Sorry Westerners, Most of the Chinese People Love Their Government and Don’t Want Your Democracy
In barely thirty years, China has gone from being an emerging country to being the world’s second-largest power. And now, China is a country that Westerners are increasingly afraid of. On the one hand, we have Americans who are increasingly afraid of seeing China take the place of the United States as the world’s leading superpower by 2030.
On the other hand, we have Westerners who generally believe that the Chinese people cannot be happy because of the system that has governed China for decades.
Westerners fail to understand that the Chinese people do not hate their government
These Westerners are unable to see things the way the Chinese people see it. They, therefore, believe that only democracy will enable the Chinese to lead a truly satisfying life.
My story will therefore go against the grain of what a majority of Westerners imagine. For some, it will probably even come as a shock.
I will start by telling you that the vast majority of Chinese people support President Xi Jinping and the government appointed by the Chinese Communist Party. You will tell me that they have no other choice and that there are no polls to measure popularity in China.
This is true. Nevertheless, one would have to be blind not to realize that the Chinese, and even more so the younger ones, are totally satisfied with what the people who have been running China for several years are doing.
China’s incredible economic success benefits the Chinese People
The biggest reason that drives the Chinese to fully adhere to the country’s model of governance is the incredible economic success that the country has enjoyed over the past 40 years. In 1978, China began to open up to foreign trade and investment in its territory.
China also allowed individuals to establish private companies to do business.
This decision totally changed the destiny of a country that was in the back seat among emerging countries. Over the past forty years, China has posted a GDP growth of at least 10% per year almost every year.
This unprecedented economic development has been described as “the fastest sustained expansion by a major economy in history” by the World Bank.
With its system that Westerners equate with a dictatorship, China has managed to lift 850 million people out of poverty.
The Americans, who make economic success a priority, struggled to exceed 4% growth in their best years over this 40-year period. On average annualized growth, the United States is even around zero because of years of negative growth.
The most incredible thing is that this economic development has continued to progress phenomenally since the early 2000s. Thus, China’s GDP per capita has again doubled between 2010 and 2020.
Young Chinese have never experienced the effects of economic crises like Westerners of the same age.
While the Western world was hit hard by the economic crisis of 2008, the Chinese population hardly felt it pass. What is interesting is that the median age of the Chinese population is 37 years, just like that of the United States.
But unlike the 37-year-old Americans, the Chinese in this age group have never experienced anything but economic growth. While Westerners have already experienced several major economic crises in their lifetime, the young Chinese are accustomed only to prosperity and steadily improving prospects.
This necessarily helps to have confidence in your government no matter what happens. Of course, the Chinese have no right to question the decisions of the Communist Party. But even if they could, why would they do so if their economic situation keeps improving?
A majority of Chinese even believe that the decline of the United States, and the Western world in general, is due to their democratic systems.
Chinese see democracy as a risk to their economic success
So they don’t want to switch to this type of system for anything in the world. They have never known anything other than the current system, which appears to be binding for Westerners, but which is theirs. This system allows them to prosper, and that is worth the restrictions on individual freedom that are imposed on them.
At least that is what a majority of Chinese people think.
If economic success were not the same, the situation would be quite different. But as long as China succeeds in shining at this point, they have no reason to question Xi Jinping’s leadership.
The Chinese Communist Party is doing an excellent job on the issues that matter most to them.
China’s political stability allows the government to be in the long term
The political stability that the Chinese system brings makes it possible to have long-term projects. Xi Jinping’s vast projects currently require time:
- The Belt and Road Initiative is a vast project of maritime and land trade routes. This project aims to put China at the center of the world in terms of trade. Nearly 70 countries and international organizations are engaged in the Chinese project.
- The “Made in China 2025” project aims to make China independent from the United States in many strategic sectors. The current American sanctions that impact companies like Huawei are there to remind China of the absolute necessity of this project.
- The e-RMB project aims to break the monopoly of the U.S. dollar by shifting the battle to a new playing field, that of state-backed digital currencies, for which China will be able to benefit from the first-mover advantage.
- Massive military investments to make China catch up with the United States, and even Russia, in this field. Although U.S. investment in this area is still much higher than China’s, Chinese efforts in this area are impressive.
- An ambitious space program that aims to make China a leading space power. The conquest of Mars is part of China’s ambition to show the rest of the world its technological power. The successful launch of the Chinese probe Tianwen-1 in July 2020 is there to testify to this.
All these projects should enable China to become the world’s leading superpower by 2030. As a citizen, this will necessarily lead you into a positive dynamic and exacerbate the pride you have in being Chinese.
China’s success reflects on the whole population, and that is what protects the Chinese Communist Party.
Chinese people adhere to the idea defended by Xi Jinping that China needs a strong army
The Chinese citizens consider the unprecedented military efforts decided by Xi Jinping as necessary. The fear of attacks by foreign powers and the potential chaos this could cause is very real. The history of China, which is taught to the youngest children, gives rise to this feeling.
Seeing China becoming a superpower that can resist the aggressions of a country as powerful as the United States is key. All Chinese people are recruited by the ruling power to exacerbate this feeling. Under these conditions, Chinese citizens can only embrace this necessity to protect the country’s economic success.
The cultural factor is all too often neglected by Westerners at a time when they think that the Chinese must absolutely have access to a democratic system such as the one they cherish.
The Chinese have never experienced such a democracy, and in fact, they feel no vital need for it.
Coronavirus pandemic excellent handling underscores China’s superiority in the eyes of the Chinese people
The Coronavirus pandemic that triggered an unprecedented global economic crisis in 2020 was handled better by China than by most other major global economic powers.
While the recession is still present around the world, China has already returned to growth in the third quarter of 2020. The Chinese have had to face probably greater restrictions from their government to stem this pandemic, but in the end, they will remember that it worked.
On the other hand, Chinese people see that Western countries are still in the middle of a second wave and are struggling to emerge from the economic slump into which the pandemic has plunged them.
The Chinese social credit system, which is the emergence of a mass surveillance society in China, is seen as a danger in the West. I myself am appalled by this perspective. I am, for example, a strong advocate of Bitcoin because I consider my privacy in terms of money to be essential. I want to be able to protect my money from any risk of censorship.
For the Chinese, on the other hand, this system is seen as something normal. A necessary evil to protect the Chinese economic miracle from the vicissitudes of the Western world.
At the risk of disappointing the Westerners who will read this story, you must completely rethink your way of thinking about China and the Chinese people. Stop looking at their society with your worldview, and put yourself in their shoes for a moment.
Then you will understand why they massively support Xi Jinping and their government. As often in life, it is all a matter of point of view. It’s up to you to make the effort to put yourself in the place of the Chinese if you really want to understand why their life is not as terrible as you might initially imagine.