On Tuesday, Oct. 1, Chinese President Xi Jinping oversaw the largest military parade and cultural celebration in modern Chinese history. The event, dubbed the “Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese People and the Motherland,” featured several thousand armed soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army, Navy and Air Force accompanied by a massive spectacle of over a hundred thousand dancing civilian performers. China also unveiled its deadly Dongfeng-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles, capable of simultaneously striking a dozen cities as far away as the United States with an operational range of 15,000 kilometers.

For decades, the West has been united in its derision and hatred of the current government of China. Westerners have hurled endless invective regarding China’s supposed human rights violations and have erroneously considered the Chinese people as mere tools of communist propaganda. They aggressively pushed for separatist movements in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tibet aimed at destroying China’s territorial integrity and weakening its borders. The West frequently predicted the imminent collapse of the Chinese government and its economy, and more ambitious commentators and politicians routinely called for a militaristic overthrow of the Chinese Communist Party altogether. 

Today, China boasts the largest economy on Earth in terms of purchasing power parity with a GDP of over $27 trillion. Chinese telecommunications and smartphone giant Huawei is the largest 5G provider on the planet. The Chinese military, after winning successive wars in Korea (1950), India (1962), Russia (1969) and Vietnam (1979) is currently the largest contributing peacekeeping force in the United Nations. China remains the only nation in the world to successfully send a lunar probe to the far side of the moon. China’s new Belt and Road Initiative aims to resurrect the ancient Silk Road by building the largest global infrastructure project in human history, already gaining 152 foreign signatories. All of this occurred in the last three decades despite continuous efforts by Sinophobes in the U.S. to contain China’s rise.

All of these triumphs have not come without costs. Instead of acquiring the respect of the West and the recognition of China as an equal partner, nations such as the U.S. recoil in jealousy, anger and fear. President Trump has recently escalated tensions in the South China Sea by routinely attempting to bully China by rounding up smaller nations to challenge China’s maritime borders — to little avail, as Chinese island construction has aggressively increased. Trump also initiated a destructive trade war with China which has only widened the trade deficit in China’s favor and significantly harmed the U.S. farm industry. Republican Senator Marco Rubio, one of the loudest cheerleaders for Taiwanese separatism, was powerless to stop the Solomon Islands and Kiribati as they both cut ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing. 

The arrogance of the West in its treatment of China isn’t really about human rights or opposition to communism — modern China is by all definitions a capitalist market economy. Instead, it is a relic of 19th and 20th-century history, when a weak China was constantly invaded and tormented by the West through the Opium Wars and the Boxer Rebellion. Even in the aftermath of WWII, during which China lost over 20 million lives resisting the Japanese invasion, the U.S. refused to prosecute Japanese war criminals and instead provided them legal immunity. Shockingly, such tolerance for barbaric atrocities was never applied to their Nazi counterparts. Despite China’s rapid ascent from an impoverished Maoist state to a modern industrial superpower, many Western nations find it incredibly difficult to psychologically adjust to this “underdog” regaining its rightful place in the global order. 

China’s modern prosperity is credited precisely by their refusal to obey the demands of Western nations who want to force democracy on the most populous nation on Earth while also shrinking its borders through separatist movements. The Chinese government’s constant guiding hand over the economy and the military is the sole cause of today’s strong, modern China. After all, no other nation in human history has ever managed to lift over 800 million people out of poverty within the span of three decades.  

Chinese people have every reason to support their government. President Xi boasts a 90% approval rating and China’s international image has surpassed that of the U.S. China has no reason to trust the sincerity of Western critiques on Chinese governance — most of which are borne out of geopolitical insecurity rather than genuine consistency on human rights and peaceful development. China’s modern history is a remarkable miracle of a declining power that was ravaged by foreign invasions who made an incredible comeback through the sheer will of its people. The oldest continuous civilization on Earth with 5,000 years of history is here to stay. Hopefully, the U.S. overcomes its ego and chooses to pursue peace for both great nations.