Remember: China is weak. It’s tempting to ascribe power to a country like China that, for all its size, diversity and complexity, advertises messages of unity to the rest of the world. When those messages are crafted exclusively by the central government, “China the rising power” becomes an easy story to tell, especially when the rest of the world appears to be tearing itself apart. In the mighty United States, once-noble legislators are in a bitter fight over a Supreme Court justice. In Australia, headlines read of a culture war that threatens to destroy the country’s public institutions. In the United Kingdom, the divisions over Brexit are as pronounced as they have ever been. And in India, the largest democracy in the world, the push and pull between Hindu nationalists and a fractured opposition cast a shadow over everything New Delhi does.
Perspective is important. In all of these countries, what some call political turmoil are very real disagreements about the nature o