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Is a declining China even more dangerous for the West?

First published: Sunday Times, 13-08-2023

When it comes to China, we have something in common with the great 18th-century intellectuals Adam Smith and Voltaire. The latter once called China “the wisest and best governed country in the world”. But these thinkers changed their mind about China just as it peaked in economic power. Where they previously saw wealth, political enlightenment and stability, they then warned about coercion, corruption and despotism. The rest, as they say, is history.

Today, after 40 or so years of China’s seemingly irrepressible rise, surveys show that many in the West who were once wowed by China see it in an overwhelmingly unfavourable light, and worry about the threats it poses. Read on….