Opinion / Web Comments

Goodbye Sinophobia, hello China model

By Chunman Zhang (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2013-09-12 15:02

Sinophobia does exist in history and today. In history, foreign powers demonized China as the so-called “yellow peril." In the 20th century, anti-Chinese sentiment was caused by the rise of People’s Republic of China after the civil war, the political chaos in Mao’s era and after 1978, by the unprecedented successful combination of economic development with China’s unique political system. In sum, the uniqueness of China and Chinese culture and the general lack of knowledge about China are the main reasons why sinophobia exists in the contemporary world.

Sinophobia is hurting everyone. First of all, it makes China more difficult to embed in the current international order. China is willing to open its door and become an active player in the game. But the status quo is that the fear of or dislike of China is blocking China’s entry into international affairs. It’s quite common to hear the complaints about China not playing a bigger role in global governance. But it’s not China’s fault all the time. Sinophobia in the world, the West in particular, should also take some responsibility. In addition, in the long run, sinophobia will do nothing good to other countries. China needs the world, and the world also needs China. But the existence of anti-China sentiment will continue in the distrust between China and other countries. If trust or strategic trust is hard to achieve, nothing further includes concrete and well-round cooperation  can be gained. Then a lose-lose outcome will be inevitable.

Entering the 21st century, people all around the world are facing more challenges, some of which are old while some are new. To meet pressing challenges, we need diverse approaches and paradigms. In this sense, this world should give the China Model a chance. The international community, in its own interest, should provide more support to solve China’s problems along with the Chinese government, rather than make unending sarcastic comments. Helping China is perfecting this world since China is a main stakeholder on the international stage. Leaders in the world are more than welcome to become constructive critics instead of repeating boring platitudes, or even worse, advocating that China is a threat.

This world needs more solutions, not fights, more trust, not doubt. Sinophobia contributes nothing to the resolution of international problems. But the China model does. For example, in reducing poverty, no country lifts more people out of poverty than China.

Yet, a caveat must be offered here. I am not saying the China model is perfect. In reality, no development model is perfect. The failure of the Washington Consensus in some countries has proved that no paradigm is a panacea. What I am expressing is that the diversity of development models can make this world better. China is tied to the whole world. Countries’ destinies are connected to each other. To make this world better, now is time to say goodbye to sinophobia and welcome the China model.

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