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China has given up on the West President Xi's inward turn is finally bearing fruit

(Andrea Verdelli/Getty Images)

(Andrea Verdelli/Getty Images)


October 14, 2022   5 mins

Xi Jinping’s great moment is nearly upon us. This weekend, if the Pekingologists are correct, the Communist Party’s Congress will pave the way for him to become the longest-serving Chinese leader since Mao Zedong.

The Party has weathered the Covid storm, crushed opposition in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, and kept the economy afloat. Total recorded Covid deaths were kept to a tiny 15,000 (about the same as Scotland) while GDP growth was boosted to 8% in 2021. All of this was achieved while China sealed itself off from the world.

The Party has not so much learned to live with Covid restrictions as learned to love them. Although it’s now easier to enter the country (visitors must spend only ten days in quarantine rather than the previous 21), all kinds of other measures are still in force. The staging of the Congress this month seems to be one explanation: the Party does not want an embarrassing outbreak or lockdown to mar the political spectacle. But it’s unlikely that restrictions will go once the Congress is done. There seem to be several reasons for this, but chief among them is the fact the Party leadership has found the various Covid control measures to be very useful.

A self-imposed “walling off” is becoming the leitmotif of Xi’s China, with the CCP separating its people from the outside world through the creation of physical, political and economic barriers. The aim is to exclude disease from the national homeland, but also unwanted information, influence and pressure. During the Eighties, the leader who oversaw China’s opening up to the world, Deng Xiaoping, is reputed to have said: “If you open a window for fresh air, you have to expect some flies to blow in.” Xi is fed up with the flies: he’s closing the windows.

Take the new “Great Fence of China” along the country’s southeastern borders with Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar. The barrier is a substantial structure, clearly designed to last well beyond the likely duration of any pandemic. Yunnan province alone is reported to have earmarked $500 million for its construction. It snakes up and down steep hills, dividing mountain communities that long predate the existence of the border and obstructing unofficial cross-border movements of people and goods. More fences have been built, or rebuilt, along parts of the border where more restive minorities live, in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia.

While these structures will block the spread of disease as well as subversion, none of this is to say that Xi is turning China into North Korea. The Party leadership knows that China’s prosperity depends upon international trade, that trade depends upon international flows of finance, and that national development requires skills and technologies that can only be acquired by studying or travelling abroad. So, there must be portals through which goods, money and certain people can pass. But at the same time the leadership is trying to secure its position by reducing the ability of foreigners to influence its politics, society or economy.

In the past few years, there has been increased talk of “decoupling” between the US and China and of “deglobalisation” around the world. But the vast majority of the focus has been on American efforts to sanction China. There has been much less attention on China’s efforts to decouple itself. This is partly a result of the United States turning the dollar-based financial system into a tool of foreign policy. Its case against Huawei, for example, was based on the company breaking American laws by trading with Iran and clearing the payments through the New York banks. China’s response has been to try to reduce its dependency on the US financial system.

The Party’s efforts to reduce foreign influence lie behind the restructuring of its entire economy towards what it calls dual circulation. It is trying, in effect, to create two economies: a domestic economic circuit, which is insulated from the rest of the world, and a global circuit that relies on political connections (the Belt and Road Initiative) to open markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The organising principle of both circuits is that they are controlled by the Party, and not subject to international pressure. Pure economic autarky is not possible for a China that depends upon global trade, but dual circulation is an attempt to create as much autarky as possible.

It’s worth remembering that all these efforts towards self-reliance stem from the Party’s need to avoid foreign pressure so that it can continue to oppress dissident voices in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, continue trading with vicious regimes from Myanmar to Iran, and prepare for war over Taiwan. They are, in other words, part of Xi’s decade-long drive to reassert Communist Party domination of all areas of life in China.

This overarching agenda, announced immediately after Xi was appointed General-Secretary of the Communist Party, is ”the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”. His vision is of a homogenous mass of people, stretching from Shanghai to Xinjiang, all loyal to his “five identifications”: identifying with the state, the unified Chinese nation, Chinese culture, the Communist Party and Chinese socialism. As a result, all threats to Party rule, any rival source of leadership, whether it be imams in Xinjiang or student leaders in Hong Kong, must be flattened.

The inward turn is also squeezing out foreigners — though not all of them, of course. The Party is happy to host certain skilled individuals, such as English language teachers and pet bloggers, who amplify its messages about how the Tibetan and Uyghur peoples have benefitted from Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. Equally, the few hundred thousand Southeast Asians toiling on its production lines are welcome to stay. But at the levels of business management and control, something significant is happening.

Ker Gibbs, who was President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai from 2019 to 2021, has watched the growing de-foreignerisation of foreign-owned firms in China. To some extent, this reflects the development of a new generation of skilled Chinese managers able to manage complex supply chains. But he also notes that the constant pressure piled on Americans and other foreigners is causing an exodus. “It’s just not fun anymore” he tells me. “The space to operate freely has become more and more narrow.” Gibbs notes the growing authoritarianism of Xi’s China over the past decade was already pushing foreign businesspeople to leave, even before the pandemic. The draconian Covid lockdowns, particularly in Shanghai, were the last straw for many. In a few years’ time, American firms in China may no longer be run by Americans.

The same exodus can be seen in Hong Kong, once the “Gate to China” but increasingly just another Chinese city. Xi’s crackdown on free speech, the Party’s assault on the rule of law, Covid restrictions and the slow but constant “mainlandisation” of the territory are steadily diminishing its attractiveness. Hong Kong is still an “air lock” through which China can access foreign capital, but foreigners are leaving, which is exactly what the Party wants.

At the same time, the Communist Party is pushing foreign enterprises to facilitate the establishment of party cells inside their operations. There will be twin chains of command, with one from head office and another from Beijing. When push comes to shove, head office will be far away, and Beijing will have the guns. Fearing the consequences, some businesses are taking the money and running. In the process, the Chinese economy is becoming insulated from foreign pressure.

At the beginning of 2022, when international concern about human rights abuses in Xinjiang became focused on businesses operating there, two Western companies responded in strikingly different ways. While American-owned Walmart took some products off its shelves and hunkered down, the French supermarket chain Carrefour did the opposite. It launched a “Xinjiang fine foods week” promotion. The reason is simple. Carrefour, once the largest foreign retailer in China, is no longer French. In 2020, it sold 80% of its Chinese business to a local company, Suning International. Chinese capital, and the Communist Party, now controls the business. And as a result, the ability of Western governments to influence the company’s behaviour or pressure China to change its policies in Xinjiang is now minimal.

In China, then, the walls are going up. A country that once headed towards openness is now closing. For all the Chinese leadership’s talk of globalisation, it has chosen to deliberately decouple from the world to ensure the survival of Communist Party control. When Xi is once again anointed on Sunday, he will do so knowing that his decade-long inward turn is finally bearing fruit.


Bill Hayton is an associate fellow with the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House. He is the author of The Invention of China, published this month by Yale University Press

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Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 year ago

Demographics are destiny, culture is pervasive and so history rhymes no matter what Xi does. Xi’s actions are shaped by what has gone before that cannot be undone. To see how demographics, culture and history might shape China’s future, one only has to look across the East China Sea towards Japan.

The Japanese working population had boomed and urbanised. Japan had a red-hot economy. Its corporates were buying up the West whilst the homeland remained a closed shop much like Japan has often been throughout history. Japan was going to take over the world. Then a recession came and the bubble burst. It coincided with a reversal in demographics that meant there weren’t enough young people to forge a strong recovery. Island Japan is difficult to reach and is culturally wary of foreigners so has not looked to immigration to fix its demographics. It has struggled ever since. Japan’s exporting champions rely on offshore factories to address labour shortages in the supply chain at home. The internal economy is ossified and detached from the global economy but the old population is restful and not demanding radical change. No one today talks about a Japanese global takeover.

China too has boomed on the back of urbanisation and an expanding workforce. Many worry China might take over the world. But, like Japan, urbanisation has reached its limit and the population is about to age even more rapidly than Japan’s. At some point a recession will burst the bubble and there won’t be enough young people to forge a strong recovery. China is also culturally wary of foreigners and won’t tolerate immigration. As it is not an island and is surrounded by poorer countries, a big fence is needed to block illegal immigration routes. China will need offshore manufacturing centres to maintain its exporting champions. Its internal economy will ossify and detach from the global economy but its old population will not demand radical change. Talk of a Chinese global takeover will recede.

And all of this will happen not because of Xi or the machinations of the CCP or relations between the USA and China, but because of demographics, culture and history. Xi is just an administrator.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nell Clover
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

An excellent synopsis, thank you.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

You’re welcome!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

True, and well said.

Ibn Sina
Ibn Sina
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Fascinating and admirably concise. Thanks

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Yup – My first thought was why this writer failed to cover the huge demographic crisis in China, which completely undermines his analysis of China going it alone.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Serious question: why would anyone want to immigrate to China?

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 year ago

Apparently 400,000 chose to emigrate to Russia in 2021. I’d say China would be a better prospect for remittances… if you could get past immigration and local hostility to foreigners.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nell Clover
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Interesting, if true. Where did they emigrate from? But again why would anyone want to immigrate to Communist China, where they enslave millions, practice organ harvesting, create deadly viruses . . .

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

That’s a kind of narrow view: ‘a bit like US Democrats eating babies. I’m not saying both aren’t true: they may well be. But it’s probably greatly exaggerated!

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Silly, everyone knows its Republicans who eat babies, drown puppies, and kill Grandmas. But I do wonder how one can claim I’ve exaggerated. The enslaved Uighurs, victims of systematic genocide, could offer some insight. I’ll bet the Tibetans would also like a word. You could read “Life and Death in Shanghai” by Nien Chang, as I did back in 1987, for just one first-hand account. Or, you could look at the millions dead as the result of Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

I don’t doubt it. There os a degree of misinformation on the Uyghers but I dare say it’s bad notwithstanding. I’m no apologist for China but like to take a banced view. The CCP did after all bring a billion people out of dire poverty while the US did the reverse with 150 million of its citizens who are now worse off relatively than they were in 1970! Even the UK now has 20 million in relative poverty and more food vanks than McDonalds.. so credit (and criticism) where it’s due.

Petter Baldwin
Petter Baldwin
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

No credit is due to the CCP. It held China back economically for the first thirty years of its rule with lunatic politics. The opening to the world and the economic surge would have happened without CCP rule, and much earlier.

Hanna Orr
Hanna Orr
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I’d still rather live in US or UK than digital concentration camp China. Like an important guy from China once said – he would rather clean toilets in a free country than be important in China. Like all totalitarian counties – Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, it’s a hellhole, with just a modicum of comfort for the Chinese middle class. What is wrong with US and UK is that it’s bosses exported industrial production to China, out of pure greed, and this enabled Chinas ascendency.

Jon Barrow
Jon Barrow
1 year ago

But migrant workers from say North Korea, Burma or Cambodia wouldn’t see any of that. They’d be working in the urban areas on the eastetn seaboard, or near the borders of their home countries.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Barrow

Yes. Slaves.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

My sister, recently returned from China days the people were most welcoming! Perhaps its only the British and US that are not welcome: ‘bit o’ history there though!

Jon Barrow
Jon Barrow
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I’m British and for five years worked all over the eastern seaboard of China, until Covid started. I was never made unwelcome as a result of being British, in fact most mainland Chinese would I’d say have almost no ability to distinguish between Britain/Ireland or British/Irish.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Barrow

Neither was Nien Chang, an executive at Shell Oil. As long as you’re useful, you’re good. And then you’re not.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Barrow

Doesn’t surprise me in the least. I worked in Malaysia and had a similar experience from its large Chinese population (as well as from its large Indian and indigenous Malay population)..

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Presumably your sister wasn’t competing with local labourers for piecemeal work or running a business competing with the local party bosses.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Nah: just holidaying.. but her daughter was working there as a senior engineer. She too had a good experience.
I remember saying to a Greek pleasure boat skipper I was thinking of moving there and doing the same as him. Did he say I’d be welcome? Eh.. no! He indicated it might be bad for my ‘health’ to compete with the locals! He wasn’t joking. You don’t have to be Chinese to not wish your livelihood to be threatened by rich outsiders! That is a natural fear ..everywhere. Btw I was joking of course but Costas didn’t think it was funny!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Culture? Prosperity? Low crime rate? Climate (parts)? Nice people? What’s not to like?
We have 6,000 Irish people (0.12% of our entire population: you British have 38,000 or 0.06% of your population). My sister has just returned: wonderful country she says.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Culture you, as a gweilo, would not be allowed to participate in. Prosperity completely dependent on stolen (or government-sold) tech, innovation, and trade with the West. Crime rate? When the government is the dominant criminal force, the gangs work as its enforcers if they know what’s good for them. Every country, even North Korea, has the potential to be “wonderful”. Instead of embracing the dynamism and creativity of the 20th Century, China opted to become a communist killing field in 1949. Glad your sister had a nice time and made it back in one piece. Oh, and I’m not British.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I’m sorry I have to ask, but who is (or are) WE? And it’s worth mentioning that back in the 1930s visitors to the Soviet Union also returned awestruck by all the progress — orchestrated for useful idiots — while Stalin was having millions shot in KGB cellars and even more millions starved in Ukraine.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

Yes, and the New York Times reporter Walter Duranty, a degenerate and paid apologist for the Soviet regime, was awarded a Pulitzer for his lying propaganda. This is all easy-to-find information (and, for many of us, common knowledge). Liam, I’ll add Koestler’s “Darkness at Noon” to your reading assignments.

David Zetland
David Zetland
1 year ago

There’s an excellent movie out about that, “Mr Jones”. It’s based on a true story about Welsh journalist Gareth Jones who risks his life to expose the truth about the devastating famine in the Soviet Union in the early 1930s.
86% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago

I couldn’t agree more. And the Poobahs in charge of the Pulitzer pooh-poohed the idea of revoking Duranty’s.

andy young
andy young
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

“All them corn fields & ballet in the evenings …” F. Kite

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Demographics along with external needs for both food and energy doom any effort to really become an island. The rescinded one child policy restricts them for a few more decades. Now the new richer young like in may places decides to forgo children. They have employed money well to capture external resources but the current debt load coupled with the arriving world slowdown will cripple their efforts to exploit those resources. Xi’s mismanagement in trying to retain central control is now the failure point.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

I think you may be confusing Xi with Truss. I’d say you’re so wide of the mark it’d be hard to know where to start. The argument that China needs to trade to survive is a bit like saying planet Earth needs to trade to survive! The population of China is more than that of the US, EU, UK and Japan combined! China needs the West (in its current state) like a hole in the head!

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

What nonsense. Start from the fact that China needs to import 80% of its food supply, not to mention fuels of all kinds.

Fred Paul
Fred Paul
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

I was born in 1954. My father was born in 1894, four years after the American cavalry committed the Wounded Knee atrocities killing men, women and children on American soil.
Back then, trade was east to west in Canada with the UK. Little went north and south with the Americans. Then in the 1920s, things started to change with automobile manufacturing in Canada. Then WWII changed Canada from agricultural to industrial, and the Americans started to build plants in Canada to avoid tariffs. Trade with the UK dropped to almost nil. America was building everything, and Canada was close behind. Canada was America’s partner in rebuilding Europe after the war and profited greatly.
Then things built in Japan started to show up. The quality wasn’t as good, but the price was right. Then, efforts by an American to improve manufacturing quality started to take root. Soon, the joke about cheap Japanese goods was replaced by better Japanese goods. Better cars, electronics, appliances, pianos, whatever. And the price started to go up. America saw competition.
Then, Taiwan’s manufactured goods started to show up. Good quality and cheaper. Then Hong Kong and other far east countries. The best and most expensive from Europe for the rich, and the cheap and good quality from the far east for the middle.
Canada thought free trade with the US would be a good idea. Hence, NAFTA. Then a few years later, the US invited Mexico for cheap assembly labour, much like the far east. Of course, Korea taught the US to remain in war mode, resulting in false domestic manufacturing to maintain the largest military in modern history. But soon, manufacturing jobs in Canada and the US went to Mexico and factories in the two started to close.
Nixon sought to democratise the Chinese through trade. And soon, through lessons learned with Mexico to decrease costs and increase profits, trade and manufacturing shifted from the US/Canada/Mexico to China. And the Europeans caught on. The Japanese couldn’t compete. The Taiwanese and Hong Kongers couldn’t either. Almost 90% of goods sold in the US and Canada show “Made in China”. Automobiles have survived, sort of. The Americans no longer build sedans. Hint.
Hong Kong is now China. Taiwan’s time is limited. Quality goods for the rich come from Europe with the stiff competition with Korea and China. Canada will start building molten salt nuclear reactors, and Trump tried reintroducing electric tea kettle manufacturing in the US.
Money is everything. Politics is nothing.

Last edited 1 year ago by Fred Paul
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred Paul

You’re a bit behind the times: just like Japan, China now produces high quality goods. The desire for European goods is just snob value and subcultural trends.. (like Europeans wanting Harley Davidson motorcycles).
That will disappear very soon. If Xi slaps big tariffs on imports it’ll disappear overnight!
Taiwan still produces superior high tech goods but it, like Hong Kong, will soon be in China: with genuine autonomy, guaranteed for maybe 10 years?
As the US sinks beneath the economic waves (with the demise of the US$ and the upcoming Trumpian civil war) Taiwan will no longer have the US to back.it. Game over.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I have yet to see anything made in China — anything — that lasts even remotely as long as one would expect it to. And the way things fail is amazing – false economies that couldn’t have saved them a tiny fraction of a penny a piece but make an expensive product premature landfill. That’s what China is largely producing. Landfill.

Tom May
Tom May
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred Paul

Your father was 60 when you were born. Bravo!

Mike Bell
Mike Bell
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

The best bit of writing I’ve seen this week. Thank you, Nell.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Sounds plausible but I suspect when it suits China it will be happy to import young productive ‘replacements’ to support its aging population. There is no shortage among its neighbours especially Vietnam, Laos and even Indonesia with its burgeoning population.. but not just yet: hence the fences.

Simon Woods
Simon Woods
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

China is relying upon the West to tear itself apart by uncontrolled inward migration which will gradually destroy much of what made Europe and the USA economicall supreme over the past 500 years.
Japan for all its “demograhic challenges” remains a very large economy indeed, still innovative and creative. It is not dependent on cheap and ultimately disruptive labour – just look at what is happening in France, Sweden and the UK – but instead invests in robotics. Japan is gloriously and unashamedly xenophobic ie secure in the grandeur and finesse of their own culture, which is superior to most others.
Xi and the CCP are certainly repellent but they know exactly what they’re doing. They may even succeed.
Nell Clover I consider your conclusions, if not not your arguments, to be largely erroneous.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

“Total recorded Covid deaths were kept to a tiny 15,000 (about the same as Scotland)”
Does anyone seriously believe that? Or is there even the remotest chance that the Chinese maybe lying?
After all did they not ‘invent’ Wuhan Flu (C-19)in the first place?

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago

Only believable if they had actually created and distributed the vaccine in china prior to unleashing it across the world. However, I can’t see a government that uses lockdown to control its people, caring enough about its people’s well being to do that.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

They had some resistance to the original strains via SARs-1 but no resistance to Omicron which is eliminating seniors. Given minimal social supports that’s of little consequence. More than 15,000 died in the early days if mortuary backups can be seen in photos.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

This is the kind of rational, logical thinking that emerges when you don’t suffer from the oh so prevalent xenophobia that abounds on this platform. Well spotted (though not really too difficult).

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago

The Chinese Communist Party, lying about statistics? And cajoling their payroll and the naive “useful idiots” in the western media who have fallen for their vile propaganda to regurgitate and legitimise their lies, and to trumpet their fabricated unreality and cruel inhumane authoritarianism and thuggish bullying as part of a glorious socialist success story?

Never!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Spot on Sir!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

I am not sure about “useful idiots”. it looks more like co-conspirators in a cover-up to me.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Check under the bed gor Reds is my advice! They’re everywhere!!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

That was an intelligent comment.
Those western scientific establishment and politicians who were involved in the coronavirus project in Wuhan reacted immediately to rubbish any suggestion that Covid was the result of a lab leak when they were clearly in on position to substantiate their claims.
What would you call that?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

A million innocent civilians dead in Iraq thanks to the benign efforts of the US and UK: who now lecture us on humanitarianism! You couldn’t blood6 make it up could you??

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Totally agree, I’m afraid that hypocritical attitude that we are marvellous and every other government is a sham is what has got us into this mess in the first place. There’s alot of bad feeling on here toward both the Chinese and the Russian people, I think we are forgetting they are all people too! How much do think I’d get lynched for wearing a Russian or Chinese lives matter t shirt. All our governments have problems people we need to stop pretending the west are the heroes with all the answers, in my humble opinion.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Check out who suffered most at the hands of the Axis? Russia won WW2 (or 4/5th of it) and the Chinese had suffered terribly under the Japanese. Check out who invaded most countries and killed most people and looted their resources. Russia and China near the bottom of that list! Yet the West are the good guys, and the Ukrainians are all heroes! MSM pukes out a totally one-sided narrative and the sheeple, many on this platform, fall for it over and over.

Roger Sponge
Roger Sponge
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Russia certainly played a substantial part in winning WW2. Yet invaded Poland in 1939. And entered into the Molotov-Ribbentrop non aggression Pact with Germany to partition Poland between them.
USSR also attacked Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania under the Pact’s auspices.
Hitler and Stalin were made for each other. While Nazi crimes are rightly decried, somehow those of cuddly Uncle Joe and his appalling henchmen don’t hit the same register.
And the Russians were definitely not the “good guys” in post WW2 Europe. Just ask those who swarmed across the Wall in 1989.

Tom May
Tom May
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

The USSR invaded Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland (twice), Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Yugoslavia (though they did leave thinking Tito was one of them) . Of course the Red Army should be credited with the victory, I completely agree on thet point. They did it to ensure the survival of the Party and then the expansion of the Party’s power. And of course the Party existed to serve and protect the People! Really?

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom May
Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom May

Some victory the Red Army achieved — by losing several times the number of soldiers the Germans lost on the eastern front. And even so they couldn’t have done it without the American ‘Lend-Lease’ donations of steel, airplanes, tanks, trucks and Spam.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Your wearisome hostility to all things American makes me wonder why the US contains so many people of Irish descent. But maybe it’s a historical phenomenon, since the British used to ship all their criminals over here.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

I would very much agree with this. I don’t think that western governments are marvellous or that the Chinese or Russian people are any fundamentally different to the US or the British people. We are all just people, as you say.

But that isn’t to say that one form of government cannot be morally or practically superior to another. It’s my firm belief that a form of government that is grounded in the Christian-heritage values of individual human rights, dignity, and autonomy is superior to a communistic form of government that generally prioritises the collective over the individual in pursuit of a godless utilitarianism. That is not, in any way, “xenophobic”; in fact it is the opposite because it embraces a universalist view of the value of human life. Of course, every form of government must to some degree incorporate elements of both (and other) worldviews. And every form of government is corruptible by private interests – as we have seen. But it’s harder to be corrupt for long when there are proper checks and balances (including a genuinely independent judiciary) and people willing and able to call out the powerful if they lie and cheat. But ultimately, if you don’t start from the position that every human life has *intrinsic* value, that cannot be traded for money or sacrificed to a higher cause, you make it possible for the very worst crimes against humanity to be committed by powerful zealots convinced that the means justify the ends.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

I appreciate your reply, gave me some food for thought! I would say in reply to your comment

‘ It’s my firm belief that a form of government that is grounded in the Christian-heritage values of individual human rights, dignity, and autonomy is superior to a communistic form of government that generally prioritises the collective over the individual in pursuit of a godless utilitarianism’

I would question does ‘the west’ actually stand for Christian values any more? Have we actually ever? Or do we just tell ourselves that to make ourselves feel better about what we have to do and the wars we wage throughout the world to maintain our access to cheap labour, cheap resources and cheap energy so we can live the very materialistic and comfortable lives we do? Are we not in the godless pursuit of capitalism and ownership of goods? Are we not responsible really for all the plastic pollution, tons of clothes and food that get wasted every year, oil pollution, mining pollution and god knows what else? I know that China is now a large polluter but they are only pursuing the same level of living standards we have now and as boris said we are responsible for the industrial revolution! I’m not sure we can say that we have always treated each human life with intrinsic value that can’t be traded for money either. This is why I believe we have become rather hypocritical.
Im not saying communist china is the answer but I honestly don’t think we are in much of a position to criticise them. Just because you BELIEVE Christian values are superior to communist values doesn’t necessarily mean that they are. I think we, as the west are going to need a much more open minded approach to everything if we don’t want to end up in a full on war with russia or China.

Last edited 1 year ago by B Emery
Roger Sponge
Roger Sponge
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Terrible, dreadful things happened in Western Europe during WW2. Many rules were broken. But at least there were rules.
In the war in Eastern Europe – Nazis & Communist fighting – there were no rules at all.
I saw Communist values at work in DDR and Poland: corrupt, oppressive, dreadful pollution, poor health, food and housing, shoddy goods, empty shops, low trust and continual lies, secret police, Stasi, glass ceiling to promotion & access to goods to non party members


Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

I see your point. I would answer “yes” to most if not all of your questions above. I guess what I really mean by “Christian values” is the *ideal* that each individual human life and conscience is sacred. That’s not to say that the west has not always lived up to that ideal, or failed to achieve it, or wandered astray from it, or (in some cases) deliberately shunned it. This is a fallen world, after all: our governments and individuals in the west have committed the most horrendous affronts to humanity and, if you believe, to God. But at least we have that Christian-heritage ideal as an organising principle; whether or not we still believe in the theology that established it is neither here nor there but, like it or not and believe it or not, it still pervades our culture and politics to the extent it’s very easy to be perfectly unaware of it. It’s just there, in the background, as unspoken assumption. That is not to say that culture, and that assumption, is not under attack and being eroded as the glue that once bound us together in a single faith has dissolved something much less steadfast.

Collectivists outside of that political tradition don’t share that ideal. They don’t *automatically* believe in the intrinsic value of human life for and in itself. That’s not the same thing as saying it’s OK to kill people indiscriminately but it is saying that nothing is off the table when it comes to trying to deal with collective action problems. So, for example, it’s perfectly OK to bioengineer ourselves to make us fitter, stronger, and better able to defend ourselves. It’s OK to close down schools, put kids in dreadful surgical masks all day, lock people in their homes if to do so some fits some conception of pursuing “the greater good”. It’s OK to strip people of their agency and freedom to make “bad” choices, or to express “harmful” opinions if we think that keeps us all safe, or the right sort of people in power. The twentieth century gives us some even more egregious examples.

Clearly we need to remain open minded, and to learn from what others do well. And no-one (bar, perhaps, a few psychologically mal-adjusted industrialists and crackpot environmentalists who might welcome the population reduction) wants a war with China, Russia, or anyone else in an era of (actual) weapons of mass destruction. But if we don’t hold fast to the fundamental belief-system that got us here and be prepared to articulate a full-throated defence of our liberal Christian-heritage cultural values, we really do risk throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I made no mention in my comment of US-led invasion of Iraq and nor is it mentioned in the article. Please don’t allow these comments boards – which I do often find illuminating and engaging – descend into silly tribal mudslinging and point scoring. This isn’t Twitter, and there’s no room for trolls.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

If your going to get into Christianity vs communism surely that is the basest form of tribal mudslinging. And you should expect people to throw back at you the atrocities our own governments have committed.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

OK. Fair enough. My response to Liam was a little intemperate. I guess I was a little irked that I was in no way denying the atrocities our own governments have committed, but was attempting to make a broader point about the way in which collectivist governments tend to operate. So I felt his response was a bit of a disingenuous rhetorical fallacy. But on reflection I can see that I let my irritation get the better of me. However, to be clear: I was getting into to Christian-heritage liberal democratic values vs communism, which is a different thing to Christianity vs communism. I don’t think that is tribal mudslinging.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Do you know what it’s lovely to have a proper conversation about these things on here! I think your reply is very fair and well considered, and I also apologise for accusing you of base tribal mudslinging! I will take your point that we should hold true to those values, when I was little my grandad used to take us church (to give my mum chance to cook Sunday lunch and play with our friends at Sunday school) and if we weren’t keen to go for whatever reason my dad (a working class atheist) would say ‘ the whole of our society is based on Christianity, make your own mind up about God but it will do you good to go and learn about it, I had to!’ so I am aware that Christianity is intrinsic to our society, and I think it’s core values are important, I think we could be a lot better at upholding them. I also think that actually maybe our society is better described now by capitalism than Christianity, I’m afraid our policy is not now always set by our Christian values as normal people but by lobby groups, ngos, big business and our interest in commodities etc. Apparently the IMF and ‘the markets’ can now set our budget?! I thought them forcing the corporation tax hike to 25% is disgusting it will hurt small businesses the most making more room for the big boys to gobble up the last bit of anything that hasn’t already been absorbed into a multi national corporation. To be honest I thought how boris was got rid of was disgusting and shady especially considering he won the election with a considerable majority, I fear our own political system is in very bad shape and more manipulated than we realise. Tony Blair is middle east peace envoy?!
Someone on here made the excellent point that ‘money is everything politics is nothing’ so getting too idealogical about one set of values vs another is maybe the barrier to solving our problems sometimes? I understand your point that a society based on individual rights is very different to a society based on collective rights and I would definitely prefer myself the one based on individual rights. That being said I’m just reading Aldeous Huxley Island and having my mind blown.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Thank you for your enlightening response, and apology accepted. Believe me, it is warmly appreciated and truly heartening. I agree with much of what you say, and Huxley’s Island is very much on my reading list. What’s illuminating, to me, about our exchange is that what can on the face of it seem like quite an antagonistic clash of diametrically opposed opinions is often (and I would say, almost always) a lot more nuanced and complex once you scratch below the surface.

And that’s the problem with these blinking phones and digital fora – they are great for exchanging thoughts and ideas, but they can be so dehumanising that they can make us forget who we really are and what is really important to us.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

I completely agree and I’d really like to thank you for taking the time to reply each time and for being very fair and open minded throughout, I have really enjoyed the debate and learnt new things myself, thank you!

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

So I’m afraid I have to take issue with the figures as this seems to be a contentious issue, reuters reports only 5226 deaths although their stats haven’t been updated since July and Who report 27000
https://covid19.who.int/region/wpro/country/cn
https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/countries-and-territories/china/
So where has the author of the article got 15000? Does anyone actually know? Edit trying to say if we haven’t even got accurate figures we can’t speculate.

Last edited 1 year ago by B Emery
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

I have some property for sale in Florida with good drainage if you are interested.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

You got the usual negative response to presenting the facts! Look, people on this platform don’t want their fun spoiled by quoting facts. If you want popularity my advice is go the xenophobic route! It’s a real winner here! Be as positive as you can with the LT(-KK) regime: and as negative as you can with anyone of the Left esp. the CCP – otherwise you’re in for a lot of down ticks!

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

LOL I can take it! Thanks for the heads up though I’ve only been subscribed here for a week and I’ve already been accused of working for the kremlin, peddling ccp propaganda and having a wild imagination! Actually on this subject fact is NO ONE KNOWS how many people died of covid in China in my pursuit of cold hard facts I found this from the British medical journal, it is a long hard read I expect it will be dismissed by some before they have read it but it is very interesting an extract
What is already known on this topic
In China the major outbreak of covid-19 that started in Wuhan city, Hubei province during late December 2019 led to a nationwide lockdown during late January 2020, which was subsequently lifted in early April 2020
Although various estimates have been made about the number of covid-19 related deaths in Wuhan city and elsewhere, no study has systematically examined the overall and cause specific mortality across different parts of China during the three months of the covid-19 outbreak
What this study adds
In this nationally representative study covering more than 300 million people, Wuhan city experienced significant excess deaths not only from pneumonia, chiefly covid-19 related, but also from several other major diseases
Outside of Wuhan city, overall mortality did not increase, and, if anything, the observed mortality rates from various types of pneumonia (except that caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), chronic respiratory diseases, and road traffic incidents were lower than the predicated rates, all of which coincided closely with the lockdown
Link
https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n415

Last edited 1 year ago by B Emery
B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Which would lead me to question again where the author of the article has obtained his figures!?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

…by strange coincidence the 15k figure is roughly half way between 5226 and 27k. Close enough for the piece I’d say?

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Perhaps but I think it’s shoddy journalism giving that figure of 15000 from John Hopkins uni he should at least have said that it’s an estimate, or that no one is sure, china is an enormous country with an enormous population which has more to with the difficulties counting covid deaths than the Chinese gov hashing the figures by the sound of it from the bmj.

Gin Not Sling
Gin Not Sling
1 year ago

The Economist estimates 1.7m. The crematoria were running 24/7 for quite some time


Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Gin Not Sling

In a country of 1.3 billion I’m not surprised the crematoria are busy 24/7.. it makes sense ecologically to keep the furnace hot permanently (like a steel smelter) rather than stop start! Those Chinese ain’t stupid!

Chris Hume
Chris Hume
1 year ago

The covid figures are about as believable as their economic growth figures.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Hume

If you need to know anything about GrowthÂł look to Liz Truss and KK. They’re the real experts. The CCP know nothing!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Oh dear…

Tom May
Tom May
1 year ago

There is a phrase for that – “a Firetrucking Pile of ….”

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

This is a fascinating article. I did not know about Xi’s grand plan for isolating China from the world. I do wonder if Xi can really create a dual system whereby foreigners are granted only limited access to China but still maintaining China’s booming economy. Why would a Western company want to make major investments in China but turn control of the Chinese arm of their business over to the CCP?
I also wonder about the tolerance of the Chinese people for endless mass lockdowns. I realize they live in an extremely repressive society, and dissent carries heavy penalties, but I can hardly imagine the effect on millions of people subject to endless, arbitrary lockdowns in the vain quest for zero covid. Of course, we can now see the point of the lockdowns is control of people not virus.
Meanwhile, the West continues its self-immolation at the progressive altar. It doesn’t require much imagination to see why Xi might want to isolate his nation from Western values–current Western values that is; not the values of fifty years ago, the ones that made the West great.

Aaron James
Aaron James
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The Wuhan Flu has been interesting how it has utterly upended the world. A flu – not a problem, treat the symptoms with after market medications, be just fine.

It was a mouse which frightened the elephant to leap off the cliff to its death. (or more likely, used as an excuse to push the elephant off and to its death.)

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Upvote for calling it “Wuhan Flu”.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

25 upticks! I didn’t know QAnon was so active in Unherd! Or is it the Icke brigade?

Brian Kullman
Brian Kullman
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The wokism running rampant in the US would be enough to make China want to wall-off itself from outside influencers.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

“Total recorded Covid deaths were kept to a tiny 15,000 (about the same as Scotland) while GDP growth was boosted to 8% in 2021. All of this was achieved while China sealed itself off from the world.”
Is this sarcasm?

Amos Farrell
Amos Farrell
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Exactly what I thought. This article sounds like it was written by the CCP. It’s kind of hilarious, really.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Amos Farrell

What’s really hilarious is your response! I guess it’s a kind of jealousy is it? Now that Liz Truss is showing the world jow to run an economy? You want hilarious? You’ got right there on your doorstep!

Tom May
Tom May
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Why do you keep diverting to Liz Truss? We are meant to be talking about China.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I’ve seen estimates of ~ 6% growth in 2021 which is well below their norms. It’s even lower this year. Is likely to have a huge impact of their debt load.

Snapper AG
Snapper AG
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

The 6% is a joke statistic. Building bunches of empty apartment towers in cities where nobody lives is not economic growth.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Snapper AG

Indeed. Far better to wait for a housing crisis before building any homes! Get Liz to explain how it’s done yo Xi. He’s clueless!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You seriously think China achieved 8% growth while locking down Shanghai – a city three times the size of London – and simultaneously shutting down its international trade? What planet are you from?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

You forget the population of China is more than those of the US, UK, EU and Japan combined! If those 4 were trading with each other then 6% growth is posdible, right? So split China into 4 blocs.. what’s the difference?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

The writer got confused by the facts: ignored the rhetoric and xenophobia: it’s a common enough error in journalism though rarely in the tabloids.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

weird

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I know. It is isn’t it? But it’s quite common.. a kind of mass hallucination in a topsy turvy Woke, post truth world. Weird hardly covers it!

Aaron James
Aaron James
1 year ago

Meet your Frankenstein….

USA Corporations, Hedge Funds, Pension Funds, Insurance Funds, Money Market Funds created this enemy of Western Enlightenment Liberalism. They loaned the money for China to industrialize wile also putting American Manufacturing out of business.

BlackRock – founded by Larry Fink – has $10 Trillion assets under management, largest entity in the world – Buffet, Munger, Dalio, et al – the treacherous managers of all The West’s money – they funded all the industrializing of China. Wile managing the United Autoworkers Pension, and every other, they used the money and moved all the manufacturing to China – to take the USA Worker’s jobs. Evil, Evil, Evil – how USA paid for its own hangman’s gallows, made its own rope, and will pay the executioner to finish what it began.

The Chinese Miracle was paid for by the ones we trusted with our money – they then educated all the Chinese in our Universities, gave them all our intellectual capital….built them from the ground up with our expertise and money – handed them the world.

In exchange they will not be appreciative – they will be as they are – and that is a not good-

And so it goes – Biden destroys SWIFT and pushes Russia into Chinese arms – to create a Cartel with all the oil and metal producers – a super Cartel which will replace the $ Reserve Currency… and on and on it goes.

Cicero could not have ever even imagined how we are – it defies all decency, it is pure evil

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”
–Marcus Tullius Cicero ”

Marcus Tullius Cicero: “The Closer The Collapse Of An Empire, The Crazier Its Laws.”

”The enemy is within the gates; it is with our own luxury, our own folly, our own criminality that we have to contend. Cicero”

and the

Pogo (comic Strip) – “We Have Met The Enemy and He Is Us.”

It is getting time the traitors were revealed….

Fred Paul
Fred Paul
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Mr. James,
You should read my comment. Due to limited space, I kept it short. Your comment is but the other half. Yes, the enemy is within us, and its name is greed.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Also from Cicero: perhaps his most famous:
“Qui Bono?”
….not just the handful of individuals you list but a good 1% of the US population: that’s 3Âœ million super rich, greedy Americans who don’t care a jot for their fellow countrymen: check out George Carlin on “you ain’t in the club!”
The sad fact of America is its love affair with wealth. All nations have a certain greed for wealth but the US is way out front! The poor look with envy and longing at the rich instead of seeing th for the legal thieves they are! And then ousting them and their slavish govenments. You call Bernie Sanders a communist (joke) who wiuld have changed it all to better serve the 99% but the idiot Dem voters opted for a demented zombie instead: though soon to give way to an even crazier, criminal, traitorous leader! God help you!

Josef Oskar
Josef Oskar
1 year ago

China recorded Covid deaths were kept to a tiny 15,000 (about the same as Scotland).
Do you seriously believe this ? It is a fraction of 0,0000107 of the chinese population. With such a devastating virus it is simply not possible. The logic number should be around 1.500.000 victims also considering that the number of beds in intensive care/100.000 is much lower than in our countries.
The fact that China is trying to isolate from the world is nothing new, it is in the tradition of the chinese history. Every time in a while it is happening.
Under the emperors China was highly totalitarian, the only difference today is that the modern tecnology makes it much more efficient and effective. For the ordinary chinese it does not matter, they know nothing else. A small minority may be very unhappy but they do not count.

Last edited 1 year ago by Josef Oskar
Andrew Paul Bailey
Andrew Paul Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Josef Oskar

Even this figure is three times the one stated on Worldometer and Our World in Data.

Josef Oskar
Josef Oskar
1 year ago

It could very well be. If we apply the coefficient of 0,0000107 to the population of Scotland we find that it should have had 53 victims.
I leave it to the reader to decide if this is realistic.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Josef Oskar

Check out Tanzania’s death rate. They just had 3 days of prayer to ward off the virus! Ot seemed to work for them!

Josef Oskar
Josef Oskar
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I guess you are being ironic.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Josef Oskar

No, I’m not..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Check out Tanzania.. they declared 3 days of prayer. Seemed to work for them!

Mike Bell
Mike Bell
1 year ago
Reply to  Josef Oskar

The ‘tiny 15,000’ is quite possible. With an airborne transmission like this you can eliminate the virus if you stop people breathing in the same space. Three weeks and it would be done.
100% is never possible, but with good track and trace etc you can get near – South Korea did it at one stage.
UK so-called ‘lockdowns’ were a joke: we all sat at home while the airports stayed open. One wonders at the intelligence of our politicians.
We got the worst of both worlds – high death rate AND tanked economy.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Bell

Sorry to be so blunt but this is simplistic nonsense. You can’t “eliminate” a virus that way. When has anyone ever done that? To think that you can is pure human hubris. At best you might hope to slow its progression a little (hence all that guff about “flattening the curve”) but virus is going to virus. It’s going to circulate. It’s going to mutate. It’s going to kill and harm people with weak immune systems, and immunity is weakened by locking people in their houses for weeks on end, increasing their stress levels, and depriving them of Vitamin D, fresh air and society. You cannot (attempt to) stop people “breathing the same space” without doing far more harm than you do good. It amazes me that, after everything we have learnt and been through since March 2020, that people are *still* falling for the CCP-inspired lockdown propaganda, it really does. As others here have said it was *always* about power and control, and little or nothing to do with physical health. If you cannot see that I genuinely feel sorry for you.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

The vast majority of continuity maskers I see around Bristol are Chinese. They’re pathetic and I feel sorry for them.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Weep for yourself: so sayerh the Lord!

Josef Oskar
Josef Oskar
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Last night I was about to write something similar but I said I’ll leave it to the morning. You have anticipated me.
As someone used to say ‘common sense is not so common’.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Josef Oskar

Indeed: common sense is rare! Common stupidity is ubiquitous! The real problem for most is how to tell ’em apart!
The simple solution from a professional risk management perspective, was outlined by the Great Barrington Declaration.
Put simply: instead of trying to contain the risk (the virus – quite impossible) it would have been far simpler to contain the vulnerable but not at home: instead they should have gone to army patrolled secure, isolated “villages” (rigorously tested prior to entry and self contained afap)..
Think of a hurricane coming your way. Do you try and contain the hurticane (?) or head for the basement? Always best to remove the hazard from the people but sometimes that’s not possible: so you have to do the opposite: remove the (at risk) people from the hazard!
Normal life could have continued for the under 60s with the vulnerable enjoying their ‘holiday’! Any vulnerables who didn’t fancy the holiday could of course take the risk back in the towns and cities but without any protection measures from young, fit others. The virus would have reached herd immunity in a few months and died out. Easy peasy..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

While it is not feasible it is technically possible. The virus cannot trasmit through brick walls nor over any real distance. So, theoretically it IS possible. But you’d literally have to have 100% stay in the homes for 3 weeks.. The UK govt response was simply to flatten the curve so hospitals could function. No more: no less.. the toffs and lawless partied, business travel continued but the saps kept the numbers from exploding. If you had Chinese compliance and a strict regime you might pull it off but even there it is virtually impossible..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Bell

Sounds about right but not everyone sat at home did they?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Josef Oskar

One would have thought, if a govt is imposing Lockdowns, it would make more sense to exaggerate the number of deaths upwards, surely? It’s a much tougher sell to convince the citizens with so few deaths isn’t it. God, that Xi guy isn’t very bright is he?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Josef Oskar

…the greatest good for the greatest number then? ..oh how that must sicken your average Tory? The greatest good for me, me and my kind and f€ck everyone else (including business to quote BJ).. I understand this of course. The technical term for it is greed (with fear and hatred of the poor thrown in).. but what I don’t get is how anyone can be proud of such a stance: less still how they can call themselves Christian.. read the Sermon on the Mount on Sunday and screw the poor and unfortunate on the Monday. It beggars belief …for me anyway.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Are you ‘Tory baiting’ Liam….. 🙂

Tom May
Tom May
1 year ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

Apparently “The Tories” hate the poor, so they probably deserve to be baited…

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
1 year ago
Reply to  Josef Oskar

That “small minority” now control the UK and most of Europe, rendering it weak and ineffective

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

Really, with this glorious top-down Xi-invention of China, what could go wrong?
Well, we could start with the real-estate meltdown.

Ian L
Ian L
1 year ago

I stopped reading the minute he mentioned “only 15,000” Coof Deaths. I don’t value the opinion of someone who’s so naively credulous to swallow such an obvious fabrication.

jonathan Rothermere
jonathan Rothermere
1 year ago

‘The Party has not so much learned to live with Covid restrictions as learned to love them. Although it’s now easier to enter the country (visitors must spend only ten days in quarantine rather than the previous 21)’: What is this apologist doing writing for UnHerd. He quotes Chinese provided statistics as if they are facts, he does not talk about the huge problems with debt in the property market..or high unemployment…honesty UnHerd you can do better! Xi is a disaster for the world and for China. He has personally overseen a transition of a country sitting at the forefront of a civilised globalised world into an inward looking, nationalistic, and contracting hinterland due to his paranoia and desperate desire to keep the CCP oligarchy in absolute control.

Ed Cameron
Ed Cameron
1 year ago

By, I suggest, deliberate omission, the article says that the CCP has successfully imposed its policies, not that its policies will lead to success.
While Mr Hayton discusses the walling off of China and the walling in of its people, he does not mention the great Chinese diaspora and the CCP’s efforts to control and intimidate dissenters beyond its borders.

Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
1 year ago

I read that the number of Chinese Students coming to study in the UK has been rising since 2014 and has accelerated in the last few years. So not completely closed off from the outside world.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

I agree if you watch china’s latest un speech vs bidens they seem to be trying to save globalisation not destroy it, on the contrary the US new law on Chinese chips has upset them and is a major step in the US decoupling strategy, China has invited the German chancellor in November who has been outspoken against the US decoupling policy recently, Europe depends on cheap energy from Russia and cheap goods from China to live the life we do, its high time people realise this.
https://www.ft.com/content/ebcac5e4-f45d-418f-a617-95f1a944bc73

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202210/1277112.shtml

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202210/1276975.shtml?id=11

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago

Not only has China given up on the West, I have too.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

After globalisation, and a global village, everyone shrinking back from each other.

Derek Cuff
Derek Cuff
1 year ago

Do you really believe 15K died from Covid ? It is the origin of the disease and there is still a question mark over the pathology.
We should never of enterained the chinese in the 1990’s and throughout the first 16 years of this century. We are all hypocrites – how many electrical items do you posses that are stamped ‘made in china’ ?
China has been accused of committing crimes against humanity and possibly genocide against the Uyghur population and other mostly-Muslim ethnic groups in the north-western region of Xinjiang. quote BBC
Do you belive they are committing ethnic cleansing ? The reality is China is worst than Putin and the West will pay the price – not tomorrow – but we will pay .

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Cuff

Christ Almighty Cuff you’re some racist goon.

Tom May
Tom May
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Which bit was racist? I would love to know.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

In one sense we should not be surprised. China has looked to the USA and learned that having a large and powerful internal market is essential to any country that seeks global hegemony. It enables the country’s economy as a whole to take advantage of global opportunities but without becoming strategically dependent upon them.

What the West needs to understand is that China is rapidly approaching the point where it can cut off the West from the largest source of productive capacity on the planet. China will be able to do what the Arab oil states did in the early 1970s and what Putin’s Russia is trying to do now, except that the effects would be far, far harder to manage. Energy is commoditised and mostly fungible, while the exports that China supplies to the world are in most cases impossible to replace with ready alternatives, having been developed on the back of deliberate deindustrialisation in the West.

If we are very lucky, we will recognise the dangers and avoid the worst of it, but it is already too late to escape without some damage.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Tom May
Tom May
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Sure, agree. Can they feed themselves though? Do they have the resource internally to generate this economy? No and no.

Stewart B
Stewart B
1 year ago

Sorry. The inward turn part is clear enough, but which are the fruits exactly?

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

For all Xi’s claims of responsibility and strength – how many situations with long-term leaders (10 year +) did not ‘end in tears’? So all this talk of the rejuvenation of China – really it’s about keeping Xi young?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

..and your evidence for that is? Surely the data all point to the complete opposite?

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

In the hope that you are not trolling, which of these do you rate as good leaders

https://www.businessinsider.com/worlds-longest-serving-leaders-2020-7?r=US&IR=T

And why do pretty much all successful countries have term limits for leaders, set at about 10 years?

Edit Szegedi
Edit Szegedi
1 year ago

I know, that the countries are not comparable, but Ceausescu had similar plans in the 1980s. While Romania seemingly flourished demographically (23 million inhabitants and now less than 20 millions), the rest was a catastrophe. Romania cut itself off from the outer world, it exported heavily and imported almost nothing, because it wanted to become economically independent.
Don’t ask how life was in those times.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Edit Szegedi

Sounds grim..

Dan Croitoru
Dan Croitoru
1 year ago
Reply to  Edit Szegedi

It was actually the iMF and the World Bank who limited the availability of currency for Romania. Maybe it’s time for you to update your knowledge from 1980’s CIA sponsored Radio Free Europe

David Zetland
David Zetland
1 year ago
Reply to  Dan Croitoru

For a good reason I imagine. Because we were at war with the monolithic, spirit crushing Soviet empire.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago

The writer says: “Total recorded Covid deaths were kept to a tiny 15,000 (about the same as Scotland) while GDP growth was boosted to 8% in 2021.”
One of my father’s favorite sayings was: “And you believe that?” Many people have warned against taking China’s official numbers seriously.

Last edited 1 year ago by Wim de Vriend
Greg Eiden
Greg Eiden
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

Spot on, Wim!
Wow, a lot of comments here…I’ve only read through the first 50 or so, so apologies if someone already mentioned this, but “15,000 Covid deaths”? Are you kidding? And the linked source says a couple million cases in a nation of >1billion? Where COVID originated? And please don’t cite the brilliant CCP containment policies (lockdown, five masks per person, whatever). It’s contagious and persistent; everyone will be exposed eventually and we are way past “eventually”, so should be closer to 500,000,000 cases. Don’t believe anything the CCP says. Like any good liar there will always be a pinch of truth in it, but the essential bits or the main objective will be a lie.
China is a third world nation when it comes to public health policy; COVID was not the first outbreak from China that spread worldwide. It won’t be the last. I just hope that in the next Trump Administration, he makes them pay for it all. Everyone cites $10 trillion as the cost–bill them! They have the assets…mostly outside of China so easy to make them pay. I hate to see the Chinese people suffer any more, but the CCP must be opposed at every turn.
And a very simple thing a US President or leader of any nation can do is simply declare China a public health menace and require anyone coming from there to go through a 30 day quarantine, on US soil (or whatever host nation), at the travellers expense, in a US facility. Everyone, CEOs, NBA players, diplomats, etc. Nothing China can do about it and everyone will see and know the truth of it (just google “pandemics originating in China”)

Last edited 1 year ago by Greg Eiden
Peter l
Peter l
1 year ago

This planet sucks. Everything is falling apart. I can’t take it anymore, especially while living in fcking putler’s russia.. I’m going to buy some very potent drugs to end it all.. So.. good luck, humans

N T
N T
1 year ago

So, we think we are seeing a reversion to the mean, then. I will be curious to see how the aversion to foreigners ages as the Chinese populace ages. One would think it would be difficult to keep the thing going as the Han die off, even without a war or two.

David Harris
David Harris
1 year ago
Reply to  N T

They could lose half their population and still be the second largest on earth.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  David Harris

Yeah but they’ll spend all their time and money looking after old people instead of growing their economy.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

The CCP might make it a point of duty or honour that once a person becomes a drag on society they will help the nation by disposing of themselves.

Philip Crowley
Philip Crowley
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Soylent Red


Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

They’ll probably end up in Rubbish bins as baby girls did during their one child policy.

David Zetland
David Zetland
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Perhaps they could use their organs.
Forced organ harvesting – China’s novel contribution to the litany of communism’s inhuman horrors.

Martin Reddin
Martin Reddin
1 year ago

The existing economic and future military war with China. Hedged by BlackRock and friends. What is to be done?

Last edited 1 year ago by Martin Reddin
Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
1 year ago

Good piece overall but why would the author start with bogus China CV19 deaths and China GDP numbers? Both NYT and The Economist ran the numbers – the latter estimated 1.7 Million CV19 deaths based on excess mortality and other factors. GDP numbers from China have always been suspect.
https://hotair.com/john-s-2/2022/01/05/how-many-people-have-actually-died-of-covid-in-china-n439543

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael Coleman
Fred Paul
Fred Paul
1 year ago

I was born in 1954. My father was born in 1894, four years after the American cavalry committed the Wounded Knee atrocities killing men, women and children on American soil.
Back then, trade was east to west in Canada with the UK. Little went north and south with the Americans. Then in the 1920s, things started to change with automobile manufacturing in Canada. Then WWII changed Canada from agricultural to industrial, and the Americans started to build plants in Canada to avoid tariffs. Trade with the UK dropped to almost nil. America was building everything, and Canada was close behind. Canada was America’s partner in rebuilding Europe after the war and profited greatly.
Then things built in Japan started to show up. The quality wasn’t as good, but the price was right. Then, efforts by an American to improve manufacturing quality started to take root. Soon, the joke about cheap Japanese goods was replaced by better Japanese goods. Better cars, electronics, appliances, pianos, whatever. And the price started to go up. America saw competition.
Then, Taiwan’s manufactured goods started to show up. Good quality and cheaper. Then Hong Kong and other far east countries. The best and most expensive from Europe for the rich, and the cheap and good quality from the far east for the middle.
Canada thought free trade with the US would be a good idea. Hence, NAFTA. Then a few years later, the US invited Mexico for cheap assembly labour, much like the far east. Of course, Korea taught the US to remain in war mode, resulting in false domestic manufacturing to maintain the largest military in modern history. But soon, manufacturing jobs in Canada and the US went to Mexico and factories in the two started to close.
Nixon sought to democratise the Chinese through trade. And soon, through lessons learned with Mexico to decrease costs and increase profits, trade and manufacturing shifted from the US/Canada/Mexico to China. And the Europeans caught on. The Japanese couldn’t compete. The Taiwanese and Hong Kongers couldn’t either. Almost 90% of goods sold in the US and Canada show “Made in China”. Automobiles have survived, sort of. The Americans no longer build sedans. Hint.
Hong Kong is now China. Taiwan’s time is limited. Quality goods for the rich come from Europe with the stiff competition with Korea and China. Canada will start building molten salt nuclear reactors, and Trump tried reintroducing electric tea kettle manufacturing in the US.
Money is everything. Politics is nothing.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred Paul

Can we put it down to small-minded accountants looking to maximise profits with zero regard for their fellow countrymen and zero vision for the future of their own country? Coupled with an insatiable desire for wealth that the US has which replaces all honour, decency and morality?

David Zetland
David Zetland
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Thank God for “small-minded” accountants, working hard at the coalface of the economy, keeping business solvent and honest. And thank God for gentle, civilising mother Capitalism that has created our amazing modern world.
You really are blind to the big picture.

Last edited 1 year ago by David Zetland
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  David Zetland

It may look that way to you but if you climb down from your ivory tower you’ll see that only a minority have benefitted, even in your own country! Millions in other countries have had to be exploited for your greedy gains. Look to the poverty within the US (and now growing much worse in the UK).
If western accountants had an ounce of decency they would not have switched to Chinese manufacturing while their own countrymen went jobless in the Rust Belt for what? Greedy profits!
The same greed and lack of vision has left the West totally dependent on Chinese goods (and the EU dependent on Russian gas)! Anything to shave off a few cent off the unit cost and the devil take my jobless countryment and deindustrialised nation. ‘My profits are up and I don’t give a damn about anything else’ is the attitude. Like I said: no morals and no patriotism. Just greed.
Well, it couldn’t last could it? And now it’s over because the exploited and abused are sick of it: at home and abroad. Capitalism is simply a codified Ponzi scheme designed to enrich the few and screw the many with the collusion of MSM now owned by the same greedy oligarchs.
And all the while the CCP managed to get a billion of its own people OUT of dire poverty despite the West’s best efforts to exploit them.

Bob Hardy
Bob Hardy
1 year ago

Superb synopsis of China’s present position.. Many thanks

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
1 year ago

Our inability to stand up to a feral media and retrograde social change has turned the UK and most other western nations into weak, confused and terminal basket cases.
The acceptance of G M was the tipping point, when that was accepted, everything was immediately on the table, We need not look too far into the future to see the spectre of minor abuse being mooted.
All true conservatives must re-examine their social and economic ideology if we are to carry any form of democracy forward.
Perhaps authoritarianism is the future with less projection on mad rights issues and more on contribution.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

In Xi’s place I think I would have done the same: the West is a bad joke at best: a malignancy at worst. Who wouldn’t want to shut it out? As for its citizens aching to get anything from the West be it goods or ideas, I doubt it. The West produces nothing anymore except weapons of mass and minor destruction, aeroplanes and electronic stuff the chinese can do as well or better on: I’ve already explained no self-respecting Chinese citizen would be bothered with bankrupt Western ideas. I’ve only read the beginning so perhaps more later…

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

China joined a club (globalisation) and it was fine for a while. Now many of the other members, who run the club, are going senile and becoming belligerent (as seniles tend to do) and have shown themselves to be a nasty lot! And so China has come to the conclusion it is big enough, syrong enough and smart enough to form their own club (remember the population of China = US+EU+Russia+Japan combined!). Why do they need to trade outside China fgs!..
Their need for foreign education and expertise is past (it was largely to steal ideas and tech anyway) so it’s no longer worth the candle.
The collapse of the US$ means it would be crazy for China not to extricate itself from that.
I can think of no good reason why China wouldn’t hunker down and run the show. After all that has been it’s modus operandi ab initio..

David Zetland
David Zetland
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

China was invited into the club because by the 1970s China was a basket case, the Chinese people were poorer than Africans and poorer than Chinese people were in 1949.
The desperate CCP in the 1980s took its boot off the neck of the Chinese people, invited western investment, technology, stole IP etc. The West generously transferred factories, technology and expert advice. Obviously there was some self interest involved – but if you remember, everyone wanted to help the Chinese. The hope was that China would democratise, have rule of law, become a normal rich country like Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan had done before.
The CCP has stayed in power in China for 73 years by never holding elections. And been utterly ruthless in maintaining that power. Hatred was first stirred up by the CCP to distract people from the fact that it’s illegitimate and undemocratic. Read Michael Pillsbury’s book, “The Hundred Year Marathon” about their 30 year campaign of hatred against America.
But then they are communists. The most important thing in China today is the survival of the Communist Party. Nothing else comes close.
The West and the US in particular I have been at the forefront of creating our amazing modern world of human flourishing. They have, of course, made mistakes, but nothing like the catastrophes of communism. In fact isn’t communism just feudalism? Those countries are inevitably ruled by kings and emperors. Stalin, Mao, the Castros, the Kims

Not exactly Feudalism, but Feudalism 2.0, that is, with the application of advances created in the capitalist West.
Isn’t it obvious that that’s what communism is, a brutal dead end for humanity? Why do you think increasingly totalitarian China under the rule of increasingly isolated Emperor Xi has anything to offer the world?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  David Zetland

To answer your last question first: China has a great deal to offer (the rest* of) the world via its Belt & Road initiatives: and indeed has already delivered huge modernisation and infrastructure to the rest of the world.
* China itself accounts for almost 20% of the world’s population, remember.
By contrast, the British and US have simply exploited and looted the rest of the world and killed millions and utterly destroyed many countries in doing so. Your view of history is extremely distorted.
I am no more an apologist for China and its CCP than I am for the murderous Western regimes.. a plague on all your houses I say! But when it comes to kettles calling pots black it’s time for intelligent, fair-minded folk to speak truth to propaganda and fact to delusion.
I am Irish. We don’t do invasion, looting and genocide. We don’t do slavery or lynching. We don’t do exploitation of other countries’ resources. We don’t manufacture weapons of mass destruction. We don’t support brutal regimes. We don’t topple democratically elected governments. We therefore feel we are justified in calling out those who do.

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony