China At 70: On Trade & Economic Autonomy

On October 1st, China will celebrate the founding of the People’s Republic of China.  China has accomplished in 70 years, what the West has only been able to achieve over hundreds of years and with the help of chattel slavery, wars, colonialism and aggressive socioeconomic policy.   It is mind blowing to think that China was once known as the “sick man of Asia,” because of its reputation as the West’s playground, poor infrastructure, social ills, rampant UK-funded opioid abuse and a malignant sex industry.

But we must remember, China gained its independence through a bloody war and strict focused discipline. It was not moving speeches or idealistic projections of grandeur that transformed a failing nation into the worlds second (arguably first) largest economy.  China fought a bloody civil war against Kuomintang (KMT) government and Mao Zedong’s opposition forces for which was carried on and off over a period of 22 years! The Kuomintang represented the imperialists elite, well-connected and well-funded government largely ignoring the plight of its average citizens.

Much like African elites who benefit from cushy deals with foreign investors, medical and university trips abroad and other creature comforts; Chinese imperialists (elites) refused to make their nation competitive in the world economy.  It was only after China’s long revolution could it begin to look inward to solve some of its most pressing socioeconomic issues.

For a nation that once was the laughing stock of the West, it is vital to understand what they have accomplished, as we look at the socioeconomic health developing economies around the world.  China has shown the world that ingenuity is a far better mechanism of national growth than war, slavery or international piracy.  It also demonstrates that with focus, and within 70 years, other developing economies can achieve the same success.

What is unfortunate, is that it has very closely coupled its fortunes with the West through massive trade deals and monetary policy.  This connection is proving to be a detriment as it appears that certain actors in the West seek to dash those achievements through monetary policies aimed at slowing growth and stalling power. Many are seeing the imperative of diversified trading partners and a better socio-cultural understanding of your trading partners.  Historically, the West has never been particular on honoring treaties and deals the US offers a prime example in its First Nations (Native American) treaties and its Reconstruction Era reversals on 40 acres and a mule promise to descendants of American slavery.  It is also clear that the United Nations has been a poor body of redress, particularly for the most egregious crimes against humanity like American Chattel Slavery, Apartheid  and Iraq-era Torture.

It is therefore at the behest of nations around the world to determine its own fortunes through a diversified trading base, strategic partnerships with nations that share similar socio-cultural mores and cautious trade agreements with those who do not.   Prudence seems and vigilance seems a better strategy.  It is key to understand that China’s independence and future economic dominance was secured first, by its willingness to achieve autonomy first before attempting economic prowess.

Regardless of where you come from or what your economic background, one cannot argue against China’s miraculous growth and development.  It is high time that we start expecting the same from developing nations and begin to ask more nuanced questions about the quality of our current economic system. As China celebrates 70 years, its important to reflect on the state of the world.  To ask ourselves who is causing world instability and how we can contain or neutralize it; and most importantly, how we can safeguard our nations and civilizations for years to come to inherit the blessings of not only prosperity–but liberty.

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