The 21st Century Belongs To China, And That Should Scare You

By 2049- one year short of the halfway point of the 21st century- the Chinese government plans to officially end their Belt And Road initiative which has overseen serious expansion of Chinese influence throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, and even parts of the Americas. China has always been attempting to build its influence both in Asia and abroad, notably supporting Maoist-inclined communist resistance movements and political parties in the post-colonial world during and following the process of decolonization, however, the recent developments of an economically-charged People’s Republic in the 2000s and 2010s should worry many. In decades past, China’s involvement outside of internal affairs has been bolstered due to an increasing global economic relevance, and with China now constituting the second largest economy and largest population in the world, their ability to extend their influence globally is only challenged seriously by the United States.

The rise of China has much to do with the Soviet Union, and particularly the Sino-Soviet Split and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. After the 1960s, relations between the USSR and the PRC seriously fell out and the two became as good of enemies as they were worst of friends, and both became competitors to the position of leading global communist power. Under Mao, China suffered heavily and saw serious humanitarian catastrophes, but the path paved by projects like the Great Leap Forward helped to industrialize China and allow later mixed market policies throughout the 80s and 90s to cause the Chinese economy to skyrocket. With this economic growth came increased economic sway, and following the collapse of the Soviet Union, China was left the only real competitor to the United States to the position of global superpower. Not only this, but the collapse of the USSR resulted in many of the Soviet’s former allies swinging towards China, even if not in totality, and while Russia continues to try to maintain influence globally they are forced to deal with many issues a rising China is not, meaning with time Russia will lose influence and power to the People’s Republic.

The rise of China is inevitable, and as the US continues to involve itself in protracted overseas conflicts such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and our proxy conflict in the Persian Gulf region with Iran, it seems like China’s rise to global prominence will only happen sooner. While America continues to retain its presence on the world stage at the forefront of every conflict and issue, China has taken steps to follow the US’s policy of economic and military presence globally. We’ve seen as much occur in Djibouti, Cameroon, Mali, Montenegro, Indonesia, and elsewhere, and the trend can only be expected to continue as the People’s Republic attempts to follow the US until the US finds itself outpaced. The only issue with this, and a universal issue indeed, is that China is utterly incapable of serving as a genuine world leader based on their current incompetence in promoting proper humanitarian values, in following environmental regulations, and in abiding by rights and wrongs.

One need look no further than the Uyghur Concentration Camps in Chinese Turkestan, or the crack-down on Hong Kong, or the record amounts of state-sponsored disappearances, or the deplorable working and living conditions of most of the Chinese lower class (the majority of the Chinese population) to see how disgusting China’s records with human rights are, and for a country with such economic prosperity and global clout, these violations of human rights and living standards are a blemish on the whole world. The people of China, and the people who find themselves under Chinese influence endure untold suffering both intentionally and as an aftereffect of the industrial, mixed-market economic policies promoted by the CCP which disregard human life and value in exchange for continual profit.

The mad hunt for greater profits not only affects human life, but the planet on which we live. China is the greatest pollution-generating country on Earth, and dwarfs most of Europe and America with the sheer amount of trash generated and put into the Earth’s air, water, soil, and atmosphere. The issue is so bad that many scientists predict that the nation will be out of clean drinking water by as early as 2030, merely 11 years away. The devastation caused by Chinese pollution has caused untold deaths of animals and plants in Asia and worldwide, such as the Yellow River Dolphin and other extremely rare animals who are dependent on riverways and forests being polluted and chopped down by the Chinese government and corporations.

In my opinion (as this is the opinion piece section), we should not trust the same national entity who for seventy years has abused its people, land, and resources. The quest for profit will see anyone do anything to get more, and the CCP has shown that it will destroy anything in its path to ensure it maximizes profits with the least amount of resistance possible. The inevitability of a Chinese century is one we can’t prevent, but should fear, and should try to counter as soon as possible.