By Ismail Bashmori
As an Egyptian, I have been studying China intensely for the past year — its government, society, history, and transformation. I’ve spoken to hundreds of Chinese and China-haters and heard everything they had to say. By now I’ve learned roughly as much about China as anyone can learn without knowing the language or living in the country, and I’ve reached my conclusion. China attracts a lot of haters, know-nothings and armchair experts.
The truth is that China is the greatest country on the face of the earth. It makes all other countries look insignificant and contemptible. It is the most brilliant, most industrious, most ambitious, most educated, meritocratic and technocratic, most modern, sophisticated, civilised, and best-governed by far.
It is the first nonwhite, non-Western country to reach this status since the 1600s. The determination of this country is indescribable. Supernatural. No force can stop it from accomplishing anything it wants to do.
Forty years ago a flush toilet in China was a luxury. Today it has its own Space Station. This is a tiny example of China’s capabilities.
It doesn’t matter who we are. Egyptians, Syrians, Pakistanis, Indians, Africans, even Americans. Next to the Chinese, we are pathetic. We can’t do what they do. We would have a mountain, an Everest of changes to make, and we would whine and bicker and fail at every one of them. China’s story since the 1980s has been one of an almost divine metamorphosis.
Next to China, the entire Western world from Alaska to New Zealand has stagnated. Next to China, the entire developing world from Brazil to Madagascar has progressed only at a crawl.
China is the mother of all gargantuan bullet trains. Every day it manages to create something new and astonishing. And unlike the United States, unlike the British Empire, unlike the French, Dutch, Germans, Spanish, Portuguese or any other Western nation that had its turn at being a superpower in the past four centuries, China doesn’t need to run anybody over or take something from somebody else, to rise majestically.
China is also standing up to the West all by herself. The West can’t believe their four-hundred-year-old global supremacy is being challenged. They hoped that the more China developed, the more it would submit to their influence, interests, and leadership. That didn’t happen. So now they will do anything possible, short of a nuclear war, to make China end.
Their goal is to destroy this country. That’s why, although the United States has killed several million people and turned several regions of the earth into hellscapes.
China is the worst fear of our planet’s Western masters. They want you to despise and dread a country that’s done nothing to you, that hasn’t invaded anyone, bombed or sanctioned anyone, that hasn’t overthrown any foreign government, or used its military on anything since 1979.
China is the only major country in the nonwhite developing world, to stand up to the West. To look it in the eye when challenged or threatened.
The Global South are simply Western puppets who submitted long ago. Even the most powerful ones. Saudi Arabia, Brazil, India.
The 1500s—1000s BC were Egypt’s time. Antiquity belonged to the Greeks and Romans. The 1700s belonged to France and the 1800s to Britain. From 1945 to the present, the world has been under American overlordship. And they call it the Pax Americana but there isn’t much Pax in it.
There’s plenty of Pax if you’re in Europe or Australia. But the Middle East? Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran and Yemen in the past 20 years. Latin America? They’ve destroyed that part of the world beyond any hope of recovery. Africa? It’s only been spared because of disinterest. The US sees Africa as nothing. The whole West does.
But in the twenty-first century, we are witnessing the rise of China. We are decades away from China becoming the greatest power on earth. This will be China’s time, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Attack China all you want, curse her and monger rumours and hysteria — but the truth is that none of your accusations is backed up by evidence. The Western press is under the thumb of Western governments that want to stay on top of the world for eternity. And the truth is that China is not affected by the noise and manoeuvres of her enemies.
For her first thirty years, from 1949 to 1979, China was blockaded and isolated economically and politically by the West. It didn’t even have a seat in the UN General Assembly. And it was dirt-poor in those days, barely a speck of the global economy, a tiny fraction of Japan’s or Germany’s GDP — not even able to prevent famine. And it still didn’t submit to pressure or take any orders. Why on earth would it do that now?
China will be the next global power. There’s nothing that can be done about that. The first stage is that its economy only needs to grow at 4.7 per cent per year to become the world’s largest by 2035. That means the usual, historical bare-minimum of 6 per cent is already overkill. The US can build as many bases as it wants, slap as many sanctions as it wants, recognise whatever bogus genocides it wants. That’s what it’s been doing all along. Has any of it made a difference? China can adapt to any situation. It took China a mere ten years to go from being barred by the US Congress from participating in the “International” Space Station to building its Space Station from zero.
See, the US has an $800-billion war budget, 800 military bases, 13,000 aircraft, 500 warships, 6,000 nukes — but it doesn’t have what China has: invincible national resolve. It takes the US about 5 years to renovate a bridge, and it takes China 43 hours. There’s simply no competing with that.
China doesn’t need to be a military superpower or empire. That was never part of the plan. US troops, God bless their souls, will continue sitting in their bases, scratching their balls, costing their government $800 billion a year to do nothing. Meanwhile, China will continue to develop.
That’s the part of the equation that America missed because it has barely developed since Reagan’s day. China is a better place to live today than at any time in its previous 5,000 years; Americans saw their highest standard of living in the 1960s and those days will never come back.
So yes, China will be the next global power, and the Chinese are vastly superior to us in every way. This is a fact that everyone can attack but that nobody can change, like the theory of evolution.
Look at you silly buggers, talking about China like it’s going to be the next Nazi Germany. Even many Middle Easterners I know fit in this foolish category. Did you notice when the US invaded or overthrew the governments of 20 countries in the past 32 years (my lifetime)? Did you even know? You think just because you’re ready to forget all that because of Beyoncé and Game of Thrones and Snapchat and other US cultural exports, it didn’t happen.
The US is feeding me terror bytes about Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, Tiananmen Square, Great Leap Forward! I don’t see any dead bodies, I can’t show you one invasion or one example of Chinese regime change, I can’t even find Hong Kong on a map or tell you one factual detail about Tiananmen Square, but the US State Department and all its media are telling me CHINA BAD!
Aren’t you at least curious to see what a world with a nonwhite, non-Western leader might look like, after 400 years? Because God knows that leader won’t be us. It won’t be Brazil or Africa, or the Middle East or India or Indonesia or Nigeria or Pakistan. We’re a mess.
China was a mess too. But we remain a mess many decades after we achieved independence, and the Chinese went their way, disentangled their mess and created their destiny. We’re not made of what the Chinese are made of.
I see China as hope. Hope that a colonised, brutalised, primitive and humiliated country, can rise above its past — refuse to be weak any longer — rebuild itself from nothing, with iron resolve, and become too strong to be overrun by the West again!
Hope that a non-white, non-Western country can look deep within itself and find its solutions to its problems — proving that (foolishly) trusting the West to guide us isn’t necessary! Proof that if we can do what the Chinese did, there will be no limits for us.
Imagine a world where the US, France, Britain, Australia, are no more important than Uzbekistan or Paraguay.
A world where the World Court might be headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the World Bank in New Delhi, the United Nations in Jakarta, the IMF in Cairo.
A world liberated from the US banking system and the dollar as its reserve currency so that Washington can no longer tell 200 other countries who they can and can’t trade with.
A world where an American can be tried for war crimes at the Hague, not just an Iraqi or Liberian or Serb.
A world where we don’t hear about a non-Western-made vaccine and grunt to ourselves, Oh, it must be poison. A world where we don’t have to immigrate to the same countries that turned ours into hellholes, to work as sales clerks or taxi drivers, or even if we’re brilliantly employed — to drain our brains from our homelands in the best of cases and use them to reinforce Western riches and supremacy in exchange for a fat paycheck, instead of using them to make our own countries semi-habitable.
When I hear that China has built its own Space Station, landed a rover on Mars, end extreme poverty, built the Earth’s biggest city, dam, telescope, 5G network, highway, air purifier, or whatever the heck it is that will come tomorrow — I feel the same pride as if I were Chinese.
It’s not happening for all of us, but it’s happening for one of us and that’s a start. There’s got to be such a thing as developing-country nationalism — a common nationalism for all the countries that were colonised and plundered, and remain economically and politically captured by their ex-rulers.
Nationalism for the Global South. We are too divided, too brainwashed, too fooled and weak — most of us still worship the countries that destroyed us, are non-Western on the outside and Western on the inside, are hating and fearing and buying all the lies about the only one of us that’s made it, and are leaving our countries in droves to let them burn while we “make a better life for ourselves” in the West.
Do you want to live on a Western-dominated Earth for another 400 years? If you do, keep doing what you’re doing. But I don’t!
You know what’ll happen for all of us if America’s sick wishes come true and its global thuggery does make China collapse? Nothing. Eternal repetition of the status quo. More enslavement, hijacking of our resources and weak corrupt governments, neo-colonialism, invasion, regime change, sanctions, MISERY.
Haven’t we already seen this? Libya, Cuba, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, Belarus, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, the Soviet Union. Rest in peace. Even FRANCE and JAPAN for God’s sake. What does the United States do when any other country says NO, or simply becomes too powerful, too good at the honest competition?
Japan was a Western-style democracy crawling with US troops, with a US-authored pacifist constitution and almost no military and an extremely pro-US government and populace, and it STILL got crushed when it looked like it would become the #1 economy in the 80s.
I remember 10–15 years ago when China was still relatively poor and impotent, and Bush and Obama would talk about China as sweetly as swans. Obama happily had dinner with Xi Jinping in late 2015, called China a crucial partner of the United States, and said the US welcomed China’s rise; it was all horseshit. Today Biden, who was there with Obama in late 2015 as Vice-President, angrily rebukes a reporter who merely said that Biden and Xi were old friends.
America has taken off its mask.
China made it, it wasn’t supposed to make it, so now it must die. What a difference 5 years can make. China went from “crucial partner” to “number one threat.”
We should be helping and supporting China to keep climbing to the top, and giving her some serious solidarity as she withstands the new Cold War of Western imperialism. It’s been a long 400 years. China is the first non-Western country to even come close to reaching a status of ultimate global importance. She is akin to the first member of an impoverished family to go to university. That is our family of nations.
And when China gets to the top, believe me, it won’t be a repeat of the French, British, or American Empire. Not a single developing country on earth will be worse-off because of China becoming #1. There will be something good in this for all of us, so let’s wake up.
– Ismail Bashmori is an Egyptian China watch