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Rogue Superpower: China Is A Global Pariah and Shows No Remorse

China 1000 Nuclear Warheads
Image: Creative Commons.

China is being wracked by popular protests on a scale not seen since Tiananmen Square. But how much have the demonstrations made the regime rethink its autocratic ways? So far, the answer seems to be: Not much. 

The regime has softened its public rhetoric. For several days now, public officials and the government-controlled media have foregone talk of “dynamic clearing,” the official description of China’s zero-COVID policy. Instead, they have emphasized “optimizing” pandemic controls.

The change in tone signals that Xi’s draconian COVID lockdowns may be gradually eased. Local governments are being told to target their lockdowns more narrowly, impose them quickly, and end them as fast as they can. Some locations – such as Beijing and Guangzhou, which are both experiencing surges of infections – are tweaking their rules to allow more business as usual, letting mild cases quarantine at home rather than forcing them into centralized facilities. 

But don’t assume this means Beijing is loosening its grip on the Chinese people. Nor should anybody expect a 180-degree shift in China’s COVID-19 policies. It is mostly the narrative that is shifting. If infections spike again, expect a quick return to brutal crackdowns.

Still, the widespread protests and the regime’s demonstrated confusion on how to manage them are telling. The Chinese Communist Party is not secure. In addition to struggling with its COVID policy, the regime faces the longer-term challenge of sustaining economic growth despite a looming demographic crisis.

The protests remind us that as aggressive as China has become in the last few years, a number of vulnerabilities, both within and outside of its borders, diminish the threat posed by Beijing. 

The worst policies would look to accommodate China out of fear of losing access to cash and favors from Beijing. All indications are that China will be a less reliable and dependable partner in the future. Instead, it will become even more exploitive and manipulative as it struggles to sustain its global stature. 

Rather than try to accommodate Beijing and hope for the best, the U.S. and its friends, allies, and partners should work to get ahead of the threat.

Authoritarian regimes are always weakest when they are pressed from without and within. External competition, isolation, and pressure will force the Chinese Communist Party to make difficult choices that pit rising expectations at home against ambitions to expand Beijing’s influence abroad.

In just the last few years, China has triggered a global pandemic, greenlit Russia’s unconscionable invasion of Ukraine, threatened the people of Taiwan, conducted a malicious global campaign of espionage, and compiled the world’s worst record on human rights and environmental protections. China must be held accountable for its atrocious behavior. It should be treated like a global pariah, not courted by governments.

A Heritage Foundation vice president, James Jay Carafano directs the think tanks research on matters of national security and foreign affairs. He is also a 19FortyFive Contributing Editor. 

Written By

Now a 1945 Contributing Editor, James Jay Carafano, a leading expert in national security and foreign policy challenges, is the vice president of Heritage's Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy and the E. W. Richardson Fellow.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. David Hudson

    December 5, 2022 at 2:46 pm

    Seems that Hong Kong was a mention worth making here.

  2. David Chang

    December 5, 2022 at 3:18 pm

    God bless people in the world.

    People in the world should confess Sin and repent to God, so any people should not think other people is pariah,

    People should not tell about the Sin of C.C.P. only, because many people in 20th century think that C.C.P. is good, and Democratic-Republican Party cooperate with them.

    As you say, China is enemy, so Taipei authority is also the enemy you mention, but how could you ask U.S. Marine Corps to fight in Taiwan Province? This socialism warfare is just like combat in Vietnam.

    God bless U.S. Marine Corps,
    God bless America.

  3. Jack

    December 5, 2022 at 3:49 pm

    No remorse?…LOL…

    They are Communists…. They don’t do remorse…

  4. Dr. Scooter Van Neuter

    December 5, 2022 at 5:14 pm

    The Chicoms are governed by a godless collective who answer to only their own whims and insatiable hunger for power. Anyone seeking moral justice from these wolves is deluded.

  5. jeff

    December 5, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    We know at least one president will play ball with China because he is on their payroll.

  6. Aragaki

    December 5, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    A grand total of just 10k head count in all cities in a country of 1.4b is a what now? A scale not seen since Tiananmen Square? What are you taking?

    China apart from a bit of neighboring squishes go attack no other country “Is A Global Pariah And Shows No Remorse” while US went on warmonger orgy around the world nonstop and turn everything it torches into shit is ????????

  7. 403Forbidden

    December 5, 2022 at 10:15 pm

    The true rogue superpower is none other than uncle Sam.

    US has invaded and/or attacked over 30 nations and territories since 1945, see maurer.ca or google The all-american bombardier.

    US has militarily pummeled other nations using completely false premises, like the 1964 Tonkin gulf incident and the terribly false WMD claims against iraq.

    Today, in 2022, the fascismo wing of US political establishment has fomented a very terribly bloody proxy war against a nuclear power.

    US has threatened numerous nations with nuclear strikes, and now leads NATO, the ultra modern version of the 1940 Tripartite Pact that waged total war in the forties.

    In late November 2022, macron of France rejected ‘confrontation” in Asia, thus hurling a loud powerful shot across the bow of fascismo ship america.

    In early December 2022, macron again publicly repeated that Russia has ‘legitimate security interests’ in Europe, giving the finger to bald US lies about Russian ‘aggression’ and Russia being a threat.

    THE REAL THREAT IS AMERICA, the roguish fascismo super megapower hell bent on seizing world domination and world conquest.

  8. The Rational Thinker

    December 5, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    All of this wailing and gnashing of teeth… why, if only the Chinese were subservient to us, they would be so much happier! What isn’t often mentioned is the fact that most of these “popular” protests, more or more accurately, the protesters themselves, are not local. A closer examination of these demonstrations shows that a lot of them don’t speak the local dialect and in a lot of the protest videos there are locals (using the local dialect) shouting the protesters down.

    But more to the point, it seems that we are so insecure in our own accomplishments that we need, dare I say crave, a foreign opponent – and the more foreign, the better. When it comes to China, they are no more a rogue super power than we are… unless one counts the false evidence (i.e., “lies”) we used to justify the invasion of Iraq, the bait-and-switch we used on Libya to first get Qaddafi to disarm and then attacking him, or the fact that while the US has been in a constant state of war since at least 2001, China hasn’t fired a shot in anger since the late 1970’s.

    China’s only sin is to compete on the world stage and give places like Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa an alternative to the very predatory relationship the West has with them. Furthermore, we love the Chinese people so much that anti-Asian hate crimes are up over 300% and every university in the country is trying to keep them out…

    Let’s not pretend this is about China because it is all about us.

  9. Chris Cha

    December 6, 2022 at 10:17 pm

    Every country dependent on China for their supply chain of critical products should make it the highest priority to move their supply chain to a friendly country or their own country. Countries should subsidize these moves as needed due to its importance to national security.

    As another matter, the US Navy should deploy part of its fleet to the fishing and other natural resource areas to thwart China’s “commercial navy” that threatens the rights of home countries to harvest (fish, drill, etc.) the natural resources within their internationally recognized territorial boundaries.

  10. Jiri Novacek

    December 7, 2022 at 6:29 am

    Bill Clinton made a big mistake by consenting to accession of China into WTO, paving way for its current relative economic power. Barrack Obama made second big mistake with his misguided idea of “strategic patience” which ecnouraged both russian and china to meddle around the world (like in Ukraine) and support terrorists and dictatorships (like Taliban or Syria). The world needs a new Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, or a like of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.

  11. Donald J

    December 7, 2022 at 8:49 am

    Pariahs Saudi Arabic and China both achieved title from US, no wonder they are meeting up to Co-production in J35 to counterweight F35 in the region.

  12. Frank Csorba

    December 8, 2022 at 5:37 pm

    ❝…as aggressive as China has become in the last few years, a number of vulnerabilities, both within and outside of its borders, diminish the threat posed by Beijing. 

    The worst policies would look to accommodate China out of fear of losing access to cash and favors from Beijing. ??? ??????????? ??? ???? ????? ???? ?? ? ???? ???????? ??? ?????????? ??????? ?? ??? ??????. ???????, ?? ???? ?????? ???? ???? ?????????? ??? ???????????? ?? ?? ????????? ?? ??????? ??? ?????? ???????. 
    [???? ?? ??????? ?? ?????? ??????. ????? ?????? ??? ???? ?? ??? ????? ??????? ?? ?? ?????? ??? ??? ???????? … ????????? ???? ?? ?????? ?? ??? ?????????? ???? ??? ???, ??? ???????? ? ??? ?? ???????????? ??? ??????????? ?? ??? ???? ?? ????? ????.]

    In just the last few years, China has triggered a global pandemic, [?? ???? ????’?. ???? ?? ????. ?? ????? ???? ???? ?? ??? ???? ?? ??????? ??? ??? ??? ??? ?????? ?????? ?? “?????? ?????????? ??????????????”. ??? ??????? ?? ? ???? ?? ? ??? ???? ???????????]
    China must be held accountable for its atrocious behavior. It should be treated like a global pariah, not courted by governments.❞

  13. Omega 13

    December 9, 2022 at 10:18 am

    “In just the last few years, China has triggered a global pandemic,”

    No. They created it.

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