What might we come to expect from China's new government? Apparently they have already selected the next appointee - Xi Jinping, China’s current vice president. This leaves us wondering what type of China can we expect.
In this post I want to use some NY Times media article as the basis for my moral criticism of this new appointee. We might also ask why is the media so reluctant to engage in moral judgement...or is the problem that media journalists are just bad at it. I want to comment on some excerpts I have taken from this article:
“Nor was Mr. Xi untainted by corruption scandals. One party investigation into bribe-taking in Ningde and Fuzhou, publicized years after he left Fujian, toppled two former city leaders whom Mr. Xi had promoted”.
We therefore know that there is a strong correlation between this new appointee and corruption. Critics might argue that China has always had a great deal of corruption. The issue remains though that such a 'strong candidate' might be a particularly risky candidate from this perspective. Might it also pose a problem in terms of aiding his capacity to centralising power. We might also expect his style to herald a different approach. I would not be surprised to see a tempering of the political power (welcomed by the West), but also an escalation in the financial expropriation of corrupt government.
“Since joining the inner sanctum in Beijing, Mr. Xi has reinforced his longstanding posture as a team player. As president of the Central Party School, Mr. Xi recently made a priority of teaching political morality based on Marxist-Leninist and Maoist ideals, a resurgent trend in the bureaucracy”.
This quote suggests that there is still some sympathy for collectivism...so he is no advocate of capitalism. He has not simply preserved the status quo; he has reinforced the collectivist creed, regardless of whether its communism or fascism, its collectivism at heart. This highlights that China is veering in the wrong direction.
“He once told the American ambassador to China over dinner that he enjoyed Hollywood films about World War II because of the American sense of good and evil, according to diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks. He took a swipe at Zhang Yimou, the renowned Chinese director, saying some Chinese filmmakers neglect values they should promote”.
This is interesting because it invalidates his pragmatism, so he has a manipulative nature. He also expresses a strong coercive desire for power over people's values. This would of course be tempered by his pragmatism, however that is just a question of strategy. The implication is that the Chinese executive is supportive of a leader who is going to centralise power in coming years. He is also recognised as a very charismatic style of leader. Take note that his wife is a popular folk singer in China. So he is the style of leader who, unlike Putin, does not need to be taught charm, he has been faking it for years already.
This particular NY Times journalist suggests:
“His [Xi's] views of the West remain difficult to define”.
I don't think so. His style and values expressed by these comments suggest that he is a very dangerous and undesirable style of collectivist who is destined to centralise and affirm collectivist power in the Chinese executive. He displays signs of nationalism with racist overtones. There is not much evidence, but it is all consistently EVIL! Compare him to the former Japanese Prime Minister, Juniichi Koizumi, who also liked Hollywood movies. He I think liked the romance and charm of Hollywood movies, but this 'pragmatist' likes the schemes of 'good and evil'. He is a very dangerous man...and he chooses collectivism..That's evil. Anyway, he is probably going to bring civil war to China....but in all probability not for 2 decades yet...watch for a financial crisis ib China. It is some time off yet. The greatest fear though is that he will escalate nationalism and thus racial prejudice. Watch for those schemes. More importantly, the United States could actually play into his hands if it starts attacking China's policy over exchange rate regimes (i.e. calling for its deregulation) or if it engages in a trade war. This would of course allow the Chinese leader to deflect hostilities outwards. It is better to sell benefits behind the scenes.
If the United States escalated tensions with moral condemnation, where would China go? Probably nowhere. In fact, I think China would be worried about offending too many countries. Most particularly it will allow the leader to consolidate power and to simply be more corrupt than it already is. It will be power for the sake of money. I tend to think militarism is just a symbolic gesture these days. The nuclear age has pretty well placed major wars behind us.
The next question is whether he is an ardent nationalist. He made his remark:
“Some foreigners with full bellies and nothing better to do engage in finger-pointing at us”.
This comment is not a compelling indicator of his nationalist values because it is in response to criticism. Certainly he is a collectivist, so we would expect a high level of national pride. It is a popular myth in China I would suggest that Westerners are indulgent, glutenous and decadent. Oh, who am I kidding...its all true for a great many of us...as the Chinese will be when they make a great deal of money.
He then makes the statement:
“First, China does not export revolution; second, it does not export famine and poverty; and third, it does not mess around with you. So what else is there to say?”
We must however remember that he has a pragmatic, collectivist "ideology", so what is true today need not be true tomorrow. That is what defines a pragmatist - 'flexibility of ideals' - not a lack of ideals, which you might consider an 'indulgence' in itself.. hehe. Well, Chinese philosophy was never very good. Just a lot of coercive, pragmatic, Buddhist/Taoist crap. Give it time, Western 'scientific' reasoning will take hold. Hopefully it will be a better version that the crap accepted as scientific reasoning today in the West, with its emphasis on empiricism.
Can we take some comfort in the acknowledgement by Hu that China could improve its human rights record". This statement from NZ Herald:
"Hu delighted Obama with an admission that China's human rights need improvement".
This is as good as empty rhetoric because few Chinese people are going to hear it; anyone on the home turf is going to be oppressed if they act upon it, and ultimately they only need to maintain a gradual trend towards rights to attain some legitimacy from the West. More problematic is that the West does not have a good track record. Everyone celebrates human rights in the West, but what good are political rights if you have no economic rights. i.e. The tax office can seize money from your bank account....for the same reasons China does, i.e. for the 'common good'...for the same reasons that Hitler did.
In conclusion, I would suggest that the West should not push policy on China, however it should continue to maximise the integration of Western and Eastern values. Ultimately if Chinese power is going to be tempered, it is going to be by internal dissent. I would also suggest that the greatest influence upon China is going to be Western values on the future Chinese leadership. It is indeed a positive step then that the future leader's children are studying at Harvard. So long as the West continues to occupy a 'vacuous space of moral scepticism', we weaken the prospect of China choosing the 'right path', that being an objective path consonant with human nature, i.e. The facts of reality. i.e. Based on a correspondence and coherence test of truth. More concerning to me is that we are becoming more collectivist (i.e. moving towards China) by allowing the trumping of common law by arbitrary statutory law.------------------------------------
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