Dogma, bias twist West’s view on Chinese economy

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-2-3 0:28:09

What's the nature of China's economic downturn? Is it a big power's normal shift and a controllable change of the adjustment of the economic structure, or an alarm bell for an economic crash? This is the focus of the current debates about the Chinese economy.

Western mainstream opinion tends to believe the second analysis, while Chinese authorities support the first.

Compared with previous setbacks that the country faced during its initial reform stage, the pressure from the current downturn is much less. The Chinese market is prosperous, consumption remains active and employment has not slumped. The country's innovation capability is strengthening. Everything seems fine.

But China's economy and its opinion sphere have integrated with those of the world. How we see ourselves largely depends on the views of the outside world, especially the West. For instance, is a GDP growth rate of 6.9 percent good or bad? It seems that Western opinions matter a lot.

The Chinese people care about how Westerners see China. But the problem is that when commenting on the Chinese economy, the West often sticks to dogmatism by adopting its own standards. The paranoia over values may lead some to denigrate the Chinese economy.

The West has provided some interesting angles to see our economy, despite some commentators' tendency to hope for a Chinese economic crash. We need confidence to read through all the opinions. Sometimes we do lack confidence, which makes it vital to find the shortcomings of the Western arguments.

A recent Washington Post commentary said China's downturn is threatening to stall the progress of Africa's poverty reduction.

The author argues that China's import of raw materials from Africa boosted the continent's development, and that "during the span of 10 years, its investment in the continent grew more than 26-fold," which "helped drive the narrative of an Africa emerging into prosperity after a 1990s marked by famine and genocide."

It is rare to see such "praise" from the Washington Post. The West has always criticized China for its "neocolonialism." Now in order to prove that China's economic downturn has dragged down the whole world, it has to list China's contribution to Africa in the past 10 years.

It is worth noting that there is speculation in the Western comments. Western mainstream opinion has predicted China's economic doom several times, which proved to be unfounded. Meanwhile, it often has a subjective tone. Chinese State media and official documents all talk about the difficulties of the Chinese economy. But when the economy soared in the past few decades, we could sense little optimism from Western media.

What is most important for China is that the passion and vitality of the whole of society should be mobilized. When sometimes our confidence is squeezed by Western opinion, we need a strong mind.

Posted in: Editorial

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