China must press ahead as West mired in chaos

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/15 23:28:39

The West is engulfed in a spate of chaos. On Wednesday, a gunman opened fire on members of the Republican congressional baseball team, injuring four people including Steve Scalise, the majority whip of the House of Representatives. Days ago, the attorneys general in Washington, DC and Maryland filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump, accusing him violating the Constitution. Europe is overshadowed by terrorism. A fire in London killed at least 17 people recently, exposing serious loopholes of management and emergency response.

Institutions in the West are still operating, but the quality is deteriorating. As consensus and cohesiveness are eroded in the West, many countries are ripped by political struggle and internal disputes. Overwhelmed by internal woes, the West's self-confidence has taken the hardest hit since the end of the Cold War.

The West is a key factor in the process of China's rise. China's reform and opening-up eyes at the West since the early days; it is also a leading source of technology and capital. But Western values and ideological infiltration have posed a significant political challenge for China. Along with China's growing strength, the US and Japan have jointly exerted more geopolitical pressure on China. Current chaos in the West may lead to some changes. First, there will be fewer possibilities that Western countries take China as their common foe. A diverse West-China relationship is shaped by growing bilateral trade, plus currently the West is besieged by contradictions. 

Ideological pressure from the West will also be lower for some time. Traditional human rights ideals are facing more controversies in the West, which is increasingly reflecting on the consequence of too much democracy and freedom. Moreover, internal struggles have diverted much attention previously given to China. The China threat theory doesn't hold water and the West is more worried about affairs such as boosting economics and anti-terrorism, a trend that will be more prominent in the future.

China also needs to re-evaluate the West, on which we need an accurate understanding. At the time when the West is struggling with various woes, China must take time to manage its own affairs well. China should be more confident, without overly caring about how the West views us. Development in China and West has proved that China's path is right. Fragmented criticism from Western public opinion won't change the reality.

It is an opportune time for China to build consensus within the country. Many of the wrong ideas in China's public opinion stem from worshipping the West. What's happening there will correct the public's understanding. However, as to how messy the West will become, we shouldn't overestimate the degree. It is hard to say either whether it means pressure on China will be alleviated. China needs to seize the initiative by developing the capability to cope with emergencies and unforeseen events. A rising power will have to experience ups and downs; China won't have the special luck. 

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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