onsdag 26. januar 2022

China 2008 vs China 2022: Richer, stronger, and more confrontational

China has undergone history-making change since the last time it was an Olympic host in 2008: It is richer, more heavily armed and openly confrontational. As President Xi Jinping’s government prepares for February’s Winter Olympics, it has greater leverage to exert influence abroad and resist complaints from the United States and other governments over trade, technology theft and its treatment of Taiwan, Hong Kong and China’s Muslim minorities. The economy is three times larger today. The ruling Communist Party is using that wealth to try to become a “technology power” and is spending more on its military than any country other than the United States.

“2008 was a turning point,” said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, an expert on Chinese politics at Hong Kong Baptist University. “That was the beginning of China’s assertiveness.”

As fireworks exploded over Beijing in August 2008, China was about to overtake Japan as the No. 2 global economy. The ruling party celebrated with the most expensive Summer Games to date.