The New Year’s speech by the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Chairman of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping was in demand not only in the homeland. In the Ukrainian segment, the achievements of one of the largest economies in the world began to be compared with the achievements of Ukraine after 2014. Comparisons, of course, are often not in favor of our country. The insufficient speed of reforms, low rates of economic growth – all these are real problems that should not be hushed up. But is it really worth taking after China?

Many people admired the speech of the Chinese leader on the achievements of the national economy and landing on the dark side. If you approach the matter pragmatically, and not very critical, then indeed there is something to envy. The effectiveness of many Chinese strategic development programs is worth recognizing. Therefore, for example, their policy of supporting innovation from municipal and state budgets works really well. However, at the same time, in countries such as China, one should not forget that any “achievement” has its price and the dark side. So, innovations are used to violate human rights, in particular, in relation to the Uyghur population, as international organizations have already repeatedly informed. Now the system of “social points” is gradually being introduced for the inhabitants of mainland China, putting advanced technologies at the service of undemocratic goals.

Hong Kong protests over the past year show that economic growth is not enough. If we add to this the environmental problems of big cities, where smog has not been dispelled for months, and the enormous income gap between small towns and financial centers, it will become clear that the success screen hides the well-being of only a small group of people. To draw historical parallels is a thankless task, but the situation in modern China makes us recall the fate of the USSR, whose greatness rested on intimidation and suppression. As soon as the ideological foundation was removed, the house of cards fell. Of course, the situation with China is not so simple, as its economy is integrated into global processes, but still do not forget how shaky the apparent stability can be.

The popularity of the Chinese model makes you think over precisely because of its “popularity”. At the same time, behind the solemn public address of the Chinese leader, there are not so many victories of ordinary citizens. For example, this year, China’s economy slowed record highs, reaching the 1992 level. At the same time, the attractiveness of a strong hand and strict control in itself is much more alarming. I am sincerely convinced that the economy can develop steadily only in a free society and in the interests of all citizens. Only in this case can we talk about consistent development. Of course, I understand that for Ukraine with its problems, the success of China may seem like a “paradise on earth”, but still I think that we should choose other guidelines. Without “economic breakthroughs at all costs.” Better if our path is longer than leading to a social disaster.

Returning to pragmatics, I note that a possible fall in the Chinese economy might become a serious blow to the whole world. However, this will also be a time of great opportunity for other countries. Again: now it is more important to concentrate on the development of new technologies in Ukraine in order to have a chance to take a position in the emerging markets. This is more difficult to achieve than to discuss New Year’s performances by presidents and heads of countries, but it’s really worth it.