|Date (day):||11 August 2021 (Wednesday)|
Series 22, Talk #6
Hitherto, China’s rise has been seen primarily in economic terms. Its governance system, certainly in the West, was seen as far less attractive and effective in comparison to Western-style democracy. The picture has changed quite dramatically since 2008. First there was the Western financial crisis which undermined the latter’s reputation for economic competence. Then there was Trump who shook the world’s confidence in the sustainability of American democracy and the future of America. And then, of course, there was the pandemic. The contrast could not have been greater. While China dealt with the pandemic to remarkable effect, the US’s handling of it was a disaster, and Western Europe also performed badly. The West sought to hide its failure by vilifying China and misreporting its success. China’s success was amplified by the fact that it started its economic recovery many months before the West. Together, these factors have greatly raised China’s profile in terms of governance. Indeed, in the misnamed Cold War 2 (which should be seen as a new and different kind of comprehensive competition between the US and China) governance – along with economic performance, technology, living standards, social cohesion and social inclusivity – will be a central factor in its outcome.
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