“Interfering in another country’s internal affairs” is a routine mantra often used by Chinese government spokespersons, and is used most often when pointed at the US and US critics, especially with regard to human rights policies.
On the surface, this makes a lot of sense, especially with regards to generally ignorant US politicians, movie stars and others, who would have a hard time finding places like Tibet and Darfur on a map, but are moved by some of the images they see on television. For them, China and Chinese policies are a very convenient whipping boy, even though they have very little context and understanding of the real underlying issues.
This naturally puts the Chinese government on the defensive and more recently, some Chinese have become angry at the overseas criticism.
So who’s right and who’s wrong? Those who argue against interfering in another country’s internal affairs, or those who say it’s OK to do so?
The fact is that if a country is big and has a strong economy, whatever it does has an effect on other country’s economies, and on the global economy. Even though only American citizens’ can vote in their elections, the gross stupidity and ineptitude of American economic and trade policies in recent years do not end at America’s borders.
They go far beyond it.
And the Chinese government has started complaining about it. After all, they hold huge amounts of US dollar-denominated treasuries which are losing their value daily as the US dollar loses value, and their sovereign wealth funds are blocked from making investments in Europe and the US, mainly on political and not economic grounds.
So aren’t Chinese government officials interfering in US internal affairs? Yes, but the two countries’ economies are so tightly intertwined, the US policies are having an effect on the Chinese economy. When they are so tightly bound together by trade and economics, there is no borderline. It’s as silly as the right arm complaining about the left arm.
The fact is that the US and China are like two handicapped people: one is blind and the other is deaf. They need each other in order to survive.
The sooner politicians, officials and miserably deficient media on both sides recognize that, the better. If they don’t, ordinary people will continue to get caught in the middle and distracted by bad policies and ignorant offline and online media pundits getting them to chase red herrings while the real problems get worse.