Prophesied World Orders and Red China: Part 1

Wilfred Hahn

There can be no doubt: The world is rapidly realigning itself into strategic nation blocs. In recent decades, a key reflection of this is rising opposition to the US. 

No longer is the world “globalizing” into one unity. Yes, for now, the world continues to globalize economically … although at a slower pace than before. 

In the past, self-interest and the prospect of increased trade and profits have incentivized the world to move in the direction of globalism and globalization. While it is true that nations today assemble in various international organizations (in the name of peace and prosperity), the apocalyptic Scripture of the Bible does clearly portray continued geopolitical strife in the world, right up to the time of Jesus Christ’s return. “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:7). 

That said, the notion that nations will come together in the interest of commerce indeed has been an effective incentive for some centuries … laying a foundation of globalism and globalization. However, to some surprise, this concept has frayed in recent times. It was long believed by Western policymakers and geopolitical strategists that increased wealth would lead to pro free-market policies in such areas as macroeconomic stabilization, economic opening with respect to both trade and investment, and the expansion of market forces within the domestic economy.

In short, rising trade liberalization was to lead to societal liberalism and free-market capitalism. But, this has proven false. It was mistaken in its belief that materialism would bind up all of humanity. That may prove true in North America, but in many countries, this has not been the case. Other nations may be more ideological … not just seeking wealth and domain.

Consider China. Its economy grew rapidly, leading it to become the biggest trading nation in the world in less than 30 years from a standing stop … surpassing even the United States in this capacity. China has largely achieved this on its own terms, even though it primarily was not a free-market economy and remained communist. 

A remarkable development has since occurred in the United States and other countries. There has been a rapid increase in the hatred of China—to unprecedented extremes. Shockingly, there are numerous accounts of Asiatic peoples being attacked and accosted in the streets.

According to a recent Pew survey, China’s unpopularity has reached a historic high, with Australia’s opinion of China leading the way. The poll, conducted in 14 advanced economies—i.e., Japan, Australia, France and the US, to name a few—revealed that a median of 73% of those polled had unfavorable views of China.1

Why has this occurred? Apparently, China’s popularity had already been plummeting before the Covid pandemic spread around the earth. 

Without question, the US and China today have become adversaries. China openly intends to become the ruling superpower of the world, thereby disposing the US from its multi-century reign of global influence. Yet at the same time, China assures that it will not be a hegemon. But with all the propaganda—on all sides—where can one find the truth? 

China may have been too successful for everyone’s liking. Therefore, hyperbole and biased, accusatory propaganda would be the norm for such a time. And indeed, that appears to be what we are witnessing today.

Are the concerns about China warranted? Is it the “big, bad, red China”? What are the true unbiased facts of the situation? 

To the reader, please note that this writer prefers not to get entangled with political perspectives. Nonetheless, this does not preclude us from stating facts. Perhaps these sources may provide some answers. Most importantly, just what does the Bible have to say?

To begin, therefore, we must acknowledge that there is no such thing as a virtuous country. For that matter, there is no Christian nation. All of them are ungodly and sinful. They all must be regarded as “kettles calling the pot black.”

Living Inside a Fishbowl
What is so loathsome about China that would generate so much hatred? What we discover is that these critical opinions about China are highly dependent upon their source … the vested geopolitical agenda of the commentator. In other words, one must be very careful not to be influenced by the opinions of any media outlet without checking their agenda. For example, comments from US sources (and other nations as well) are very biased and vengeful against China.

However, if one reads media sources from Europe, for example … or Saudi Arabia, a radically different perspective emerges. One discovers that a different set of values exists.

To illustrate, consider the recent experience with Covid. Greater than 1.1 million Covid-related deaths have occurred (as defined by the World Health Organization) in the US since the beginning of 2020.2 Was that an acceptable price to US policymakers, in their effort to keep the wheels of business turning?

What about China? Covid-related deaths there since 2020 have totaled little more than 5,000 (November 2022) … to repeat, yes, only 5,000 to date. 

Please note, however, that a new wave is unfolding in China as it reverses its “Zero-Covid” policies. But this will be modest in comparison to the experiences of other nations. China, to date, as can be noted, has had a very low casualty rate from Covid. And, to recall, China has 4.5 times the population of the US. There can be no question that China has successfully focused on minimizing deaths … no matter the economic cost. Was this not the right goal to pursue?

Covid Restrictive Measures
Global capital markets were very annoyed with China. Why? Its fervor to eradicate the virus with minimum deaths came at a large economic cost. As factories were shut down from time to time, global trade and economic growth were impacted. 

However, China’s Politburo is not driven uppermost by profits. It chooses instead to limit the number of deaths … no matter the economic costs.

Western nations think differently about this trade-off. America and Canada, for example, wish everything to go back to normal—economic growth, profit increases …etc.—even as annual Covid deaths continue at high levels. Again, to contrast, China cracks down on virus outbreaks of a few hundred cases and more. “Life” seems more valuable to the Chinese than their economy.

We note numerous policy standpoints that China has taken in recent years that could be argued to have been more virtuous than those of America and other Western nations. But these are not acknowledged and are obliterated by anti-China propaganda.

We next will mention additional examples of such policy differences.

Surveying Non-Bias
This writer has traveled to more than 60 nations (a goodly sum … though there are a total of 210 nations in the world today). Doing so, what I have learned is that opinions and interpretation can be radically different and oppositional between countries, even given the same facts.

As such, some of my most cherished discussions have been with people from other hemispheres … other cultures … people specifically outside the Anglo–Occidental sphere of countries. They always opened my eyes … and challenged my consensus views. 

To the contrary, most people make no attempts to see out of their fishbowl. The view from outside is sure to be different … for instance, a circuit pastor in Sri Lanka that I befriended … or a Muslim university professor traveling down the Nile with us. Their views revealed that I had many opinions that were neither just nor correct. I had been co-opted by home society bias.

This author also reads international publications … not just from Anglo countries, for instance. I read highlights of China Daily, the Financial Times (based in London) … even Al Jazeera at times (a state-owned Arabic-language international radio and TV broadcaster of Qatar). Frankly, by comparison, much of the media newscasts in North America are mostly entertainment. They are either pro the Democratic party or Republican party (and never the twain shall meet!).

The Virtues of China?
Of course, we live in an era of extreme geopolitical tension and competition. Governments also wage war through the dissemination of propaganda or through cyber attacks. They seek to influence election results or falsify consensus views over the Internet.

As we will show, China has made significant efforts to differentiate itself from the rest of the world … especially so the United States and greater Europe. Its policies are therefore very different from Western nations.

To illustrate, let’s resume the examination of some of these contrasting positions between the US and China.

1. Cryptocurrency. In September of 2021, the People’s Bank of China banned the mining of cryptocurrency. In retrospect, this was both prescient and just. Cryptocurrency never had any value other than as a speculative trading and gambling forum. By comparison, the US Federal Reserve was reluctant to put any restrictions in place, as it did not want to crimp the profits of Wall Street. The birds finally came home to roost. Many crypto companies went bankrupt, triggering trillions in damages. In contrast, China refused to have cryptocurrency run by special interests. Predictably, US policymakers did not.

2. Celebrity Culture. In 2022, Chinese regulators also intensified a crackdown upon Chinese celebrities and their fans and followers. Why? On grounds that online hordes create “chaos” and promote “extravagant pleasure” (Source: Financial Times). The Cyberspace Administration of China released a set of rules to regulate celebrities as part of President Xi Jinping’s drive to reform social values in the country. To put it succinctly, China wished to stop the decadent celebrity culture of amusement. 

3. Private Language Schools. These had become a significant economic sector, catering to wealthier families. While state schooling is of course without cost, language school was extracurricular and therefore, as it happened, also costly. The Chinese government took the position that education should not be the domain of the elites. To compare, in the West—most certainly so in the US—advanced education can be exceedingly expensive. The wealthy are favored, and many universities are bulge-bracket businesses themselves. This is contrasted to China’s perspective, which embraces “common prosperity.” 

4. Abortion Policy. Recent midterm elections in the US appeared to indicate that the majority of voters were in favor of abortion rights. While a number of pro-abortion rulings have been over-turned in recent times, the populace disagrees. China, to compare, has been tightening controls over abortions for “non-medical purposes,” as policymakers heap pressure on women in their battle to counter a demographic crisis. It released new guidelines (Outline for Women’s Development) aimed at improving fertility and reproductive health.

5. Online Video Games Limitation. In August of 2021, China banned children from playing online games for more than three hours a week. Wall Street and global capital markets were incensed … profits of the big–tech companies were being put in jeopardy. Western investors howled their disproval. To them, it was near sacrilege to forego profits for any reason … moral or otherwise. Instead, China chose a policy that was beneficial for young children. There is much research that documents the negative cognitive impact of excessive online gaming. Minors in China can only play games between 8 to 9 pm on Fridays, weekends, and on public holidays, according to a notice from the National Press and Publication Administration.

There are many more examples of different values that could be cited … for example:

6. Warning to Parents with Bad-Behaving Children. China’s parliament will consider legislation to punish parents if their young children exhibit “very bad behavior” or commit crimes.

7. High-Tech Crackdown.

8. Anti-Corruption Purges.

9. Corporate Governance Crackdown.

10. International Belt and Road Initiatives.

11. Promoting Equity and “Common Prosperity.”

12. China Condemns “Money Worship” and “Extreme Individualism.”

Reviewing the above, which of the mentioned Chinese initiatives are less virtuous … or useful than those of the West—America, Canada, and/or Europe? Of course, all nations are of this world, and none would be without error. In this case, we are examining the effects of propaganda and how this can distort comparisons and facts.

Does China deserve one-sided vilification? We would certainly take the position that many of China’s policy initiatives are not without merit.


Midnight Call - 03/2023

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