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Friday, October 17, 2008

The resurgence of anti-Western sentiment in China, thank you Wall Street!

Old sentiment being bloated into a disproportional size, especially after the recent rock n' roll of Wall Street and the global finance sector. Well, what can you do? Being patriotic is one thing, but being brainwashed by the corrupted doctrine is another. Wake up, China!

A lot of the Mainlander I are all quite anti-West. But for their purpose of getting a Westernized education, understand some Western ideologies before heading straight back home to patronize their country, that ain't so bad. Especially, when most of them are already either middle or upper class citizens in China, turning a blind eye on the impoverished and injustice may serve them well when job-security hinges on no whistle blowing. Even I would say "why not?" But then again that is capitalism at its finest. ;)
Meltdown boosts anti-Western forces in China

GEOFFREY YORK

From Friday's Globe and Mail

October 16, 2008 at 8:43 PM EDT

BEIJING — For the hardliners in China's Communist Party, the global financial crisis has been a golden opportunity to gloat about China's rising power.

“China should no longer be sympathetic and kind toward the United States at this rare moment,” said a commentary this week in Ta Kung Pao, a newspaper in Hong Kong with close links to the Communist Party.

“It should seize the opportunity to teach the United States a lesson,” the newspaper declared. “At the very least, the United States should be made to suffer a little bit more, so that it will learn to be more modest and prudent in the future and treat other countries as equals.”

Since the United States could need financial help from China to get out of its crisis, China should use the chance to extract American concessions on key political issues such as Taiwan and Tibet, the newspaper added.

Although the newspaper is financed by Beijing, the commentary probably does not reflect the mainstream views of China's Communist leaders. But it suggests how the financial crisis is boosting the confidence and influence of anti-Western forces in China, including the old-guard factions that are resisting free-market reforms.

While the Chinese leaders have been muted in their public response to the financial meltdown in the United States, a behind-the-scenes struggle can be glimpsed in the Chinese media. Pro-market liberals are urging Beijing to push ahead with more economic reforms, despite the crisis. Others are exploiting the crisis to proclaim the supremacy of the Chinese system, with its heavy state controls.

The debate comes at a critical time for the country. As it prepares to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its first steps toward free-market capitalism, China still has an unfinished agenda of incomplete reforms. Rural land is still not privately owned. Energy prices are set by the government. The nation's currency is not freely traded. Key sectors such as banking are still dominated by state-controlled companies.

The financial crisis is prompting China to rethink its future. Many liberals are worried that China will use the crisis as an excuse to ditch the reform agenda. They fret that the anti-reform forces could cite the U.S. bailout plan as proof of the need for state dominance in the economy.

“If we take emergency action as normal practice – and second-guess our belief in the free market for China – we might delay China's own market reform,” Hu Shuli, founding editor of Caijing, an influential Chinese financial magazine, said in an editorial this week.

“The current crisis is yet another test. Can we continue the reform? Can we draw a clear line between market and government? The answer will determine China's future.”

A similar note was struck by Ha Jiming, chief economist of China International Capital Corp. “China's future hinges on reforms,” he wrote this month. “Given the latest developments in the global economy, China's reforms have come to a new starting point ...”

But many other Chinese commentators said the financial crisis was evidence that China should not “blindly embrace” liberalism. “Many of the problems of the free-market system have been fully exposed,” said a commentary in Xinhua, the state news agency. “China should take a lesson from the American crisis and be cautious.”

On Chinese websites, some people are citing the crisis as the symbolic moment of China's ascendancy to superpower status, just as the Second World War marked the ascendancy of the United States. “The economic crisis this time is a redistribution of the economic powers of the world,” one person wrote on a website. “China has to be prepared for … a new order.”

The Chinese media gave prominent coverage to a conference in Beijing this week where speakers attacked the United States and globalization in the wake of the financial crisis. One conference organizer said China should “play a leading role” in a “new financial structure” to replace the existing global system. Another participant called for a “multipolarized world,” – code for a system without U.S. dominance.

Willy Lam, a political analyst and professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the financial crisis will encourage the Chinese government to maintain the status quo – rather than pursue reforms – over the next two years.

“The Chinese leadership is putting its emphasis on stability and growth, not reform,” Mr. Lam said in an interview.

“The leadership is reasonably satisfied with the situation. It seems to have proven that the Chinese model is correct. It feels confident that the cautious policy is the right policy.”

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