Unreliable Conclusions

The Global Times explores why Western predictions about China are reliably wrong:

Zhang Weiwei, director of the China Institute of Fudan University, told the Global Times that Western political scientists or scholars have made a lot of efforts to predict events in the world, but most of time, they failed. “They failed to predict the collapse of the Soviet Union in the past, and they also failed to predict the rise of China, they couldn’t even predict the rise of Trumpism, and most Western economists failed to predict the financial crisis in 2008.”

There are two main problems with the failure of the West to make correct predictions about China, Zhang said. “First is that they have ideological bias, as they believe China or any other non-Western country will eventually be Westernized as long as it wants to be modernized. Another problem is that Western political science is based on the experience of Western history, so when Western scholars used such ‘science’ to analyze China, a country with an entirely different civilization, they will come to unreliable conclusions most of the time.”

I’d add two more reasons. Third, they rely upon explanatory models rather than predictive models, so their ability to predict anything correctly is minimal. Fourth, they know absolutely nothing about Chinese history, Chinese culture, and Chinese philosophy. Literally nothing. Most of them haven’t read so much as one single Chinese classic or seen a single Chinese movie that doesn’t star Bruce Lee.

This is why I never pay any attention to what any self-appointed China critic says about China. The idea that “China will fail because the Chi-Coms are brutal and mean” is considerably amusing to anyone who has ever read The Outlaws of the Marsh, just to give one example.

China has been around for a long, long time. It will continue to be around for a long, long time to come, which is considerably more than one can reasonably say for most of the invaded and adulterated nations of the West.