President Biden’s Dialogue on Democracy seeks to set the agenda and put China on the defensive. The problem is that Western democracy is in serious trouble, as the Insurrection at Capitol Hill in January demonstrated. Western democracy faces two deep problems. First, it is in trouble at home and losing support. Second, China has been out-performing the West in governance terms for several decades.

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The Thinkers Forum is held once a year under the auspices of the China Institute at Fudan University in Shanghai. It is always fascinating, always seeking to address new questions. This talk explores why the American order cannot survive, why we are transitioning to a post-Western world, and why it is not only premature to talk of Pax Sinica but wrong because it will be so different from Pax Americana and Pax Britannica. Finally, it explores why China needs to rethink the way it presents itself and deals with the West. Too often its messaging falls on deaf ears.

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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.

How to understand the growing tensions between China and the US? How to characterise this new era which started in 2016 with the election of Trump? Is it really a New Cold War, as it is frequently described? How long will it last? How will it end? No, it is not a repeat of the Cold War 1.0; it is different. It will last a long time. It is already nearly five years old. The Cold War lasted 42 years. The cooperative era in US-China relations lasted 44 years. So it would be surprising if this new acrimonious era did not last at least two decades, perhaps much longer. How will it end: very differently to the way the Cold War ended.

In 2001, the United States believed that it could do anything, that it walked on water. It completely misread the world and its own power. It believed the world was unipolar when it was multi-polar. It thought that it had no rivals when already China was rising rapidly. In response to 9/11, it embarked on two catastrophic wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which resulted in a huge loss of life and humiliating American defeats. Together with the home-grown Western financial crisis in 2008, they hastened America’s decline. Read more >

We have entered a New Cold War. The US is attacking on China on many fronts. It cannot accept China’s rise. Like all hegemons, it cannot imagine a world in which it is no longer dominant. But in reality the US is in rapid relative decline. Its dominance has become an anachronism. The fact is that an international system led by China and the developing world will be much superior to one characterised by Western dominance, with the US and Europe accounting for less than 15% of the world’s population.

This article was the most read article in April 2020. The original copy was published on the 15th January, 2011. The embedded video is extracted from an interview with Fu Xiaotian on Talk with World Leaders (Phoenix TV) on the 18th June, 2020
China confronts Europe with an enormous problem: we do not understand it

China confronts Europe with an enormous problem: we do not understand it. Worse, we are not even conscious of the fact. We insist on seeing the world through our Western prism. No other tradition or history or culture can compare. Ours is superior to all and others, in deviating from ours, are diminished as a consequence. This speaks not of our wisdom but our ignorance, an expression not of our cosmopolitanism but our insularity and provincialism. It is a consequence of being in the ascendant for at least two centuries, if not rather longer. Eurocentrism – or perhaps we should say western-centrism – has become our universal yardstick against which, in varying degrees, all others fail. Read more >

International Forum of Building Open Global Economy 2019

Panel: Teaming up with worldwide policy coordination to realize more stable and higher global economic growth

Martin Jacques, Zhu Guangyao, Matthew P. Goodman, Wei Jianguo, moderated by Chi Fulin

25 June 2019: 10:40AM – Noon

InterContinental: Osaka, Japan