China is a country that admires success whether internally or internationally. Indeed it was Deng Xiaoping’s drive to learn from global best practices in industry whilst retaining indigenous cultural characteristics that laid the crucial foundation for China’s rise as an economic superpower. As China now looks to become more of an innovation superpower than a mass production behemoth, China likewise seeks to achieve success according to global best practices.
Whilst China is projected to overtake the United States in terms of overall GDP sometime around the mid-21st century, the elephant in the room during such discussions is that the United States remains on top and under Donald Trump the American economy has in fact improved rather than retarded. As such, China continues to look to the United States private sector as a source of both friendly competition and potential cooperation. This reality is not dissimilar to the way in which corporations within a single country look to fellow domestic corporations as source of both friendly competition and as sources of potential future partnerships.
This is not to say that Chinese prefer American culture to their own – they most certainly do not in the same way that most Americans prefer their own culture to that of a foreign state. It is unfortunate however that many in the US are unaware of the broader reality of Chinese not having intrinsic ill-will against Americans. If anything, many Chinese admire America’s 20th century achievements when it took over from the old powers of Europe to be an undisputed economic world leader.
Dishonest media outlets that Donald Trump has accurately labelled as “fake” continue to push a narrative that paints China as a country whose characteristics are that of a bygone Cold War era. If anyone is stuck in the Cold War it is the western media outlets who continue to see the world in terms of a barbaric ideological struggle rather than as an increasingly interconnected business environment in which normal political relations pave the way for dynamic economic cooperation across borders.
In this sense, whilst the Chinese mentality is very much “open for business”, the mentality of elements of the US media remains very much anti-enterprise. The idea that the world should be a place of continuous ideological struggle rather than one of cooperation in the name of peace through prosperity is not just an obscurantist perspective but a psychologically perverse one. It’s natural conclusion is one of destitution, famine, poverty and war whilst the inverse will lead to a flowering of prosperity among all countries that allow for economic openness within a rules based framework.
The trade war has clearly tested good will on both sides but once a deal is inevitably reached, it will allow many to reflect on the pointlessness of hostility in the same way that after the initial Cold War, many on both sides questioned just “what were we fighting for” during the previous decades.
Once Donald Trump and Xi Jinping sign a final trade deal, it will be the pathological liars in the media who will appear foolish before the world. It is the media class who falsely paint China as a country of extremists wanting to “take on America” when in reality, when Chinese think about America it is typically in terms of commerce which is not only healthy but constructive.
If the US public realised how much they were being systematically deceived by their fake media there would likely be a great outpouring of good will in both directions between China and the United States. As more and more Americans look outside of the old media-industrial complex for information, it is hopeful that such a win-win spirit of global harmony can be a result of the decline and fall of the old, failed media empires.