How the U.S. Benefits from ‘Wolf Warrior Diplomacy’, by Doug Bandow

Just because much of the world hates the US government doesn’t mean they necessarily love China’s. From Doug Bandow at theamericanconservative.com:

As Washington seeks allies amid rising tensions, Beijing discovers the downside of its international image.

With the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China potentially headed into a new cold war that would hurt both countries, American policymakers should remember the importance of gaining friends and allies around the world. And not just governments, but peoples too.

That wasn’t too hard against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Washington made mistakes internationally, but the USSR was dull, gray, threatening, backward, isolated, oppressive, and hostile to what so many people around the world desired: freedom in all its forms, modern commerce and culture, and hope for the future. The regime effectively imprisoned its entire population. Moscow’s most economically successful satellite regime, East Germany, literally walled in its people.

The PRC is threatening and oppressive, but its opening to the West, abandonment of Maoism, acceptance of personal autonomy, and embrace of economic freedom make it radically different than the USSR. China is connected to the world, flush with current culture, and full of economic opportunity. It is a technological leader and place of hope for people just a few decades away from immiserating poverty. Beijing no longer bars its people from traveling, other than those deemed to be politically unreliable.

Which, of course, highlights the fact that the PRC is retrogressing on the freedom front. Unfortunately, President and General Secretary Xi Jinping appears to see himself as the second coming of Mao Zedong and has been moving his country back toward the Chinese Communist Party’s totalitarian past. Doing so is creating plenty of enemies at home—popular dissatisfaction occasionally bursts forth on social media, as it did early in the COVID-19 pandemic after doctors were silenced for expressing their concerns. And Xi will not rule forever. He, like Mao, could be followed by a liberalizer, who would quickly dismantle Xi’s brutal edifice.

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