As the catastrophe of COVID-19 seizes the world’s attention, one would imagine that international geopolitical dramas and power grabs were far from the minds of all nations as we globally try to contain and control the virus. Sadly, this simply is not the case.
China despite being the nucleus of COVID-19 back in early 2020 has managed to remain alarmingly on track for economic and military world domination.
An exaggeration you might think, scare-mongering perhaps, well, far from it.
Much like the 5 year plan of Stalin’s Soviet Union which prioritised a host of economic goals for the coming years, China has executed its ambitions with the same military precision, although with much more success than its predecessor of the twentieth century.
China is now on course for an economic takeover whilst other nations languish with a global healthcare emergency.
Just look at the last few weeks of international activity as Sino-Indian relations took a turn for the worst as did China’s relationship with Australia, its suppression of Hong Kong and its threats to the UK.
With so many fronts you might be fooled into thinking that China is out of its depth, far from it.
The new security law brought in to the semi-autonomous region of Hong Kong has demonstrated China’s intentions to impose its governmental policy on the citizens of Hong Kong. The sweeping new powers allow officers to conduct raids without warrants, dispose of pro-democracy literature, engage in close-door trials as well as use wire-tapping and other spy tactics to monitor its citizens.
The UK’s response was to give an invitation of British citizenship to many of Hong Kong’s residents after it was believed that China was reneging on the 1997 agreement, compromising certain freedoms to which they were entitled.
China has flagrantly attacked such an offer, denouncing British involvement as an unwanted interference.
Meanwhile, closer to home, China also turned its attention to its 3,488km disputed land border which it shares with India. In recent weeks, a violent confrontation between these two great superpowers resulted in the death of twenty Indian soldiers.
The brutal hand to hand combat led India’s Prime Minister Modi to later visit the north Himalayan region in a display of defiance against what he termed an “age of expansionism”.
This was just one battle, this time physical, in a long line of conflicts, disputes and geopolitical flare-ups all with one main participant, China.
Only weeks previously to these encounters had Australia been on the receiving end of China’s economic wrath after making the case for an international independent enquiry into the origins of COVID-19. After Australia stated its intentions, hostilities quickly escalated in a matter of days, amounting to economic sanctions, trade war threats and travel warnings being issued, such was the ferocity of China’s response.
China made it clear, it is not taking any prisoners and is flexing its muscles on a global stage as entire nations watch on as ineffectual bystanders.
That is not to say that all nations have remained silent. Only a few days ago America sent its aircrafts to conduct drills in the South China Sea as a sign of commitment to Asian regional security.
Nevertheless, America’s power as international policeman is dwindling. Far away in geographical terms from the activity as well as politically, China has and will use its ability in the region to intimidate its less powerful immediate neighbours.
So, what is next? Well, with a finger in every pie (economic) so to speak, China has interest and power all over the world. The One Road, One Belt project evoking the bygone era of the Silk Roads was just the warm-up for a much bigger plan… world domination and it’s not that far away.