Western distortion of China's transformation miracle
Ngovi Kitau

Editor's note: Ngovi Kitau is the former Kenyan ambassador to the Republic of Korea. The article reflects the author's opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN. 

As one of the foreigners who watched China's National Day celebrations on CGTN on October 1 and listened to Chinese President Xi Jinping's inspiring remarks on the achievements the People's Republic of China (PRC) has made over the past 70 years, it's disappointing to note how Western media and U.S. politicians are belittling this miracle.

While pledging that China will stay on the path of peaceful development and pursue a mutually beneficial strategy of opening-up, President Xi stated: "We will continue to work with people from all countries to push for jointly building a community with a shared future for humanity." This positive narration has not been captured by some Western media. Reuters TV displayed a caption lamenting that China is using the occasion to "flex its military muscle" on its 70th National Day.

This statement is misleading to say the least. Reuters should have referred to a white paper published by the State Council Information Office just before the October 1 celebrations for clarity and accuracy.

The paper, entitled "China and the World in the New Era," stated, "The Chinese do not have it in their genes to invade other countries and dominate the world. And as a fact, over the past 70 years, China has not provoked a single war or conflict, nor invaded a single square meter of foreign land."

Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee released a malicious statement, in which he said that China's "obsession with control is putting the United States, our friends and allies, and our national security at risk."

McCaul concluded by saying that "Americans must recognize that China wants to be the dominant power in Asia and eventually the world; they are making progress on both fronts every day. This is a generational competition and the stakes could not be higher." This is just another move that contributes to the "China threat" discourse.

China held a grand military parade in Beijing to mark its 70th National Day, October 1, 2019. /VCG Photo

China held a grand military parade in Beijing to mark its 70th National Day, October 1, 2019. /VCG Photo

For quite some time now, the China hawks in the U.S. administration have been manipulating global opinion through the "China threat" theory. The paper "China and the World in the New Era" alerted the global community of this aberration.

"The causes of this theory include cognitive misunderstanding, deep-rooted prejudice, a psychological imbalance brought about by the prospect of falling power, and deliberate distortions by vested interests," the white paper correctly points out. The culprit here is the minority Western world, which erroneously continues to believe in the outdated Western prosperity model that a rising nation will invariably seek hegemony when it grows strong. This is the Thucydides Trap, which has led to the ongoing meaningless and devastating U.S.-China trade war. 

It's useful for the Western world to recapitulate on the famous words by Francesco Petrarca, the Italian scholar, poet, and one of the earliest Renaissance humanists. He said: "Five enemies of peace inhabit with us – avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride; if these were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace." In his speech, President Xi reasserted that China will stay on the peaceful development path, and people from other spheres who have positively reviewed and benefited from China's tremendous transformation appreciate what China is doing for the global community.  

It is very clear that in just a few decades, China has completed a course that took developed countries several hundred years. China has now become the world's second largest economy, taken care of the material needs of its nearly 1.4 billion people and achieved moderate all-round prosperity.

China has also used its wealth well. It did not recklessly waste its wealth on meaningless and endless unnecessary foreign wars. China's rise has been a consequence of investing in peace and development.

China has injected positive energy into world peace and development. China has become the second largest contributor to both the regular and peacekeeping budgets of the UN, and the largest troop contributor among the permanent members of the UN Security Council. As noted in the white paper, "By December 2018, China had participated in 24 UN peacekeeping operations and dispatched more than 39,000 troops, of whom 13 laid down their lives while on duty."

China has become the main engine of the world's economic growth, and both spheres of developed and developing world need to recognize the efforts made by China instead of constantly casting a critical eye.

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