How Xi Jinping Is Reshaping the World

How Xi Jinping Is Reshaping the World, by Rowan Callick.

Last year an agent for Chinese printing companies — which have the most advanced and cheapest production facilities in the world — handed Australian publishing houses a list of words and topics that could not appear in any books that were to be printed in China. The overwhelming majority of these books are for markets – including Australia — outside China itself, which has become the default printer globally.

China is the printer for the world and some topics are out of bounds? That’s new.

This is one of the myriad intriguing and concerning anecdotes replete in the new book by Clive Hamilton, co-written with Mareike Ohlberg, Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party Is Reshaping the World.

The USSR posed nothing like the challenge China does today. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) consumed a vast amount of time and energy in reviewing what went wrong for its former “big brother” Russian party, and concluded essentially that it failed because it conceded ground, it liberalised, it lost control of history, including by permitting criticism of its great dictator Joseph Stalin. …

A year after Xi came to power, the Chinese party … forbade the spread of any of seven Western values branded as especially dangerous:

  • promoting constitutional democracy, including the rule of law;
  • universal values;
  • the concept of civil society;
  • liberal economics;
  • free media and history that is not guided by Mao Zedong Thought; and
  • questioning the truly socialist nature of “socialism with Chinese characteristics”.

The CCP has had considerable success in expunging these seven deadly sins within China. … Western values, including the seven astutely summarised by CCP thinkers, are meanwhile widely in retreat, especially within the West’s own educational and cultural institutions.

But few have been paying attention. Australians, for instance, are massively more interested in and knowledgeable about the minutiae of politics, of celebrities, of the arts, of the history of the US and of European countries including especially Britain, than they are about the PRC, which is not at all “inscrutable” but is simply “inscruted” except by a remarkably small cohort. …

A dozen years ago, China suddenly started to compel his focus. Hamilton was outside Parliament House in Canberra for a rally to support Tibet following a grim outbreak of violence there. The rally was aimed to coincide with the arrival of the torch relay for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Many Chinese students – including some brought by bus from other states – were also demonstrating, cheering on both the torch relay and Beijing. He told me: “I was deeply shocked by the aggressive nature of the Chinese demonstrators against the Tibetans and any ­Anglos like myself who had gone to support them.” …

Hamilton and Ohlberg paraphrase the veteran American journalist China-expert John Pomfret as observing that “rather than ‘us’ changing China – the dream of those urging greater economic integration – China is increasingly changing us, and Western businesses are Beijing’s decisive weapon” – though universities, arts bodies, the UN, the tech world, are all scrambling to ensure they also play their parts in this ascendancy.

It’s like western society has suddenly been taken over by Marxists.

hat-tip Stephen Neil