The Century of the Dragon?

China map

While pundits in the West paint a picture of a troubling rise for China, slowing economic growth, housing bubble etc., in an article in tomdispatch.com, Pepe Escobar presents China's rise as a fait accompli.

Escobar notes the worrying slower economic growth:

...still means a staggeringly impressive annual growth rate of 7% in what is now the globe’s leading economy. [And that] an immensely complex economic restructuring is underway as consumption overtakes investment as the main driver of economic development. At 46.7% of the gross domestic product (GDP), the service economy has pulled ahead of manufacturing, which stands at 44%.

That, "Russia, India, and China have just sent a powerful message westward: they are busy fine-tuning a complex trilateral strategy for setting up a network of economic corridors the Chinese call “new silk roads” across Eurasia."

The country still produces 80% of the world’s air conditioners, 90% of its personal computers, 75% of its solar panels, 70% of its cell phones, and 63% of its shoes. Manufacturing accounts for 44% of Chinese GDP, directly employing more than 130 million people. In addition, the country already accounts for 12.8% of global research and development, well ahead of England and most of Western Europe.

Already, the majority of Chinese exports are smartphones, engine systems, and cars (with planes on their way).

The country already has 73 companies in the Fortune Global 500, leaving it in the number two spot behind the U.S.

China’s problems may turn out to come from non-economic areas where the Beijing leadership has proven far more prone to false moves. It is, for instance, on the offensive on three fronts, each of which may prove to have its own form of blowback: tightening ideological control over the country under the rubric of sidelining “Western values”; tightening control over online information and social media networks, including reinforcing “the Great Firewall of China” to police the Internet; and tightening further its control over restive ethnic minorities, especially over the Uighurs in the key western province of Xinjiang.

Stories in the U.S. tend to emphasize the country’s “shrinking” economy and nervousness about its future global role, the way it has “duped” the U.S. about its designs, and its nature as a military “threat” to Washington and the world.

Meanwhile, a confident China which sees itself as a developed country is modernizing rapidly under Xi Dada's (“Xi Big Bang” as he’s nicknamed) highly proclaimed “China Dream.”

Xi has already,

"...stop treating the U.S. or the European Union as its main strategic priority [and is refocusing] instead on China’s Asian neighbors and fellow BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa, with a special focus on Russia).

Read the article here

Tags: