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America's Domination Died in China

China's domination, American domination, domination

Another Point of View
by James Leonard-Williams
9 August 2008

I rarely watch television – I did yesterday. I am fascinated by the pomp and ceremony of state funerals. What an amazing send-off.

On the eighth day of the eighth month of the eighth year of this millenium, a fair proportion of the world’s population watched fascinated, on television, while 91,000 of the most privilaged watched from inside the Olympic Stadium in Beijing.

President Hu Jintao gave his oration alongside the president of the International Olympic Committee. Ostensibly it was to mark the opening of the Games. In reality it was America’s domination of the world being interred.

This was China flexing its cultural and economic muscles on an awesome scale.

This was a demonstration of might, set to music and dance, the like of which the world – let alone the Olympic Games – has ever seen.

This was a rebuke to George Bush and the United States. This was a rebuke to Nicolas Sarkozy and Europe. This was a rebuke to all critics of China.

This was a clear message, “Keep your noses out of Chinese affairs.”

This was 4,000 years of China’s history – choreographed and distilled into an heady and awesome display of its twenty-first century might. This was a floorshow to end all floorshows.

China is criticised for its control over communications. China’s answer was at the centre of the display. A stunning display of China’s role in the history of communication – the invention of paper and moveable type – the use of bamboo pens to create literature and art two thousand years before America was even invented.

This was a belittling reminder to Bush and assembled world leaders that China has a cultural history that predates all those born of Greece and Rome. Of these leaders, only Vladimir Putin – who had other things on his mind – seemed to have a look of quiet admiration on his face.

China doesn’t need to demonstrate its power with a display of military might. Rather it did so with a dazzling spectacle of artistic technology – art and technology that long predates Western civilisation.

Fireworks were set off by the tens of thousands in an extravaganza that made America’s displays of ‘shock and awe’ – look messy and squalid. Beijing’s skies lit up as much as to say,

“Just remember – we were doing this sort of thing more than half a millennium before that motley assortment of dissidents and separatists ever set sail from Plymouth. We used gunpowder for beauty – not fear and death. We didn’t need to.”

The short blip in China’s history – less than a sixtieth of it – the Mao’s China and the minimalism of the old communist regime has gone.

The 1.3 billion Chinese – not dissident immigrants – are on the move again. Their creation of wealth is irreversible and the size of it will make that of the West look like small change.

China is already dominating the world – economically – but there is less to fear than there was from America’s military and economic hegemony through use of their stealth bombers and stealth free-trade agreements.

Certainly there are abuses of human rights but China doesn’t have a monopoly on state coercion. Ask any of the inmates of Guantanomo or Kinetra about that.

China doesn’t have a monopoly on state run oppression. Ask any of the products of Western democracy – the dispossessed, standing on any street corner in any Western city. Ask the residents of Iraq and Palestine.

China doesn’t have a monopoly on failure to address human catastrophe. Ask any of people in the Darfur and most of sub-Saharan Africa.

All of them might well ask in reply, “What has Western Democracy actually done for the world?”

The answer is, “Nothing” – except create a world full of fear, terror, hatred and economies entirely dependent on the perpetuation of war.

james@lw.ma
Published: 2008-08-09
Author: James Leonard-Williams

About the author or the publisher
Born in 1948 in West Devon, educated in middle England, I have worked as an architect overseas since 1978. In 1999 I realised that 75% of my working life was spent chasing money that people had no intention of paying me. Since then life is a matter of survival and 'bread on table' is the order of the day. I live in Morocco and most of my time has been now directed towards preventing the government from destroying my wife’s village. What do I do otherwise? Architecting, teaching fix-you-up-and-get-you-home English, writing, journalism, radio and translating - and any other gainful employment.
www.arch.ma

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