A dark giant empire – China seen from the inside | NDR.de – Culture – Broadcasts

Status: 05/27/2022 3:08 PM

What is really going on in China, a country whose enormous importance is becoming increasingly apparent, creating dependencies that have become more suspicious since the start of the Ukraine war than they already are? What does this distant reality have to do with our imagination?

by Stephen Root

Those who come to China from Europe are often overwhelmed by the country’s seemingly limitless dynamism; with optimism but also with the pervasive pace that governs daily life in the world’s most populous country. Day and night people build and knock somewhere, something new is constantly being created somewhere. Digital payments using smartphones have been a part of daily life in China for years. Money, newspapers, and printed books have largely disappeared from people’s lives. Everything is controlled using a smartphone. Comfortable and inexpensive taxi services as well as excellently developed public transport systems ensure seemingly trouble-free and always available travel.

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One-sided propaganda novels

It is true that the Chinese Communist Party has significantly expanded the influence of the state on the economy and society in recent years and weakened the private sector – and the effects have been felt by large Internet companies and Internet companies in particular. However, an impressively large number of innovative technology startups are still active in the People’s Republic of China. These convey the image of a supposedly high-tech country that seems to have already surpassed the rest of the world in terms of technology.

ARD reporter Stephen Root.  © Johannes Ezell, Photo: Johannes Ezell

Steffen root has been the ARD reporter in China for six years.

Chinese PR agencies, online media outlets, so-called China experts, and well-paid influencers are feeding this optimistic one-sided image of China. Several CEOs of major DAX companies as well as former top politicians from Germany, France and other European countries regularly allow themselves to be harnessed to the glossy, one-sided propaganda narratives of state leadership, according to which the future is being formed in China with full and seemingly smooth power, while Europe and the United States are in a state Deterioration. Anything that goes against this Chinese government narrative is bluntly dismissed by the leadership of the communist country as biased or anti-China.

China’s progress is accompanied by many problems

The reality is more contradictory. If you take a closer look – inside China, not outside – it becomes clear that the People’s Republic of China is investing a lot in research and technology, that there are many great ideas and concepts, that there are problems when it comes to implementation but there are at least as many problems in China as Any other place in the world.

At this point, it must be emphasized that the mail is not yet delivered by drones in China either, but by often low-paid scooter suppliers. Research is also being conducted in China on autonomous driving, the future of electric mobility and new high-tech trains. But the few autonomous taxis that have been on the road in China so far are on a handful of sensor-laden test roads. Most electric car companies in China use technology made by Schaeffler, Bosch and Conti in Germany. And although China has by far the largest network of high-speed trains in the world, such trains have been in use in France, Japan and other countries for up to 40 years.

In this regard, he explicitly warned of China’s loud noise regarding innovation leadership and future technologies. However – and you have to give it to the technology and state-controlled economy in China – it sells well.

Not only from an economic point of view, but also from a political point of view, the state and party leadership of China like to convey an image that everything is in the best condition in the People’s Republic. A warning should also be given: the absence of reports of problems in his country does not mean that there are no problems. exactly the contrary.

Aggressive foreign policy and oppression of minorities

But criticism of the leadership style of the Chinese government was not well received by them. The government under Xi Jinping does not want to engage in discussions about China’s increasingly aggressive foreign policy or China’s human rights, transparency, and rule of law problems. Mention of clearly existing problems in other countries’ exchanges with China already provokes reflexive protests and insults on the part of the state and party leadership again and again.

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In their country, the communist leadership is taking systematic action against those who think differently. Citizens who do not belong to the majority Han ethnic group are also finding it increasingly difficult. The persecution of minorities is particularly evident in the regions of Xinjiang and Tibet in western China. But in addition to Tibetans and Uyghurs, the Chinese government is increasingly targeting members of other minorities, such as Mongolians and Kazakhs.

In the already autonomous Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the leadership of the Chinese state has liquidated almost the entire important civil society in the past year and a half, thus in clear violation of international law.

Conflicts with many neighbors

China’s state and party leaders are also acting with increasing force outside the country’s borders. Accordingly, the slogan of communist propaganda, according to which China always deals peacefully with its neighbors, looks like a mockery from the point of view of those affected. Because China’s government is at odds with many neighbors. On the border with India, for example, there have been several bloody border disputes in recent months, during which soldiers were killed and wounded on both sides. In violation of international law, China established settlements in neighboring Bhutan. China also has territorial disputes with almost all countries bordering the South China Sea. The Chinese Coast Guard regularly uses force against boats from Vietnam. Head of state and party leader Xi Jinping regularly and publicly threatens nearly 23 million people in Taiwan with war.

This topic is in the program:

Culture NDR | Thoughts at that time | 05/29/2022 | 13:00 “Oh the clock

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