Do Chinese people think China’s political system is better than that of Western democratic countries?
Today, they do. They didn’t think so 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago.
But in the last 20 years, a whole lot has happened to change the minds of the Chinese…
First, China has become enormously prosperous. China has the world’s largest economy by purchasing power parity. Soon, it will be the largest by nominal GDP.
China eradicated extreme poverty in 2020, elevating over 850 million people, according to the World Bank.
China built the world’s most spectacular infrastructure of roads, bridges, high-speed rail, airports, etc.
China built hundreds of shiny modern cities across the country from scratch!
Second, China has gained tremendous diplomatic influence around the globe through the following:
- The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is the most ambitious infrastructure project in human history. It is helping developing countries everywhere build their much-needed infrastructure. Over 149 countries have signed up — that’s 3/4 of the world’s nations!
- China has forged many economic and security alliances such as BRICS, RCEP, and SCO.
- China is making friends throughout the greater Middle East, including Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, etc.
- China hosted two magnificent Olympic Games!
- China hasn’t fought a single war since 1979! Contrast this with America who has fought in Afghanistan, Bosnia, El Salvador, Grenada, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Yugoslavia, etc.
Third, China has built the world’s second most powerful military making China absolutely safe from another “century of humiliation.”
China has the world’s largest navy and the world’s largest standing army.
China is the only other nation capable of building supercarriers. Her first supercarrier, the Type 003 named Fujian, just launched a couple of months ago. China has 3 more supercarriers on order.
China has some of the most advanced stealth fighters in the world, as well as operational hypersonic missiles!
And China is a major nuclear power.
Fourth, China is a technological leader, especially in 5G communications, AI, mobile payments, infrastructure engineering, quantum computing, etc. China is at the leading edge of space exploration:
- China was the first and only country to land on the dark side of the moon (Chang’e 4).
- China landed a rover on Mars (Zhurong) on its first attempt without a hitch!
- China built her own international space station (Tiangong).
Fifth, the Chinese have seen democracy failing around the world, particularly in the United States (the Capitol Hill riots, health care, homelessness, gun violence, systemic racism, mass incarceration, etc.) and United Kingdom (the Brexit disaster). India’s democracy is no great shakes and Taiwan’s democracy is a joke.
Currently, Europe is suffering hyperinflation and a massive fuel shortage.
Western democracies have suffered great losses from the pandemic, while the Chinese have been well-protected. From Worldometer at the time of writing:
And let’s not forget that China tried democracy in 1912. It turned into a total disaster. Russia tried democracy in the 1990s and it also turned into a total disaster.
What is there to recommend Western democracy?
Here is the evidence that the Chinese think their political system is better…
Long-term survey reveals Chinese government satisfaction
Latana’s Democracy Perception Index for 2022