Communism Approval on the Rise, So is Populism. Two Landmark Studies and Debates from Harvard and the LSE. How do you Make Sense of it?

Dear Patrons and Friends at the China BIG Idea community,

This weekend, we would like to bring to the debate two articles done by two leading global institutions.

  1. Harvard Kennedy School recently issued a landmark report on the resilience of China’s Communist Party rule. Surveyed public opinion shows the Party approval rating increasing over a 13-year period. Here is the report.

    What defines a good government? What are the underlying social contracts between the Chinese government and Chinese people?

  2. The LSE published an article, highlighting that over one-third of humanity now lives under populist regimes, increasingly turning also more authoritarian. Here is the article by LSE Dean of School of Public Policy Andres Velasco.

    Populism does not move society and history forward, as evidenced by the 20th century experience. Why shall the world give populism a chance in the 21st, including in the US and increasingly much of Europe?

As usual, we appreciate all your comments here or on all our social media channels. We will bring back a collection of views and comments in our next week’s thread.

Below the line, we have collected a diverse pool of views on last week’s community thread. Our team has made the selection. I would like to thank all for your participation, and thank our team for the compilation.


WTO Candidacy and Consulate Closures

Two questions for community debates and dialogues. 

  1. Contestants for the WTO Director General position are on the road communicating their strategies for the much needed reform agenda for global trade. Who do you support and why? What do you think about the WTO and world trade?

  2. US and China have reciprocally closed a Consulate last week. The US-China relations have successfully gone back to 1972 in the past weeks. Where is the relationship heading? Are you personally impacted by this series of decisions?

    As promised, we would like to share some meaningful comments from our community of readers. Thank you very much for your contributions.

  • Sir Richard Heygate-My fiends at HuaWei think they have gone back to 1876. See below

    In 1876, the British built a railway in Shanghai, outside the British concession, without obtaining the the Imperial Chinese government’s approval to start with. The Chinese government talked to the British side, and eventually bought the railway with a lot of silver, and had the rail tracks pulled out and thrown into the East China Sea. 

    What the UK government is doing to Huawei and 5G is reminiscent of the Manchu Dynasty in 1876 - 1878. 

    Please share this bit of history with your friends and colleagues.

  • Hongwei Shi-WTO is an international organization established by the US after World War II to promote free trade between free market economies and resist the Soviet bloc. After the Cold War, while this organization hurriedly expanded, it did not adjust and adapt to new challenges in time. At present, I think it is impossible for the WTO to readjust and self-reform. The most effective way is to dissolve the current WTO, the US and the Anglo-Saxon countries will establish a new international trade organization, and only accept those countries that agree with the common civilization values ​​of mankind to join, to ensure ideological security and supply chain security. At the same time, From a micro perspective, the manufacturing compliance and product compliance regimes will undergo revolutionary changes to meet the needs of fair competition, cross-border online shopping, and consumer attention to true compliance.

  • Louise Low-Remember in Orwell’s 1984, there’s always got to be an external enemy for Oceania, sometimes it’s Eurasia and other times Eastasia. Having an external eternal enemy keeps the fragmenting society from splintering. It’s the easiest solution when there are no good policy changes to address the huge problems of unaffordable healthcare, highest pandemic rates, mass unemployment, lack of high-tech manufacturing, lack of infrastructure investment, etc. This will continue until the US elects leaders that seriously tackles it’s own internal weaknesses instead of blaming others. Actually China would likely prefer a stable secure US confident in its future for global peace & cooperation. All the craziness right now might just be pre-elections politics or Orwellian “Hate Weeks”. After November, it will be clearer whether we will all heave a sigh of relief, co-operate at a global level to launch a worldwide economic renaissance based on a real leap in technology & infrastructure or the conflicts turn seriously ugly. In the case of more Emperor Nero madness, the best case scenario is decoupling rather than seismic conflicts that the world can ill afford.

  • Frank Feather-It is essential that global trade go forward in mutual beneficial ways. Like all entities, the WTO does need some reforms, but nothing major will be achieved so long as it is trying to please the diverse needs of every nation acting in its own self-interest. In terms of candidates for the DG position, I have reviewed the submission that each has made. All have different qualities. But since no African nation has held the position thus far, I suggest one of those energetic candidates be selected, and preferable a female who I believe would manage WTO with better equanimity.

  • lr Adrian Yong I tend to think taking on an African female on a politically correct or gender considerations is hardly appropriate... If we agree that the DG’s objective is to deliver co-operation in trade amongst the members; then, shouldn’t be seeking consensus amongst the members more important than imposing his/her ideas on WTO ? Sure, there will be times where the DG has to contribute ideas but I think the role should be guiding these members to a solution... WRT the embassies, I agree that these is getting ridiculously childish... So, is the trade war... We should go back to willing buyer, willing seller...

  • Nick Tedford- Trump, Xi, Putin and Modi are all Nationalists so the mid-term forecast is stormy. As the saying goes "when elephants fight, the grass gets trampled" so we're all in for uncertain times. I say press play for Imagine (John Lennon) and try to relax 🤞

  • Ahmad Alharbi-Saudi Arabia nominee Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri will be the best candidate for the position. S.A. has a good relation with China and the US also it's a member of the G20. Regarding the WTO, the world need WTO but the organization needs to be reformed to work efficiently. The relationship between China and the US may not improve as both president Trump and presidential candidates Biden see China as a threat to the US. The war between China and the US will affect the world and many countries maybe forced to take a side.

    • Ruimeng Wang- Personally I think both Biden and Trump will not start the real hot war. They have no intentions. But we will see some struggles between the two countries in the coming years. At least 3-5 years. For example. The voyage to Mars has already started. I think Biden will repair the relationship. He has much higher chance to be the president. Sad, but true. I do think Saudi Arabia is a smart country. You are also smart about your future. Like the investment to KAUST and other projects.

  • Louisa Low-I wish that there’s a think tank or a forum to discuss if in the event of agreement to put aside differences HOW THE US & CHINA CAN WORK TOGETHER POST PANDEMIC TO LAUNCH A GLOBAL GROWTH PROJECT FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY. Sorry I’m shouting in caps. I can’t stand the undercurrent of war & hostilities. There are 6 billion of us waiting for migration to the new economic & industrial paradigm so that every country, including the Titans, US, China, Russia, India, Brazil, Europe, ME, Africa, Asia, Australia, etc., can improve our societies & live better. We can travel & exchange with no reservations & fears. We grow up & stop playing games & building hatred based on nonexistent threats like “genocide” & “organs harvesting”. I really believe the best technology infrastructure, whether it’s Chinese or US, should be universally available & new R&D, manufacturing supply chains with AI & IoT be built from US, China, India, to every corner. The reason I’m a fan of Ren of Huawei because that’s actually his vision. He is willing to give out the technology down to the source codes (he has a lot more that the world hasn’t seen) & invest in the countries developing R&D and growing high tech manufacturing if only the powers that be will let him.

    • Jeffrey Tong-Corporate shills who control the US government will NEVER, EVER cooperate with China. Already, they control global corporations - they have no loyalty to USA or any country. They already have all the money they will ever need for the next 10,000 years, but they are so drunk with power, they want to control and dominate the world ...and they don't care who or how many people they kill in the process! Bargaining negotiations begin with mutual trust, but USA can never be trusted, so there is NOTHING that can be discussed - the USA/UK/Israeli cabal already labels China ENEMY #1 in all their actions and misdeeds. WAR = PROFITS, and they are hell-bent on starting WWIII. Do you remember Hitler's non-agression pact with CCCP? Similarly, if China signs ANY agreement with the corporate shills who control the US government, they'll turn around and stab China in the back - they can NEVER be trusted! Sorry to be so pessimistic, but I know what slime is behind the US government. Best China can do is play this tit-for-tat propaganda game and try to avoid a hot war. It's like tippy toeing your way through a china (porcelain) shop.