Do I really admit to supporting the CPC?
Most of what we know in the west about China is wrong: we read articles, see, hear news reports, there are even books about how China is economically collapsing but they’ve been saying it for over 20 years and China, including Hong Kong has 135 companies listed in the Fortune 500; that’s more than any other country in the world including the USA which only has 122
Foreign investment has steadily grown and, globally, China is the number one recipient. This is because, despite what we hear, people who know the best places to put money, know that stability and good legislation will protect their investment.
We read that China is authoritarian or totalitarian but, if you’ve watched anything about China, you’ve seen people, including people like me, travelling freely and posting videos from all over the country including “sensitive” areas such as Tibet and Xinjiang.
Thousands, no: tens of thousands of videos are online showing life going on as normal. Travelling through those areas, as I often do and am even doing right now, Southwest China’s Chongqing, the “totalitarian police” never stop me, or anyone else to ask what pictures we’ve taken. They’ve never confiscated any photographs or videos, even from media organisations who deliberately goad police into forcing them to stop filming in public places where individuals have asked them not to film. If they had, you could be assured, you would have seen it in media.
The country has crime, like anywhere else but it’s reducing every year in every category except online fraud. The murder rate in China has seen a steady decline and is now around 0.5 per 100,000 people: compared to the USA where, according to some news reports, it’s at its highest rate in many years of 6 per 100,000 and in some places, such as Birmingham, Alabama, Baltimore in Maryland, just next to Washington DC where it’s over 50 per 100,000 and St Louis Missouri, where, in 2019 the number went up to 64.5 people killed per 100,000. Here’s what’s even more frightening, those numbers of 3 years ago, have risen.
Looking at education, students get 9 years of free education and, at 57.8%, more Chinese students enter tertiary education than almost every other country. That number grows every year from only 3.4% in 1990. China’s education modernization plan is aligned to support the modernization and future growth of the country and is so cheap the concept of student debt is virtually unknown.
Social security laws mean that working people receive medical insurance, unemployment insurance for the day the unthinkable happens and they may lose their jobs but unemployment is declining at 5.5% and the government has put in some emergency strategies to help recovery since the Covid pandemic.
Young employees pay into housing funds to help them purchase their first home and a pension fund which they can claim when they retire at 50 or 55 for women and 60 for men.
Let’s be honest, if China didn’t have good social security and employment protection laws, ethical companies in the west wouldn’t come and work here yet as of last year more than 1.06 million foreign companies were registered and operating in China, this was 23,000 more than the year before.
China isn’t a collapsing economy, it’s still growing; nor is it a slave labour force, or more than a million foreign registered companies wouldn’t work here and, if we read beyond western headlines, we find workers are well rewarded and well protected.
It’s not a totalitarian police state but it is well policed and as a result, it’s safe and people value that ability to walk anywhere at any time with a feeling of security and, contrary to what many people think most Chinese people have a very high regard and respect for their local police.
So, if it’s not all the things that the “experts and China watchers” say it is: what else have they and the international media got wrong?
Well, they get China’s governance wrong too. China is growing in health, education, economy, infrastructure and improved living conditions at a time when other countries are entering, or have already entered a recession.
Looking at other more developed countries, what can we see?
Bank Interest rates are going up and almost everyone has some debt;
Fuel costs are increasing so decisions will need to be made soon on whether to eat or keep warm
Poverty rates are rising, as more and more people fall into that position where they can no longer afford to have an apartment, good clothes and food, they need to choose which to miss out on.
Crime rates are increasing in almost every American city, violent crime and property theft are coming to point where they are out of control and the only solution seems to be give more money to the police
Public disorder has increased in recent years as there’s more dissatisfaction with police having more power, using more violence and even in one notable country, killing more civilians than ever before.
Life spans are declining as people in some developed countries are dying younger than they used to. This has been brought about by mismanagement of a pandemic but is also partially caused by some people who simply can’t afford to go to a hospital.
China on the other hand has none of these problems and the reason for that is good governance. Who provides that governance? The CPC. But what’s really important to remember is not what they do, but how they do it.
Every year, each leader in China reports on what they’ve achieved. They provide information on their plans for what they will achieve in the coming period to meet with the goals of the 5-year plan. When they look for promotions, they enter a process of selection and approval but only after getting endorsement from their peers, their supervisors and even their subordinates.
If they fail to meet their objectives or if they haven’t managed things well, they are removed, as has been seen in some notable incidences particularly around the management of the Covid pandemic.
Senior leaders are elected by Party organisations so, in order to become a leader in a Chinese community, you need a combination of experience, voting and managerial efficiency, these are the only ways to get ahead in Chinese governance.
China doesn’t really have politicians, it has bureaucrats, they are politically savvy as all politicians need to be but they must also be popular with their peers and the people they serve. And remember, they serve the people not their donors.
In America, it’s possible to be a popular TV personality or a mediocre lawyer and still go on to become a President. If you can make it to the Senate or Congress, there are no term limits, we’ve recently seen octogenarian politicians stirring up discontent around the globe. There’s no age limit so a 78 year old who ought to be retired can make it into the White House and potentially stay there until they’re 86.
The UK isn’t much better, they’ve recently lost an inefficient and bumbling prime minister who seemed to forget that truth and honesty were part of his responsibilities. He wasn’t elected by the people, his own party put him there, the same as they do in China. He doesn’t have term limits and neither do Australia, New Zealand, Canada or many other democracies, so why did it cause such a stir when China removed something from their statute that most countries in the world don’t believe in anyway?
What qualifications did the last prime minister of the UK have? He was a failed journalist. What qualifications did the last prime minister of Australia have? He was a failed marketing manager. Neither of these leaders were elected to the head of their parties by the people they represent, they were both put into that position by their parties and failed because they didn’t have the qualifications, the integrity or both, to do their job properly.
Now, people can say but at least we were able to vote them out. Maybe that’s true but how much damage can they do in the four years or five years before you get the opportunity to do that?
In China on the other hand, there may only be one party but those people who lead it got there through a proven track record of administrative success in lesser roles. Xi Jinping for example, holds a degree in chemical engineering and a Doctor in Law and started his government career as party secretary in a Shaanxi village, and has held leadership roles in several provinces as well as the city of Shanghai; which has a population larger than Australia and several European countries.
Li Kejiang holds a Bachelor of Law and a PhD in economics and has worked his entire life in administrative roles.
In fact, every member of China’s senior government can demonstrate a proven track record of management, efficiency and knowledge. They have all been elected to the position by others who are equally as well experienced in their own jobs.
Only through hard work, extensive study, a process of election and selection is it possible to reach the top in China’s governance.
So, do I support the CPC? Actually, I do, I’ve seen what they can do, I’ve seen how well they do it and, when I compare it to other countries I know about, I can see there’s no comparison. It’s quite obvious why the Chinese government has the support of almost 100% of the people they represent.
What isn’t so obvious is why so many people who are not Chinese would like to change that.