FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Self-Reliance, Opening and the Chinese Dream

Working hard and enduring hardship (吃苦耐劳, 卧薪尝胆), Striving unremittingly (自强不息,from the Book of Changes or I Ching) and Self-reliance (自力更生)are millenia-old virtues or values of the Chinese civilization. From an individual and community to a nation state, those three values inspire and impel the Chinese nation and people to overcome dire and deep adversities and arise from the ashes of natural calamities and foreign invasions.

The Xinhai Revolution in 1911 ended more than two thousand years of dynastic and feudal rule, and semi-colonialism after the First Opium War in 1840. Soon after the Xinhai Revolution, China descended into wars between the warlords, followed by the Japanese invasion from 1931 to 1945, the Long March and eventually the victory of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) .

Barely a year after PRC was established, China went into the Korean War to help North Korea to resist and repel the imperialist aggression. The falling out with the Soviet Union in the late 1950s brought the emerging industrialisation to an abrupt halt. The split led to the Great Leap Forward, which came to grief three years later. The respite was brief. The decade-long Cultural Revolution set back what little improvements achieved during the interlude.

Then came Deng Xiaoping’s reforms and opening that achieved unparalleled and uninterrupted fast economic growth in China and the world in modern history. Encouraged and emboldened by the rapid progress, CPC and the people put their shoulders to the wheel and work towards the Chinese Dream of a moderately prosperous society by 2021, the centennial of the formation of CPC. Xi Jinping has a bigger dream : a developed and modern Socialist State by 2049, the centennial of the establishment of the People’s Republic.

From Xinhai Revolution and the Long March to the founding of PRC and the Chinese Dream, the Chinese nation and people slogged, endured hardship, almost always self-reliant and pulled themselves up by the bootstraps. From the euphoric moment when Japan surrendered unconditionally in August 1945 to the dark hours in 1959 when PRC fell out with USSR, Mao and CPC never lost sight of the need to be self-reliant.

After Deng’s reforms and opening, and accession to WTO in 2001, China plugged into global trade and investment. Under WTO rules, China opened up the agriculture sector. The flood of highly-subsidized farm imports from the US resulted in more than a million farm workers losing their job. China took it on the chin. CPC leaders are wise and prescient enough to keep the banking, utilities, energy and defence sectors from foreign investors, and retain a substantial state presence in key industries. Without such safeguards, China today would have its sovereignty severely compromised, becoming another neoliberal vassal of the American empire.

The People’s Republic now is upon another crossroad : to give in to America’s demand to dismantle state-owned enterprises and junk the Made in China 2025 industry blueprint, OR become self-reliant on high technology and economic development. Xi gave an unequivocal answer earlier this week when he toured the Rust Belt in northeastern China.

“Internationally, it’s becoming more and more difficult for China to obtain advanced technologies and key know-how. Unilateralism and trade protectionism are rising, forcing us to adopt a self-reliant approach. This is not a bad thing.”

“China was a big country which must depend on itself for food supply, depend on itself for economic development, and depend on itself for manufacturing.”

Unlike Mao’s era when China had isolation imposed on it by western powers through decades-old embargo, the country’s opening to the outside world since Deng’s period is irreversible. While the Middle Kingdom will become more self-reliant in the development of technology and the economy, it will continue to trade with other countries which practice free trade. Beijing’s free trade agreements with ASEAN and other nations will ensure blooming trade. The Belt and Road Initiative, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership close to conclusion, will boost trade in Asia by leaps and bounds. Coupled with fast-growing domestic demand, China can do without the US market and still rise peacefully. In other words, the US market is not indispensable to China.

More articles by:

February 18, 2019
Paul Street
31 Actual National Emergencies
Robert Fisk
What Happened to the Remains of Khashoggi’s Predecessor?
David Mattson
When Grizzly Bears Go Bad: Constructions of Victimhood and Blame
Julian Vigo
USMCA’s Outsourcing of Free Speech to Big Tech
George Wuerthner
How the BLM Serves the West’s Welfare Ranchers
Christopher Fons
The Crimes of Elliot Abrams
Thomas Knapp
The First Rule of AIPAC Is: You Do Not Talk about AIPAC
Mitchel Cohen
A Tale of Two Citations: Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” and Michael Harrington’s “The Other America”
Jake Johnston
Haiti and the Collapse of a Political and Economic System
Dave Lindorff
It’s Not Just Trump and the Republicans
Laura Flanders
An End to Amazon’s Two-Bit Romance. No Low-Rent Rendezvous.
Patrick Walker
Venezuelan Coup Democrats Vomit on Green New Deal
Natalie Dowzick
The Millennial Generation Will Tear Down Trump’s Wall
Nick Licata
Of Stress and Inequality
Elliot Sperber
Greater Than Food
Weekend Edition
February 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Matthew Hoh
Time for Peace in Afghanistan and an End to the Lies
Chris Floyd
Pence and the Benjamins: An Eternity of Anti-Semitism
Rob Urie
The Green New Deal, Capitalism and the State
Jim Kavanagh
The Siege of Venezuela and the Travails of Empire
Paul Street
Someone Needs to Teach These As$#oles a Lesson
Andrew Levine
World Historical Donald: Unwitting and Unwilling Author of The Green New Deal
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Third Rail-Roaded
Eric Draitser
Impacts of Exploding US Oil Production on Climate and Foreign Policy
Ron Jacobs
Maduro, Guaidó and American Exceptionalism
John Laforge
Nuclear Power Can’t Survive, Much Less Slow Climate Disruption
Joyce Nelson
Venezuela & The Mighty Wurlitzer
Jonathan Cook
In Hebron, Israel Removes the Last Restraint on Its Settlers’ Reign of Terror
Ramzy Baroud
Enough Western Meddling and Interventions: Let the Venezuelan People Decide
Robert Fantina
Congress, Israel and the Politics of “Righteous Indignation”
Dave Lindorff
Using Students, Teachers, Journalists and other Professionals as Spies Puts Everyone in Jeopardy
Kathy Kelly
What it Really Takes to Secure Peace in Afghanistan
Brian Cloughley
In Libya, “We Came, We Saw, He Died.” Now, Maduro?
Nicky Reid
The Councils Before Maduro!
Gary Leupp
“It’s All About the Benjamins, Baby”
Jon Rynn
What a Green New Deal Should Look Like: Filling in the Details
David Swanson
Will the U.S. Senate Let the People of Yemen Live?
Dana E. Abizaid
On Candace Owens’s Praise of Hitler
Raouf Halaby
‘Tiz Kosher for Elected Jewish U.S. Officials to Malign
Rev. William Alberts
Trump’s Deceitful God-Talk at the Annual National Prayer Breakfast
W. T. Whitney
Caribbean Crosswinds: Revolutionary Turmoil and Social Change 
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Avoiding Authoritarian Socialism
Howard Lisnoff
Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Anti-immigrant Hate
Ralph Nader
The Realized Temptations of NPR and PBS
Cindy Garcia
Trump Pledged to Protect Families, Then He Deported My Husband
Thomas Knapp
Judicial Secrecy: Where Justice Goes to Die
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail