Gordon Chang’s ostrich-like perception of China a tragedy for US
Published: Jul 11, 2021 09:09 PM
China-US Illustration: Tang Tengfei/GT

China-US Illustration: Tang Tengfei/GT

Gordon Chang, a so-called China hand who is infamous for his "collapse of China" theory, has recently made his latest "prediction." He published on Thursday an article entitled "China will be the next empire to enter the Afghan 'graveyard'" on The Hill, and then he analyzed in an interview with Fox News why China would "get mired into Afghanistan."

However, his conclusions are based on the premise that "as the US has failed in something, China cannot successfully do it either." Clearly, Chang is one of those people who do not want to see China doing good. He told Fox News, "I would love to see China get mired into Afghanistan. This is going to be fun to watch." 

This reflects the fundamental lack of a rational, balanced and objective view of China in the US' policymaking community, and instead they have a deep, obtuse belief in the US superiority. Such a belief has led to their misjudgment of China. 

Due to their deep desire to see China's failure, their perception of China is stuck in China-bashing platitudes, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Chang has long been a laughingstock. His frequent turned-out-to-be-wrong judgments have triggered a backlash from objective forces in American society. His latest "prediction" was mocked and ridiculed by netizens. A netizen even suggested  "Gordon, you should stop using the word 'predict.'"

Although Chang's so-called predictions have been repeatedly proven wrong, he can still get the chance to rant in the mainstream media, showing that his judgment still has a large audience in the US, catering to the vain and arrogant psychology of some Americans, especially the elites. 

The 20 years of the US war in Afghanistan - its longest - is an epitome of US decline, which American elites will never admit. The US has many problems, but Chang is reluctant to talk about them. China has done well in many areas, but Chang will not say a word about that, Li said.

 "They believe in the superiority of American power and influence. This has always been the way the US sees the world. It also means that people like Gordon Chang have a hard time getting it right when they view China with an inherent paranoia," Li noted.

However, as the Economist put it on Saturday, "America's war in Afghanistan is ending in crushing defeat." The British magazine reads, "Now America is calling an end to the whole sorry adventure, with almost nothing to show for it… now the withdrawal has finally arrived, it has lost its power to shock. To the extent that outsiders see it as a sign of American weakness, that weakness has been evident for a long time."

Just as the US is pulling out of Afghanistan in disgrace, Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen told media that China is a "welcome friend" of Afghanistan, saying that the group welcomes Chinese investments in Afghan reconstruction and would guarantee the safety of investors and workers.

The US has fought in Afghanistan for 20 years, spent more than $2 trillion on the war, and lost thousands of its own soldiers. However, the Taliban sees it as an enemy while Kabul views it as a self-serving runaway. In comparison, China's path has made it a friend of both Kabul and the Taliban.

This reflects a wide endorsement of China's responsible diplomacy and the disgust with the selfish moves the US takes to meet its own interests. This bare fact has humiliated Chang as well as many of the US policy elites and made them feel the pain. But they refused to acknowledge this reality and stubbornly stuck to their ostrich-like perception of China.
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