Das Jahr des „chinesischen Modells”

2008 wird das Jahr Chinas. Zweifellos perfekt organisierte Olympischen Spiele – ohne Demonstranten, Obdachlose, religiöse Dissidenten oder andere Spielverderber in Sichtweite – werden Chinas Prestige in der Welt wohl steigern. Während die amerikanische Wirtschaft weiter in den Sumpf uneinbringlicher Immobilienkredite gezogen wird, hält der Boom in China weiter an. Atemberaubende, von den berühmtesten Architekten der Welt geplante Gebäude werden Peking und Shanghai als Musterbeispiele für die Modernität des 21. Jahrhunderts erscheinen lassen. Noch mehr Chinesen werden in den jährlichen Listen der reichsten Leute der Welt aufscheinen. Und chinesische Künstler werden auf internationalen Kunstauktionen Preise erzielen, von denen andere nur träumen können.

Innerhalb einer Generation die Rückkehr aus Elend und blutiger Tyrannei zu schaffen, ist eine große Leistung und dafür ist China Respekt zu zollen. Aber die chinesische Erfolgsgeschichte ist auch die ernsthafteste Herausforderung für die liberale Demokratie seit dem Faschismus der 1930er Jahre.

Dies nicht, weil China eine große militärische Bedrohung wäre – Krieg mit den Vereinigten Staaten oder selbst mit Japan ist nur eine Fantasie in den Köpfen von ein paar ultranationalistischen Wirrköpfen und Paranoikern. Es liegt im Bereich des Möglichen, dass Chinas politisch-wirtschaftliches Modell, ungeachtet seiner ökologischen Auswirkungen, einen Siegeszug antritt und als attraktive Alternative zum demokratischen Kapitalismus erscheint.

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