Will China replace America as a world power

China wants to become a world power: The fight with the USA has begun

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Power is inert. Once you've won it, if you hold onto it, it stays. You have to defend it, of course, but if you do it skillfully, you can be sure of it for a long time. Heads of government, corporate bosses and the wealthy know this. Also the balance of power in the international politics usually obeys this unwritten law. So it happens that some states enjoy influence, status and advantages for decades, while others are left behind. But the world falls into one global crisis, then the usual mechanisms of exercise of power can suddenly be overridden. Then the weights shift rapidly, the cards are reshuffled within weeks or months. We are currently experiencing a moment like this. We are witnessing one global power shiftthat will shape our life and that of our children and grandchildren: We are experiencing rapid ascent China and the descent of the United States.

Lots of books already have written about this process and many speeches have been given, because firstly the development is of course not new and secondly it is not linear. Anyone who doesn't turn a blind eye can see the trend. After the end of the Cold War, America dominated the globe as the only remaining superpower and was able to assert its interests at will: NATO's eastward expansion, campaigns in the Middle East and the Hindu Kush, the export of its popular culture and, above all, the architecture of the international financial system, including the WTO and IMF. The dollar became the lubricant of the world economy, and American companies made the most of this privilege - whether in Washington, Dubai or Tokyo. The American empire dominated the world.

But how is it with empires: They rise, but they also fall again. America is by no means finished, but it has overstretched its power. Trillions wasted in the senseless Iraq war. Fought for years in Afghanistan, only to return power to the Taliban in the end. Above all, however, the American elites have lost their sense of the right proportions. The super-rich were fed with new tax breaks, investment banks were released from all control, workers, poor and minorities were driven into need. The result was a disaster that devastated America's society: first the real estate, then the financial and finally the debt crisis plunged millions of households into poverty, heightened the contrast between rich and poor, left entire cities and regions deserted, and fueled the largest drug epidemic of our time - and thus paved the way for a vulgar charlatan to enter the White House almost four years ago. "Great again" he promised to make America again, instead his presidency will be exhausted in an unprecedented series of lies, chaos and failure.

And now also the corona crisis. It does bad things globally, but it devastates American society particularly badly. Scarcely4.3 million infected and almost 150,000 dead the US authorities have registered, the numbers continue to skyrocket every day. But it's not just the staggering numbers that throw America off course, it is most of all that shattered confidence of millions of people into the problem-solving skills of politicians and into the authority of the president: yesterday he vilified face masks, today he praised them, yesterday he raved about plans to solve the crisis, today he still can't explain what he means by that, yesterday he insults this one, today that one, and it is always the other's fault. He throws clubs between the legs of virologists, governors and health workers - and incites paramilitary forces on demonstrators to fuel the conflict on the streets and divert attention from its failure. It is a pathetic and deplorable picture that the United States of America presently present us with.

On the other side of the globe One observes the turbulence in the USA very carefully - and exploits it as ice cold: The strategists in Beijing have been working on the resurgence of their nation for years. Is in their eyes China natural world power number one, it has always been, for millennia. The temporary decline as a result of European colonialism is seen only as a phase of temporary weakness that needs to be overcome quickly. The political bureau cadres long ago forged a strategic plan to which they subordinate all economic and diplomatic activities: by the 100th anniversary of the state in 2049, China wants to become an economic power, underpinned by global, political and military leadership. At the moment there is little to prevent them from succeeding.

The Chinese aircraft carrier "Liaoning": China is also arming itself militarily in order to expand its global influence. (Source: imago images)

Such a plan requires dedication, perseverance, and patience. The power builders put head of state stone on stone Xi Jinping on each other, design megacities, promote gigantic factories, subject hundreds of millions of people to a totalitarian surveillance system, plant ports, railroad lines and trading bases around the globe and, if necessary, sometimes manipulate their currency. The basic principle of their policy is simple: anything that helps China's power is done. And everything that stands in her way will be fought with all means. Whether civil rights activists in Hong Kong, minorities in Xinjiang, trade laws in Europe - or a world power rival in Washington. So far, Xi and his people have usually done this carefully, almost quietly, while at the same time giving conciliatory on state visits and summit meetings. Because so far the Chinese have only wrestled with America - but now they have recognized their opportunity, on the way to their goal a big step forward close. They use the Corona mess and Donald Trump's weak leadership to brutally expand their influence: The struggle for world power has begun. We here in Germany easily overlook this, while in the media thunderstorm we get headlines about Corona compulsory tests for vacationers, Corona parties for reckless people, Corona summits for EU politicians, errors in the Corona app, Corona press conferences by Mr. Söder and other anything - with Corona news flying around your ears. But if we take the effort to take a closer look, we can see how the international balance of power is beginning to change. And Beijing is always the trigger:

With the help of the new "State Security Law", China has Hong Kong de facto subjugated and there put democracy aside. While Great Britain is opposing it, people in Berlin's government district only meow a quiet little protest. Germany's economy has long been dependent on the Chinese drip, so submission is obviously closer than self-assertion.

You don't want to be like them Australian government ends: After it called for an independent investigation into the corona outbreak in Wuhan, China imposed sanctions on the country and let its hacker cohorts off the leash.

Great Britain and Canada Beijing is also threatening sanctions for daring to oppose the dubious business practices of the state-controlled digital company Huawei (fear of espionage and US pressure are great).

Now China is also increasing the pressure Taiwan, the island has always wanted to incorporate it into its vast empire. Military defense strategies are already being brooded in Taipei.

In border conflicts with India and Bhutan China tries to enlarge its territory with threats and fist blows.

In the South China Sea, warships dispatched from Beijing are increasingly penetrating the waters Vietnam and Indonesia and thus expand China's zone of influence.

Also around the from Japan managed Senkaku Islands have been cruising Chinese ships for weeks. Saber rattling is too small a word for it.

The list goes on, and of course you could also use the chinese propaganda perform in media and social networks around the world. The "Süddeutsche Zeitung" quotes Beijing's ambassador in Stockholm with the sentence: "We have fine wine for our friends, and rifles for our enemies." This is what it sounds like, the China of summer 2020: martial, self-conscious and power-conscious. You can take it for the way of things, that's just how it is in world history, some empires fall, others rise. There are only three things you shouldn't do: look away, duck away, or run away. Because the strategists in Beijing will take advantage of inattentiveness, and especially weaknesses. The democratic countries in the rest of the world are still strong enough to oppose the growing giant with the norms of rule of law, treaty loyalty, tolerance and balance of interests. But for this they would have to appear as one, instead of being divided up. And loudly contradict when civil rights and the sovereignty of other states are violated. In the German Foreign Ministry and the Chancellery, one gives the impression that one has not yet understood this. Sometimes not only is power sluggish, it also makes you sluggish.



Gunshot marks on the door of the synagogue in Halle. (Source: imago images)

The door of the synagogue in Halle will be exchanged after the right-wing terrorist attack. It had protected the believers on October 9th last year from the attack of the armed right-wing extremist and prevented an even bigger bloodbath. Now it should become an art project. The door was built by a carpenter from Dessau-Roßlau. The MDR colleagues visited him some time ago.

Construction site of the ITER fusion reactor near Aix-en-Provence. (Source: ITER Organization / EJF Riche)

In Saint-Paul-lez-Durance in the south of France will be the next construction phase of the world's largest ITER nuclear fusion reactor ushered in a joint project of the EU, the USA, Russia, China, India, Japan and South Korea. President Macron insists on honoring the ceremony with his presence. After its completion in five years, the system should provide a climate-friendly, almost infinitely available energy source. How can this be done? In short: by staying at 150 million degrees Celsius Hydrogen atoms merges, imitating the power of the sun. But let a professional explain it to you.

ITER construction drawing: The core of the facility is a seven-story structure. (Source: ITER Organization)

Negotiators from the USA and Russia are negotiating nuclear disarmament in Vienna today. The question is whether the last two agreements, which are supposed to save us all from a nuclear war, can still be saved.

In Titisee-Neustadt The trial against two young men begins in the Black Forest. They should have one after a folk festival Capercaillie have slain. There are things!

In Frankenthal in the Palatinate one deals with the appeal process of a motorist who believe it or not 373 points in the Flensburg traffic offenders file. He has been caught without a rag more than 150 times. Really: there are things!



Hotels on the Baltic Sea beach in Scharbeutz: The tourism business could collapse in winter. (Source: Christian Ohde / imago images)

Are you also going on holiday in Germany this year? The rush of guests is good news for the local hotels and restaurants - but is it enough to compensate for the failures from the time of the exit restrictions? My colleague Florian Schmidt has the federal manager of the industry association Dehoga, Ingrid Hartges, asked: Despite the super summer, she expects tens of thousands of bankruptcies.


Our columnist Gerhard Spörl also deals with the summer vacation, but rather lively:He explains to all holidaymakers what is happening in Germany right now. Rating: worth reading.


The "New York Times" shows us in an article with impressive graphics how the Climate crisis the worldwide migration reinforced: The number of climate refugees is growing.


Corona is changing the face of our inner cities: In many places one shop after another closes. And that's exactly what it is Bicycle, that could help save some shopping streets, reports my colleague Juliane Wellisch.



He's a clever fellow, Markus.

(Source: Mario Lars)

I wish you a good day.

Best regards


Florian Harms
Editor-in-chief t-online.de
Email: [email protected]

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more on the subject

  • Subjects:
  • Breaking Dawn,
  • White House,
  • Huawei,
  • Beijing,
  • China,
  • Politics,
  • Hong Kong,
  • World economy,
  • Xi Jinping,
  • Europe,
  • Corona crisis,
  • United States