The next superpower

Today is China’s National Day

The Chinese National Day is celebrated on October 1st every year to commemorate the founding of the People’s Republic of China on 1 October 1949.  On this very day, lots of large-scale activities are held nationwide. The seven-day holiday from October 1 to 7 is called ‘Golden Week’.

The military parade in the Tiananmen Square in Beijing is followed by about 100,000 civilian performers. The nation’s newest military technology is on full display, which includes military tanks, helicopters, fighting aircraft and China’s new intercontinental ballistic missiles. The parade is usually held every ten years.

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Addressing the 71st anniversary, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said: “The year 2020, troubled by the coronavirus and the global economic recession, is extremely unusual in the history of China…However; the country has achieved major strategic results by coordinating epidemic controls with economic and social developments”.

During the 70th national anniversary parade in 2019, standing in the Tiananmen Square where communist forces won a bloody civil war by defeating the ruling Kuomintang-National Party, supported by the imperialist powers, President Xi Jinping stated: “There is no force that can shake the foundation of this great nation”.

Regarding the National Day, BBC said on 25 August 2019: “For a long time experts have been speaking about China’s rapid military modernisation referring to it as a rising power…Modern China has developed at an extraordinary pace…stood up, grown rich and become stronger over the past decades…America no longer enjoys military primacy in the Indo-Pacific…its capacity to uphold a favourable balance of power is increasingly uncertain”.

However, the Indo-Pacific strategy aims at a US-led economic and diplomatic footprint in the region— in countering China’s growing influence through the security alliances Quad and AUKUS, by the anti-China powers. Defence analysts opine that the main aim of this partnership is to oppose China’s influence in the region. These countries are blindly favouring India at the cost of Pakistan and China.

Besides Quad, Beijing has criticised AUKUS, arguing it “severely undermines regional stability and peace, intensifies arms race and undercuts international non-proliferation efforts.”

On the whole, the Biden administration’s foreign policy often lacks a clear strategic aspect. In contrast, China knows exactly where it wants to go and it has the strategy and the means to get there.

For China and Pakistan, the growing role of India in the region also poses concerns, keeping in view its hegemonic designs.

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While, the European Union’s foreign affairs Chief Josep Borrell admitted that in Asia, China is “replacing the United States as the centre of global power”.

During President Donald Trump’s era, a new cold war had started between China and the USA— the rift escalated when both Beijing and Washington closed each other’s consulates, resulting in deportation of diplomats and imposing of sanctions on various lawmakers and personalities. Trump particularly targeted China through trade war.

Meanwhile, tensions arose between India and China, as well as Pakistan, when on 5 August 2019, the Indian extremist government repealed Articles 35A and 370 of the Indian Constitution, which gave a special status to the disputed territory of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). The Indian government bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories— Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, to be ruled by the Centre.

Besides Islamabad, Beijing also rejected the Indian malicious acts as “unlawful and void”, saying that India’s decision to “include” some of China’s territory into its administrative jurisdiction “challenged” Beijing’s sovereignty.

In the meantime, in accordance with an agreement signed by India and China on September 9, this year— as part of disengagement along a disputed border, they have started withdrawing their troops— completed by September, 12, after more than two years of a standoff following a deadly clash. The two sides have agreed to cease forward deployments in this area in a phased manner, resulting in the return of the troops of both sides to their respective areas.

In this regard, US President Joe Biden has been supporting the Indian illegitimate stand as part of America’s anti-China approach.

It is notable that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is part of China’s OBOR or BRI, is rapidly developing. The CPEC project will prove to be a gateway to prosperity for both Pakistan and China; including the landlocked Central Asian states. Under the project, China is investing as much as $62 billion in various sectors in Pakistan. Now, the volume of the project has been expanded.

However, terrorist attacks in Pakistan’s various provinces, particularly in Balochistan, show that secret agencies such as CIA, RAW and Mossad are destabilising Pakistan. These entities want to damage CPEC, as Washington and New Delhi have already opposed this project.

It is mentionable that due to lack of respect for the neighbouring countries by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal are tilting toward China. For instance, despite India’s concerns, Bangladesh has given the contract of building an airport terminal in Sylhet to a Chinese company. Similarly, Iran had decided to go ahead without New Delhi in a Chabahar Port railway project.

As regards the Russia-Ukraine war, in the recent past, President Biden accused Beijing of giving aid to Russia and threatened sanctions against China, but the latter denied the charge. Nevertheless, China does not want to derail its connectivity with the EU or any other country in the region, but still opposes eastward expansion of NATO.

Recently, tensions escalated between Beijing and Washington when despite the warning of Chinese leaders, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, and President Biden stated to support Taiwan.

And in recent years, President Xi Jinping has been standing up to America’s overt and covert tactics against China, taking a more assertive position towards the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong and Beijing’s claims over Taiwan, which also created differences between the two major countries.

While the Taliban’s recent victory, anhumiliating defeat of the USA in Afghanistan and its other NATO allies have given another setback, especially to the USA in terms of the cost of the prolonged war in Afghanistan in the wake of drastic implications of the US-led Global War on Terror. The US exclusion continues.

China, Russia, Pakistan and Iran which are furthering their cooperation have urged the world to assist the Afghans, as a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is essential for the stability of the entire region. Besides supporting the collective efforts of these countries, the Taliban-led government has, especially, favoured Beijing on priority basis. This is another factor in the USA’s political jealousy against China.

Moreover, rejecting the US false allegations against Beijing about Covid-19, Lijian Zhao, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on 12 March 2020 that the US athletes participated in the Military World Games, held 18-27 October 2019 in Wuhan, might have brought the coronavirus epidemic to Wuhan from where it spread.

At present, China has controlled the Coronavirus to a greater extent. The economy of the USA and Europe has been paralysed. America had become the epicentre of this novel disease, giving a major blow to its economy.

On the whole, the Biden administration’s foreign policy often lacks a clear strategic aspect. In contrast, China knows exactly where it wants to go and it has the strategy and the means to get there.

Sajjad Shaukat
Sajjad Shaukat
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations and can be reached at [email protected]


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