Perspective is important and, amongst all of the commentary about the role of China in the world today, and what we expect of China, I think we forget how far they have come since 1949, and how much their economy has grown since just the turn of this century. This is all beautifully captured on this Infographic which presents the whole picture on one single page!
It could be argued that “modern China” was only really launched in 2000, the start of the Asian Century, which means that it is in the last year of its ‘teens’ and still a long way from being the perfectly finished article. Looking back, I’m sure many of us would be embarrassed by some of our teenager behaviour, and yet our expectations of China are the same as we apply to mature adults. Shouldn’t we engage more closely with the Chinese, gain their trust, and support and guide their development, rather than be critical, suspicious and judgemental?
The next 20 years will see China grow into an adult and they’ll be a lot less interested in what we think by then. Instead of finger-pointing and criticising, wouldn’t we be better to focus on some of the potential positives, rather than all the negatives?