‘Peaceful modernization’: China’s offering to the Global South


The Cradle has the Pepe Escobar article ‘Peaceful modernization’: China’s offering to the Global South.

Xi Jinping just offered the Global South a stark alternative to decades of western diktats, war, and economic duress. ‘Peaceful modernization’ will establish sovereignty, economy, and independence for the world’s struggling states.

There are so many useful items in this article that I cannot resist quoting a few of them.

In a nutshell, the CPC master plan is twofold: finalize “socialist modernization” from 2020 to 2035; and build China – via peaceful modernization – as a modern socialist country that is “prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, and harmonious” all the way to 2049, signaling the centenary of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The central concept in the work report is peaceful modernization – and how to accomplish it. As Xi summarized, “It contains elements that are common to the modernization processes of all countries, but it is more characterized by features that are unique to the Chinese context.”

You can believe whom you want, but it doesn’t hurt to hear what each side is saying.

Which side do you think would be more attractive to the global south? Would they want the USA’s offer of war, austerity, and exploitation. Or would they prefer peaceful modernization? Put aside which promise is more likely to be kept, but just consider the message. Is the USA foolish to not even offer a competing message?

Martin Jacques, until recently a senior fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University, and author of arguably the best book in English on China’s development, is impressed by how China’s modernization happened in a context dominated by the west: “This was the key role of the CPC. It had to be planned. We can see how extraordinarily successful it has been.”

The implication is that by breaking the west-centric TINA model, Beijing has accumulated the tools to be able to assist Global South nations with their own models.

Who in the USA seems to have the best understanding of China? Micheael Hudson comes to mind. Fadhel Kaboub comes to mind as the person most focused on the needs of the global south.

Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, is even more upbeat: “China will become a leader of innovation. I very much hope and count on China becoming a leader for innovation in sustainability.” That will contrast with a ‘dysfunctional’ American model turning protectionist even in business and investment.

I guess I have to give Jeffrey Sachs credit for what he is saying now if I can wipe from my mind the damage he did advising Russia in the early 1990s.

It was up to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin to clarify where BRI is heading:

“BRI transcends the outdated mentality of geopolitical games, and created a new model of international cooperation. It is not an exclusive group that excludes other participants but an open and inclusive cooperation platform. It is not just China’s solo effort, but a symphony performed by all participating countries.”

Sounds much too progressive and “what worksist” for me to hope for.

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