If there’s anything the Politburo loves to do, it’s troll America via the bevy of media outlets at the Party’s disposal.
Beijing uses a variety of print and digital mouthpieces to send not-so-subtle messages to Washington regarding everything from foreign policy to political theory. It was thus hardly surprising that China took full advantage of what is likely a once in a generation opportunity to clown America for demonstrating unequivocally that democracy has its drawbacks.
The half a million strong protests that unfolded across the US over the weekend are no doubt abhorrent in the extreme in the eyes of the Party which prizes stability and restraint in the face of controversy. “The emergence of capitalism’s social crisis is the most updated evidence to show the superiority of socialism and Marxism,” the People’s Daily wrote on Saturday, referencing the growing political and socioeconomic divisions that now characterize American society.
“Western style democracy used to be a recognized power in history to drive social development. But now it has reached its limits,” the paper continued, adding that “democracy is already kidnapped by the capitals and has become the weapon for capitalists to chase profits.” Trump’s cabinet picks certainly don’t help much when it comes to refuting that accusation. “His cabinet of billionaires really needs to reach out to ordinary people to better understand their needs,” another People’s Daily article reads.
And here’s perhaps the best passage of all:
Undoubtedly, the Trump administration will be igniting many ‘fires’ on its front door and around the world. Let’s wait and see when it will be China’s turn.
As I outlined on several occasions earlier this month, Xi Jinping recently became the first Chinese President to address the World Economic Forum in Davos which, if you know anything about Xi’s anti-corruption campaign, is pretty damn ironic (I shudder to imagine what fate would befall a low level Party bureaucrat caught eating a $40 hotdog in public).
Xi used his speech to present Beijing as the new (and proud) torchbearer of globalization and global governance, a role previously played by the US and the Western economic powers.
Needless to say, the Chinese media was awash with commentary on that subject as well. They even took a page out of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book (both figuratively and literally), describing Trump’s election as a “black swan.” Here are some amusing excerpts from yet another article on the People’s Daily:
Globalization arrives at a crossroad with a series of “black swan” events in Western countries in 2016.
Though economic globalization is a “double-edged sword,” blaming economic globalization for all the world’s troubles is shortsighted.
Populism, isolationism and protectionism are on rise in the Western world. The United States – once a top promoter of economic globalization – has adopted an inward-looking posture and will be led by a new president who has made anti-globalization remarks. The European Union has been badly hit by the Brexit and throws its own globalization experiment into doubt.
Anti-globalization and populism in the West are related to politics that are wrapped up in economic problems and resulting in growing social fragmentation.
Now clearly, all of this is silly propaganda and God knows that when it comes to “black swans”, China has seen its fair share of tail events over the past couple of years (e.g. a stock market crash and a currency crisis within two months of each other in the summer of 2015). Further, there’s something pretty ironic about saying that social divisions are a sign that democracy has failed when in reality, the fact that hundreds of thousands of people can peacefully (and, in some cases, not so peacefully) protest is a sign that democracy is in fact alive and well.
Still, there’s nothing funnier than a good old fashioned Chinese trolling. Below, find the full text of two People’s Daily pieces that ran over the weekend.
Enjoy, and don’t forget to chuckle…
Via The People’s Daily
Globalization arrives at a crossroad with a series of “black swan” events in Western countries in 2016.
Though economic globalization is a “double-edged sword,” blaming economicglobalization for all the world’s troubles is shortsighted.
As Chinese President Xi Jinpingsaid Tuesday while addressing the 2017 World EconomicForum (WEF) at Davos, Switzerland, “We should adapt to and guide economicglobalization, cushion its negative impact, and deliver its benefits to all countries and allnations.”
GLOBALIZATION AT CROSSROAD
Over past years, cross-border trade and investment sustained a slump, trade barriers werebuilt higher, regional integration was hindered and immigration policies were tightened inmany countries.
Populism, isolationism and protectionism are on rise in the Western world. The UnitedStates – once a top promoter of economic globalization – has adopted an inward-lookingposture and will be led by a new president who has made anti-globalization remarks. TheEuropean Union has been badly hit by the Brexitand throws its own globalizationexperiment into doubt.
Xi said, “Some people blame economic globalization for the chaos in the world. Economicglobalization was once viewed as the treasure cave discovered by Ali Baba in The ArabianNights, but now it has become the Pandora’s Box in the eyes of many.”
The fact is that when the global economy is facing downward pressure, it is hard to makethe cake of the global economy bigger.
Analyzing the root causes of the sluggish global economy and the problems for whichglobalization has been made the scapegoat, Xi pointed to a lack of robust driving forces forglobal growth, inadequate global economic governance, and uneven global development.
Meanwhile, anti-globalization and populism in the West are related to politics that arewrapped up in economic problems and resulting in growing social fragmentation.
As Xi put it, “Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean from whichyou cannot escape. Any attempt to cut off the flow of capital, technology, products, industries and people between economies, and channel the waters in the ocean back intoisolated lakes and creeks is simply not possible.”
Therefore, the right way forward is to guide economic globalization, cushion its negativeimpacts, and deliver its benefits to all countries.
Taking China’s accession to the World Trade Organization as an example, despitebewilderment and fear from foreign countries, China took a brave step forward to embracethe global market.
“We have had our fair share of choking in the water and encountering whirlpools andchoppy waves, but we have learned how to swim in this process. It has proven to be theright strategic choice,” Xi said.
Opening up brings the world to China and China to the world. Such active integration hashad global ramifications.
In 2016, China was responsible for 33.2 percent of the world’s economic expansion, remaining the top engine of global growth in 2016, up from a mere 0.53 percent in 2001.
All in all, an anti-globalization cry only reflects a shortage of globalization itself.
There is a fundamental need to develop a dynamic innovation-driven growth model, onethat is well-coordinated and inter-connected, one that is win-win for all involved, Xi said.
China aims to tackle the problems of inequality, exclusiveness and inefficiency witnessedfrom the previous round of globalization.
China will advance the building of a Free Trade Area in the Asia-Pacific and negotiationsof the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership to form a global network of freetrade arrangements.
Regarding the Belt and Road Initiative, envisioned as an infrastructure and trade networkconnecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes, China’s circle offriends is growing larger, with the initiative delivering significant benefits.
“In the face of both opportunities and challenges of economic globalization, the right thing to do is to seize every opportunity, jointly meet challenges and chart the right course for economic globalization,” he said.
Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States of America onJanuary 20. He made an impressive inauguration speech with his unique persona, which has been drawing mixed and complicated reactions domestically and globally.
In presence of three of the four living former presidents, the new president launched asweeping criticism of the country’s domestic and foreign policies over the past decades. Heblasted at past policies as failures while describing the scourge of drugs, crime, povertyand unemployment as “the American carnage.” He noted that the transfer of power is “notmerely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party toanother,” but wrestling power from Washington DC and giving it “back to you, the people.”
Mr. Trump slashed out at “a small group in our nation’s Capital” for reaping the “rewardsof the government” while “the people did not share its wealth.” Mr.Trump then raised thestandard for himself and his new role as America’s top leader in reassuring, “that allchanges, starting right here, and right now” and the moment “belongs to you.”
Mr. Trump stressed patriotism and reiterated his “America first” doctrine, the main appealof his campaign rhetoric. He vowed to make American triumph again by formulatingtrade, tax, immigration and foreign policy decisions that benefit ordinary Americancitizens.
Regarding foreign policies, Mr. Trump expressed his belief that all nations have the rightto put their own national interest first. He said he wants to let America “shine as anexample for everyone to follow”, rather than imposing the American way of life. He sworeto eradicate radical Islamic terrorism “completely from the face of the Earth.”
President Trump did not take another swipe at China, nor did he mention Russia or anyother nation in his inauguration speech.
Although more carefully phrased, Mr. Trump’s inauguration speech did not steer awayfrom his campaign rhetoric, focusing on criticizing the “Washington establishment.” He isindeed different, in many aspects, from most of his predecessors.
First of all, President Trump seemed less than gracious to ignore how his predecessors andthe political dignitaries attending his inauguration might feel insulted by his bluntcriticism. Nor did he seem to care about the anxiety of Congressional representatives whoboycotted his swear-in ceremony.
Moreover, the lofty promises the new president made during his 16-minute inaugurationspeech is indeed a very big one. It remains to be seen if he can keep his ambitious promisethroughout his term — correcting the domestic and foreign policies and the world order hebelieves to have strayed off track.
Mr. Trump’s policy pronouncement prioritizes the imperative domestic need forreinvigorating economic growth and improving the quality of life for Americans. Inaddressing economic issues, he pointed his finger at foreign trade policies for failing to put “America first.”
Mr. Trump indicates that dramatic changes lie ahead for the country’s domestic politicalstructure and the global economic order. Some Chinese Internet users even mocked Mr. Trump’s version of dramatic changes as a possible US version of the “Cultural Revolution.” However, the measures that will be required to achieve the new president’s goals have yetto be divulged. With the tremendous balance of power in the US government, it will beinteresting to witness if his unique personality and determination will help him turn hisgoals into reality.
Unlike his predecessors, President Trump did not strike a conciliatory tone to help unite anation divided by the recent presidential election. Instead, he chose to enjoy his role as thechampion of the underdogs, eager to lead them in their fight against Washington elites. The working class goals he has set and his appointments of successful business leaders tohis cabinet could prove to be contradictory. His cabinet of billionaires really needs to reachout to ordinary people to better understand their needs.
On the world stage, Mr. Trump will likely align his foreign policy with US corporateinterests, blurring the lines of ideology or political values. Frictions between the US and itsallies, and trade tensions between the US and China seem inevitable within the four yearsahead.
Although Mr. Trump has spent a lot of time talking about China over the past year, hisactual China policy has yet to take shape. Definitely, the Trump administration wants toboost exports to China and relocate factories from China back to the US. Taiwan will bemerely a bargaining chip for them to put trade pressure on China.
Mr. Trump did not mention universal values in his inauguration speech, but that does notmean his administration will refrain from putting pressure on China. His China policy willhinge on how well he understands the overlapping interests of the world’s two largesteconomies, how their national interests intertwine, and whether he is motivated to changethe existing structure with force.
Undoubtedly, the Trump administration will be igniting many “fires” on its front door and around the world. Let’s wait and see when it will be China’s turn.