There are two myths that people like Gordon Chang, an American born, ethnically Chinese TV critic, pundit and author like to promote, one is that the Communist Party of China is just about to collapse, Chang first forecast in 2001 that this would happen in 2011, then in 2011 he suggested it would happen in 2012, when that didn’t happen he changed his forecast to 2016. He still promotes the theories on Fox News, YouTube and actively on Twitter. The other myth is that Chinese people live under a yolk of poverty and authoritarianism, they are desperately unhappy and in need of rescue.
When the US State Department takes advice from “so-called experts” such as Chang, they either: willingly choose to believe, or negligently choose not to corroborate these “facts” with accurate information. And, certainly in their own minds, is it gives them justification to make claims, such as on 7th October 2020 that: The people of China need a better life. How the Department of State will seek a better life for the people of China remains to be seen. But their past record of “liberating” people through regime change doesn’t seem very appetizing at all.
Headlines in recent years show the USA calling for freedom of people in Afghanistan from the Taliban, people in Libya from Ghaddafi, people of Iraq from Saddam Hussein, all of which experienced a US led invasion followed by long-term domestic chaos. Currently the people of Iran, Venezuela and other less well-known countries such as Mali in Central Africa, all seem to need rescuing. All are undergoing US sanctions or military incursions affecting the very people they purport to help.
In July of 2020, the United States’ own Harvard University, in “The Harvard Gazette” published a report called “Taking China’s Pulse”. This report related to the longest ever academic survey of the Chinese population, taking 13 years to complete and with some astounding results. The survey included residents of the urbanised, industrialised regions where the jobs and the wealth are, and rural residents. Up to 3,000 surveys a year over the 13 years were carried out. What was astounding to citizens in the USA, but not to anyone who lives in, or travels regularly to China, is that the Chinese people have a growing level of satisfaction of 95.5% with their government. A number US politicians can only dream about and would celebrate if they ever achieve it — to this date, none have.
Donald Trump’s presidency is all but over and, despite his protestations, he’s never been the popular leader he claims. His highest rating being 49% and lowest being 35%. The father and son Bush Presidents reached almost 90% during their Iraq invasions. Demonstrating a very worrying theory that popularity of leaders is connected to war.
A desire to increase popularity by creating enemies might have something to do with the reason the Secretary of State and his entire department seem to willingly accept erroneous news about China’s population and its coming demise but facts demonstrate that there is a verifiable disconnect between Chang’s theories, State Department rhetoric and the reality inside China.
A visit to any of the major cities on China’s East Coast would put an intelligent observer’s mind at ease. Those cities are beacons of light and advanced technology. Electric buses and taxis operate on smooth, well maintained and often very new roads. Shopping centres are stocked with luxury goods and Western Chains such as McDonald’s, Starbucks, KFC and others abound. These chains don’t invest into regions where poverty and collapse are imminent, they do proper research before making investments. Western style restaurants as well as Chinese chains are brimming with diners every lunch and dinner time. Shoppers are well-dressed, well-heeled, well-fed and often well-laden with the items they’ve happily purchased. Scenes like this can be seen on any YouTube vlog. Far too many of them to be anything other than genuine.
According to the Credit Suisse 2020 wealth report, there are now almost 4.5 million millionaires and, according to Forbes, 399 billionaires in China. A small proportion of the 1.4 billion people who live in China but, for the first time, more than the number of millionaires in the USA.
Pre-Covid19, the number of Chinese students leaving China to study overseas reached a high of 662,100. They go to universities all around the world, the number leaving China, is actually higher than the total number of British students who enter university. None of them incur student debt, they pay as they go and can obviously afford it.
Looking at the number of tourists leaving China. 144 million in 2018 and increasing to over 160 million in 2019. Obviously, this number will be drastically reduced in 2020 due to Covid19 but here’s what else is amazing. Every one of those 160+ million people who left China for a holiday returned and almost all the 662,100 who leave to study return. Many of them remain overseas to work but still consider China their home. These indicators don’t show a system of persecution, repression or authoritarianism. If those things existed, they wouldn’t be allowed out and, if they were allowed out, they certainly wouldn’t all go home.
When the US government promotes themselves as having “peace, prosperity and freedom like none other”. As they did in this tweet on 15th October 2020, they might need to look a little closer in order to see that, although China has different methods, it really does promote peace, prosperity and freedom, just like theirs.
Source on Gordon G Chang: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_G._Chang
Source of information on State Department Policy on Chinese Human Rights: https://www.state.gov/chinas-disregard-for-human-rights/
Link to the Harvard Gazette report on Chinese satisfaction: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/07/long-term-survey-reveals-chinese-government-satisfaction/
Source of Presidential approval rating: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_approval_rating
Source of US Led Interventions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_involvement_in_regime_change
Source of wealth facts:
Source of billionaires: https://www.forbes.com/china-billionaires/list/9/#tab:overall
Source of Student facts: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201903/28/WS5c9c355da3104842260b30eb.html
Tourist Statistics: https://www.travelchinaguide.com/tourism/2019statistics/