Can we Trust China ?
China is taking charge in the shaping the world today. It is the second largest economy, today, but it already acting like the number Uno economy.
There was unequivocal evidence to this ambition, when, last week China, unveiled the One belt one Road program aka OBOR. OBOR is a $1.3 trillion project!!! That’s the size of Russian economy, roughly. Despite their differences with China, both the US and Japan have participated in the program.
India, however, has stayed away from this cacophony, as it considers China’s intention belligerent rather than benign. Well, you might think this idea is farcical, that, India should stay out of such an enormous opportunity. Well, I have a different view. Here’s why
China is not a democracy. China has had exponential growth curve, but where is its leadership as the largest and second most powerful economy. Its performance on human right matters dismal and it fair trading policy is promiscuous till towards its own wellness.
China, does not have free press. Meaning if you were in China and you didn’t like Donald trump you cannot take out a protest march in front of the White house (their white house that is).
Intrinsically, China does not believe in free trade. It Export everything as you already know. But guess what China has no Google. Instead it has Baidu. China has no Amazon, instead it has Alibaba. China has no facebook, it has its own version called Weibo. It doesn’t end there. China does not allow Hollywood movies to be screened in their country (they choose 10 movies per year as part of a cultural exchange program). Can you imagine a nation with such hubris and farcical posture wanting to assume the centre stage.
In contrast, India has Amazon, Google, Facebook and even Whatsapp as the leading technology houses. Indias, never bothered to create a duplicate version of the best)
Alright let’s move on. So why is China, focusing on the One Road one Belt project. Well, that’s because Chinese economy is slowing down. Most of their factories are closing down. Chinese steel plants are running over capacity. There workers are mostly jobless. They tried to push their cheap stuff to other countries, but now with other nations imposing import Tax on Chinese goods, China is not able to export, all their stuff. If workers, find themselves out of Job, there would be unrest and riots. This would paint a very sad picture of China to the world. I am no connoisseur of Chinese politics, but it quite candidly clear to me, that China is scared, that the very dragon they were riding on, will feed on them now.
Thus they invented the OROB program to redeploy all these large number of resources (essentially workers), to build a Road which would cost them an arm and length both figuratively and literally.
It will keep, the labour and the rest of the world busy for the another decade until such time, that the economy of the world kicks in and starts, consuming all that stuff again. Unfortunately, the world economy, is ageing and an older economy has very different needs than a younger economy. Older men in general demand quality over quantity and they demand return on investment. China, needs time to move up the value chain and OBOR is that time ticket while they move from a commoditised economy to a specialised economy.
China, will succeed in uniting the world, no doubt it will, but if infrastructural changes are not accompanied with concrete action on values like admonishing rouge nation ie North Korea from their farcical policies of retribution OR allowing other nations to open shop in China and trade on a level playing field, then China will alway remain a candidate of suspect.
I have huge respect for the Chinese people. Their indomitable spirit is what brought them on top of the world, but now its time for them to be also open to an idea, of a truly free world.
2050 is going make both India and China as the two largest economies of the world. That’s a huge responsibility to atone to, for both these nation. As they say with great power comes great responsibility and in China’s case that is yet to happen.