In this article, http://nationalinterest.org/article/hegemony-chinese-characteristics-5439, Aaron Friedberg argues essentially, US and China are destined to be hostile to one another because of their differing political ideologies.
That argument is often used in the Western perspective. However, it deserves a 2nd look and rethink.
The glaring assumption in this view is that China has a “different political ideology” than the West, especially US.
But who can define this “different political ideology”? No one seem to be very sure what it is. Indeed, it is vaguely known as simply “different” from the West.
Here lies the problem, China is not so much “different in ideology” as it is IN SEARCH of its ideological identity.
China has had drastic changes in ideological doctrines, communism, socialism, market economy, some mixture of all these and perhaps a strong hint of Confucian traditions thrown in for good measure.
The very notion of “Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics” is telling, that China is creating something new that even China couldn’t easily define it with an existing label.
China is not saying absolutely NO to Western ideologies, but it’s not easily saying YES either.
Here is the analogy, and a good one.
A bunch of Westerners go regularly to their Church to commune in their shared religion of “democracy” Western style, and worships and thank the god of “democracy” for their good fortunes.
Along comes a Chinese person with his/her mix bag of experiences with many different religions, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucian values, thrown in old Imperial history and experiment with Republican democracy, and rough patches with Communism and socialism.
The Westerners are eager to try to convert the Chinese to their religion of “democracy”, and do trade with another possible convert.
Things go well enough for a while.
The Chinese settles down and do well in the business in the Community.
At first, the Chinese is quiet, and only listened in the Church, while others preached their views.
Then, as the Chinese became wealthier, he spoke up more, and to the others’ horror, began to question the doctrine of “democracy”.
The Chinese started to preach his view of “democracy” with elements of his own experiences.
Worst of all, his views began to cause other “potential converts” to ALSO question the god of “democracy”.
The elders of the Church would want to ex-Communicate the Chinese if they could, but he is now too wealthy and too well placed in the Community.
The danger is in that, he was not merely different, he was a heretic who perverted the old religion of “democracy” and Capitalism.
He was some New Age religion to the Church.
You see, it is not because the new religion is that different, but because it is simply heresy.
It is not because China is ardently holding onto its “different ideology”, but because ANY new ideology is heresy to the established Western ideological zealotry.
China is trying new ideas. Its leaders are diverse as its many different ideological policies. Reformers, traditionalists, hard core Communists, hard core capitalists, technocrats, etc. Yet, they co-exist within the same political system, because they are beyond the political petty zealotry.
Whereas in the West, especially in the US, over 200 years of liberal democracy only produced more and more ardent self-righteous ideological fanatics, pursuing the ultimate perverted form of political purging against outsiders and against each other.
You can see them now, throwing mud like so many name-calling of “Nazi’s” and even “slavery”, and of course, all too abused “genocides” of various kind.
What does China want? Its own beliefs through personal growth and development. It may worship many gods as it has in its history. It will not be limited to a singular self-righteous god.
It must resist all the pressure and name-calling from the establishment Church of Democracy.
For this, is the true freedom.