Beijing to Britain
Sanctions, Chinese Embassy on TV, Chairman Rabbit
Parliament is on recess, so there will be no Beijing to Britain next weekend. Please forgive the brevity of this week’s Brief.
The United Kingdom now has the starting point of a new ‘China Strategy’ - albeit a modest couple of pages in a much longer document, the Integrated Review, setting out the country’s foreign policy. Government will use this to attempt to align political behaviour with regards to Departments, and provide clarity to businesses operating between both countries.
This starting point on a strategy for China will continue to prove highly contentious. Political views will remain polarised, and those MPs active on China will likely push for further clarification.
The Review adds credence to our view that two loose schools of thought have emerged in Westminster. One calls for a fundamental reset of British relations with China, championing human rights over trade, and pushing for all engagement to be through a values-led approach. The other school pushes for a realpolitik approach; while the so-called ‘Golden Era’ may be over, it is better to keep China at the table through diplomacy and trade, even at the expense of human rights - without these, the UK has no leverage or bargaining chips.
The majority of China-centric politicians in the UK can roughly be placed into one of these schools, although their views often change depending on the issue at play. It’s worth noting that neither school believes that an enriched Chinese middle class will steer the country towards democracy. While the Government may pretend that is has strategised around the values-led approach advocated by the first school, is the latter approach that it has chosen to embrace in a hybrid fashion, by portraying trade as a vehicle to hold China to account.
And so ‘Beijing to Britain’ was born - a weekly overview of the ebbs and flows of this discussion, and how it impacts politics, the private sector and society.
As always: tips, feedback, and your views to BeijingToBritain@protonmail.com.
First, a quick look at this week for China in Parliament
66 mentions of China
0 mentions of Xi Jinping
31 mentions of Hong Kong
40 mentions of Uyghurs
1 mention of CCP
16 mentions of Magnitsky
589 out of 650 MPs (90.6%) have a Twitter account.
Who’s asking what?
Some of the more notable questions asked of the Government this week
Lord Blencathra asked “Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of China about its reported refusal to share the raw data on the first 174 COVID-19 cases to be identified in December 2019 with the World Health Organization.”
George Howarth asked “the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations his Department has made to China on that country's behaviour in the South China Sea.”
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Defence announced that the Royal Navy are developing a new Multi Role Ocean Surveillance ship (MROSS) to protect Britain from ‘hostile actors’ and ‘grow our understanding of maritime threats’.
In the press release, we would draw your attention to this statement:
The vessels will also be able to support with other defence tasks, including exercises and operations in the Arctic which will become an increasingly contested area. The cables are crucial to government-to-government communications and the new capability will protect the interests of the UK and its partners and allies.
There has been chatter now for months in Westminster about action needing to be taken in the Arctic to combat potential Chinese influence.
Sanctions, Chinese Embassy
Sanctions for everybody
On Monday morning, rumours began swirling around SW1 that the UK could be shortly announcing sanctions against Chinese officials. The rumours were fuelled by a Foreign Secretary statement on human rights that had been pencilled in for early afternoon, and also (as we discussed in last week’s briefing) the EU was set to announce its own list of sanctions. Speculative tweets began to circle around the Twittersphere, and by lunchtime it was no longer a case of if sanctions would be announced, but who would be sanctioned.
This was followed shortly after in the early afternoon by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab standing before Parliament and announcing the same five sets of sanctions against Chinese officials and a corporation, listed below:
The Public Security Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps – a state run organisation responsible for security and policing in areas administered by the XPCC
Zhu Hailun, Former Secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Wang Junzheng, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and previously Secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Wang Mingshan, Secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and former Director of the Public Security Department of XUAR
Chen Mingguo, Vice Chairman of the Government of the XUAR, and Director of the XUAR Public Security Department
Not listed? Chen Quanguo, CCP Committee Secretary of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Political Commissar of the XPCC.
In his speech, Raab justified the sanctions:
Having very carefully considered the evidence against the criteria in our global human rights sanctions regime, I can tell the House that I am designating four senior individuals responsible for the violations that have taken place and persist against the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. Alongside those individuals, we are also designating the Public Security Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. That is the organisation responsible for enforcing the repressive security policies across many areas of Xinjiang. The sanctions involve travel bans and asset freezes against the individuals and asset freezes against the entity we are designating. The individuals are barred from entering the UK. Any assets found in the UK will be frozen.
We take this action alongside the EU, the US and Canada, which are all taking similar measures today. I think it is clear that, by acting with our partners—30 of us in total—we are sending the clearest message to the Chinese Government that the international community will not turn a blind eye to such serious and systematic violations of basic human rights, and that we will act in concert to hold those responsible to account.
As the Prime Minister set out in the integrated review last week, China is an important partner in tackling global challenges such as climate change. We pursue a constructive dialogue where that proves possible, but we will always stand up for our values, and in the face of evidence of such serious human rights violations, we will not look the other way. The suffering of the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang cannot be ignored. Human rights violations on this scale cannot be ignored. Together with our partners, we call on China to end these cruel practices, and I commend this statement to the House.
Given that China had instantly slapped retaliatory sanctions on EU officials earlier, many imagined it would be the same for those UK politicians and groups that had acted in a way perceived to be against China. However, as the day went on, no news emerged aside from the UK’s Ambassador to China Caroline Wilson being summoned by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. The Guardian’s diplomatic editor wrote “Any [reactionary sanction] measures are not expected to extend to government officials, or ministers.”
On Friday morning, SW1 woke up to find sanctions had been placed on nine British citizens, five of whom were MPs, and a selection of groups. In italics next to each is the Global Times’ reasoning for their sanctions:
Tom Tugendhat (CRG) (chairman of the foreign affairs committee at the parliament and chair of the China Research Group. The foreign affairs committee has launched unreasonable inquiries into Xinjiang affairs citing "forced labor," and is behind many foreign policies coercing China over Xinjiang. Tugendhat had referred to non-existent "massive detentions of Uygurs" as "echoes of the 1930s.")
Iain Duncan Smith (IPAC) (together with other conservative members of parliament … called for political actions against China over Xinjiang.)
Neil O'Brien (CRG) (a conservative MP and co-founder of China Research Group, has long been a China-hawk with remarks calling for tough actions against China over a wide range of topics including technology competition, Hong Kong and Xinjiang.)
Lord David Alton (IPAC) (a crossbench peer at the House of Lords. In January 2021, Alton influenced the Lords to pass an amendment to the Trade Act 2021 that would require that the UK does not trade with China, which he called a "genocidal regime.")
Tim Loughton (IPAC) (another conservative MP and a former minister, backed by other MPs, suggested British sanctions against Chinese officials and organizations, citing alleged repression in Xinjiang.)
Nusrat Ghani (IPAC) (together with other conservative members of parliament … called for political actions against China over Xinjiang.)
Helena Kennedy (IPAC) (a Labour member of the House of Lords, is behind multiple reports that smeared Xinjiang. She is co-author of a recent report by US Newslines Institute for Strategy and Policy that claimed genocide in Xinjiang. The co-authors also include pseudo-scholar Adrian Zenz)
Geoffrey Nice. (a barrister and chair of the Uygur Tribunal in Britain, which is also on the sanction list. The tribunal aims to establish that the Chinese government's policies in Xinjiang constitute genocide in a public hearing in London in May.)
Joanne Nicola Smith Finley (a faculty member of Newcastle University, teaching Chinese studies. She has published articles and talked to media, claiming Xinjiang has forced sterilization and other abuses, without evidence.)
China Research Group (a newly set clique which includes conservative MPs and some researchers. The aim of the group is to urge the UK government to take a tougher stance on China)
Conservative Party Human Rights Commission (established to inform, advise and develop the party's foreign policy by making human rights a priority. It has issued reports smearing China's human rights situation and Confucius Institutes)
Uyghur Tribunal (The tribunal aims to establish that the Chinese government's policies in Xinjiang constitute genocide in a public hearing in London in May)
Essex Court Chambers (after consulting secessionist terrorist organization World Uyghur Congress, authored a legal opinion concluding that China's policies in Xinjiang constitute "genocide.")
China’s Foreign Ministry stated they had “maliciously spread lies and disinformation” and as a result:
“The individuals concerned and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of China, their property in China will be frozen, and Chinese citizens and institutions will be prohibited from doing business with them. China reserves the right to take further measures.”
Although tokenistic for a majority of those listed; they do not have property or business in, or willingness to visit China, but the wider implications are that now significantly limits which companies they and their immediate families are able to work with.
Later on in the day, Charge d’Affaires Yang Xiaoguang was summoned to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office to speak to Minister for Asia Nigel Adams. It’s not immediately clear why Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was not present. The British Government’s brief readout was:
Today the Chinese Charge d’Affaires, Yang Xiaoguang, was summoned to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. Minister for Asia, Nigel Adams MP, made clear Beijing’s decision to impose sanctions on British individuals and entities is unwarranted and unacceptable.
The Minister noted that China has chosen to sanction individuals and entities that are seeking to shine a light on human rights violations and that today’s actions would not distract attention away from those very violations taking place in Xinjiang.
While the Chinese Embassy’s far more extensive readout stated:
Chargé d’Affaires Yang said, the UK side, by imposing unilateral sanctions against the relevant individuals and entities of China based on lies and disinformation and in the name of so-called “human rights issues” in Xinjiang, has blatantly violated international law and the basic norms governing international relations, grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs and gravely undermined China-UK relations. The Chinese side expresses its strong opposition, severe condemnation and firm protest. China remains unwavering in its determination to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests. The Chinese side has decided to impose sanctions against the relevant individuals and entities of the UK side who have maliciously spread lies and disinformation.
In response to the so-called “concerns” of the UK side over China’s counter measures, Chargé d’Affaires Yang said, China’s counter measures are legitimate, reasonable, proportionate and beyond reproach. The individuals and entities of the UK side in the sanction list were in no way exercising so-called “freedom of speech”. Instead, they were slinging malicious slanders against China, which gravely harmed China’s image, severely infringed upon China’s interests and seriously undermined China-UK relations. Their acts have caused strong indignation among the Chinese people. The Chinese side never stirs up trouble, but we are not afraid of trouble. We hope that the UK side will immediately take effective measures to correct its wrongs and take concrete steps to foster favourable conditions for the healthy development of China-UK relations.
This appears to have galvanised support in the Tory party for action to be taken in standing up to China’s perceived bullying, following a bruising start to the week which saw a number of MPs spearheaded by those listed above rebel over the Trade Bill.
Some of the MPs sanctioned referred to it as a ‘badge of honor’ (ironically those CCP officials sanctioned by the UK said they ‘took pride in safeguarding national sovereignty’), and on Saturday morning some of them visited Downing Street to discuss the situation with the Prime Minister.
During the meeting, the Sunday Times reports:
Johnson revealed the rival Belt and Road strategy when he met MPs and peers who have been hit with sanctions by China after highlighting the country’s “gross human rights violations”. The prime minister hosted five of them in the Downing Street rose garden yesterday and expressed his “full-throated support” for them.
Separately, the Home Office is soon to publish an espionage bill that will make it easier to expel Chinese spies from Britain. The legislation will include a compulsory register of foreign spies in the UK. Security chiefs believe that the Chinese have far more intelligence officers in Britain than they formally declare. The bill should make it easier to send them home.
He told the Conservative MPs Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Nus Ghani and Tim Loughton and Lord Alton of Liverpool, the crossbench peer, and Labour’s Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws that China was “buying up great parts of the developing world”, including swathes of Africa that he said were becoming “trapped in Chinese debt”.
The Telegraph adds:
Boris Johnson and Joe Biden, the US president, want to set up an infrastructure fund to pay for new roads and bridges in the developing world to counter China's growing influence.
One source said Mr Johnson had raised the prospect of a "green alternative" to China's £774 billion Belt and Road Initiative, which has seen Beijing lend billions of pounds to poorer countries to spend on maritime, energy, road and rail projects.
He is said to have voiced concern that there were so many United Nations countries – particularly in Africa – that were "in hoc to the Chinese" because of infrastructure loans handed to them by China.
One idea is to use some of the aid budget – set to hit £10 billion this calendar year despite the cut from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of GDP – to counter China's influence. The idea would be to tip "hundreds of millions of pounds" into the fund "to give an alternative to China's debt trap diplomacy", a source said.
The end result is that the sanctions have unified the bulk of the Tory party around the concept that there needs to be tougher action on China, and pushed them to a more values over realpolitik position.
Furthermore, allies from across the Western world rallied in support of those sanction; on a call with US President Joe Biden, the PM discussed:
On China, the Prime Minister and President reflected on the significant action taken by the UK, US and other international partners earlier this week to impose sanctions on human rights violators in Xinjiang and expressed their concern about retaliatory action taken by China.
Boris Johnson @BorisJohnsonThe MPs and other British citizens sanctioned by China today are performing a vital role shining a light on the gross human rights violations being perpetrated against Uyghur Muslims. Freedom to speak out in opposition to abuse is fundamental and I stand firmly with them.
We expect to see the discussion around the UK-China relationship head in a less nuanced, more black and white direction. This is a shame in our view and will provide no benefit to either side.
Pay attention to the Chinese Embassy
It will come as little surprise that the Chinese Embassy in London found itself having a particularly busy week. Both Minister Ma Hui and the more recently arrived Chargé d'Affaires Yang Xiaoguang are capable and comfortable interviewees, and follow closely in the footsteps of former Ambassador Liu Xiaoming when it comes to their confrontational presentation style. The latter, Mr Yang, appears more frequently on British media and was summoned to Foreign Office on Friday (there is no current Chinese Ambassador in the UK). Minister Ma is more often on English-speaking Chinese media such as CGTN and is vocal on Twitter.
Throughout the week, Mr Yang gave separate interviews to Sky News, Channel 4 and the BBC following the UK Government’s sanctions against Chinese officials. The clip of him interviewing with Mark Austin on Sky News is worth watching to see the style of diplomacy coming out of the Embassy.
The Embassy line on Xinjiang and the alleged genocide is moving to ‘there’s no such a thing as genocide in Xinjiang but there had been genocide in the United States a century or two ago during the mass killing of American Indians.’ This has also cropped up in Chinese media frequently too over the last couple of months. We recommend taking the time to read the Embassy’s brief for a fuller description of their defence on this issue.
On Friday, Minister Ma appeared on CGTN’s The Point for a half hour to discuss the EU sanctions earlier in the week. Although the SW1 audience continues to pay little attention to the Embassy here, CGTN’s YouTube Channel has 2.5m subscribers. Ma’s comments will have been projected across socials to a wider audience than many will realise.
Later in the day, the Embassy and Consulates Generals in Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast co-hosted with the Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region an online conference “Xinjiang is a Wonderful Land”. The Embassy readout reports that:
Eighteen media agencies including BBC, Sky News, Channel 4 News, ITV, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Economist, Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily, CCTV, CGTN, China Daily, Guancha, AP, Phoenix Infonews, Nouvelles d'Europe, UK Chinese Times, and UK Chinese Journal attended the conference. CGTN and AP broadcast the conference live. Sky News broadcast a video clip of the ongoing conference.
Odds and ends
On Monday, a group of Tory MPs staged a last ditch effort to have a Genocide Amendment added to the Trade Bill currently passing through Parliament. The Group were narrowly defeated. This was in part because the Government announced sanctions earlier in the day, which saw some of those wavering side with the Government rather than rebel.
China has announced further military drills in the South China Sea, a move likely to draw the ire of MPs. (SCMP)
The Philippines has called on China to withdraw more than 200 ships it accuses of encroaching upon its territorial waters in the South China Sea. (BBC)
On Thursday, Reuters reported that the Hong Kong Government has told some foreign consulates to stop accepting BN(O) passports. This follows a report form the Telegraph which states almost 30,000 people have applied to move to the UK from Hong Kong.
Us or them?
Relief from British businesses operating in Hong Kong this week as the fury of the Western and Chinese consumer instead focussed on a couple of large fashion companies and their sourcing, or lack of sourcing, cotton from Xinjiang. In short, clothing company H&M was singled out originally for its statement claiming it does not source its cotton from the Xinjiang region (readers may remember this company giving evidence to the UK’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee on this exact issue last year). This led to a significant consumer backlash in China, stoked by Chinese media.
The South China Morning Post continues:
The backlash against H&M came just a day after a flurry of sanctions between China and the United States, the European Union, Britain and Canada over treatment of people from ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.
In China, the Communist Youth League was quick to respond to H&M on social media platform Weibo, where it has more than 15 million followers.
“Defaming and boycotting Xinjiang’s cotton while hoping to make money off China? Don’t even dream about it!” the youth league said.
H&M was the first of several multinationals picked out for harsh criticism - with several companies deleting their ‘We don’t buy Xinjiang cotton’ statements from the web. Also in the firing line; Nike and Adidas; New Balance; Burberry and other members of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) that have voiced concerns or pledged not to use supply chain components produced in Xinjiang.
Bill Bishop summarised the situation well:
The PRC may have done more in the last four days to damage PRC-EU relations in very deep ways than anything the Biden administration could have done. The destruction of H&M’s China business over Xinjiang cotton likely also kills any chance the EU ratifies the CAI.
The targets of the mass tantrum campaign over whether companies use Xinjiang cotton have expanded beyond H&M to Nike, Adidas, Burberry and likely more firms. This whole thing was manufactured by the Communist Youth League digging up a 2020 statement from H&M and posting about in Weibo just after the EU issued sanctions. The propaganda system, the Foreign Ministry, and the Ministry of Commerce have all joined in, along with the masses online. Tens of stars have publicly renounced their contracts with the targeted firms. So far the protests have stayed virtual, but I would not be surprised to see people burning their H&M and other offending apparel. Those Douyins will be lit.
As this is the 100th anniversary year of the CCP we should expect more of these kinds of campaigns against any foreign provocations.
I do not know what the foreign apparel companies with business in China can do. They can not have different messaging and standards for China and the rest of the world, but if they choose the wrong side on Xinjiang and other sensitive issues to the PRC then their business can be destroyed overnight. As China’s relationship with most developed economy countries deteriorates, companies from those countries with significant consumer businesses in the PRC are increasingly in an impossible situation, one that better PR will not be able to spin away.
A couple of months ago we briefly pondered if there would be an increase in British MPs scrutinising China’s control of a major British steel company. This week has seen the industry back in the spotlight, as the opposition Labour party has called for the Government to “buy British” when sourcing steel for big infrastructure projects such as railways and nuclear power stations. It comes amid a tough time for the sector.
One of the biggest players in the steel industry here is British Steel - who’s name belies the fact that it is owned by the Chinese Jingye Group. Should the Government directly mandate that public projects must use UK-based steel suppliers, we could end up in a position where the Government is accused of lining the pockets of a Chinese-state backed company. It does not require a huge amount of imagination to envision how this would be received in certain quarters of Westminster.
We flagged this back in January, saying:
MPs, trade associations and businesses have been making noise about Britain’s struggling steel industry. They argue it needs to be part of the Government’s ‘Green Revolution’, and that it needs “a much stronger policy framework and incentives regime to drive decarbonisation and reward ambition.” The industry also needs funding. This could prove politically difficult in the coming months, as one of the companies with the largest share of the market, British Steel, is owned by Chinese multi-industrial company Jingye Group. Worth keeping an eye on.
Odds and ends
Interesting piece in the Telegraph this week from Annabel Heseltine, arguing we should welcome Chinese investment in British private schools (Telegraph)
Ahead of the Trade Bill debate on Monday, charity HOPE not Hate released a survey which found:
71% of the general public – and 76% of Conservative voters – agreed the UK should not make trade agreements with a state committing a genocide.
75% of the general public – and 83% of Conservative voters – wanted the international community to work together to force China to improve its human rights record.
(67%) of the general public say they would shy away from companies who benefit from forced labour
A majority (51%) of people in the country say that they have heard about what’s happening in Xinjiang, with 40% saying they have not heard about it.
Conservative voters are more likely to be aware of the situation than voters as a whole with 56% of 2019 Tory voters saying they are aware and only 36% saying they are not.
What can we learn?
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
The above quote from Sun Tzu continues to ring true for the UK-China relationship. Britain and China are thankfully not enemies at this time, but we continue to be interested by the genuine lack of curiosity from many on the British side to understand why Chinese officials and elites think and act the way they do. It is clearly not a novel observation to say that the Chinese Government understands Britain on a level not even close to being reciprocated - advisors like Charlie Parton have been pointing this out for years. But there is a widespread disconnect between British and Chinese politicians - how many of the former could name more than five of the latter? How many British politicians and policymakers truly understand or care about how they are perceived by China?
A 25,000 word essay by Chairman Rabbit, the nom de plume of Ren Yi (one of Ren Zhongyi's grandsons), a Harvard-educated Chinese blogger with nationalistic tendencies who has amassed more than 1.6 million followers on Weibo, provides some fascinating insight of a Chinese perspective. The section towards the end outlines one Chinese justification for the situation in Xinjiang.
In his post, Ren describes a dinner with four British friends.
They have spent significant time in China, can speak different levels of Chinese, and play extremely important roles in their respective industries and functional departments, because they work and live in China on official business. They can be understood as authorities in their respective fields.
We will shorten key quotes for brevity.
On if the Chinese care about Britain
A British friend asked whether the Chinese care about British politics, systems and policies.
Rabbit: The Chinese nowadays don't care about Britain. [In the big aspect/direction], the Chinese now only care about the United States (preoccupied with the US). Twenty years ago, the Chinese were still more concerned about Japan, but now the Chinese only care about themselves and the United States, because the United States is the real international rivals that the Chinese consider. The United States can influence China's development.
China's concern for Britain is limited to the Hong Kong issue and the issue of Britain's position when following the United States as the Five Eyes to criticize China.
On Chinese media and propaganda
British friends believe that China’s caliber, including the Global Times’ propaganda and especially the personal Twitter of an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last year, has played a very negative role in China’s international image and diplomacy. British friends believe that the above-mentioned official Chinese calibre and the behavior of the media are very puzzling, because they are actually very detrimental to China’s own anti-epidemic propaganda, vaccine international promotion, vaccine diplomacy and international image—"China is promoting its own vaccines. . But if China itself is unwilling to show a frank gesture, how can foreigners trust China’s vaccines.” They said that China’s persistence on the origin of COVID-19 is self-inflicted and cannot be understood. They believe that the only explanation is that China is using this to provoke national sentiments.
The author believes that the above view should be a relatively common view abroad, very representative, and the people who are speaking are relatively familiar with China.
But at this point in time, the differences and gaps between China and foreign countries are very great. China has entered its own discourse system, and it is difficult for foreigners to understand and recognize this kind of views.
On British friends not understanding the direction of China’s development
You don't think you can see clearly because you are still thinking about problems with linear thinking, thinking that China will eventually move towards the Western (especially the US and Britain) model, that is, market economy + liberal democracy-the so-called end of history. You think this is the end, and it is the right end, stand on this final judgment and judge us. You think that any policy that seems to be close to this end point is progress, and any policy that deviates from this end point is considered retrogression. In fact, China is establishing its own set of systems and paths. This set of paths must be similar to Western systems and paths. There are good things in the West. China must learn from it, but it cannot think linearly. The West is regarded as the end point. As soon as we see some similarities and similarities with the West in China Locally, it is believed that China is following the Western path. This is just a "coincidence". As long as you understand it a little bit carefully, you will find that contemporary Chinese systems and models have their own logic
Therefore, we focus on value as much as you, but our values are different from yours. What are the values we advocate? Focus on family, filial piety, treat children kindly, diligence, frugality, simplicity, honesty, focus on education, respect for knowledge, dedication to society, patriotism, "a country can have a home", "a unity of family and country", "national peace and security". We pursue harmony, stability, fairness and peace. We also focus on independence, independence and innovation. We want to help the weak, but we don’t like lazy people and those who rely on welfare for soft meals. Like Protestant Calvinists, many Chinese believe that the wealth created by hard work is the basis of personal social value and even moral worth.
On how Chinese can communicate with Westerners
The Chinese government is not omnipotent and will definitely make mistakes. All countries, all governments, all institutions, all people are the same, they make mistakes. We must face the problem squarely, don't evade the problem, we can criticize some parts of China for not doing well. Rather than defending China for every problem, falling into the patriotic defense mood of "you can't say that China is bad when you meet a foreigner", this is naive, it is essentially a lack of self-confidence, and it is not conducive to maximize the effectiveness of communication
When communicating with foreigners, English is generally used. Don’t invent concepts, and don’t try to change the specific usage and connotation of some concepts and vocabulary.
It is very difficult to communicate between China and the West, because the civilizations are very different. Therefore, it is still necessary to have a certain understanding of Western history and culture, and at critical moments, be able to cite Western examples to help them understand China from their perspectives
If you can show an understanding of the West—familiar with the concepts they use and familiar with their way of thinking—it will be very helpful for communication. On the contrary, if they feel that you do not understand the West very much, the effect of export and communication will be greatly affected: Westerners have a strong sense of superiority in civilization. If they think that you do not know the West very much, they will feel that you are closed and ignorant. The communication at this time can hardly even be said to be an "equal dialogue." And if you can build a sense of information asymmetry—that is, the other party finds that you know more about the West than they know about China, it will be very helpful for communication.
What we learned from this week
Biden Looks to Contain China—but Where’s the Asian NATO? Jake Detsch, Foreign Policy
There Will Not Be a New Cold War. Thomas J. Christensen, Foreign Affairs
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