Xi Jiping’s New world order

Image Source – RAND

Xi said that neither unilateralism nor setting rules by one or several countries should impose their laws on others. The economy of China registered an 18.3% growth rate year-over-year in the first quarter of 2021 despite geopolitical tensions. In particular, US banks have shown great interest as Beijing gradually opens up its financial markets.  

In his new world order speech, Xi Jinping launched a veiled attack against the US global leadership and warned against an economic decoupling between the two superpowers. He said that neither unilateralism nor setting rules by one or several countries should impose their laws on others.

Xi made his remarks days after Joe Biden, the US president, and Yoshihide Suga, the Japanese prime minister, committed to opposing Chinese aggression in the South China Sea and the East China Sea.  

The economy of China registered an 18.3% growth rate year-over-year in the first quarter of 2021 despite geopolitical tensions. In particular, US banks have shown great interest as Beijing gradually opens up its financial markets.  

Being a poverty-stricken Asian nation closed off from the world to an emerging superpower has taken little more than three decades. Increasingly, the Chinese influence is spreading worldwide, upending global relationships and roles that have dominated international politics for 50 years. 

The latest step in China’s development as a global power is President Xi Jinping’s grand plan for the world economy.

The plan draws from the millennia-old Silk Road trading route. With its financial clout and influence on culture, education, travel, and the balance of power among nations, China is changing communities and lives in five ways to live across the globe.  

Investment 

Pakistan has longed for economic prosperity since the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, popularly referred to as CPEC, was launched.

Pakistan views this corridor as an excellent opportunity to develop its economy, fundamental to China’s One Belt, One Road initiative. The corridor consists of road networks, fibre optic cable projects, railway lines, deep seaports, and coal mines.

According to Mustafa Hyder, head of the Pakistan-China Institute, as these projects have been implemented and the promised riches have been realised, Pakistan has experienced an influx of roughly 20,000 ex-pats. This community is slowly influencing Pakistan. 

Education 

There are now 5,629 Chinese students enrolled at UIUC, a fivefold increase since 2008 — a trend is happening at colleges across the country.

There are bubble tea shops, Sichuan food joints, and Chinese hair salons springing up all over this town of 207,000 — a direct result of the influx of Chinese students. It is not uncommon to see six Chinese restaurants on one street alone.

Increasing numbers of Chinese students are also transforming US classrooms, believing that a US degree will impress employers back home. There are 110 Confucius Institutes in the US that are part of China’s outreach to US campuses.

Many US institutions have cut ties over concerns that their activities may suffer from a hidden ideological agenda undermining academic freedom. 

Infrastructure 

Despite allegations of poor workmanship, poor treatment of workers, and a lack of transparency, China’s presence in Africa has drawn heated debate.

China’s steel and construction industries benefit from the railways export market. Africa borrowed nearly $10 billion from China for railway projects in the ten years between 2004 and 2014, facilitated by Exim. 

Travel

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, 135 million Chinese tourists travelled overseas last year. They spent more than $261 billion, more than any other country, including the United States, which spent $122 billion.

Post-Brexit weakening of the pound, more exact visa requirements, and improved travel connections with China have made the UK more attractive to Chinese tourists.

According to Visit Britain, which promotes tourism, Chinese visitors stay longer and spend more than other visitors from other countries.

As part of the Great China Welcome program, 500 businesses signed up, including Chinese breakfast restaurants, TV stations with Chinese programs, and retailers using Chinese payment methods like UnionPay and Alipay.

The stereotype of selfie-taking, bus-riding tourists in China, isn’t entirely false – there is still a high interest in group travel in China. Still, there is a growing demand for individual journeys and experiences. 

Military

China is learning about the complexities of global power in South Sudan. China is striving to become a global military player, as evidenced by its peacekeepers on African soil.

UN peacekeeping efforts worldwide require 2,322 troops from China — more than any other UN member except for the US — and 8,000 more for a fast-response force.

Beijing may also gain more influence in UN decision-making by increasing its involvement in peacekeeping and may become more involved in future settlements in the Middle East, where it relies on oil. 

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