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Democracy at work: China’s success story bears Biden out

China PlusPublished: 2021-09-24 21:30:34
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"China threatens the West's primacy, not its democratic systems." Hugh White, Prof. of Political & Strategic Studies at the Australian National University.

It's indeed true that some Western politicians try to weave a narrative which equates adopting an anti-China stance to upholding democracy. The idea is to demonize the fabricated adversary of convenience that the specter of China has become. It is a rhetorical device that they hope will prevent the public from seeing a real democratic China.

U.S. President Joe Biden used his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to warn about what he said was rising authoritarianism. He said that democracy lives on in the anti-corruption activists and the human rights defenders, adding that it remains the best tool for unleashing human potential in its fullness.

The success story that is China bears him out.

China's anti-graft campaign has continued to gain momentum in recent years. Global Fraud and Risk Report 2021 showed that 93 percent of China-based respondents said their organization's anti-corruption controls are effective, followed by 89 percent among U.S. respondents.

As well, a people-centered philosophy of government is deeply ingrained in Chinese culture.

China has eradicated absolute poverty. The feat achieved over the last 25 years is the most rapid large-scale reduction of poverty in human history.

Not surprisingly, the polling data for 2020 produced by the Ash Center at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government revealed 95 percent satisfaction with the central government among Chinese citizens, one of the highest rates in the world.

Meanwhile, a recent Pew Center poll suggests that Europeans, Westerners in general view U.S. democracy as compromised and as no longer serving as a model.

A 2014 study conducted by Princeton and Northwestern Universities also suggested that the U.S. was no longer a democracy but an oligarchy, with the wealthy few driving policies and the average American having little power.

Charles Wheelan of Dartmouth College put it more bluntly: "American democracy is an illusion. The people do not govern. Politicians respond almost exclusively to the desires of special interests and the wealthiest citizens."

If you want to see the real threat to democracy, look to the U.S. Not China.

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