01/26/2021, 15.37
EDITORIAL
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Xi Jinping and Biden servants of the same economic power

by Bernardo Cervellera

In his Davos' speech, Xi asserts the winning strength of the "China model". Political stability at the cost of repression. Even the "US model", with its "democratic virus", has victims: immigrants, African-Americans, but also whites, small business owners, workers. Many victims of the globalized system were among the Washington demonstrators. The stock exchanges and the financial world are profiting from the Covid crisis. Financial power pulls the strings of both the "China model" and the "US model".

Rome (AsiaNews) - In the aftermath of Xi Jinping's irenic speech in Davos, there are those who once again assert the winning strength of the "China model". In his 20-minute speech, the Chinese president filled the atmosphere of the international trade elite with popular slogans: no to the "cold war"; yes, to "dialogue and collaboration"; "Multilateralism" and no to "domination over each other"; aid to poor and developing countries; etc…

A similar etching of so many clichés is evident from the very fact that Xi's own country refuses to sign the treaty banning nuclear weapons; that China continues to build military bases in the South China Sea, regardless of the claims of other Southeast Asian countries; that its military jets - and Xi Jinping himself - are threatening Taiwan with a possible recapture by force.

But the fiery sweet intervention had a clear message, or rather two. The first is that China alone can guarantee "political stability". Xi said: "The best criteria [in deciding the merits of a political system] is whether a country’s history, culture and social system fits its particular situation, enjoys people’s support, serves to deliver political stability, social progress and better lives, and contributes to human progress”.

The second, very similar to the first, is: do not choose the US model, still recovering from the assault on Capitol Hill a few weeks ago and marked by the virus of democracy.

The "value of the China model" has been discussed among economists, politicians and entrepreneurs for years. After the 2008 crisis, China alone has been able to show an impressive growth of its GDP. Moreover, as the pandemic has slowed its pace, it has been the first to recover. The fact that Taiwan has done better than Beijing is barely even considered: what really matters is applauding the economic and pandemic successes of an authoritarian system, a system that does not waste time listening to the different voices of society and the freedom of expression, so tied to freedom of trade.

The fact that this system produces victims is apparently unimportant. Entrepreneurs like Jack Ma find themselves held back in their globalization momentum; Uyghur Muslims are imprisoned in forced labour and de-Islamization camps; Christians are accused of being Covid infectors; intellectuals, dissidents, new citizens, journalists are silenced by throwing them into misery and prison. All of this is considered mere "collateral damage" in the name of the supreme good of "political stability".

Yet despite all of this, neither are we supporters of the "US model" or even the "Trump model": neither has the United States signed the anti-nuclear treaty and is in first place for the sale of arms worldwide (China is right behind it) ... Even American society has its "collateral" victims: immigrants, African-Americans, but also whites, small business owners, workers, ... As several scholars and observers have pointed out, the same assault on Capitol Hill cannot be dismissed as a subversive and presumptuous attempt by supremacists.

Many - most - of those who demonstrated on January 6 in Washington were the victims of a system that, under the guise of globalization, has forgotten their needs for healthcare, dignity, culture, work. From this point of view, Biden's attempt to bring everything under the inflexibility of the law, as if to erase these elements of civil society, is very similar to the "political stability" desired by Xi.

The real problem is that both in the United States and in China - as throughout the world – one power dominates, the financial one, which pays no heed to what happens in reality and detaches itself from it using Biden's law of "politically correct" or the despotic one of the Chinese Communist Party.

In 2020, nearly 2 million people died from the pandemic; millions of individuals have lost their jobs; the new poor have grown by at least 100 million; the global economy has lost a tenth of its wealth. Yet it is impressive that in the same period, the world of finance has gained more than ever: the stock exchanges have been positive, shares have grown in value. As economist Andy Xi notes and, “Tesla has grown 10 times; bitcoin five times and the Nasdaq almost doubled ". At the same time, in China, house prices have soared, just as cities were deserted with the lockdown.

We continue to argue about the tug of war between supporters of the "China model" or "US model", but in reality we should think about how to change this economy which is overly dependent on finance and not on the real production of wealth. It is this financial power that exploits first one, then the other model and finally both to increase its dominance, which is in turn good for Biden's power and for Xi's.

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