China: Beware the paper tiger

Everything is changing.

There used to be a time when one could tell which direction the wind was blowing - not today. At least not in this political climate we're in. Yet here we stand, 2018 and the world and its global citizens find themselves at a point where what was once thought as an impossibility, is becoming possible. This can be seen with the dramatic rise of China.

If you had said twenty years ago that China would become a nation that would be both economically, as well as militarily supreme, most would write that assumption off with a nod and go on about their day. For most in the world, the belief that China would some how attempt to reach out of its Communist system to become not just an influence within the world, but use its economic might as a way of bringing a fresh new look (spin) to what the rest of the world already knows; that China wants the world to believe that 75 years has changed it from an Authoritarian state, to one that desires to live in peace with the world, even though it remains a system that continues to challenge freedom of speech, as well as freedom of the press.

Although China is not a global military power - yet - it is in fact desiring to be so within the next decade. And while China has no experience in war since Vietnam, it does find itself on the heels of heading into any conflict that might cause concern within their own borders. China's economic rise is staggering when we view just how far it (China) is paving the road to global dominance. At the same time, while America is struggling to revamp its outdated infrastructure, China is on target to surpass the traditional model of transportation, creating fast trains that will link all of China and Hong Kong. Incorporating AI technology, state of the art high-ways, China is proving itself that it can prove to the world that it has changed. Not to mention that China is producing a new middle class, its cities are becoming hi-tech zones, and its drive to pull people out of poverty by 2025 is to be commended.

Yet with the recent announcement that China's President - Xi Xinping will now have an unprecedented unlimited term in office, it's safe to say that the paper tiger that many in the West was not concerned about for several decades, has now become not a tiger, but a dragon of flesh and blood. So what should we think when we see China today? For myself, being a Christian living within China, I pray that this new China, and its directives will equally come into the 21st Century desiring to truly prove to all Western, Democratic nations that it does desire to dwell in peace and safety with all men, even those whom it might disagree with. That the right to worship in a church within China is equal to the right to anyone who would desire not to. If China is to prove (as it claims it is) that it truly is changing, then I believe we should support China's rise to power and let them show the world that they desire what they have been claiming all along, a vibrant China for all its citizens. But a paper tiger it is not.