Editor's note: The year 2024 marks the Year of the Dragon. Through the ages, the Western narrative has often portrayed the dragon as a fire-breathing creature. Conversely, in China, the dragon is seen as benevolent and even being emblematic of the nation. The contrasting portrayal of this mythical animal has contributed to the West having a skewed and adversarial depiction of China. So, what is the real Chinese dragon? George Galloway, former British MP, pulls off the facade of Western narrative regarding the Chinese dragon and presents us with the authentic essence of this majestic creature that transcends time and cultural nuances. The views expressed in the video are his own and not necessarily those of CGTN.
The Chinese New Year on February 10 will see the dawn of the Year of the Loong – better known in the English-speaking world as the iconic Chinese dragon. And the dragon is a powerful thing.
The Western media often use the imagery of the fire-spewing dragon to project a hostile image of China. So don't be surprised to see top Western media outlets resorting to similar "dragon" headlines and caricatures to perpetuate a biased narrative against Beijing in the Year of the Loong.
Why, we have already seen The Economist featuring on its cover a Chinese dragon breathing fire on the Earth with the title screaming "The World's Worst Polluter." This claim ignores the fact that the U.S. and European nations have historically been the biggest emitters since the industrial revolution and conveniently hides the per capita numbers, which puts Chinese emissions way below much of the developed West.
Meanwhile, there have also been lectures in the Western academic corridors with titles such as "The Chinese Dragon and the Yellow Peril," reeking racist undertones. These prejudiced narratives involving the dragon caricature in the Western media and political-academic discourse contrast with China's actual contributions and initiatives fostering global cooperation and development, in stark contradiction to the negative imagery associated with the dragon metaphor.
Many Western leaders have tried to stop the continuous rise of the dragon over the last 75 years, but all have failed.
Modern China with its mixed economy under Socialist leadership has swept all before it. The sun has risen in the east. In Rudyard Kipling's words "like thunder, out of China across the bay." And it has lit up not just the road to Mandalay.
China's Belt and Road Initiative is paving the way to prosperity all over the world.
Roads, railways, and aviation are forging ahead in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and even in the Middle East. According to official figures, two-way investment between China and the over 130 countries that are involved in the BRI totalled more than $380 billion between 2013 and 2022, among which China's outward direct investment exceeded $240 billion.
It is a new kind of Loong, or dragon, seeking neither dominion nor subjugation but cooperation and the philosophy of win-win. While China's adversaries deliver lectures, orders, threats, and invasions, China delivers airports, high-speed rail links, six-lane highways, and rising prosperity.
While others foment war, sending the horsemen of the apocalypse to ride roughshod over millions of lives, China brokers peace, reconciliation and harmony.
The Chinese economy is set fair with rising life-expectancy, standards of health, and educational attainment, and stands atop all happiness indexes as her rivals sink into a slough of despond.
A good comparator is the United Kingdom which last year named China as its "biggest threat." No government in the whole world is less popular with its own citizens than that of Britain. No developed economy perches more precariously on the precipice. No G7 country is more divided with national institutions, more hollowed out. Like Don Quixote, the British government tilts at foreign windmills which are a figment of its imagination. Whether through derangement or deliberate displacement activity, who can tell? But it makes no difference. The more China advances, the more the UK falls behind, and none can see it more clearly than the British people themselves.
The Loong aka Dragon is rising, leaping, bounding. And Rishi Sunak sure isn't anybody's idea of "St. George."