by Giulio Meotti
The admiration that Western elites have for exotic dictatorships is long and never ending and the Western fascination with communism remains one of the puzzles of our century. Andy Warhol even made Mao a pop icon. It does not matter that everybody knows the Chinese regime’s numerous abuses; our hypnosis remains intact.
That time of romanticism is gone. There is no longer even that in China. Its former slums have become hypermodern giants of steel and glass and the country’s economic growth today is three times that of the United States. Half of the world’s cars, 80 percent of its computers, 90 percent of telephones and basic medicines are now manufactured in China.
No other country has ever achieved such rapid social and economic progress over such a short period of time. China has built the longest highway system in the world, the largest high-speed rail network in the world, and enough homes to move 600 million people from the countryside to the cities. Beijing dreams of the “overtaking” of the West.
Times have changed in China. But there are still many “useful idiots” in the West.
Chinese efficiency in containing Covid has been admired, from the construction of hospitals in a week to the quarantine imposed on sixty million people in Hubei, to the export of medical supplies to the rest of the world, making people forget the Chinese responsibilities in the origin of the virus – the criminal censorship of the regime in the first month of the epidemic, the disappearance of many witnesses among doctors and journalists.
“China is building a post-American world order,” political scientist Nathan Gardels explained in the Washington Post. For this reason, the Chinese alternative to the West and the United States could only find fertile ground in a Western public opinion that has always been seduced and attracted by self-hatred and anti-Americanism.
The Vatican’s agreement with the People’s Republic of China for the recognition of bishops appointed by the Communist Party and not by Rome has greatly helped Beijing to free itself from criticism of its mistreatment of religious freedom. The pact aims to resolve the historical division between the “underground Church”, whose bishops are approved by Rome and rejected by Beijing, and the Chinese “official Church” not recognized by the Vatican.
During the Cold War, some cardinals in Rome tried to tame the Soviet Union. In Czechoslovakia, the Vatican prohibited the clandestine ordination of priests who operated outside the government-approved hierarchy. The Vatican also sidelined the famous anti-Communist Hungarian archbishop József Mindszenty in favor of a deal with the regime. With the election of Polish cardinal Karol Wojtyla, who took the name of Pope John Paul II, the Vatican changed policy, while its head of doctrine, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – and future Pope Benedict XVI – rejected Marxism.
Pope Benedict XVI himself saw the danger of China. “I believe that the fundamental ideological tendencies of Marxism have survived the fall of the political form they have had to face up to now”, said Ratzinger. “We must not forget that important countries are governed by Marxist parties: China, Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba.” Now the Vatican openly appeases China.
China is infiltrating the European political class by funding political parties and inviting European politicians to China. President Xi Jinping even donated a statue of Karl Marx, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of his birth, to the German city of Trier.
Beijing has bought and invested in assets worth at least $318 billion over the past decade, 45 percent more than the United States. The Chinese consensus in Europe travels on mega investments, on Xi’s ability to present himself as a champion of globalization in the liberal financial coterie of Davos.
European universities are now heavily infiltrated by China, through donations, the Confucius Institute and academic agreements.
China, which boasts the highest prison rate of journalists in the world, has managed to enter into agreements with major European television and news agencies for the broadcast of its propaganda services in foreign countries.
Beijing has been able to penetrate international institutions, starting with the United Nations, presenting itself as the great standard-bearer of that “multilateralism” which has always attracted Westerners in an anti-American key and which allows China to dominate the international scene (just think of the management scandal in WHO during the Covid-19 pandemic). Xi made it clear to Congress that China will work to promote “a new form of international relations” and build “a community with a shared future for humanity.” Seductive formulas, to say the least, for a post-Western Europe.
China has brilliantly studied Western pathologies, such as its “identity politics” and multiculturalism, an authentic civil religion in Europe and now the US, with the result that the least diversified nation in the world that has detention camps for Muslims, Christians, Tibetan monks and Falun Gong, today manages to present itself as the victim of Western racism and xenophobia.
Take what has happened in the last year:
-China crushed the resistance of Hong Kong.
-It bears very serious responsibility for Covid.
-It is now threating Taiwan.
-It promoted a campaign of forced abortions and forced sterilization of the Uighurs, managing to silence Europe’s criticism.
-It signed a pact of submission with the Vatican.
2020 will be remembered as the year China defeated the West.