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How the West Faltered During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Authors: Ziyu He and Huaan Liao*

Not long ago, we were residing in the heart of Western Europe relishing sweet junior spring exchange lives, only to have them cut abruptly short by a sweeping pandemic that obscured the sun shining above outdoor cafes on lazy afternoons. In lieu of weekend getaways, we found ourselves scrambling onto a last-minute transatlantic ride back into the United States, lest a potential presidential order soon shuts its borders to. Unfortunately, our worst fear soon became the reality. On the shuttle ride from the airport terminal, news feeds flooded us with breaking alerts on Trump’s decision to close the border to foreigners coming from the Schengen zone. The entire fiasco was all too real—never could we have expected that so soon after the turmoil our parents experienced in China, this, too, would upend our lives for months to come with no end in sight.

As China wakes from the nightmare, the West, especially the US, struggles to flatten the curve. Though second waves of outbreak occurred sporadically, China has earned a prize it long desires—recognition for its leadership role during a time of crisis. At the same time, the West is faltering with no clear path ahead. After surpassing China in both total confirmed and death cases in the end of March, the US continued on a treacherous trajectory months after the outbreak. Fierce tension between state and federal governments and selfish decisions of the White House against its own allies are sabotaging US reputation even further. Across the Atlantic, UK prime minister Boris Johnson risked his life to testify for the inherent danger of the herd immunity strategy. When Western nations retreated from their previous roles as beacons of hopes during times of crisis, China stepped up its role in global governance, pledging material assistance to countries in need and touting its lockdown strategy. The sharp contrast between China’s success and the West’s failure has led many to question whether the COVID-19 pandemic will prove to be a “Suez Crisis” for the US and possibly the liberal world order.

So what has the West done wrong?

As all initial efforts to contain the virus failed within the first week of local outbreak in Western Europe and the US, serious measures came too late to stop sporadically imported cases from developing into a grave threat to national security. The confidence and calm Western leaders once evinced only became testaments to ignorance, arrogance, and irresponsibility.

Arguments acquitting Western leaders have been made by pointing out their lack of experience dealing with a pandemic as serious as COVID-19, deceptive reassurance from the Chinese authorities, and delay in WHO’s timely instructions. Settling for these excuses, however, signals weakness and resignation from the responsibility as global leaders. Although the lack of experience in handling global health crises can help explain the initial insouciance toward COVID-19, this ill-informed argument is not a total acquaintance, for not only could it have led the fight, it is also equipped with more means than anywhere else in the world. With more established medical infrastructure and the fortune of managing the health crisis not first but second to the outbreak in Asia, havoc in the West could have been assuaged if not averted altogether under rapid and effective policies in place.

Similarly, assigning blame to China and the WHO does Western countries more harm than good. It is no secret that the Chinese government silences dissidents, manipulates statistics, and restricts transparent journalism to protect its legitimacy and defend its rhetoric for audiences everywhere. Feigning astonishment and blaming heavy casualties on the Chinese government is thus either a testimony of the administration’s incompetence to anticipate imminent risks and allocate appropriate resources to combat the crisis domestically and globally or a foolish bet on the goodwill and transparency of Beijing. Neither is good publicity.

Ideological considerations, rather than pragmatic calculations, explain Western democracies’ failure to implement timely responses to the crisis. Though the fear of economic recession and lengthy democratic procedures in formulating a response surely contributed to Western administrations’ reluctance to lockdown economies, indiscriminate aversion of China’s “draconian” authoritarianism played a more important role in postponing stay-at-home guidelines and issuing lockdown orders as last resorts. In January, when Western media and leaders rushed to denounce China’s snap containment policies as extreme measures with no respect for basic human rights, lockdown essentially became a symbol of authoritarianism and a taboo for the Western world in the name of liberty and democracy.

This was made clear to us in February right after the outbreak in Italy. In our Spanish Politics class, the professor led a discussion about the contagion and asked for reactions. Students from different European countries and the US voiced their opinions, mostly denying any possibility that the virus may end the fun of weekend travels and dismissing lockdown as an unreasonable restriction to personal freedoms followed by “I know China did that, but I mean, it’s China…” The only dissenting opinion came from a girl from Taiwan, who lamented on the then already lacking supply of face masks from all pharmacies before most Spanish people even learned the name of the virus. Drumbeats and trumpets celebrating Day of Sant Medir still resounded on the streets of Barcelona as late as early March. Similarly in the US, without timely restrictions from each state, students celebrated the premature end to their semester with COVID-19 parties that were directly responsible for more infections. Racist sentiments against people of Asian descent in the West ironically caught on much more quickly than preventative measures.

Unfortunately, as the centers of the outbreak shifted from Wuhan to Italy and then New York, Western leaders were compelled to contradict their previous stances and issue lockdown orders, halting national economies to a standstill despite reluctance. As extraordinary measures like social distancing, closing of non-essential businesses, and stay-at-home orders became inevitable, Western countries handed the victory to Beijing. Not only was Europe and the US “following” China’s lead on implementing unprecedented restrictive orders to minimize exposure, they have also fallen steps behind due to their initial obstinate dismissal. As China recuperates after a month of “zero increase” while death tolls continue to increase at alarming rates worldwide, few can deny that China is becoming the safest place in the world. While China’s extreme measures are recognized and praised by the WHO as “a new standard of outbreak control,” Western leaders, especially President Trump, are experiencing confidence crises from domestic constituents.

Scientifically, preventing human contact offers the best hope of stopping the spread because COVID-19 can travel in aerosol from asymptomatic patients. Restrictive measures will slow it per the logic of nature, and determination to avoid “authoritarian measures” serves only political motives at the cost of millions. Western policymakers failed to distinguish the concept of lockdown and China’s implementation of it. Scientific measures such as social distancing and lockdown should not carry political color, even when China’s execution violates many basic principles of a just government. When China issued lockdown orders, it ignored the wellbeing of small business and vulnerable individuals, stranding thousands in foreign cities without assistance. The lack of planning and coordination caused multiple scandals during the lockdown: the price of necessities and protective gear skyrocketed; the Hubei Red Cross hoarded medical supplies donated to local hospitals, and high-level officials were exposed expropriating masks from pharmacies and Red Cross warehouses.

Beijing and Wuhan should not be criticized because they resorted to lockdown as a way to control the outbreak but because they disregarded the lives and wellbeing of their own citizens. China implemented restrictive orders through command rather than consensus. As current situations demonstrate, the West could have adopted similar policies much earlier without putting the welfare of millions in jeopardy—what true leadership should have been like, instead of playing an opportunistic game of petty politics. Measures to aid the economy and individuals, including state-funded job retention schemes and appeals to big banks to stop stock buybacks to bail out clients, accompanied lockdown orders in Western administrations’ policy considerations but were not implemented in China. Voices calling attention to the collapse and disappearance of small businesses were censored on Chinese social media platforms for “breaking rules and regulations,” further attesting to the woes of an authoritarian regime. Actions as such made China “authoritarian”, not the lockdown itself.

Though East Asian democracies such as South Korea and Taiwan demonstrated alternative and more efficient paths of outbreak control, ignoring and rejecting the merit of China’s efforts is a dangerous sign of hubris and ignorance. As the West squandered the opportunity to “know its enemy” by learning from China’s success and failure, it effectively conceded victory to China, at least for now.

For the first time, a major setback of Western democracies was not brought by natural causes—the COVID-19 virus—or external enemies—China—but by the very fear and insecurity the West itself possessed. Though strong rhetoric condemning China’s atrocious human rights records and clandestine political maneuvers exudes confidence as the West chants aloud the slogan of freedom and justice, insecurity about China’s increasing economic prowess, political clout, and military capabilities alert Western countries as the rise of populism shifts policy focus from global prestige to domestic prosperity. Facing a rising competitor who aspires to command greater influence and become a rule-maker for the international order, the West has resorted to craven condemnations rather than confident example-setting actions. The COVID-19 crisis could have been a showcase opportunity for the West, especially the US, to consolidate its global leadership status by demonstrating the best practices of outbreak control and providing public goods for the international community. Instead, retreat from global responsibilities and the fear of mimicking a “draconian” lockdown made China the hero and the West the disheartened losers who barely protect itself. As more countries push back against China’s attempt to retell the story of the COVID-19 outbreak and its successful response, the West still has a chance to redress its mistake, though the window of opportunity will not stay open for long.

As competitions between China and the West elevates to a value-clash between efficient authoritarianism and free democracy, the West has repeatedly emphasized the value of personal freedom and autonomy. Protests frequently erupted amidst challenging lockdown orders. The zealous quest for personal freedom has held back a nobler pursuit for justice. Caring for the vulnerable and upholding a fair and just system is what made the West leaders of the world decades ago, and so should its priority be today. Freedom should serve as a building block to that system, never a stumbling rock.

*Huaan (Amber) Liao, from Xi’an, China, studies Global Business with a European Studies Certificate at Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service. She spent a semester abroad at Esade Business School in Barcelona, Spain. She has researched for The Brookings Institution’s China Center.

Ziyu (Harry) He studies Asian Studies with a minor in Political Science at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and is currently on an exchange program at the University of Oxford. He currently works as a research assistant at in the Georgetown Security Studies Department.

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East Asia

The role of China in fighting of fascism and racism

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Not only did China’s distortion and damage to its interests in the field of sports and the politicization of world sports, such as China’s hosting of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, stop, but this deliberate distortion of history extended from the United States of America and the West, by deliberately ignoring and ignoring China’s role in World War II with Western countries and allies to get rid of Japanese fascism. This is a (deliberate attempt for stigmatizing China now with the same old Japanese fascist accusations), and perhaps that was what stopped me the most analytically, is that despite the alliance of communist China with the liberal West at the time to eliminate tyranny and get rid of the Japanese occupation of China itself in World War II, but (the memory of American and Western history has been deliberately neglecting and completely dropping China’s role in World War II with Western countries and allies to confront Japanese fascism and authoritarianism). This can be understood through the following points:

  The issue of the “deliberate politicization of the Beijing Winter Olympics” has become clear to us another problem, which is the “falsification of facts and the intentional intentional distortion of China’s positive role in World War II with the foreign powers of the West to achieve global stability and security”: Here, the major obstacle to China has become. It is its endeavor to use history to defend its legitimacy, and even the constant annual concern of the leaders and officials of the ruling Communist Party in the annual celebration of China’s victory with the allies in World War II, despite the West’s failure to fully refer to the positive Chinese role with the Allied front in the victory and imposing the conditions for withdrawal and losing that war from  Before Japan, thanks to China’s help to the Western allies, and even the United States of America itself and the Western powers deliberately ignored highlighting any strong role of China with them in the face of Japanese fascism and racism during the period of World War II, and here was announced the formation of what is known as: (the declared alliance of Western democracies in the face of China  led by the United States of America, and willful disregard for the role of communist China itself in the face of Japanese fascist and racist policies and authorities during the period  World War II).

  Neglecting of China’s role with frank American ideological racist and ideological claims at the present time, including the “boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China”, drops from the memory of contemporary history of the positive and real role of China in fighting tyranny, fascism and racism, and the decisive Chinese contribution to achieving the allies’ final victory in  World War II: The same American and Western accusations against China were “fought by China itself”  alongside the allies of World War II, including: the United States of America, Britain itself and the West, and the positive Chinese role played a prominent role in getting rid of Japanese fascism and racism. The fall and death of (35 million Chinese citizens between Chinese civilians and military) to get rid of the Japanese racist and fascist policies at that time.

  We find the deliberate American and Western disregard for China’s role in maintaining “Asia-Pacific” security, which was wasted by the United States of America by signing the “New Aukus Defense Agreement”, concluded by Washington in the “Indo-Pacific” region at the end of 2021, with Australia and the UK, to confront China regionally, despite China offering millions of victims of its sons to maintain the security of that region in the face of Japan and for the benefit of the United States of America and the West themselves: China is considered the most prominent who made huge sacrifices during World War II “WW2”, to liberate the Asian region from Japanese occupation, and China also fought a resistance  Solid alone in the battlefields of the “Asia-Pacific” region, which the United States calls the “Indo-Pacific” region. Here, we find that the beginning of the actual war that China fought against the Japanese occupation over a period of 14 years, was the real beginning of World War II, and the longest war fought by the Allies and succeeded in it only because of China’s help, in addition to the heroic role witnessed by Chinese soldiers and civilians during the resistance period, and its cause in (delaying the pace of Japanese military expansion, and achieving victory for the Allies in World War II, as China was the real backbone of victory in World War II).

  The annual celebration of the Chinese leaders’ memorial of victory with the allies in the Second World War “WW2″ against the Japanese occupation at the time became in March of every year, without American or Western participation in the first place: I followed, as an expert in Chinese political affairs, with a precise analytical and academic significance, the meaning of the content of boycotting of the Chinese annual celebration of its victory in the WW2 by the USA and the Allies in this time, with China’s intentionality (organizing a huge military parade on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, during the month of March 2021), a ceremony in which the military armies of friendly countries were invited, and in which the Chinese President, Comrade “Xi Jinping”, gave a speech in which he deliberately allayed the fears of those who were worried about the mighty power of China, asserting quite literally, that:

  “No matter how powerful it is, China will never seek hegemony or expansion. China played an important role in defeating fascism in the twentieth century, and is now playing a role in maintaining the international order in the twenty-first century. China calls on all countries to respect the international order that it is supported by the principles and objectives of the United Nations “UN” Charter, in favor of building a new form of international relations, characterized by the fruitful cooperation of all parties, and promoting the noble cause of world peace and development”

 The most prominent points ignored by the United States of America is the fact that a world that embraces democracy and liberal values, according to its description, can embrace authoritarianism as well: Here, most American citizens agree that (reforming American democracy at home is the most urgent task), with growing warning of the American analysts, who are believing that:

 “The entire American democracy is in great danger, especially after the new voting restrictions and allegations by the former President of “Trump” of rigging the presidential elections, in favor of his rival, “Joe Biden”

  The American call for building a grand American strategy around the world to fight tyranny and authoritarianism is counterproductive, supports China on the ideological front, and pushes other countries to rapprochement with the leaders of the ruling Communist Party of China: as this American call to divide the world on ideological bases, and its quest for spreading those liberal values ​​abroad, in order to achieve political gains from them in the first place to confront China ideologically, so we find here that this American insistence in calling for confronting China’s authoritarianism and communism in the world, may increase the fears of many countries with a possible effort by Washington to change their political systems, and thus the (possibility of the union and alliance of half of the non-democratic countries in the world will be essentially, according to the American classification), and push those non-democratic countries to take more disruptive steps abroad against American interests themselves, because of its interference to change their regimes and threaten their internal interests.

  Here, we find that “framing international politics” according to the American and Western vision of its allies as a competition between ideologically different regimes, will certainly have an opposite effect on the structure of international stability itself: therefore, according to my own vision and analysis of the current scene, the American focus on that ideological aspect only in its relations with others and its classification as well of the world will inevitably push those authoritarian regimes, as the United States of America classified them, and on top of them: (China and Russia), according to that ideologically American classification, to (deepen China and Russia cooperation between them and those countries that are also classified as non-democratic countries by the USA itself). The structure of international stability will be seriously compromised, and (there will be a severe potential global structural divisions of an ideological nature will occur), and this is precisely what the United States and the West are pushing towards China.

   This “deliberate ideological war against China historically” by distorting its real roles in maintaining the international order and eradicating the current poverty, fascism and Japanese racism, and deliberately overthrowing China’s great role in World War II, is due to the “mainly American policy of double standards towards China”: Which I called academically and analytically, according to my comprehensive view of the scene, as a “selective dealing with contemporary world history in favor of a hostile American agenda, and disrespecting the true history of mankind by dropping China’s role in one of its most important and most prominent historical milestones in World War II”. But, US policy deliberately ignored China’s role, despite the writing of the most prominent American and international historians to highlight the global Chinese role, under the title of “The world owes China”.

  Hence, we conclude that the application of those previous criteria to drop China’s role historically, on that current deliberate clash between China and the USA, besides the current American call for the world to boycott the Winter Olympics in Beijing, and its long call to “cancel China’s hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympics”, shows us with conclusive evidence to what extent of “the world’s lack of standards of “global justice during its handling of events that changed  the course of contemporary history towards the positive global role of China, and the historical role of its ruling leaders of the Communist Party”.

  Here, we will arrive at a final analysis, says that: “Targeting China has always become a deliberate and well-established policy of American and Western politicians to distort its role and deny and ignore its true historical roles in maintaining the interests of the global stability and security”.

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“Post-Communism Era”, “Post-Democracy Era”, in the face of “authoritarian liberalism”

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According to my understanding and analysis of the current appropriate Chinese confrontation mechanisms in the face of American boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, in fact, the United States of America has announced from the beginning, that it a state of (an organized ideological confrontation between democratic ideologies and alliances against a communist tyrannical ideology represented by China and its followers), so it has become a narrow American justification for the decision to boycott the Winter Olympics in Beijing, which is revolving around (the opposition of democratic countries to the participation of their ideological enemies).

  Hence, as an expert specializing in Chinese political affairs and the policies of the contemporary Communist Party of China, I tried to present different interpretations and theories from the previous stage, given that we live in a “post-post” stage or post-beyond era”, and this requires us, as specialists academics and experts in Chinese, political and international affairs, to present some new other creative “explanatory and analytical theories”. There are many types that fit the nature of the current stage, and work to implement them in the form of the current confrontation between the United States of America with China, through:

  Contemporary history assures us that decisions similar to the diplomatic boycott of sporting events in the first place take an (ideological form): The similar historical boycotting to the sporting events have been taken by a “same narrow ideological justification”, such as the American claims to its vision of China and communist policies and dividing the world into two regimes of totalitarian authoritarianism and other liberal democratic regimes. Because of the American position refusing to participate, I found several similar events, such as: (the decision not to participate in sports games by some Islamic countries with the presence of Israeli athletes in the sporting competitions, or North Korea’s absence from the 1988 Olympics, which was hosted by its enemy South Korea in the capital, Seoul). But the boycott that took place in the (Winter Olympics in Moscow in 1980), remains the largest in the history of world sports, after US President “Jimmy Carter” decided not to send athletes from his country to the Moscow Games in protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the Soviets responded after four years of that boycott the “Los Angeles Olympics 1984”, in the United States of America. The greatest impact of each of these two provinces was on the medal table in sports competitions, as each side took advantage of the other’s absence to increase the number of its medals.

  It is necessary to present a new theory that goes beyond communism, even if it is linked to it in the first place, called “post-communism”, in view of the current radical international change: my humble research and academic view is represented as an expert in Chinese political affairs, specializing in the studies of the Communist Party, Chinese and its policies internally and externally, in presenting a “modern, communist school that fits the global political reality, and is even capable of imposing itself in the face of the policies of American ideological competition against China”. This is what requires us as academics and specialists in the fields of political science, especially after my deeply observation, as I have surprised that: “there are a serious division academically and at the international level in the field of Chinese and Asian theories compared to the other Western and American studies and theories in the Arab and Middle Eastern social sciences departments in our universities”, given that the nature of the current academic work in the field of political science and comparative political systems, as my specific specialization of study, as well as the trajectories of international relations and the social sciences in general, is in urgent and seriously need to (extract and present other theories).

  As for the theory of Chinese confrontation in the “post-communist stage”, we find that the modern use of the term, in its positive aspect, reflects (a global communist aspiration to rebuild and produce other alternatives to the ideological confrontation methods with the United States of America): this is the Chinese-communist confrontation,  If it is not tangible at the present time, it must be identified and proposed as a possible possibility for the framework and form of the existing ideological confrontation between Washington and Beijing, such as creating the social conditions and political forces that can move it and impose it on the ground. Only from this angle, we can understand (the reasons for calling for the return of the communist question in France and setting some new other post-communist rules and foundations”, that fit the nature of the current stage), as well as those echoes received by French communist thinkers, such as: (Alain Badiou, Antonio Negre,  Jean-Luc Nancy, and Jacques Rancière), along with French Marxist writers who have never denied their belonging to communism, such as: (Lucien Seif, André Tozel, Jacques Bede, Daniel Bensaïd).

  The need to develop a “post-communist theory”, presenting modern explanatory foundations on which it is based in view of the nature of the current stage: which is meaning to reconsider the complex and disputed legacies of Chinese communism in its traditional form, which revolves around the “ideological embodiment of Chinese communism” of the founding fathers and its Communist Party. Perhaps with great respect for the values ​​and construction of “Maoist ideas”, it has become urgent to develop into other (ideas and forms of contemporary political discourse that suit everyone at home and abroad), and most importantly are able to respond firmly to all the projects of liberal democracies that the United States of America is trying to lead globally through a network of its alliances to confront China, and this remains a critical exploration of the foundations of the “post-communism”. It is becoming more and more necessary. Here we can apply the Chinese post-communist theory in the title of the work, and not only revolve it around the founding companion of China “Mao Zedong”, but it will proceed from “Maoism” to the stage of acknowledgment that the liberation ideas in Chinese thought were always the result of a collective production and not an individual one like the West.

  The proposed ideas and foundations for the post-communist stage, must essentially go beyond the enormous influence exercised by “Mao Zedong” on political thought and discourse in modern China in particular and the comrades of the Communist Party of China: here, it is necessary for the current leaders in the Communist Party of China to remind themselves in creating some other constant (changeable new ideas, aspirations and promises of Chinese communism, that are not limited to a specific individual, time or time, but rather they are going forward with a contemporary communist future vision that goes beyond Maoism itself and is able to build on it). With this proposition, the “Post-Communist Chinese Stage and Theory”, will surely point to new ways of thinking, speaking and practicing politics that involved in the participation of hundreds of millions of Chinese people.  As is well known that “Mao Zedong” did not compose or write all the texts signed in his name, rather than the “Maoist ideas” were the form that the Chinese communism has taken for many years in a traditional ideological dominant language in the political discourses to teach the Chinese people and their masses the (foundations of leadership, rally around the leaders of the Communist Party, and face the challenges).

  The beginning of the practical application of the “post-communist Chinese theory” will be from the premise of changing the contemporary Chinese political discourses, and understanding that the United States of America is not in a real, tangible and realistic conflict with China: we can implicitly notify that the USA, as much as it is a struggle with itself over its suffering from many serious internal issues, besides other external challenges which they have lost the element of success. We note that the United States of America is trying to blame its failure on many inside and outside files on other external parties, such as: China and Russia. The prominent example here is the sudden American withdrawal from Afghanistan and the subsequent violations of human rights, bombings and deaths after the “Taliban movement” took control of the government, and the other (subsequent international sharp criticism against the Washington’s failure policies), especially from its European allies, who are now bothered by these (American unilateral and individualistic behavior without consulting its NATO allies before taking important decisions internationally), as well as the growth of other American internal problems, such as:

 (The crises of marginalization of the poor citizens, racism against its black people with African roots, increasingly of the economic divide and inequality, and the political tensions in both internally and internationally levels)

  Perhaps the “post-communist theory of contemporary China” will depend on the Chinese necessity to adopt (two different approaches and styles of contemporary discourses in the face of current American policies), the first one, which should be a discourse towards the American people and its nation themselves, and the second one is to confront the American politicians: what stopped me in this regard is the failure  of the US government itself to persuaded several major US companies to participate in the game of “politicizing the Beijing Winter Olympics file” to participate with their country in the “diplomatic boycott” of the Beijing’s Olympics. But, (many of the largest American companies have refused to bow to the demands of their American government to “politicize the Olympics”). Despite the efforts of the US administration to organise many prominent activities to persuade its large companies and all of the other interests not to participate and boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics, with the assistance of some numerous other human rights activists, who are so close to the American administration itself to interfere in this regard. So, the Egyptian researcher is suggesting here, that “China in the post-communist era” should adopt a different discourse around which the American people themselves, who are rejecting the policy of their government.

  What is worth mentioning and analyzing here, is the refusal of most of these American and Western companies to cancel their sponsorship of the Olympics, and even implicitly announce their broadcast of the Beijing Winter Olympics through their own network of channels: most of prominent American and Western large multi national companies have refused to participate with their governments and politicians in what they called “the risk of insulting China”, and even openly challenged their politicians, in favor of China, by (declaring publicly to uphold all trade agreements with China). There are hundreds of American sponsors and major advertising companies also announced their participation in covering the Olympics in advertising and commercial, and many of the (American sponsorship large companies, prominent prestigious agencies and TV Channels have been undertaken to sponsor the international sports events at Winter Olympics in Beijing), considered the People’s Republic of China as one of their (largest global markets) for them at all, and their collective unwillingness to harm their interests, in favor of some controversial political issues that they don’t give them any kind of consideration at all.

  The announcement by the major American private channels about broadcasting matches, games and all the events of the Beijing Winter Olympics publicly came in flagrant defiance of the orders of its American government and administration to politicize decisions against China: we can find out that “NBC TV network”, which had certainly benefited from a similar previous experience by canceling the broadcast of the “Moscow Olympics in 1980”, based on orders from the US government to boycott the Russian Winter Olympics at this time, but at that time it has incurred heavy losses for its participation to the game of politicizing the Olympics and sporting events in favor of limited political issues between its government and others. Indeed, many US channels networks announced the transfer of the Beijing Winter Olympics, declaring that:

“Sales of publicity advertisements for the Winter Olympics in Beijing were strong, and continued to extend to the last moment, given the importance of the global sports events hosted by China”

  The challenge of the US administration to participate in the Beijing Winter Olympics from its home did not stop at the level of American athletes, companies and sponsorships, but extended to many other European and Western allies countries of Washington itself: we can analyse by observation the case of “real, tangible and public Western challenge to the American diplomatic boycott” of the Beijing Winter Olympics has emerged, which is what was announced by the Minister of Science and Culture of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture during an interview with the Finnish National Broadcasting Corporation on January 17, 2022, in his public statement about his travel to Beijing to attend the Winter Olympics in February 2022, with the official confirmation of Finland, despite being a Scandinavian democratic important country, that:

  “Washington will never share its desire to boycott sporting events and politicize sports for narrow limlited political agendas”

   It has become more clear now that we have entered the “post-democratic era”,  a stage in which populist currents and illiberal trends have become prevalent, as is the case in Europe and the West: here, we find the American insistence on dividing the world, after holding a conference on “Leaders Summit for Democracy” on December 9, 2021, with the aim of creating a clear (global division between countries that adopt democratic values ​​and the authoritarian, totalitarian, non-democratic ones), which caused an international rift that resulted in more divisions and confrontations, which may lead to the question, concerning:

 “Is that American democracy only one pattern and measured by American standards only? And whether the practices of the United States in the Middle East, such as: military occupation, stirring up unrest, and others, are considered democratic practices that are accepted by the United States and internationally?”

 Here, I fully agree with the words of the Chinese President, Comrade “Xi Jinping”, in his deep understanding and analysis of the concept of democracy, by his assertion that:

 “The best shoes are the ones that fit the feet, and the best way of government is the one that serves the welfare of peoples and societies. Democracy is not a private patent for any country, but rather the common values that all countries of the world have developed, based on their historical traditions and political realities should be highly respected”

  Comrade “Xi Jinping’s view” here, is that the people have the right to judge whether the development path in their country is appropriate or not? For example, China insists on dealing with all countries and regimes, and even supports African and poor developing countries, from West Asian and North African countries and encourages all of them to (follow the development methods that suit their national conditions, and China is committed to respecting the sovereignty of countries by calling for consultations on an equal footing, strengthening solidarity and cooperation between  everyone). Also, according to my accurate reading of the reality, we have also gone beyond the stage of globalization by other stages. We are no longer in the “post-globalization era”, but we are in the “age of adaptation to the results of globalization”, which is represented in the need for rehabilitation and continuous education to keep pace with modern technology and artificial intelligence, and this stage requires a radical change in “the language and vocabulary of the Chinese post-communist political discourse”, according to what I have been indicated and aforementioned analyzed.

   After my new analysis of  the new theories of “post-communism era” and “post-democratic era”, I may arrive here with a fundamental assertion, that the United States does not have the right to judge whether it is a democracy or not. This was confirmed by the great Chinese thinker “Confucius”, who has always been stressing that:

“If a person cannot correct his own behavior, how can he correct the behavior of others?”

  Here, although the United States of America claims that it is a “beacon of democracy”, it has committed all kinds of violations against the most basic principles of human rights and democracies, by intervening to change regimes by force in the Middle East, such as the Iraqi and Afghan cases.  Then its chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the consequent tangible regional and international chaos, in addition to the most important thing, which is “the American failure itself to impose its democratic and liberal values ​​by force around the world,” and its dealings with many authoritarian regimes and even protecting them to achieve its interests. 

  Hence, we actually have to search theoretically and academically for other (analytical and explanatory approaches), in order to enter into new theoretical directions in the world of “post-postmarks”, which necessitates a reconsideration of American democracy itself, and the reproduction of the world of new ideas in the era of “post-democracy, post-communism, and authoritarian democracy”, according to the nature of the current confrontation mechanisms between the United States of America and China in the international arena, and the new discourses should be adopted and fitted with the existing events.

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Shi Maxian’s trap vs Thucydides’ trap

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Many political theories and international interpretations have emerged to explain the form of the conflict between the United States and its allies in the face of China, which the United States of America gave “the form of a conflict of an essentially ideological nature”, based on the “Cold War mentality”, which prevailed during the period of the old Soviet Union before its downfall in 1991, and new international theories emerged, based on similar ancient Western events, such as the theory of the “Thucydides trap” and the theory of “Tacitus’ trap”. However, according to my analytical and academic view as an expert mainly specialized in Chinese political affairs, I have found similar theoretical explanations in the ancient Chinese imperial history, such as: (Shi Maxian’s trap theory), during the ancient imperial era of the “Xiongnu Dynasty”, while its confrontation with the “Han dynasty” old Empire.

   Therefore, the Egyptian researcher proceeded here to (analyze the content of phrases from the masses political speeches of the Chinese President, Comrade “Xi Jinping”, in order to enable us to apply those Chinese theories in the face of the American and Western theories), which are concentrating on the principles of (hegemony, monopoly and unilateralism), based on the mechanism and policy of the current US diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, and all the features of the US confrontational approach to China, as follows:

  The ancient Chinese theory of historian “Shi Maxian”, was related to the basis for understanding the ancient Chinese interpretation of what is known (the theories of the rise and fall of ancient nations): this ancient theory may enable contemporary China to build a contemporary explanatory relationship with the “end of history theory” of the Japanese-American thinker “Fukuyama”, which is based on (the victory of Western liberal American values ​​in the face of China and the Islamic world), so, based on our understanding of those Chinese theories and philosophies in the first place, we will be able to understand the direction and way of thinking and contemplation of the Chinese mentality and its view of the world and events, and even how to respond  China on all American provocations in the face.

  The possibility of China re-presenting the old imperial theory, known as: (the “Shi Maxian” trap or “the theory of confronting a foreign enemy”, and promoting this enemy among the Chinese people), will aim to increase the growth of the feelings of nationalism within it, to motivate them to turn around their leaders and homeland and increasing its strength: This is the ancient theory of China to build an external enemy permanently, which was put forward by the ancient Chinese historian “Shi Maxian”, the meaning of it, is to “build an enemy permanently, so that everyone gathers around this enemy and unites the citizens of the country to eliminate it”. This Chinese theory prevailed during the era of the “Ancient Chinese Xiongnu Empire”.

  Also, this Chinese theory (the theory of the “Shi Maxian” trap) – according to my analytical and interpretive vision as a specialized expert in Chinese political affairs – is almost analogous to the international theory currently known as the “Greek Thucydides trap”: it is the Western Greek theory that was reproduced once again and showing it, despite its affiliation with the ancient state of Greece and Sparta, as an attempt to explain the form of the unity of the current conflict between China and the United States of America.

   According to my academic analysis, the ancient imperial conflict in China between the “Xiongnu” and “Han” empires is similar to the form of the ongoing and current international conflict between China and the United States of America: this ancient imperial conflict in China, which was presented by the ancient Chinese historian “Shi Maxian”, who is considered the first true historian of China in the contemporary real sense or concept, wrote about the “Ancient Xiongnu Empire in China”, considering that it was the rival power that was forced into submission by the “Ancient Han Empire of China”.

  The “Xiongnu Empire” with this ancient analysis applies parallel to modern China, meaning that: “The weaker the “Xiongnu Empire” in the face of the strength of the “Han Empire”, the Chinese will be stronger, and vice versa”: Here we may call this theory in the sense of the “Shi Maxian” trap or “the theory of building a foreign enemy to confront him”, meaning promoting the presence of a permanent enemy among your people, to increase the growth of the element of nationalism to him to rally around th homeland and increase its economic, political and military strength, in order to always prepare for this external enemy, which is here in our case, is literally applies to the United States of America and its allies around the world in the face of China and its ruling Communist Party.

  Perhaps Chinese leaders in the future will try to evoke the analyzes of the ancient Chinese “Xiongnu Empire” and its permanent confrontation with the “Han Empire”, as a primarily Chinese attempt to explain all (theories of the new enemies of China, especially those who appear mainly from the West): the same thing has become true of the United States of America  itself by comparing its hostility to China on a continuous basis with the mentality of the Cold War during the period of the Soviet Union, and applying this in its current dealings with China, and its adoption of the policy of alliances and the mobilization of alliances and new political and defense polarizations, such as: the Quad agreement with (Japan, India, and Australia) to confront China economically and regionally, and the most dangerous  other agreement signed by the United States of America is the “New Aukus Defense Agreement”, which has been signed by both (Australia and Britain) to confront China’s military, security and strategic influence in the South China Sea and Taiwan, and to create a (US-Australian military and defense partnership to confront China in the “Indo-Pacific” or “Asia-Pacific” region), according to the Chinese interpretation.

  We can deduce and analyze common points between Western and Chinese theories of conflict management. According to the theory of “Thucydides”, which is proposed by the ancient Greek state to explain the form of the conflict between new rising powers that triumph over old descending ones, as a reference to China and the USA: it’s a theory known globally, as “Thucydides’ trap”, which has been prevailed during the Greek ancient cities, as a trap to achieve the victory on the enemies, and presented by the Greek historian “Thucydides”, saying that:

“War will be inevitable when a new power emerges to challenge an existing one”

  Hence, and by applying the Chinese response mechanism in practice to the American challenge in confronting it, according to my analysis of the content of the political speeches of Comrade “Xi Jinping”: According to my analysis of Comrade Xi’s speeches, I noticed that the general trend in interpreting and analyzing the speeches of the Chinese President, Comrade “Xi Jinping”, to his people, members of his Communist Party, and his comrades in the Politburo, was decisive in getting rid of the effects of the theory of “Thucydides’ trap” against China, by emphasizing in his political speeches to the Chinese people and members of the ruling Communist Party, which is stating that:

  “No matter what stage of development China has reached, China will never seek hegemony or expansionism. China follows a national defense policy that is defensive in nature, and here China calls on the peoples of all countries to work together to build a community with a shared future for the humanity”

   Another Western theory, called the “Tacitus trap theory” in the form of the conflict between Washington and Beijing, and its application to the credibility of the current US administration of President “Joe Biden” with its people, citizens and athletes themselves, is also related to their demand for a boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics: where I found that this Western theory, known as: “Tacitus’ theory”,  as the perfect application of the US administration’s inability to move its people, athletes, and allies, dissuading them or preventing them from participating in the Beijing Winter Olympics, and then having to “leave the matter of participation or not as an open option and choice to all”.  In my attempt to apply that historical theory known as the “Tacitus trap” to the conflict between the United States of America and China, and China’s role in getting rid of it, it becomes clear that this Western trap of  “Tacitus”, is based on:

 “Be careful when the government loses its credibility, it will inevitably be seen as a liar, whether it is telling the truth or lying or doing the good or the bad”

  Therefore, the speech of the Chinese President, Comrade “Xi Jinping”, in a political speech to the masses of his people, came to warn against the theory of “Tacitus’ trap” in the face of the Chinese masses towards the government and its credibility: the emphasis has become that the policies of the ruling Communist Party itself must “fit the nature of the Chinese people”, according to their needs, to gain their legitimate government and satisfaction, in contrast to that narrow, individualistic and unilateral behaviours, adopted by the Western philosophy and their vision in dealing with the masses, by affirming that:

  “We must focus on maintaining and keeping the Party’s close bond with the people in mind, developing a closer link with them and keeping on working for stronger overall support for Party governance”

   Here, based on our understanding of the form of Chinese and Western theories of conflict management, according to the philosophy and vision of each of them, I was able to reach analytically, that the most prominent points of contention between that Western democracy and Chinese socialism, is based on that narrow Western individual view of the masses and peoples compared to China: Western political parties waste a lot of their energy on focusing on “campaigns to win and stay in power”. The interest in the West and the United States of America is focused on winning elections and governing. But, in contrast to the theories of the West, Chinese communist policies are concerned with (developing major strategies of interest to the masses), such as:

(Poverty alleviation, fighting corruption, comprehensive social and health security, and eliminating slums)… etc.

  According to my personal view and my view of current events, the United States of America is trying to “create a foreign enemy in the face of the American public opinion that constantly criticizes the policies of its government”. Therefore, the current American policies are trying to ideologically impede the progress of the Communist Party of China: by deliberately the United States of America in dividing the world into democratic and totalitarian regimes, at a time when the American authorities and their administration have neglected more urgent and important internal issues and the basic needs for its people, we can find that the Communist Party of China, and its adoption of the (model of applying such successful policies to win the approval of the Chinese people and their masses), such as: poverty alleviation, fighting corruption and others, which helps in creating a strong public faith towards all endeavors towards achieving this, and addressing problems, contrary to the American policies at home, which are basically targeting China and its ruling Communist Party, claiming that they are the causes of the American current failure, economic and technological faltering, and their intentional harm to the American people.

   Here we understand that the current American call for a boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February 2022, is just one of a series of other American attempts to impede Chinese growth and progress in all fields globally, due to (the success of the policy of the rise of China and its Communist Party globally, in contrast to the clear American decline internally and externally), especially after its failure and stumble in many files.

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