Thursday’s G8 summit conference will be closely watched as a way to measure China’s willingness to buy into the European recovery fund:
“It’s not only about saving Europe, but the U.S. and the whole world, including China itself,” said Yi Xianrong, director at the financial research center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. “A stable global financial system is also in China’s own interest.”
But the Chinese public is registering opposition to the European bail-out, just as the American public remains skeptical of the US government’s need to bail out US banks. Public opinion in China can be measured by comments on popular web and microweb sites. Again, according to reporting by The New York Times:
China’s leaders also are moving cautiously because they are acutely aware that Chinese public opinion is firmly against helping bail Europe out of its debt crisis. Comments on the hugely popular
Twitter-like microblogging sites, called weibo, offer a window into the popular sentiment.
For China’s netizens, Europeans enjoy a rich lifestyle with lavish early-retirement packages and several weeks of paid vacation each year, while the majority of Chinese can barely earn enough to make a living. So why should China’s government be using its hefty reserves — the people’s money — to help Europe instead of improving living conditions at home?
“The root of the heavy European debt is excessive welfare,” wrote one weibo user under the name “Turbulence and Change.” “They have a large number of lazy people. Even if China doesn’t offer a hand, Europeans still won’t live worse than Chinese. Furthermore, no European will die of hunger.”
Ironies of China’s dealings with West
So, here we have people in a country that conservatives like to denigrate as the boogeyman ‘socialism’ and liberals harp on for being ‘undemocratic’ complaining about the lazy West (as distinct from hard-working Chinese) and opposing China contributing to European and American financial stability. Meanwhile, the leadership in China, not happy about the prospect, feels it needs to bail out capitalism in its hour of need for its own good.
From the Chinese perspective, the self-indulgent, corrupt, opulent West coming cup-in-hand to the disciplined, hard-working frugal East. The West caused their own problems, let them fix it!
Marx must be turning over in his grave