Wednesday, 25 October 2017

With Chinese Characteristics

There is a strong sense of ageing student Trotskyism about hostility to China. For all China's faults, what about Saudi Arabia? Even George Osborne was right occasionally, and he was right when he took the United Kingdom into the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. We also need to be built into the Belt and Road Initiative, the New Silk Road. Be on the train, or be under it.

China still makes things, builds things and mines things, putting the jobs, heat and light of its people first. It is emerging from the gangster capitalism that always follows Communism by returning to its own culture, which is firmly centred on the family and the local community, reveres tradition and ritual, upholds government by moral rather than physical force, affirms the Golden Rule, is Agrarian and Distributist, has barely started an external war in five thousand years, and is especially open to completion by, in, through and as classical Christianity. China takes Africa seriously, even going there to secure the food supply necessary for it to give up the extremely anti-Confucian one child policy.

The correct response to the rise of China is therefore a return to making things, building things and mining things. To prioritising jobs, heat and light. To the family and the local community. To tradition and ritual. To moral rather than physical force. To the Golden Rule. To Agrarianism and Distributism. To a pronounced aversion to war. To the classical Christianity that completes and transcends Confucianism, in no way destroying it. To a very Classical and Patristic openness to, and interest in, Africa. And to the glorious celebration of the fact that the very last thing wrong with the world is that it has people in it.

Xi Jinping is correct to recognise the key roles, both of the State, and of the principal party of the Left, in delivering and protecting these things. Without the overarching and undergirding of Christianity, he is wrong in many of his ways of going about the exercise of those roles, and no doubt he will remain so. But he is right to recognise them.

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