Contrary to the West’s hopes, China’s entry into the World Trade Organization twenty years ago has only strengthened the communist regime in its repressive national policies and its unfair trade practices, an analysis from the Disenso Foundation shows.
The study was published earlier in January by the conservative Spanish think tank.
The document shows that Western democracies exhibited a great deal of naïveté in allowing the Asian giant to enter the WTO, and that China has been able to take advantage of the West’s program to not only explode its own economic growth but, in doing so, to develop into “the most sophisticated repressive and totalitarian regime in all of human history.”
Western democracies had hoped that China’s entrance into the WTO would lead to an exchange of values and gradual regime change. Even as it imported Chinese manufacturing goods, the West would be able to export transparency and democracy.
According to the study, the Chinese regime has used its membership in the WTO “to legitimize its model in the face of a global economy dependent on its market and handcuffed by its commercial strategy.” The study firmly repudiates the WTO for having contributed “to legitimizing a profoundly authoritarian economic and political model.”
One of the failures over the last twenty years, according to the study, has been the neutral treatment by many western governments towards China, and their dismissal of China’s human rights violations towards its own people.
At the same time, liberal democracies themselves have been undermined by China, the study asserts.
“Democracies have suffered the debilitation (first slowly, now evidently) of both their industry and their institutions. The situation has contributed to an increased distrust of institutions, generating uncertainty in large numbers of countries,” it stated.
Unfortunately, western societies blithely continue to behave as if trade with China will effect change, not realizing that dictatorships “by definition, do not play by the rules.” As women’s professional tennis “woke up” to the cruelty of the Chinese regime through the disappearance of tennis player Peng Shuai, western governments need to ‘get woke’ to China as well.
The study points to one main reason for this complicity between western democratic governments and the Chinese regime: the dollar signs in the eyes of the few in the West who have immensely benefited from China.
Citing the work of Josh Rogin, Chaos Under Heaven: Trump, Xi, and the Battle for the 21st Century, the study shows that several billionaires in Wall Street and Silicon Valley have successfully lobbied American administrations committed to entertaining the Chinese regime. “The reasons for this are obvious: the Chinese economic model (opaque, capitalist, and efficient) has made them immensely rich,” the study says. Analogous situations have happened in Europe and other parts of the world, according to the think tank.
Western democracies must be “aware of the risk that China represents” and defend “the way of life and the freedom that has been so hard won,” the study concludes.