Kishore Mahbubani. Why the Trump Administration Has Helped China (The National Interest 8.6.20)

The Trump administration mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic and the death of George Floyd has raised the stature of China, which is now perceived as the more competent country in the world.

The Chinese Communist Party or the Chinese Civilization Party(CCP)

By contrast, in evaluating China’s relative strengths and weaknesses, the Trump administration is making the mistake of underestimating China.

Here the supreme ideological conviction that democracies will always triumph against a communist party system creates a particular ideological blindness in America. In reality, functionally, the CCP does not stand for the Chinese Communist Party. It stands for the Chinese Civilization Party.

The key goal of the CCP is not to revive communism globally. It is to revive the world’s oldest civilization and make it again one of the world’s most respected civilizations. This is the goal that energizes the Chinese people and explains the unusual vibrancy and vitality of Chinese society. Equally importantly, the Chinese civilization has historically been the most resilient civilization.

As Professor Wang Gungwu says, it is the only civilization to have been knocked four times over four thousand years. Each time it stood up again. There is no doubt that Chinese civilization is now a great renaissance.

It is therefore unwise for any American strategic thinker to assume that Americans cannot lose. It’s true that America hasn’t lost a major contest in over a hundred years but it has never had to deal with a competitor as formidable as China. Equally importantly, if the primary goal of the CCP is to improve the well-being of its people (and thereby revive Chinese civilization), there need not be a fundamental contradiction with the primary goal of any new American administration: to once again improve the well-being of the American people.

Hence, when the Trump administration goes and America tries again to work out a more thoughtful long-term strategy towards China, it should consider a now unthinkable option: a strong Chinese civilization and a strong America can live together in peace in the twenty-first century. The world will be relieved and even cheer this outcome. And the American people will be better off.

Kishore Mahbubani is a professor in the practice of public policy at the National University of Singapore and the author of Has China Won?

Link to full article here.


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5 Responses to Kishore Mahbubani. Why the Trump Administration Has Helped China (The National Interest 8.6.20)

  1. Avatar Gavin O'Brien says:

    China’s civilization goes back around 3,000 years, to the time of the Roman Empire.
    It’s ability to survive invasions from Central Asia, natural calamities and man-made ones too, (through neglect of its complex irrigation/canal systems and flood defenses) has been its ability to absorb and incorporate its invaders to the “Han” way of doing things. China has never experienced “Democracy”so has no memory of it, part from the particularity of Hong Kong. Social cohesion of many ethnic groups has depended on a strong leader, as is the current situation. With a billion plus people occupying a fertile area about the size of Australia’s “fertile crescent’, feeding, housing and keeping the population content has been the aim of central government for centuries.When that fails, chaos erupts as any reading of the history of Chinese Dynasties will reveal.The current rulers have “The Mandate of Heaven” as long as they are on task. Loss of that Mandate would be unthinkable , not just for China , but for the world. Maybe the U.S. should study Chinese history before they do something foolish!

  2. Avatar malcolm harrison says:

    Kishore Mahbubani is almost too kind to the Americans. I have watched him on line in various forums gently trying to persuade the US to tread warily across the quagmire that is now US-China relations. He is received politely but generally rebuffed, and in other forums that dont involve Americans, he expresses gentle regret at Americas’s recalcitrance in truly apprehending the danger it is presently facing. Perhaps Professor Mahbubani is being simplistic in his estimation of the bigger picture, or perhaps he is being prescient. Either way, his is a view that Australian elites in government and the media should pay close attention to.

  3. Avatar Anthony Pun says:

    Singapore U Prof Kishore Mahbubani articles and videos are always a please to read and watch, not because it appear to be pro-China, but because it makes sense. He provides an Asian view about China through his vast experience in the subject matter without political bias but just intellectually balance thoughts. In this essay, he zeroed on to the wrong targets against China by Trump by differentiating what No 1 means to US and China. Yes, I agree, the actions of President Trump is making China great!

  4. Avatar J.Donegan says:

    Thank you John for providing the link to a perceptive and informative article.

  5. Avatar Yi Baizi says:

    The US is picking a fight with the Chinese people of the PRC who are governed by the CCP. By sheer ignorance or wilful deceit they and the racist promoters of the Clash of Civilisations agenda lump it all under the Yellow Peril, and then had the gall to accuse China (yes all three above) of weaponising race when defending themselves! The US can certainly win a war with the PRC especially if it is appeased and abetted by the White Eyes and/or the EU. Unlikely against Chinese civilisation without burning books and ethnic cleansing, and de-citizenisation (de-infiltration) by demonisation.

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