleak: indebtedness, introversion, instability and riven with conflict. Special People’s Daily 2020 video.

Much of Europe is once more in virtual lockdown. In the United States, Covid-19 continues to spread unabated. The situation in the West is now as bad as at any time since it all began. With the honourable exception of New Zealand, the West has singularly failed to quell, let alone eliminate, the virus. Why has the West failed so miserably? Interview with Liu Xin.

The pandemic will wrought huge changes in the world, much greater than the 2008 financial crisis. The fact that China has handled the pandemic far more successfully and competently than the United States, and the West more generally, will have far-reaching consequences. Without a vaccine it is clear that Western societies will fail to eliminate covid-19. The 2008 Western financial crisis led to Trump. The pandemic will change the world in ways that we don’t yet understand and cannot predict. The 2020s threaten to be a period of great turmoil, volatility and unpredictability. One thing is for sure: the pandemic will accelerate China’s rise and the US’s decline. This was an online talk given to the Understanding China Conference in Guangzhou 20-22 November 2020.

It is impossible to understand China unless you understand Chinese Civilization. China is a product of it civilizational background. There are many Civilizations and they are crucial to understanding the world. How can we make sense of the Muslim world, or India, or Iran, or Russia, or Africa without understanding the Civilizations that inform and shape them. Yet the West is silent on Civilizations, even for the most part about its own. This provides a powerful clue to how the West sees the world and how it is struggling with the differences in its own midst. This was an online talk given to the Understanding China Conference in Guangzhou 20-22 November 2020.

There is no point in believing we can make sense of China by a skin-deep knowledge of present-day China. We will be little the wiser. Chinese civilization is over 4,000 years old: as a political entity it is over 2,000 years old, the longest continuously existing polity in the world. Chinese history and culture is fundamentally different from that of the West: it always has been and always will be. So best to dispense with our Western-tinted spectacles and open our minds to arguably the world’s most successful civilization. China has been the most advanced country not just once but at least four times; and we are on the verge of this becoming five. A country, a culture and a people with the most extraordinary history that is fast becoming the magnet of the future.