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'China is not a threat': Scholar debunks U.S. narrative


Percy Allan, visiting professor at the Institute for Public Policy and Governance, University of Technology Sydney, said the "China threat" narrative was constructed by Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. in an attempt to create a "rally 'round the flag" effect designed to internally unite a deeply divided America.

In a series of articles published on the public policy blog "Pearls and Irritations," Allan said the American society is more divided than it has been since its civil war of the 1860s.

Given this dire political rift, confronting a common enemy is the easiest way to help unite the U.S. internally, he said.

"American politicians know that stoking fear of China is a vote-winner across party lines. Indeed, hatred of China is now the single issue that unites Democrats and Republicans."

Allan argued that China is not a threat for it has no imperial legacy or territorial ambitions, its foreign policy is not ultra-nationalist, it is not exporting its ideology and its military is built for defense.

He elaborated that China's appeal to the Global South is threefold: it has not invaded any of them or subverted their governments, the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative offers both grants and cheap loans for vital economic infrastructure such as roads, airports, seaports, and railways, and it is open to free trade agreements with underdeveloped countries, which the European Union and the U.S. are reluctant to do because of their industry protection policies.

Citing data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, he noted China's military spending took up 1.6 percent of the country's GDP in 2022, compared to 3.5 percent in the U.S. 

Allan, who had served as secretary of Australia's New South Wales Treasury, added that "Australia should stop treating China as its enemy and instead see it for what it is – a rising economic superpower that wants to engage diplomatically and commercially with the world, not ideologically or militarily."

(Cover: View of Central Business District in Beijing, China. /CFP)

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