Alex Jones may have been slightly off the mark when he claimed the Chinese were behind his online de-platforming, but his underlying instincts about Chinese influence are understandable. China over the last 30 years has seen an unprecedented rise in its fortunes, going through an industrial and digital revolution at the same time. No other nation on earth has seen such a rapid change, apart from perhaps the Gulf States.
China has a population is well over a billion, has large natural resources -which include vast reserves of rare metals- and its economy grew by 6.9% last year alone. The middle class in cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou are expanding at an incredible pace, and with that comes wealth creation and a better quality of life. With a strong economy comes the opportunity to create a strong military, something which the Chinese government is now focused on.
The creation of artificial islands in the South China Sea, which enable both Naval and Air Force capabilities, has become one of the most important geopolitical fault lines of recent times. It is estimated that $5 trillion worth of goods are shipped through this area every year, which amounts to around a third of the world’s maritime traffic.
China is colonizing this area for solid strategic reasons. This is the sole reason why President Obama and his successor President Trump have shifted vast quantities of American firepower to the Far East. Any disruption of merchant traffic in this area would have devastating economic consequences for the entire world.
Beijing is also fixated with Taiwan, the island which escaped the communist takeover of China and has remained a de-facto independent state ever since. Although not a member of the United Nations, Taiwan is close to the west and the wider international community and is also a major manufacturing hub. The sheer size and power of mainland China means that this island will probably fall to communist rule eventually; unless America is willing to step in and fight.
America’s presence in the Far East, apart from its deployment with regards to North Korea, is to essentially contain China. Allowing a rival power to have some of its way, whilst at the same time stopping it from crossing boundaries that would be judged ‘too far’, is now the order of the day. China has not yet crossed any trip wires that could yet be seen as beyond a point of no return, although it is getting close to that point.
One of the major worries that concerns the West is the threat by the Communist Government to create rival institutions to those that already exist. So, for example, a copy of the IMF and WTO (International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organisation), that would be controlled by Beijing. If this happened, then the world economy would become bipolar, and the West’s dominance of global finance would be cut significantly.
China’s greatest rival in Asia at this time is India. Both countries have over a billion citizens, and they both have surging economies as well. China has sought for a very long time to control the Himalayas, something which would make India’s strategic position untenable to a large degree. China has also begun extensive infrastructure projects in Pakistan, which form a part of its "one belt road" initiative. This policy with regards to Pakistan is designed to encircle and then strangle India.
The one belt road initiative though is much larger and involves projects all over the world. It is designed to extend China’s reach around the globe by building, negotiating and spending. Begun in 2014, the one belt road initiative will cost $3 trillion and involve projects in 68 countries. It is designed to be a reincarnation of the old Silk Road that existed in ancient times.
This initiative has a very dark underbelly and is currently engulfing many countries in debt. The tactic China repeatedly uses is the practice of lending money to countries that cannot afford the repayments, which in turn leads to China seizing the assets of these countries. It is essentially the same process as when a bank seizes a house because the occupant can no longer afford the mortgage repayments.
In Sri Lanka, an inability to meet repayments has led to China seizing a major port in the country; the same happened in Djibouti as well. If you think Europe is immune to this then prepare for a shock. Montenegro is already a victim of such a scheme. The other countries currently drowning in Chinese debt are as follows: Kyrgyzstan, The Maldives, Laos, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and Pakistan. These countries are all in positions of strategic importance to China, and it is no coincidence they are the first victims of Beijing’s debt imperialism.
Another issue that is now emerging in the northern hemisphere is the increasing tension between Russia and China. Although these two countries are officially allies, China’s increasingly scarce water reserves, coupled with Russia’s willingness to sell Siberian land to Chinese citizens, is brewing a potential storm. If the Chinese population in Siberia reaches a certain level, it is not hard to predict what could happen.
Whether a major war will break out because of Chinese action is uncertain, though it is definitely very likely. Reports indicate that China is already training its pilots to hit American targets, and its constant violations of Taiwanese airspace show signs of an ominous future.