Authors: Christoph Nedopil, Dimitri De Boer, Danting Fan, Yingzhi Tang*
The “Green development guidelines for overseas investment and cooperation”, issued jointly by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), encourages Chinese businesses to integrate green development throughout the overseas investment process. Where local standards are insufficient, they also suggest that companies should “follow international green rules and standards”. As such, they represent a step away from China’s traditional reliance on host country rules and could pave the way for the implementation of much higher standards in infrastructure projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The guidelines call for strengthening engagement with host country environmental protection organisations. They also name non-fossil energy technologies as key areas for investment.
The guidelines are comprehensive, covering climate, biodiversity and pollution. Specifically, they stress the need to:
- Adhere to the “green development concept” throughout the entire process of foreign direct investment and cooperation;
- Encourage the practice of environmental impact assessments and due diligence in accordance with internationally accepted standards;
- Apply high standards at the planning and design phase of infrastructure projects, and strengthen contact with host country governments, media, local people and environmental protection organisations; and
- Support investment in solar, wind, nuclear and biomass energy and other forms of clean energy.
The document is a significant upgrade on MOFCOM’s 2013 “Guidelines for environmental protection in foreign investment and cooperation”. The emphases have shifted from a bare minimum of pollution control that meets host countries’ standards towards the promotion of a “green development concept” and encouragement of higher standards used in host countries where appropriate.
Across all three aspects of climate, pollution and biodiversity, the 2021 guidelines now include specific climate-positive measures (eg support overseas clean energy investment). Furthermore, Chinese enterprises are asked to “prevent adverse impacts on biodiversity” according to host country laws or international practices. In the 2013 version, such practices were only “encouraged” to basically satisfy local laws. The progress builds upon some of the policies issued in-between, such as the 2020 Climate Finance Guidance. Finally, the guidance also promotes controlling the discharge of waste gas, water, noise and solid waste, and enhancing the integrated reuse of waste. Thus it focusses on broader aspects of pollution control.
Why are the guidelines significant?
Firstly, the whole-lifecycle approach encouraged by the guidelines represents a more comprehensive way for companies to approach environmental responsibilities in their overseas projects. Secondly, and as already mentioned, the document clearly emphasises “international green rules and standards”, driving Chinese overseas investments to go beyond “host country rules”.
To support a whole lifecycle approach for green investment, the document specifies activities and responsibilities, particularly of enterprises doing projects overseas for different investment stages. In the project planning and evaluation phase, Chinese enterprises shall actively fulfil their environmental responsibilities, including complying with host countries’ laws and regulations, and promoting the coordinated development of the local economy and society. Chinese enterprises are encouraged to follow international common practices for the environmental impact assessment (EIA) and due diligence, and identify potential environmental risks before deciding on whether to make an investment overseas.
In the implementation phase, enterprises shall conduct ecological and environmental risk prevention measures and improve the capacity of ecological and environmental management. Chinese enterprises should follow the host countries’ rules and standards and take reasonable and necessary measures to reduce or mitigate adverse environmental impacts. They are asked to enhance their management systems to monitor environmental risks and accordingly have an “early-warning system” for environmental risks, and formulate contingency plans for environmental accidents and emergencies. They are encouraged to communicate more with host country governments, media, local communities and environmental NGOs while fulfilling environmental and social responsibilities.
Reporting and disclosure is also emphasised and Chinese enterprises are encouraged to comply with international requirements, including but not limited to the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change, Convention on Biological Diversity, 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and the Green Investment Principle for BRI.
Besides projects and investments, the guidelines also cover trade, by requiring companies to speed up integration with the global green supply chain, to carry out green procurement and purchase environmentally friendly products and services. If implemented well, this could be a gamechanger for biodiversity, as the production of commodities such as soy and palm oil have been identified as a key driver of tropical deforestation.
Beyond ‘host country rules’
Since China’s “going out” reform began in 1999, Chinese enterprises have been encouraged to comply with host country laws and regulations to obtain relevant local and Chinese permits and licences. However, the robustness of host countries’ regulatory environment and governance can vary. Due to the lack of incentives to comply with international laws, Chinese enterprises have often been criticised by NGOs and media for their environmental and social impacts on local ecosystems and communities. At the same time, the lack of environmental standard application has created financial risks for Chinese investors and tended to limit access to international financing sources, which usually come with higher environmental and social standards.
As mentioned, recognition of international standards began in the 2013 “Guidelines for environmental protection in foreign investment and cooperation”. This encouraged Chinese enterprises to “research and learn” from international organisations and multilateral financial institutions. In 2015, the National Development and Reform Commission and several ministries issued a “vision” for the BRI, which emphasized issues of green and low-carbon development, as well as biodiversity protection. Since then, much progress has been made in realising this vision. The 2017 annual policy recommendations from the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) contained stronger language on greening the BRI, which received endorsement from President Xi Jinping. Since then, the BRI International Green Development Coalition has been established, and a series of special policy studies on greening the BRI were conducted in 2018, 2019 and 2020. In 2020, five ministries issued “Guidance on promoting investment and financing to address climate change”, which promotes the application of Chinese standards in overseas finance. The 2021 guidelines fully encourage the use of international best practice standards for environmental management of overseas investments.
The guidelines are congruent with many of the recommendations of the Green Development Guidance published by a group of international advisors and backed by various ministries, particularly the MEE in December 2020. This shows an increased willingness from the government to engage with non-government stakeholders in formulating overseas investment policies.
A greening BRI
The new guidelines are soft law, so can’t be enforced in court. They send a clear signal, however, especially to the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that MOFCOM’s policies have steer over, including key BRI actors such as China Development Bank, China Export-Import Bank, and Sinosure, China’s export credit insurance agency. This policy gives a boost to their efforts to go green and helps to set their expectations that stricter measures are likely to follow.
Efforts to go green are playing out in the real world too. Last year saw more BRI investments in non-fossil than fossil fuel projects, and the first half of this year saw no new investments in overseas coal power projects, a first since the BRI began in 2013. China’s moves in Bangladesh to distance itself from remaining coal power projects and ICBC’s decision to pull out of the Sengwa coal power plant in Zimbabwe also demonstrate the trend. This shift away from climate-harming projects also makes economic sense, as electricity from new solar power is already up to five times cheaper than from new coal power. Nevertheless, the green shift and its speed should not be underappreciated: only a few years ago, international criticism of China’s overseas coal investments was ubiquitous – as were the financial risks. Take for example the Lamu coal plant in Kenya, which was suspended by a court ruling in 2019, following a challenge to its environmental impact assessment, or the Batang Toru hydropower dam in Indonesia, which incurred major delays following allegations that it would harm the habitat of a unique species of orangutan.
We expect such trends to continue, with China becoming more and more pro-active in greening its overseas investments. The new guidelines allude to “relevant environmental protection requirements on overseas projects”, the content of which are not yet clear. This suggests that further requirements on greening overseas investment are in the making. And in the runup to the Glasgow climate COP26, it is likely that China will announce further steps to make the BRI compatible with the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Dimitri de Boer is chief representative in China of ClientEarth, a European environmental law group. He works with the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Supreme People’s Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, to support their efforts to strengthen environmental governance and rule of law.
Danting Fan (范丹婷) is a legal researcher for ClientEarth Beijing Office with a focus on green finance. Prior to joining ClientEarth, she worked as a dispute resolution lawyer in China.
Yingzhi Tang（汤盈之）is a researcher at the Green BRI Center of the International Institute of Green Finance (IIGF) based in Beijing. Her research interests include climate- and nature-related financial risks.
From our partner China dialogue
“Post-Communism Era”, “Post-Democracy Era”, in the face of “authoritarian liberalism”
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.
Shi Maxian’s trap vs Thucydides’ trap
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.
China and Indo-Pacific democracies in the face of American boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics
Despite the US administration’s announcement of a boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, with the “American Olympic Committee allowing the participation of American athletes in the Winter Games in China”, many global democracies, that are allies to Washington itself were challenged to participate in the Winter Olympics in Beijing, and not only that, but a number of global official institutions defied the globally criticized US decision, most notably the United Nations, by announcing “Antonio Guterres”, in his capacity as (UN Secretary-General), that he would attend the Beijing Winter Olympics, despite a boycott by several allies of Washington. They are mainly, are: (Britain, Australia, and Canada), but on the other hand, the decision to challenge the United States of America from its regional allies neighboring to China has very many implications, which can be analyzed, through:
The confirmation of (South Korea, Japan, and India) and all the Asian countries directly neighboring to China, and the main allies of the United States of America in the “Indo-Pacific” region, to participate in the Beijing Winter Olympics and challenge the American boycott decision: Despite Washington’s alliance with the countries of the “Indo-Pacific” region, according to the American concept, which aims to exclude China by inserting the Indian Ocean within its territorial elements and borders, or the “Asia-Pacific” region, according to the well-known traditional Chinese concept, and not politicized in the American sense. However, we can stop a lot to analyze future indications and indicators, about: (the extent of the global challenge to American decisions and demands to boycott the Beijing’s Winter Olympics), even from most of the (democratic regimes allies to Washington itself in the Asia-Pacific region, adjacent to Chinese influence and an ally of Washington).
The most remarkable thing to me is the participation of “established Western democracies in the Beijing Winter Olympics and challenging the American boycott decision”, most importantly France, with French President “Emmanuel Macron”, describing the decision of the United States of America and some Western countries to boycott the Beijing Olympics diplomatically as a “trivial step”: The French government announced its defiance of the politicized US decision, and its non-diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Most notably, the French Minister of Education, Youth and Sports “Jean-Michel Blanquer”, said that:
“He does not support this incomprehensible diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, calling on France to participate strongly, to prevent the politicization of sporting events globally”
The French Minister of Education, Youth and Sports “Blanquer”, stated firmly that:
“Sports is a world in itself, and it must be protected from political interference, otherwise we will end up killing competition, and this is unacceptable and we must not bow to it or encourage it”
As for what is known as the theory of “China’s alliance with democracies and others to confront liberal authoritarianism” with the call for reforming American democracy at home: the Egyptian researcher believes that this applies primarily to the challenge of all democratic regimes to the decision of the American boycott, and their announcement that they all participate in the Winter Olympics. This is what requires the leaders and comrades of the Communist Party of China to take advantage of it later on by (adopting an appropriate discourse language aimed at mobilizing European politicians to defend its interests). Especially, on November every year in Beijing, all parties around the world are being invited by the (Department of Foreign Relations of the Central Committee of the ruling Communist Party of China) to attend the annual conference’s meetings in Beijing from November 30 to December 3, in each year. The Comrade “Xi Jinping” in his capacity as the General Secretary of the “CPC” Central Committee made a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the international dialogue in 2021, in front of number of leaders of political parties around the world, stressing of the principles of (multipolarity and ignoring unilateralism policies).
China’s presentation of the topic and issue of “American politicization of the Beijing Winter Olympics and other events” in the meetings of foreign political parties and their political discussions, the dialogue will gain great importance for both the Communist Party of China and other parties even with different orientations and visions of communist ideology: what was striking to me as an expert in the Chinese affairs, what was done at the last conference of the CPC leaders’ meeting with the leaders of foreign political parties in 2021, the slogan has been raised by the participants, was that: “Working together towards a community with a shared future for the humanity and a better world: Responsibilities of political parties”. In this conference, the CPC discussed with all of the invited foreign parties leaders, the topic of “Sharing Responsibility on Major Global Issues”. Therefore, the leaders and comrades of the ruling Communist Party in China have benefitted of this opportunity to stress the importance of “not politicizing international sporting events and not politicizing events for American political agendas”.
The importance of the Chinese and international demand remains, even at the level of the American interior itself, to continue the approach of “reforming the democratic and legal system at home first before trying to impose it on the outside and brandishing it”, for regimes it calls “authoritarian” as a justification for interfering in its internal affairs: here, it would be much better for the United States of America to (adopt a comprehensive domestic agenda that prioritizes justice and a real democracy, better than interfering in the internal affairs of others), additionally, the American policies should get rid of the (increasingly crucial ideological cases of the white supremacy racism over its black citizens). Here, effective American advocacy for liberal democracy does not need to interfere in the affairs of other countries, with taking into consideration and account that the (USA is often supporting the authoritarian governments and regimes for its own interests), overthrew elected governments, and the reason is partly due to its quest to confront the former Soviet Union, as well as to achieve its own economic interests.
Increasing Chinese and international demands for the United States of America and its always successive administrations to stop presenting itself as (the global leader of the values of liberal democracy) and its demand to review all its policies and tracks internally and externally: here we find that Washington is in dire need to change its position regarding reviewing the policy of polarization internally and externally. Now, China and the international community should mainly focus on and call the USA for adoption such interior policies for the satisfaction of the American people, such as:
(Reforming all American democratic institutions, reforming its internal justice system, voting and casting their votes, including strengthening voting rights, in parallel with the need to put in place quick measures to stop racial injustice and improve comprehensive health and social security policies in the interior home).
On the external level, the United States of America is in dire need of (working with everyone and respecting diversity and difference, regardless of their political systems, and striving to achieve common goals and securing global public goods), such as: (climate change, arms control and fighting terrorism), and other issues that are universally agreed upon.
From my analytical point of view, it is necessary to shed light globally on the approaches and policies of the (development of China’s internal democracy and the improvement of its elections management system internally), in contrast to the decline in the level of performance of democracy in the American elections as the world followed them in the chaos of voting and the final results between “Biden and Trump”: The Communist Party of China “CPC” amended a number of internal regulations on Thursday, January 8, 2021, with the aim of improving the electoral work of all grassroots local Party organizations by approving the newly amended election rules, in accordance with the directives of the “Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee”, which announced that the local and grassroots groups are of great importance in strengthening the political structure of the Communist Party and the democracy within it. We can identify as well that the “Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee” has considered that the “revised version of the work rules for the elections of local party organizations, which was published by the CPC Central Committee on its official websites, is of great importance for unifying the standards of the electoral work of local party organizations and strengthening their construction”.
The procedures for the internal basal local elections of the Communist Party were determined by following (four steps for the election stages, determining an appropriate percentage for workers and peasants to represent them at the forefront of the front lines by selecting their delegates and their representatives in local party conferences), and the minimum required to represent this category is 30% of the are party’s congresses delegates at the level of various Chinese local provinces.
Through my new analysis and linking theoretically and practically between thought, theory and practice, to manage the ongoing conflict between Washington and Beijing, even at the sporting level, such as Washington’s boycott of the “Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022”, this can lead us to a theoretical analysis and understanding about the causes of this growing tensions between China and the United States of America, which have been (resulting from deep and long-term transformations in the current international system, and its transition from the era of globalization to the stage of strategic competition between the two major powers).
Therefore, it has become necessary for the United States of America to “practically” to stop interfering in the internal affairs of countries and primarily of China, by using the “ideological dimensions ” to confront others, or its attempt to (the renewal of the leadership of the United States of America for the freedom camp in the face of the tyrannical and authoritarianism camp).
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