The West’s distorted view of China

In: Uncategorized

15 Jul 2008

Frank Furedi has a piece on spiked today looking at how perceptions of China are distorted by the West’s own anxiety about modernity. He argues that hostility to China is one of the few issues that binds the contemporary right and left. One is fearful of a sinister new enemy while another treats Chinese business as uniquely malign. Furedi goes on:

“China has become a kind of environmentalists’ vision of Sodom and Gomorrah. Its population growth, brash materialism and indifference to the dogma of sustainability go directly against the precautionary attitudes that dominate public life on both sides of the Atlantic. It appears that the cartoon Chinese villain Fu Manchu is alive and well in the Middle Kingdom – only this time he is using his fantastic powers to pursue a variety of eco-crimes. Of course China’s real ‘crime’ is that, unlike some its liberal critics, it is still unambiguously wedded to modernity. It has not yet adopted the risk-averse and precautionary culture that prevails in Europe and America.”

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