China’s aggression in the remote Galwan Valley came as a surprise to Indians because Indian media has failed in reporting the illegal aggression of China on many fronts.
Of late, on the seas, Chinese forces have rammed a Vietnamese fishing boat and a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship, threatened a Philippines Navy ship, harried a Malaysian survey ship, pushed into Indonesian waters and staged a large live-fire military exercise, overtly aimed at training for an invasion of Taiwan.
Beijing also has launched a new security law that would dramatically undercut Hong Kong’s civil liberties and imposed punitive trade measures on Australia to punish Canberra for daring to ask for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19.
Recently, Myanmar and Nepal accused China of funding terror groups and creating trouble on the border.
Why is China taking such an aggressive stand against all its neighbors?
Let’s not forget that the great book The Art of War was written by a Chinese general Sun Tzu, who wrote “appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak”. Is that why China is fighting too many wars on too many fronts? To appear strong?
After many years of abject poverty, starvation, inhuman killings and suppression of freedom under Mao’s regime, CCP realized that for survival it needed foreign investments. But nobody was ready to invest in a totalitarian state. This is when China devised a three-step strategy (3SS): Deceive, Infiltrate and Dominate.
Just to illustrate an example of this sinister strategy, in 2001, the World Trade Organisation made China a member on the promise that China would reduce trades barriers, open up markets and protect IPR, labour, human and legal rights of other countries.
Ten years later, in 2011, the US Congress investigated and found that China had failed on all its promises. But by then China had infiltrated the world market by deceiving the WTO. Today, it dominates the world market with almost 20% of all gross global product, 41% of all world computers exports, 34% of global air conditioner market and 70% of all mobile phones market.
Not only that, it is said to be the undisputed leader of the counterfeit and piracy markets, with a gigantic 85% share.
China achieved this power by fighting many invisible wars against the world with its 3SS.
1. Piracy Wars
Following a centuries-old tradition of piracy in the South China Seas, China has become the world’s largest pirate nation.
China’s modern pirates, with the strong support of their government, are not just stealing software and Hollywood movies on DVDs, they are blatantly counterfeiting virtually the entire alphabet of goods from air conditioners, automobiles and brake pads to razors, refrigerators, and the world’s most recognizable pharmaceuticals such as Lipitor, Norvasc and Viagra.
In the process, these pirates are posing grave health risks to hundreds of millions of people. They are also destroying all semblance of global intellectual property law protections vitally needed to spur innovation. Almost 85% of all world piracy market is with China, followed by Turkey with only 3% share.
2. The Drugs War
China has also retained its historical role as a major transit area for opium from the Golden Triangle and it is rapidly emerging as a highly efficient production center for ‘ecstasy’ and ‘speed’.
According to Peter Navarro, the brain behind Trump administration’s China policy, “with an unholy nexus of gangsters, international smugglers and corrupt Communist Party officials as cartel kingpins, China has emerged as one of the world’s biggest dope dealers. Today, it’s China, not Columbia, which produces all four of the world’s major hard drugs: cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and Ecstasy. Not coincidentally, Chinese criminal syndicates are awash in illicit cash, and China’s banking system is becoming an important hub for global money laundering”.
Today, even the life-saving drugs are controlled by Chinese drug cartel and the US, Euro and Indian pharma companies are almost out of business. China’s domination of the medical industry is so strong that in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, its official mouthpiece Xinhua media agency reported, “... if China bans exports of medical products to the USA, the US will plunge in the mighty ocean of coronavirus. The USA will sink into the hell of a coronavirus epidemic”.
3. The Air Pollution and Global Warming Wars
China has been crowned as the most polluted nation on Earth boasting of 16 of the world’s 20 dirtiest cities on its mainland. As a result of its rapid industrialisation and nil environmental controls, China’s toxic emissions are crossing borders and polluting the world. China is primarily a coal economy and it consumes more coal than the entire world put together. With its belching coal plants and rapidly multiplying automobile fleet, China will soon eclipse the United States as the single largest contributor to global warming.
Chinese pollution storms from China’s Inner Mongolian desert cover Korea and Japan with tons upon tons of toxics-laden dust. Chinese chog flows via jet stream to Los Angeles and Vancouver.
China understands that without energy there is no growth and without growth there is no power. It doesn’t want to make the same mistake that Hitler made who couldn’t invest enough to convert coal into synthetic oil and it cost him the war. China badly needs oil and natural gas and, therefore, it has waged another 3SS war on the world.
4. The ‘Blood for Oil’ Wars
China has emerged as the world’s second largest petroleum consumer, behind only the United States, and soon it will become world’s biggest consumer of oil. The problem is that it produces only 10% of its requirement.
That’s why China focused on West Asia. Of course, West Asia (or Middle East, as the West calls it) means oil but China realises it also means a war market. With Israel vs Palestine, war-ridden Syria, Yemen, Lydia, Kurdistan, Iraq vs Iran, Qatar vs the UAE, Turkey against NATO, and Syria vs IS caliphate, West Asia is the biggest market for military products.
In 2016, the CCP came with ARAB Policy Paper, and declared West Asia as Level One Priority, sold cheap military technology, ballistic missiles, drones, etc to war-ridden countries and today it dominates West Asia as the number 1 investor, leaving the US behind. Today, 1 out of every 3 euros in West Asia come from China.
China is mostly a supply-oriented economy, depending on ships. These ships have to pass West Asia, especially the Suez Canal, Mandeb Strait, Hormuz Strait, which are dominated with US naval ships. Also, most ports and choke points are US-owned and if the US closes them, China’s economy will shut down.
So, with its company SINOPEC, it created a $10-billion refinery in Saudi Arabia and a $13-billion refinery in Kuwait. Five years ago, in a place called DUQM in Oman, there was only sand, but today it’s the biggest port in West Asia. All built by China.
As a result, at Hormuz Strait, Chinese shipping companies can operate without entering Persian Gulf.
This unconscionable ‘blood for oil diplomacy’ has resulted in the slaughter of millions, the impoverishment of millions more and a rapid spike in nuclear proliferation in both the Middle East and Asia.
5. The New Imperialist Wars
50 years back, in 1971, in the United Nations, a vote was given to decide the membership issue between Republic of China (Taiwan) and People’s Republic of China (Mainland China) and it was considered as a test for the US vs China’s influence over the world.
As many as 35 countries from Africa voted against PRC, but still China won. In 2007, when a vote was given to condemn human rights in North Korea, again vote was seen as US vs China. This time, most of the African nations voted with China.
In 40 years, geopolitics had changed, and Africa had become China’s ally. China’s double-digit growth has reached its saturation and Africa means fast growth. Africa means mines, minerals, natural resources plus cheap labour. If China has cheap labour, Africa has cheaper labour. This is why China started buying out poor countries. Just to give some examples:
In Kenya, it built a $3.2-billion railway system which is faster than any American train.
In power-deprived Guinea, it built a $526-million dam to generate power which is in surplus today and Guinea exports it to neighbouring nations.
In Ethiopia, it built a $475-million light rail system.
As a strategy, the Export Import Bank of China funds extremely risky projects which no other bank will fund on low or no interest, knowing well that the money won’t come back. Most of the African countries today are victims of China’s ‘debt trap’, aka ‘death trap’, which enables China to use Africa as a political vote in the UN. Countries which don’t recognize Taiwan as a country get 2.8 more infra projects.
China has used the same strategy in Latin America. From Brazil, Cuba and Venezuela to Equatorial Guinea and the Ivory Coast, China dangles lavish, low-interest loans and sophisticated weapons systems as bait. It then uses its ‘weapons of mass construction’, a huge army of engineers and labourers, to build everything from roads and dams to parliament buildings and palaces.
Novarro has observed that “…after these unwitting countries are driven ever deeper into China’s debt, China’s imperialistic quid pro quo is the rapid extraction of the country’s raw materials Bolivian tin, Chilean copper, Cuban nickel, Congolese cobalt, gold from Sierra Leone, Rwandan tungsten, and the vast mineral wealth of South Africa. As the despotic puppets running China’s ‘new colonies’ transfer billions in bribes to their Swiss bank accounts, the peasants these despots’ rule over slide ever deeper into poverty”.
1. BRI war
After the 2008 global economic crisis, China’s multi-billion-dollar, cheap-goods economy came crashing down with millions of Santa Clauses and teddy bears rotting in factories. This is when China started the Belt and Road initiative known as BRI policy, enticing more than 60 countries at a cost of $1 trillion.
This is nothing but the extension of its imperialist war against the world. Under this initiative, it has already started building a 12,000-km railway line from Yishu in China to London, a massive road project connecting east China to South Pakistan in Gwadar port, and a 1800-km gas pipe line from Turkmenistan to China.
San Tzu professed ‘land grab’ as the most effective war strategy instead of ‘land war’, and China is planning to win this war with cheque books instead of swords.
2. Military wars
PLA (People’s Liberation Army), which is the military arm of CCP, has an extensive and ambitious plan laid out for itself to give China geographical domination of the world. As per its plan, it has to wage 6 wars before 2060:
1st War: Unification of Taiwan (Year 2020 to 2025)
2nd War: ‘Reconquest’ of Spratly Islands (Year 2025 to 2030)
3rd War: ‘Reconquest’ of Southern Tibet (Year 2035 to 2040)
4th War: ‘Reconquest’ of Diaoyu Island [Senkaku] and Ryukyu Islands (Year 2040 to 2045)
5th War: Unification of Outer Mongolia (Year 2045 to 2050)
6th War: Taking back of lands lost to Russia (Year 2055 to 2060)
Navarro has observed, “In a supreme historical irony, one of imperialism’s worst former victims has become the twenty-first century’s most relentlessly imperialistic nation.”
But the most pertinent question remains unanswered: Is China really as strong as it appears?
My answer is, not really. Because one major war that China is fighting is not outside, but it’s within.
3. Wars from Within - ticking time bombs
China’s hyper-growth is causing the world’s most populous nation to spin out of the control of its leaders. As per Novarro, “China’s ‘strange bedfellow’ combination of a totally unrestrained free market capitalism operating under a harshly repressive totalitarian umbrella is becoming a political and social Molotov coktail. The greatest danger to the world community may be China’s coming ‘wars from within’”.
These wars from within may be triggered by any number of internal ticking economic and demographic time bombs that threaten to bring on that which the Chinese people fear most - ‘chaos’ or luan.
The number of protests and riots in China has risen to nearly 100,000 annually.
The Chinese countryside has become a slave labour camp and dumping ground for every imaginable pollutant.
The rural peasantry is being sucked dry by corrupt government tax collectors who seize land on behalf of developers, pocket the monies that are supposed to compensate villagers and then enlist local gangsters to quell protests.
In the big cities, unpaid construction workers leap to their deaths in protest of wages that go callously unpaid.
Meanwhile, on China’s Western prairies, ethnic separatist tensions continue to smoulder over the ongoing ‘Han-ification’ of the mostly Muslim population on the Western frontier.
People are getting old faster than it is getting rich. China is now facing a pension crisis.
China is also a nation getting increasingly sick. Environmental pollution serves as a deadly catalyst for an explosion of myriad cancers and an epidemic of respiratory and heart diseases.
Adding to these extreme pressures is an HIV/AIDS epidemic that may soon become the worst in the world.
And, of course, the COVID-19 crisis which has locked down the entire world and the CCP is perceived as the political incarnation of the deadly coronavirus.
With such deadly wars of China, both outside and inside, the CCP has become the existential risk of the humanity. Period.
Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri is an award-winning filmmaker and a bestselling author. He tweets at @vivekagnihotri
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