10 January 2019
by DAVID J. BERCUSON
Beijing’s long-term goal is not to achieve some sort of parity as a superpower, but to dominate as much of the globe as possible
Last week China pulled off the incredible feat of landing a science probe on the far side of the moon. It is a testament to China’s new prowess as an advanced technological nation. At the same time, China’s president-as-long-as-he wants-it Xi Jinping extolled his military to prepare for war as he threatened that China’s reunion with Taiwan is inevitable, even by force if necessary.
There is hardly a week that some new major measure is not announced by China. These include the “belt and road” initiative to connect China to Europe using rail and road transportation; a high level of foreign aid that now brings Chinese engineers and construction workers, as well as billions of Chinese Yuan, to nations in Africa, South America and Asia; the Chinese navy’s participation in anti-piracy patrols off the Horn of Africa and its harassment of U.S. naval vessels in the South China Sea; an initiative to build a railroad in Kenya from the interior of that nation to the Port of Mombasa to speed Chinese trade from there to the Chinese mainland; Chinese initiatives to build a railway through Myanmar, to add to an oil and a gas pipeline connecting China to the port of Kyaukpyu on the Bay of Bengal, thus allowing Chinese commercial traffic to bypass the Malacca Straight chokepoint; the establishment and expansion of a freight and naval base in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa and the possible establishment of a second base possibly in Namibia; the building and expansion of reefs into island bases in the waters of the South China Sea; and free trade treaties with nations such as Australia. No doubt more such developments will be announced in the near future.
“There is hardly a week that some new major measure is not announced by China”
With all the talk of working within the international system, ending the current trade war with the United States and making peaceful arrangements through the International Trade Organization, China’s long-term goal is not to achieve some sort of parity as a superpower, but to dominate as much of the globe as possible using any means short of war to do so, including so-called free trade agreements.
China is governed by the relatively small clique we all know as the Communist Party. It is debatable how communist the party is today. Looking at its accomplishments and its method of dealing with other countries it is pretty clear that the Party combines good old-fashioned Chinese nationalism, state control of key industries, centralized military power, totalitarian methods and a massive state security apparatus to control its population and position itself in the world.
To put things more simply, what China wants — and is prepared to use all elements of state power to achieve — is dominance, not accommodation.
“What China wants — and is prepared to use all elements of state power to achieve — is dominance, not accommodation”
Hopefully the Trudeau government keeps these unsettling facts in mind as it continues to pursue an agreement with the Communist masters in Beijing.