By Jianli Yang – April 4, 2023
For the past two decades, we have borne witness to a serious democratic recession. One of the main causes is China. In 30 years, China has achieved rapid development under its one-party Communist regime, becoming the world’s second-largest economy and swiftly closing the gap with the United States in the fields of technology and defense. It has significantly expanded its influence on the international stage, appearing to offer the world’s authoritarian states an alternative to liberal democracy as a path to modernity.
At the same time, China has become well-versed in leveraging its economic power to coerce democracies on issues like human rights and Taiwan. We can hope that countries resist this pressure, but every country has its limitations. Thus, the world’s democracies should respond collectively, rather than individually.
The biggest problem for the democratic world is the overdependence of each country’s economy on China. The 2020 figures show that China is the largest, second-largest, or third-largest trading partner of the United States and the vast majority of its democratic allies. So just as security alliances address military threats, the time has come to establish economic alliances to resist coercion arising from values-based conflicts. Think of these alliances as an economic “NATO” for the world’s democracies… [Continue Reading]