Abbas Juma: Western propaganda is burying the Chinese economy at the exact moment that BRICS is expanding, is it a coincidence?

‘Experts’ have been predicting the collapse of the Chinese and Russian economies for years, but the reality is invariably different

By Abbas Juma, international journalist, political commentator, Middle East and Africa specialist

Abbas Juma: Western propaganda is burying the Chinese economy at the exact moment that BRICS is expanding, is it a coincidence?

Chinese President Xi Jinping ©  Matt Mills McKnight-Pool / Getty Images

The Economist has put out another cover story on China’s supposed economic decline. I wonder when they’ll all get tired of this theme?

It’s even become a meme.

In 2001, Gordon Chang, a famous American lawyer and political commentator with Chinese roots, wrote a book called ‘The Coming Collapse of China’. In fact, it was this book that made him famous. In it, the ‘expert’ argued that the country’s collapse was imminent. He even named the year – 2011.

When the predicted events did not happen, Chang said he was wrong, but only by one year. In an article for Foreign Policy (FP) magazine, Chang claimed that the end of China was already near, and that everything would happen in 2012. He even urged readers to bet on it.

But those promises never came to pass. Then, in 2016, the indefatigable Gordon again announced the coming collapse of China, but wisely did not give a date.

 Johannesburg BRICS declaration (FULL TEXT)

Amusingly, in another FP piece, Chang urged people not to believe the IMF’s prediction that China’s economy would overtake that of the US by 2016. And in 2016, he wasn’t deterred by the fact that China had overtaken the US in terms of GDP converted into dollars at purchasing power parity.

“Rising tensions within the regime, economic turmoil, and a more vibrant society. China appears to be entering a new period of extreme political instability,” wrote the perennially wrong expert in the National Interest.

The Economist, continuing Chang’s glorious work, waits from cover to cover for the collapse of the Celestial Empire. It’s reminiscent of Jehovah’s Witnesses waiting for Armageddon, and seems oblivious to the fact that its content is detached from reality. But there is no creativity at all – just pandas and dragons.

The West has been burying China’s economy for decades, in the same way it decided Russia’s economy was dead after the start of the military operation in Ukraine. A strong Beijing and Moscow is the United States’ worst nightmare. Only a close alliance between Beijing and Moscow could be more frightening – and today that not only exists, but is gaining more supporters. Thus, it is impossible to judge the new wave of ‘forecasts’ and ‘analyses’ about the imminent decline of China in isolation from the latest BRICS summit, where it was announced that six more countries will join the format.

The Wall Street Journal now says that the decision to include new players in BRICS is a victory for China and Russia. That doesn’t really fit with the new cover of The Economist, does it?

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