MindBullets 20 Years


Boris Johnson says our fears are misplaced

China is becoming in our imaginations the fashionable new dread, the incubator of strange diseases, a vast polluted landscape of Victorian factories where coolies sit in expectorating rows, nourished on nothing but rice and the spleens of pangolins, producing whirling typhoons of cheap bras and lingerie that race across the seas and reduce the native industries of the West to matchwood.

It has become a cliché of geopolitical analysis to say that China is the next world superpower, that the 21st century will belong to Beijing, and that we had better get in tutors to teach our nippers Mandarin if they are to make it in the new world order.

It is all stark staring nonsense, and founded on the same misapprehension as (the EU’s) demented decision to slap quotas on Chinese textiles, so that the mouth of the Rhine is apparently silting up with 50 million pairs of cut-price Chinese trousers.

Let me assert this as powerfully as I can: we do not need to fear the Chinese.

China will not dominate the globe.

We do not need to teach our babies Mandarin. Our Sinophobia is misplaced…

ANALYSIS >> SYNTHESIS: How this scenario came to be

Boris Johnson is Tory MP for Henley and editor of The Spectator. His cutting and uniquely incisive British views of the world around him have made him a popular character on British television. To his surprise, he has even been suggested as a possible future leader of the Conservative party.

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

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