There can be no doubt at all that the early noughties assessments of Chinese politics are wrong. China is not becoming more democratic with increasing wealth. The noughties assessments failed to predict the increased power of surveillance provided by "new technology". If you are caught in a country that uses the full panoply of modern surveillance methods resistance is futile. There will be no democracy for China for the foreseeable future.In fact the increased trade with China puts the West at risk from the Chinese system of government, not vice versa. When Western democratic tools such as freedom of speech and ownership fall into the hands of totalitarian regimes such as China they can lead to the spread of pro-China propaganda that misleads people about what is truly happening.
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In fact the increased trade with China puts the West at risk from the Chinese system of government, not vice versa. When Western democratic tools such as freedom of speech and ownership fall into the hands of totalitarian regimes such as China they can lead to the spread of pro-China propaganda that misleads people about what is truly happening. Global news organisations such as the BBC and CNN are especially at risk from Chinese influence because many of their overseas customers are either owned by China or deeply influenced by China. Even academic journals experience Chinese control. (See China launches Cold War).
Most western journalists are still living in the days of late twentieth century Western power. They have not adapted to the new world order where the Russians, and especially the Chinese are growing superpowers.
The USA has reacted to the growth of Chinese power but the Western media in the UK and EU still believe that China is harmless and these media are using the American reaction to Chinese power to attack Trump. Some of this western reaction is due to the long reach of China into western media and some of it is due to a strangely fanatical hatred of Trump. "Strange" because journalists working in the UK or EU should not really be passionately involved in American politics and doubly "strange" because when the President for Life of China, Xi Jinping is compared with Donald Trump only a fanatical opponent of Trump would consider them to be in any way equivalent.
The UK is sitting on the fence and is experiencing some fallout from regarding our democratic ally, the USA, as an equal risk to National Socialist China with its concentration camps and utter suppression of freedom. The USA is likely to react to a UK decision on 5G networks, which enriches Huawei and empowers China, by withdrawing intelligence cooperation with the UK. This is far more serious than any effects Brexit might have on intelligence cooperation. It is puzzling that there has been no media reaction in the UK to the US reaction to the decision on Huawei. There has also been almost no coverage of China's expansion of its nuclear arsenal and precious little reaction to the extraordinary technological oppression of the entire population of China. See We need to talk about China.
The UK is a member of the Western Alliances and the latest Reuters report on China's attitude to Western discomfort at the circumstances of the release of COVID-19 should give us pause for thought: China "..needs to be prepared in a worst-case scenario for armed confrontation between the two global powers".