Why doesn't the world trust China?
Dan Holliday, I read.
because China's government marches to its own tune, is secretive and doesn't allow democracy and very much political freedom.
As much as the West doesn't trust China, the country is unfortunately under the best management team right now. There are alternatives that have been tried and aren't working out so well.
Chang's KMT - Taiwan was ruled, autocratically, by this group for a few generations. It didn't work.
Indian style democracy - Still at play in India and, frankly, it dispenses marginally less success, justice, freedom and "prosperity" than the Chinese government does (and that's saying a lot given the type of government that runs China).
I don't have windows into alternate realities, but the reason democracy has worked so well for Taiwan is that it has a big bully next door and needs the USA and Japan for nominal protection. These nations have applied significant pressure on Taipei to change its ways. Moreover, dispensing "government" to a small nation is typically easier than doing it to a massive one.
If China were united under the KMT, it would have turned pretty bad. Possibly worse. For starters, KMT was mismanaging the entire nation. Their leaders weren't whipped into shape like the Communists. And while millions starved in the fields under Mao, it's not like Chang was gracious and giving. There would have been famines under Chang, though clearly Chang would have turned to the West for help and less would have starved.
But starting about 1990, when China really began to "leap" into the modern age at a hyper-rapid pace, the weakness of democracy would have been manifest. Assuming that China cast of autocracy like Taiwan did, then the people would have rejected the 1 child policy;
China has had a centrally plan economy for decades as the backbone to her success with a huge liberal trade economy built on top of that. I cannot believe a KMT democracy would have given China that. Likely we'd see a great deal less meritocracy and a great deal MORE of what we see in India: corruption at every level. This is not to say that there is no corruption in China. There is, but at least China hangs her corrupt officials when they become problematic to the progress of the nation.
If China would NOT have created the 1 child policy, her population would have topped two billion by now. That is a massive number. But there's no reason, given its growth rate, that it would not be around 2.5 billion now. Again, no windows into alternate realities, but what is the death toll expected in a nation with more than 2 billion, in the middle of a massive famine? There isn't enough food in the Americas to bail out such a catastrophe.
The one Child policy has easily saved China from reaching the ecological limits of the nation and has kept the entire nation from enduring another famine. In that, alone, the current government has saved both China and the world from a lot of harm.
And before you assume that I'm a supporter or believer in the Chinese communist party, think again. I want a free, democratic, China. But I'm struggling to see how this can successfully be created in a nation where more than half of the population to this day still wants lots of children and where only a powerful, distant government can prevent a massive population boom that will only spell ruin for the nation.
Feifei Wang, I spend about the same amount of my life in China and in the US.
There're many good answers here, some are quite elaborate, giving many reasons about why China is sneaky, secretive, corrupted, and generally evil and untrustworthy. I think these are good answers because it demonstrate a certain popular perspective, a western perspective. It's not necessarily true, that's just how western people think of China, and because of these perceptions (true or not), they don't trust China.
I don't think I can argue against it. But trust me when I say: the feeling is mutual. China doesn't trust the west either. We had suffered some painful history under the western colonists, and it's very hard to for Chinese people to trust westerners. They came to our country, killing our people, plunder our many treasures... what makes them different now? Well, of course, modern US and European people are very very different from colonists, but the perception (true or not) is there. Westerners are untrustworthy people who covet our many natural resources and want to exploit our people.
The reason I took the time talking about how some Chinese people suspicious about westerners is to demonstrate that the reason we don't trust each other is not because politics or corruption. The real reason is because we don't know each other enough, we don't communicate enough. And to make things worse, we are so so so different from each other, we have different skin color, we speak very different languages, we have alien cultures... there's very few things we have in common at the first glance. People are generally suspicious and fear the unknown. You can rationalize it, list all the horrible things Chinese do, but in the end, you just don't know China that much to trust China. And China don't know that much about the west to trust the west.
Western people somehow believe China need to change itself to be "accepted". Well, I agree that China need to change, but not because we want or need to be accepted or approved by anyone, but because we need to change for our own people, so that our own people could live a better live.
At the end of day, trust or not is by and large irrelevant. You don't need to trust us to buy our shoes or clothing. So step down from your high horses.
One thing I think Westerners don't understand is the degree to which Chinese people are already preoccupied with learning and catching up to Western norms.
In some ways, Chinese and East Asians in general are more modernized and Westernized than people in South Asia, Middle East, and Africa, including dress, religion and others.
In other ways, they are independently modernized and less Westernized, for example using the national language where Indians and Africans would be using English.
Last week in my University class, I asked my students to tell me so Childrens s stories and folk tails. The vast majority of the stories were the same as I learned as a child. For example: The boy who cried wolf, Little red riding hood, and The fox and the crow. Childhood games are also very similar. I am constantly amazed at how similar Chinese and Western cultures are.
I think most folklore tried to teach the same lessens to children over the generations: don't lie, be nice to other people, stay safe (don't go out wandering in the woods after dark)...
But in the particular case of boy who cried wolf and red ridding hood, that's not really traditional Chinese folklore. A lot of Chinese children (especially those from big cities) grow up reading Brother Grimm and Andersen stories, we're very westernized on that front.