China FAQ

Informing the world about the real China

Richard Kenneth Eng
4 min readMar 12, 2023

Is China an autocratic or totalitarian state, or is it a democracy?

China regards itself as a democracy. The West disagrees.

The West believes that democracy must be based on multiparty elections and must allow more than one political party to form the government. China disagrees.

In fact, the Chinese regard their country as the most democratic in the world. Latana’s Democracy Perception Index 2022 shows 83 percent of Chinese hold this view.

Moreover, the Chinese strongly support their government. The Edelman Trust Barometer 2022 shows 91 percent support. The Ash Center at Harvard Kennedy School shows 95.5 percent support. And a November 2019 Ipsos survey shows that 95 percent of Chinese believe their country is on the right track.

Is China technologically far behind the United States?

No. In fact, it’s well ahead according to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. China leads the world in 37 out of 44 technological fields.

Most notably, China surpasses the United States in 5G, mobile payments, infrastructure engineering (high-speed trains, bridge construction, port automation, etc.), hypersonic missiles, Thorium molten salt reactors, and renewable energy.

Is Taiwan part of China and therefore China’s internal matter?

Yes. In fact, neither the United States nor the United Nations recognize Taiwan as an independent state.

Moreover, Taiwan’s own constitution stipulates that Taiwan and mainland China are one country. Even the DPP and President Tsai Ing-wen must adhere to Taiwan’s constitution, despite their position that Taiwan is independent.

The United States also agreed in the Three Communiqués that Taiwan is part of China…

Joint Communiqué of the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China, February 28, 1972:

“The U.S. side declared: The United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States Government does not challenge that position.”

Note the last sentence: “The United States Government does not challenge that position.” Apparently, it has changed its attitude in recent years much to the consternation of the Chinese.

Why is China building up its military?

As a modern superpower, China must ensure its own national security against external threats such as the one posed by the United States. USA has been stoking political unrest in Taiwan, conducting naval exercises in and around the Taiwan Strait, arming Taiwan in direct contravention of the Three Communiqués, and forming military alliances against China (AUKUS, NATO).

USA also has encircled China with military bases in Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines, as well as Guam and Australia.

Is China’s economy collapsing?

No. In fact, according to IMF projections from January 2023, China’s economy will outperform all G7 economies in 2023 and 2024.

According to Trading Economics, China’s inflation rate is 1.0 percent (February 2023), whereas it’s 6.4 percent for USA (February 2023), 4.3 percent for Japan (January 2023), 8.7 percent for Germany (February 2023), 10.1 percent for UK (January 2023), 6.2 percent for France (February 2023), 9.2 percent for Italy (February 2023), and 5.9 percent for Canada (January 2023).

Is China a peaceful nation?

Yes. In fact, China hasn’t fought a single war since 1979, over 43 years ago! No other world power has been so peaceful for so long.

Prior to and including 1979, China had fought in Korea, India, and Vietnam, so China was no stranger to war. But since Deng Xiaoping’s 1978 reforms, China adhered to a strict policy of peaceful economic development.

Is China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) a “debt trap” for developing countries?

No. This myth has been debunked by Chatham House, as well as Deborah Brautigam and Meg Rithmire. In fact, no foreign asset has ever been seized by China over debt default. Debt problems are always negotiated away.

Over 150 countries have signed up for BRI, showing that they have no concerns about debt traps.

Does China export its political system to other countries?

No. China does not care how other countries govern themselves. It’s none of China’s business. China’s business is all about trade.

China’s attitude is the exact opposite of America’s, which is that USA has the divine right to spread “freedom and democracy” everywhere.

Did China steal technology from the United States?

No. China required foreign companies wanting to enter the Chinese market to share their technology with China. It was a quid pro quo. Those companies were free to walk away.

It’s amusing that the United States would level this accusation at China, considering that it was once a technology thief (AP, The World, The National Interest).

The US government frequently accuses China of spying and stealing military secrets. China has made a similar accusation. At any rate, nations regularly spy on each other.