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China playing dirty as rivalry with the US intensifies

OPINION
By Juan Carlos | February 23rd 2021

With each passing day, China’s rivalry with the US intensifies as it tries to outdo the latter in terms of power and influence. However, the US’s regard for democracy and its advocacy of liberal ideals have proved major impediments for China and its aspirations to become a driving force in global politics and economy.  

Over the years, China's political leaders have portrayed the US’s image as a villain that intends to end the very spirit of the country, this propaganda has seen China citizens believing that the US is a malignant force and it can be seen in China’s diplomatic strategy, economic policy, and military planning in the post-Cold War era.

Although this competition has always existed, it has somehow intensified under the rule of Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

A few examples of China’s transgressions can be found in the declaration recently presented to the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), a 20-year-old body established by the US Congress “to review the national security implications of trade and economic ties between the two countries.”

The first chapter of the report delineated the growing competition between the two nations and how China is trying to play dirty. China may not be at the centre stage of global influencers but its economic capabilities are increasing by the minute. It also is looking forward to displacing the US from the underdeveloped nations which it has lured with debts. 

China has also severed its ties with the EU, Japan, India, and other significant US allies for its own advantages. Since General Secretary Xi's rise to prominence, China has consistently pressurized Japan and India militarily prompting a critical crumbling of Sino-Japanese and Sino-Indian ties. China has also influenced the decisions of the United Nations to suits its interests; probably it’s the only nation that has exercised its veto power to such a great extent.

Another key China's strategy in mobilising support for its interests is building rapport among G77 countries, which comprise 70 per cent of UN member states, and nations interested in its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China's attempts to position itself as a helper of the developing nations have seen the country get friends mostly in Africa and Latin America.

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Different ideologies

For China, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is of paramount importance, trying to instil different ideologies from those of the US and its allies. Where the US believes in the efficacy of peaceful transformation, China puts its faith in precisely the contrary ideology. China has resorted to force and strict policies, at the cost of being draconian to many extents, to keep itself relevant in a world that is embracing the idea of liberty. 

Under General Secretary Xi and Chinese leaders, the threats by US philosophical antagonism toward China has solidified further and have extended to envelop essentially every aspect of China's interactions with it. 

Owing to all the debates surrounding China and its excesses, the nation in itself has become a field of study for scholars. The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission has provided an in-depth report which will decide the course of action for the US. 

In its quest for economic hegemony, China is threatening the sovereignty of other states that might not have the same ideology as itself. It is now the responsibility of the big nations to devise a plan to keep China under checks and balances.

       Juan Carlos is International affairs/geo-politics analyst

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