Thirty years ago China was just an enemy nation to me. It wasn’t a key trade partner. It wasn’t the home of many Christians. It was a closed, strange and dangerous foe of the United States. Then, on June 4, 1989, China got on the news. There were student protests in Beijing and an iconic picture of a lone student facing down a tank. It made me think that maybe China is changing. Maybe it could be something different.
Today, China is different, but not in every way. It is a great economic power. Many of the things that I buy come from China. But still in the news are mass protests in Hong Kong, which wasn’t even a part of China 30 years ago. The protests are about the Chinese government still being a form of totalitarian rule, still suppressing dissidents, still being an institution that is not to be trusted. President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods are an attempt to get a corrupt form of government to play fair, but will it ever? Chinese Communism only does what it feels it must do. It has no sense of what is right. It exists for itself, not for the ultimate well-being of its people. You can say that it has integrity, but it is a perverse integrity. The Chinese government will ultimately do what it believes is best for itself, regardless of its people, other nations, or even God.
While China can put its best foot forward and fool the American public and even its own people to an extent. Fooling God is much more difficult task. God uses events like Tiananmen Square for His purposes. While Tiananmen Square seemed like a failure, God used the event to move in the minds of many of its participants. He also used the event to move in the minds of many of the Chinese people. A desire to know God, not just to have a government sanction religion, was stirred up. Today many things are different about China economically, but the greatest change has been in minds of the people. China is the fastest growing Christian nation. Within a decade, it may be the largest Christian nation. China will not be able to continue as an officially atheistic nation. It will also struggle to survive as a totalitarian regime.
Big changes are in store for China in the next thirty years. Its growing economic and military prowess will be undermined by a population collapse, due to its poorly planned one-child policy. The desire for freedom both in the minds of Christians and non-Christians alike will crush the suppressive structures of the Communist machine. But can it evolve peacefully? Pray for China’s successful and peaceful metamorphasis. Only then will it be a nation that everyone can admire.