Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held an impressive press conference on Sunday where he answered questions about a wide variety of topics from the dozens of journalists that were present. The insight that he shared was a reassuring reminder that there exists an alternative to the US’ gloomy predictions about the future. American officials and opinion makers have painted a bleak picture of the post-coronavirus world, pushing the narrative that globalization is doomed and everything is in chaos.
That’s not an accurate depiction of reality, however, as Mr. Wang proved during his press conference. There are no credible reasons for doubting the viability of one of the key drivers of contemporary globalization processes, the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), seeing as how this worldwide series of projects is still active, even if recent developments had a temporary but limited impact on some of them. To the contrary, globalization processes will likely accelerate as the world emerges victorious over the virus, not recede into the dustbin of history.
For instance, China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea are gradually reopening their economies, both in general and with one another, which creates a firm foundation upon which to restore globalization once the crisis finally ends. Should these three be successful in concluding the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with ASEAN, Australia, and New Zealand by the end of the year like Mr. Wang plans, then a significant share of the global economy will be back in operation and arguably stronger than even before the pandemic.
The American-propagated notion that chaos is inevitable was also debunked the Chinese Foreign Minister. It’s the US’ false claims about China’s alleged responsibility for the pandemic and its meddling in China’s internal affairs in Hong Kong and Taiwan that are responsible for pushing the two countries to the brink of a New Cold War. If it wasn’t for this opportunistic hybrid campaign against the People’s Republic, there wouldn’t be any grounds for even countenancing global chaos during the moment when the world needs to stick together most.
China’s top diplomat listed off numerous examples of the counter-coronavirus cooperation that his country has engaged in with its counterparts. These facts disprove the US’ manufactured narrative that International Relations are presently in a state of uncertainty. It’s true that there have been some interruptions, but what Mr. Wang described as China’s “cloud diplomacy” of videoconferences and the like have kept relations stable with the rest of the world except for the US, which isn’t receptive to China’s friendly outreaches for political reasons.
To obtain a deeper appreciation for the significance of Sunday’s press conference, it’s important to compare it to Trump’s typical interactions with the media. The American President is prone to wildly gesticulating, raising his voice, insulting his interlocutors, and spreading fear about a totally false Chinese conspiracy. Mr. Wang, meanwhile, was exceptionally calm at all times, maintained his professional composure, respected the journalists who were present, and imbued the world with optimism for the future.
These differences aren’t just stylistic and attributable to each respective individual, but characteristic of the states that they represent. America has a reputation for aggression and diplomatic rudeness, which are perfectly embodied by Trump, whereas China’s reputation is of the peace and politeness associated with Mr. Wang. In addition, the US is always looking for an external enemy to compete with, ergo its fake news information warfare campaign against China, while China only seeks win-win engagements, hence its optimism.
Listening to Mr. Wang was therefore a refreshing reminder that everything really isn’t as bad as Trump says that it is. It’s heartbreaking that people have died from COVID-19, but it’s nevertheless reassuring to know that the world is slowly but surely going to emerge from this unprecedented crisis stronger than ever, unlike what Trump has fearmongered about. What the world needs right now is a positive vision of the future, not a negative one, which is why it’s so important to listen to what China has to say instead of falling for the US’ scary narratives.
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This article was originally published on OneWorld.
Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Featured image is from OneWorld