Sunday, September 05, 2021

One world, two systems - Daniel Johnson on the West and China

It is not that long ago that many senior politicians and business leaders favoured constructive engagement with the People' Republic of China, and indeed, while the late Deng Xiaoping and his faction were running the country, even after the massacre at Tianamen Square, there were reasonable grounds to hope that such a strategy might bear dividends. 

I used to be in favour of trade and engagement with China myself but sadly the behaviour of the present PRC government is forcing me reluctantly to review that position. 

Under Deng the PRC was not generally agressive outside it's own sphere of influence and usually appeared to be interested in consructive engagement with the West,

Sadly under President Xi the PRC seems less and less interested in genuine co-operation and more and more interested in striving for global dominance.

I think it would be a mistake to try to cut off the trade and cultural links which still exist, especially where they appear to be working and delivering some benefit to both sides - and I would cite those of St Bees School in my division as an example. Nor can we afford to stop talking to China on areas where we should have common interests such as reducing the risk of climate change.

However, we increasingly need to recognise that while the PRC maintains it's present policies, the West's approach will have to be "One World, Two Systems"  - as Matthew Paris recently adapted the slogan once used to describe the promises, subsequently broken, which China made about Hong Kong.

Daniel Johnson has writte a piece on "The Article" site suggesting a "No More Mr Nice Guy" approach to the PRC which you can find here and is well worth reading.


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