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Washington's "China collapse" claim outdated, devoid of facts

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-06-11 14:22
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The US Capitol building is seen in Washington, DC, on Nov 8,2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

Imagine a man who has been time-traveling from the 1990s to the present day, finding the world transformed beyond recognition. As he adjusts, however, he would be astonished to hear old predictions about China's impending economic collapse still circulating.

The latest such prediction came from US President Joe Biden, who claimed that China's economy is on the brink. "Where is it going to grow? You've got an economy that's on the brink there. The idea that their economy is booming? Give me a break," Biden told Time magazine in an interview published on Tuesday.

The time traveler might chuckle at the irony. The same alarmist rhetoric he heard before is still alive, and these US politicians are the ones who ought to give the world a break with their badmouthing.

What is more, it is usually the same kind of people in Washington that view China's economic achievements as a serious threat to US hegemony.

Washington's narrative of an impending "China collapse" has been a staple for decades. Such insistence on the "China collapse" theory reveals more about the insecurities and strategic interests of those promoting it than it does about China's actual development trajectory.

The predictions have ranged from so-called demographic crises and over-leveraged debt to environmental degradation. While these are legitimate challenges, the narrative often ignores China's adaptive resilience and its government's strong capacity to implement reforms and overcome economic headwinds.

Biden's claim came around the same time when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its forecast for China's gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2024 to 5 percent from the April projection of 4.6 percent.

The upward revision was "driven by a strong first-quarter GDP growth in 2024 and recent policy measures," said the IMF's First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath back in late May, stressing that the Chinese government has appropriately focused on addressing vulnerabilities in the property sector, local government debts, and smaller financial institutions.

The persistent "China collapse" theory is destined to fail again because it isn't grounded in fact, particularly in light of the numerous new growth engines within the Chinese economy.

One notable example is the remarkable progress in the clean energy sector. In the electric vehicle (EV) industry, a particular thorn in Washington's side, China boasts a comprehensive domestic industrial chain, encompassing batteries, electronic control systems, motors, various components, and complete vehicles.

This vertical integration not only strengthens the EV market but also solidifies China's position as a global leader in green technology.

The promising potential for future development in the Chinese economy underscores the ulterior motives behind the relentless predictions of collapse propagated by US politicians and their media and Western allies.

"Today's doom-mongering about China says more about the Western elite's sense of confusion, inertia and impotence than about anything really happening in China," said British online magazine Spiked in an article titled "The fall of China? Don't bet on it."

"A Western elite that has lost its sense of purpose and confidence might take some solace from the imminent collapse of its biggest geopolitical adversary," it added.

Ultimately, the relentless portrayal of a "collapsing" China serves to obscure the real picture: a nation dynamically evolving, continuously adapting, and contributing significantly to the global economy.

The same voices that predict China's downfall often overlook their own domestic challenges and fail to recognize the potential for mutual benefit that would result from cooperation with China. As the time traveler would realize, the world has changed, and so must the narratives and the zero-sum mentality US politicians cling to.

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