- (july 2017)
Why China will be the new moral and political leader of the world.
Since the end of World War II the USA has been the "leader of the free world",
helping Europe defeat fascism and then defeating communism. Fascism and
communism were despised pretty much all over the world, and the USA was viewed
by billions of people around the world as a better model, if not a liberator.
When Islamism (the people who want to impose the original form of Islam) threatened the world, again the USA was viewed as the leader in defending the "free" way of life.
Freedom has been valued above everything else for almost a century.
But times have changed. The vast majority of non-Islamic countries are
democracies, and many of them (Canada and most of Europe) are more authentic
democracies than the USA (where the man who loses the election by three
million votes becomes the president) and boast higher standards of human rights
(the USA still has the death penalty) and higher citizen's participation (the
president of the USA is usually elected by a lot less than 50% of the
citizens entitled to vote).
It is even doubtful whether the USA still defends the ideals of democracy,
since its closest allies are Islamic dictatorships like Saudi Arabia (the
originator of Islamic terrorism) and racist states like Israel.
And its record of "helping" people create democratic states is terrible: Yugoslavia, South Sudan, Lybia, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Afghanistan never recovered from the "help" that the USA provided to the democratic revolution.
Lucky the ones who were never helped by the USA, like North Korea and Iran.
The USA is no longer the most educated country in the world, surpassed by both
eastern Asians and northern Europeans.
And the US economy, already surpassed by the European Union (before "Brexit"),
will soon be surpassed also by China. Once countries adopt the capitalist
system, it is hard for the USA to maintain its supremacy: they can all become
as productive as US workers and in many cases even better.
The immigrants that used to flock to the USA have more choice around the world,
and the USA is even discouraging them from immigrating.
Thank you USA for past leadership and role model.
But the times are changing, as usual, and the world needs a different kind
of leader, not a leader that bombs fascists and communists, but a leader that
solves global problems.
The leadership of the future will belong not to the "leader of the free world"
but to the country that leads in tackling global problems such as climate change
and terrorism. The USA, even assuming that its dysfunctional democracy still
represents "the free world", has failed miserably in tackling global problems.
Many actually blame the USA for contributing more than anybody else to climate
change and terrorism (it is the USA that created the oil economy that benefited
mainly the states harboring Islamic terrorism).
China's president Xi has understood clearly this fact and positioned China
as the country of global solutions rather than the country of regime change.
As the USA was withdrawing from the
biggest transcontinental free-trade agreement of all times, the
TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership),
and from the Paris accord on climate change, China's president
has been quick to seize both opportunities and position China as the defender
of both free trade and climate science.
2017 gave us a verdict: the new leader of the world is not the USA but China.
It is telling that China is building a new "silk road" towards Europe, and
that the European Union and China are increasingly partners whereas the
European Union and the USA are increasingly rivals: most of the EU did not
want the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and now does want to fight climate change,
which happen to be precisely China's policies back then and now.
It is just a matter of time before
Europeans realize that their ideals and principles are more often aligned with
China's global responsible approach than with the USA's greedy parochial protectionism.
And viceversa: Angela Merkel is widely respected in China for her compentent
and responsible leadership, whereas Trump... well, he's not exactly
respected anywhere, let alone in China. (The Chinese shamelessly bribed him
by granting him the trademarks that he wanted for his business and he
immediately gave in like the cheapest whore in the brothel).
The new leader of Europe is Germany, and, after Brexit and Trump, Germany
finds itself much closer to China than to the old Anglosaxon powers.
In fact, in June 2017 China overtook the USA to become Germany's main trading partner.
While the US president denies the value of statistics, polls, science and facts,
the Chinese president quotes statistisc, polls, science and facts.
The world has lost its patience with a country that every now and then
elects Reagans, Bushes or Trumps, presidents who pull the world backwards
for four or eight years. The Chinese Communist Party has consistently appointed
competent and diligent leaders. They are certainly not democratic leaders, and
they certainly don't allow free speech, but they have mostly made clever
decisions and are respected by every country in the world. The current
president of the USA is probably the least respected leader in the world,
and at one point Bush polled lower than Osama bin Laden in many countries.
It is not just one ridiculous president embarrassing the USA:
the world lost faith in the succession rule of the USA. First, the world had
to cope with the incompetence and corruption of the George W Bush
administration, that started two wars, didn't pay for them, and showered friends
of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld with one trillion dollars meant to rebuild
Iraq and Afghanistan. Now the USA showed the same movie again, but with even
more comical actors: the new president is a certified scumbag, who based his
campaign on vicious insults against everybody, and he lost the
election by three millions votes.
Who will be next? Rush Limbaugh? Sean Hannity? Some porno star?
Will the USA get a president who lost the election by 5 million votes? 10
million votes? 20 million votes?
China, meanwhile, has consistently enjoyed a smooth and drama-free transition
of power, appointing leaders who have university degrees and decades of solid
experience. The world can rely on any deal that China makes because its
succession rule is a guarantee. The world can no longer rely on anything the
USA does because its next president could be just about anybody. Dealing with
the USA is like playing the lottery.
It didn't take long for China to figure out what Trump is: a con-man, a snake-oil peddler, a traitor who would gladly sell his own children for a few pennies. Hence, China proceeded to simply bribe him: China approved 38 trademarks for Trump that Trump had been trying to get for decades, covering everything from hotels to golf clubs, that will enable Trump to expand his business empire to China; China approved three trademarks for Ivanka Trump's jewelry and spa brand (on the very same day that she and her husband Jared Kushner dined with China's president Xi at her father's exclusive Florida resort Mar-a-Lago); the Anbang Insurance Group, de facto owned by the Chinese government, approved a deal with the Kushner family worth $400 million for a tower in New York (this deal has been put on hold after the outrage it generated in Congress). In a blatant case of corruption, Trump has completely reversed his stance on China (remember when he called it "a currency manipulator"?) and now treats China as his best friend (well, second best after Russia).
It is just a matter of time before the world realizes that China is a far
more reliable and far safer choice than the USA to lead the global community.
Historically speaking, it is not the first time that the fight between the
two reigning powers benefits an outsider. Think of the Eastern Roman Empire
(Middle East and Northern Africa, with capital in Byzantium) and
the Persian Empire (Iran, Iraq and Central Asia), two mighty empires that
weakened each other until some
barbaric tribe from the Arabian peninsula defeated both (to this day, northern
Africa speaks Arabic, Iran writes in Arabic script and Byzantium
is a Muslim city called Istanbul).
The decades-long Cold War between the Soviet Union and the USA seemed to
have a victor: the USA. But the truth is that the Cold War bled both, and,
by the end of it, the USA was left as weak as the Soviet Union: an overstretched
empire with military bases in more than 100 countries and a skyrocketing debt.
While the two superpowers where competing for military supremacy, China was
quietly staging the most impressive economic boom of the century.
China had military bases in only one country (itself) and a skyrocketing
surplus of money. Future historians may see a simpler version of the facts:
the Soviet Union and the USA undermined each other and a third player, China,
emerged. Russia and the USA are still undermining each other. De facto,
the Cold War never ended. Putin represents a wildly different ideology than
Stalin's (almost fascist instead of communist) but he is as much a global
rival of the USA as Stalin was, and does everything he can to weaken the
USA. The USA weakened Russia from the moment the Soviet Union collapse:
it moved Eastern Europe into the sphere of influence of the European Union and NATO, and it influenced the fall one by one of all the communist dictatorships
supported by the Soviet Union.
While these two are still fighting each other globally, from Syria to
Ukraine, and even in cyberspace (where Russia is undermining the USA democracy
more than anywhere else),
China keeps growing and weaving its web from Latin America to Europe.
Some day the USA will wake up in a world in which Europe, Latin America,
East Asia and possibly even the Middle East will have embraced China.
As i type, Pakistan and India are becoming members of the
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). Pakistan is the place where the USA
used to have a lot of military bases. India used to be a regional rival of China
and has signed a nuclear treaty with the USA. India and Pakistan are not even
friends (far from it). But they are both joining an alliance dominated by
Panama (a close US ally) has just switched allegiance from Taiwan (a US ally) to mainland China.
Iran has just signed a major oil deal with China's CNPC at the same time
that Trump wants to reimpose sanctions on Iran.
There is also a deeper change that has to do with the very nature of the
"freedom" that the USA sells to the world. Increasingly,
the elected politicians of the USA serve lobbies, not the people.
The citizens of the USA don't get laws that reflect their desires: they get
laws that reflect the desires of the most powerful lobbies in Washington:
the Israeli lobby, the gun lobby (the NRA) and the military-industrial
The people of the USA never asked to spend billions to defend the remote
country of Israel. The people of the USA want gun control, not more guns.
The people of the USA never voted to keep more than 100 military bases around
the world; and they certainly did not vote to spend a trillion dollars to
"liberate" Iraq in 2003.
But their so called "representatives" represent the lobbies not the people,
and therefore all those things happened and will keep happening.
Corruption has always been and probably always will be part of any political
system, but in the USA it is has been encoded into the "democracy" through the
rising powers of lobbies.
The unelected politicians of China, on the other hand, do serve the nation.
They have turned a starving nation into one of the fastest growing economies
in history. They have built 20,000 kms of high-speed railway. They have
built thousands of kms of subway systems. They have provided affordable
education to everybody. They have doubled the living standards of the average Chinese family. Meanwhile, the elected politicians of the USA have achieved... well, i don't know what can be considered a real achievement in the last 20-30
years. A free and honest poll of US and Chinese citizens would probably
result in opposite views of each country's congress: the US congress has
an approval rating of about 10%, the Chinese congress would probably get
a lot more.
The gridlock, bickering, incompetence and corruption of Washington are very
visible to all foreign observers. The speed of execution, the internal
consensus and the competence of Beijing represent a powerful alternative
and, in the eyes of a growing majority, a needed counterbalance.
China is patiently waiting for geopolitics to turn its way. For example,
China is accused of not living up to its ambitions because it doesn't act in
the interests of the USA against North Korea. But China has a simple question:
why does the USA care? The USA is not located in Asia. The USA replies that
its allies Japan and especially South Korea are indeed located in Asia.
China replies: "Why should you, USA, defend these Asian countries?"
If the USA insists on "defending" these Asian countries, China's attitude is
a logical "suit yourself".
Why should China take care of North Korea in order to protect a country like South Korea that is an ally of the USA? Why in heaven should China do the job that the USA should do?
The USA insists that there is something wrong with China's behavior, but China
has plenty of reasons to insist that there is something wrong with the behavior
of the USA: China, not the USA, should be protecting its Asian neighbors.
It is only a matter of time before Japan and South Korea realize that China is
actually correct: China is the natural protector of the "pax asiatica".
Japan and South Korea have always viewed the USA as a nation of barbarians:
a nation of filthy, ignorant and violent people,
The level of hygiene in the USA is abysmal
(people routinely walk into their own homes wearing dirty shoes). The level
of ignorance is staggering (the USA is the last country in the world to still
use the imperial system of gallons and miles instead of the metric system).
The level of violence is ridiculous (the USA has more guns per capita than
any country in the world except the ones engulfed in civil wars, and has
the highest murder rate of any major country, six times the murder rate in China).
And there are so many professions who want a tip for everything, like beggars,
even taxi drivers and hairdressers.
There is little that the Japanese or the South Koreans will miss if they
switch allegiance from the USA to China.
China is simply waiting for the inevitable: sooner or later the USA will be
abandoned by its own allies and then, yes, China will take care of North
Korea in order to protect "its" new ally South Korea.
Russia has long ceased to be a competitor. The Soviet Union used to have
great scientists, who invented everything from
space travel (the first artificial satellite, the Sputnik, in 1957, and the first astronaut, Yuri Gagarin, in 1961) to deep learning (in 1965 Alexey Ivakhnenko published the first learning algorithm for multi-layered networks); but Putin
has devastated the Russian nation, turning it into a sort of Saudi Arabia of
the steppes that sells gas and oil and distributes the profits among the ruler's
friends. There is little that China can fear from Russia.
Russia succeeded in undermining the US democracy through its puppet Trump
(see A HREF=usa17.html#usa0517> Where we stand with the Trump-Russia investigation)
but this will mainly benefit China.
China now has a golden chance to extend its reach across the entire globe. A Pew poll of June 2017, conducted across 37 countries of the world, showed that only two countries have faith in "Vladimir" Trump: Russia and Israel. The rest of the world (74%) despises him either a little or a lot. What is worse is that this time the president's low approval ratings are affecting the world's opinion of the USA, not just of its current president: only 49% have a positive view of the USA, compared with 64% in the same survey of 2015 and 2016. And, for the first time in history, Canadians no longer regard the USA as a force for good: only 43% have a positive view of the USA. Britons, that used to be the USA's main supporters, are now split: only 50% see the USA as a force for good in the world. Number of Germans who consider "Vladimir" Trump dangerous: 76%. Number of Britons who consider "Vladimir" Trump dangerous: 69%. Number of people in the world who consider "Vladimir" Trump dangerous: 62%.
TM, ®, Copyright © 2017 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
Trump's "election" (or whatever you want to call it) has made it inevitable
that history will repeat itself: two empires fought it out for decades, and
then a third one came out, much leaner and meaner, and sent both into
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- (may 2017)
Let's make China great again.
2017 will be long remembered one of the pivotal years in the history of the world. It started with the USA canceling the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free-trade alliance of 12 Asian and Pacific economies that would have asserted US influence in east Asia for several generations, and it is now culminating with China's OBOR meeting, that will instead assert China's dominance in Asia for at least the short term.
I have long resisted the notion that China was the coming superpower, destined
to surpass and dwarf the USA.
China owes everything to the USA. See
China is a colony of the USA.
The USA protects its trade routes. The USA accounts for most of
China's trade surplus. The USA de facto gifted modern technology to China
(by allowing Chinese companies to copy US technology).
Until last year China was riding the surf created by the USA, vulnerable
to any change in US foreign policy.
Not anymore. Within days of entering the
White House, "Vladimir" Trump, an
illegitimate president of the USA installed by Russia, erased the
Trans-Pacific Partnership which would have been the greatest trade deal of all times, uniting more than 50% of the world's GDP.
At the same time, "Vladimir" Trump, following orders from Moscow,
abdicated in Europe: he hailed Britain's decision to leave the European Union
(precisely what Putin wanted) and declared NATO "obsolete",
sending shock waves through European allies and causing jubilation among
Russian hardliners. China did not miss the opportunity.
First of all, China's president Xi immediately understood who Trump is:
a colossal crook who can be bribed easily. While visiting the USA, Xi offered
Trump what Trump wanted: the right to expand his business empire in China.
At the end of the meeting, as China was granting trademarks to Trump's business,
Trump announced that he now liked China very much.
Secondly, China seized the unique opportunity offered by this crook, liar and
traitor installed by Russia as president of the USA: China tripled its efforts
to take control of the strategic trade routes that made the USA great before
Trump entered the White House.
Trump scapped the TPP, the single most important trade deal since the end of the Cold War, that would have created a trade block of Asian and American nations (notably excluding China and Russia) accounting for more than 40% of the world's GDP and would have cemented US influence in Asia for generations. Instead, the day after Trump canceled the TPP, China met with the remaining 11 TPP members to discuss an economic alliance that would include China and NOT the USA.
China smelled blood and convened in May 2017 in Beijing a meeting of 68 world leaders (including Russian president Vladimir Putin but not including any top US politician).
The colossal "One Belt One Road" (OBOR) trade initiative, a 21st Century version of the ancient Silk Road travelled by Marco Polo,
is now surgically targeting the three
regions abandoned by the USA under Trump. A series of long land corridors are
meant to connect China with Europe, bypassing the oceans controlled by the
US navy. A pipeline in Myanmar and a port in Pakistan are meant to bypass
the strait of Malacca (controlled by the US navy). And a new trade pact
within Asia will have China instead the USA as the leader, center of mass
and military protector.
OBOR's terminal is not in the Americas but in Europe, the continent that Trump wants to dismantle and the continent that he doesn't want to defend.
Xi's target is not so much Asia, which is naturally bound to fall under Chinese influence now that Trump has killed the TPP: it is Europe, a much bigger prize.
TM, ®, Copyright © 2017 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
China plans to finalize the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) within one year. It is a free-trade agreement between the ten member states of ASEAN (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and the six states with which ASEAN already has free-trade agreements (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand).
At the same time that Trump the negotiator is asking NATO countries to pay a few billion dollars more, China announced a $124 billion investment in OBOR, on top of the $900 billion already invested.
Trump promised to cut US foreign aid to poor country. Immediately, China announced a plan to increase its own foreign aid.
China's ambition is clear: while communist USA, ruled by a Russian puppet, falls back into protectionism,
capitalist China is expanding its commercial links with 110 countries around the world. China is now the new defender of free trade.
Beijing is the new capital of world trade.
The combination of an ignorant senile illiterate US president who can be easily bribed (when he doesn't take orders from his Russian boss) and a Chinese president who graduated in engineering at one of the best universities in the world (Tsinghua University) is lethal for the USA.
The world is fed up with an unpredictable and unreliable nation that can elect
ridiculously incompetent men like George W Bush and "Vladimir" Trump, and is
increasingly looking forward to a more predictable and reliable leader of the world: China.
Xi is sending a clear message to the world: there's a new sheriff in town, and it is certainly NOT Trump.
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- Articles about China before 2017