Will China Rule the World?

It would appear so. No other nation appears as efficient, as well coordinated or as resourceful. None comes close to matching its growth rates. Yet those reasons do not suffice. We believe that China may well rule the World in the not very distant future because it shows aggressive intent with that aim.

Perhaps the aggression resulted from the lessons that the rulers of China learnt from history.

Chinese economy has been growing rather quickly for the last three decades, but the transition of that nation, from a seemingly benign power with a long history and ancient culture, into a bully that encroaches on smaller neighbors while challenging the sole superpower on Earth, has happened almost undetected, as if everyone else was sleeping.

Coming to the question in the title, let us make an attempt to find the force that may stop China from ruling the World. But before that, if the reader considers such an idea too far fetched, I remind her of history; of events that led to Great Britain losing the greatest empire ever. I remind the reader of military technologies that the best forces in the World were not ready for; remember the blitzkrieg. Of course, in the 1940s, Britain could seek the aid of the new World; but now, China is the new World.

Today’s sole superpower doesn’t have a very powerful ally to enlist even as it is a power in decline and to some extent, in disarray. In fact the President of the United States has never missed an opportunity to pick on the oldest allies that nation has. The EU has been careful not to blindly follow the US, at least since l’affaire General Soleimani and the subsequent posturing against Iran. Besides, this has pushed Iran into the arms of the Chinese. The United Kingdom has been a more faithful ally to the US, but it is not easy. China has made huge investments there that may make it difficult for Britain to take a tough stance.

Nations in the neighborhood of China; Japan, India, Philippines and Vietnam, Nepal and Myanmar are normally careful in their own actions not to challenge the dragon, even as they desperately desire deliverance from encroachments. India has bravely tried to stand up to the PLA, even at substantial cost. The quad grouping of US, Japan, India and Australia is aimed at the only tormentor in the neighborhood.

But any grouping needs direction and trust. Only a consistent, trustworthy and energetic leadership from the most powerful nation on Earth can unite the World and contain an aggressive China. Otherwise que sera sera.

The Importance of Bluster

The livable landmasses in today’s world are choked and even the seaways are extremely busy. Even as the members of NATO are not as well bonded together as they used to be in the last decade; China has been increasing in power and influence for a few decades now. New alliances may form as Russia sidles closer to China; North Korea and Pakistan, besides several countries of the African continent also look more towards Beijing for leadership. The political developments in the US in the last few years have led to a situation where a show of strength as well as a display of willingness to engage in combat has become essential as is shown by some recent events:

South Korea fires warning shots at Russian military aircraft

We need not wonder why Russian planes flew through the airspace over the disputed Dokdo/Takeshima islands. When you pass through sea or land, you are claiming your right and ability to do so. While the Americans have tried to carry out similar moves near South China sea and Taiwan, these do not seem to be having much impact as China continues to entrench itself by building and expanding its bases in the South China Sea.

Beijing strengthens its hold on South China Sea

The submarines and rivalries underneath the South China Sea

Though the current US administration comes across as inconsistent and ungainly, with hardly a week passing without a senior officer handing in papers; it must be said that global trends and realignments were already evident under the previous presidency of president Obama, who perhaps saw it as a fact of life about which nothing much could be done. Every problem that you overlook has the potential to become a monster and eat you up. He concentrated on his priorities in righteous support of the Arab spring which ultimately led to the turmoil of an Islamist Arab winter. The longer term effects are still being revealed.

The present US administration began by being extremely friendly to Russian president Putin, which wasn’t such a bad thing, except President Putin continues to work more with China and also increasingly with Pakistan and at the same time noticeably less with India. To top it all here’s what a recent study by the National Defence Study Commission of the US says:

US military ‘losing its competitive edge’

In order to bluster effectively, countries need to have the muscle to back it up. So whatever be the principles leaders mouth, nobody is a pariah anymore and countries are making bilateral arrangements in attempts to stay strong and safe. Even as Britain continues to be stuck in an isolationist Brexit, hoping for a golden age Boris Johnson is going to bring in.

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