By TNV Desk

China continues to follow a path of deception and creates trouble for the rest of the world as it pursues its expansionist policies. One of the key deceptive maneuvers carried out by China is to project itself as an emerging economic power. In that context, China’s Belt and Road Initiative needs to be looked into more carefully as a major trouble spot.

China is fabricating chaos amongst Nations to attain dominance
An illustration of Xi Jinping, Source: Los Angeles Times

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also referred to as the New Silk Road, was launched in 2013 by President Xi Jinping. It is a massive Chinese project, involving more than 130 countries. It aims at carrying out vast development and investment initiatives that would stretch from East Asia to Europe, significantly expanding China’s economic and political influence. This initiative(BRI) was met with a lot of backlash from the United States and Central Asia.

This project has become infamous for its negative impact on the environment of the countries. Its objective of closer integration with global trade routes could also mean more foreign competition, potentially threatening local jobs and industries. The possible risks include countries ending up taking more debt than they can handle to build projects under the initiative.

American economists are of the opinion that China is using economics as a cover for increasing its hegemonic influence. Most of the economically backward nations in the world are in debt to China. This is true of countries like Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the Indian subcontinent as well as countries in Eastern Europe, Africa as well as Latin America.

China’s primary goal is to become one of the world’s dominant power which is an alarming factor for most of China’s neighboring countries and as well as the United States. Since 1992, owing to rapid economic growth, its emissions of pollutants have increased by more than 250%.

China has trade disputes with most of the countries and has been the subject of criticism by the international community over its ‘expansionist policies. While China projects itself as the wealthiest nation on the earth, the fact is that it is known more for stealing technologies from other countries. With the vast growth in technology, China knows its way to power is through manipulating the tech domain.

China also uses forced labor in its Muslim detainment camps in the Xinjiang region which claimed to provide job training by putting detainees on production lines for their own good, offering an escape from poverty, backwardness, and the temptations of radical Islam. But there is clear evidence that forced labor is being carried out in the labor camps. There has been international condemnation of China’s desperate efforts to control and indoctrinate the Muslim ethnic minority population of more than 12 million in Xinjiang.

Science being the most important foothold of every nation in the race of global supremacy, China has been sending its people to developed nations like the United States to get involved in cutting-edge research.

These Chinese ‘researchers’ are supported through Beijing’s funding to enhance Chinese expertise especially in the field of immunology. In the year 2020, Chinese hackers who were linked to Beijing were found to be tampering with the research in the US and were then charged by the Justice Department.

China, with its media arms such as Xinhua and China Radio International(CRI), and CCTV, has been able to manipulate the global media also. When it comes to diplomacy, China has used unconventional means to extend its sphere of influence. One of the recent examples is the spread of Coronavirus which originated from Wuhan, a Chinese province. The havoc created by this Virus was used as an opportunity by China to offer assistance to various countries.

China has exploited this crisis by providing massive healthcare and medical aid to more than 100 countries in a way to mend its relation with countries that had strained ties with it. Since 1949, ‘Health diplomacy’ has been used as a soft power tool by China in its foreign policy. Deng Xiaoping (1978–1992) who was one of China’s infamous authoritarian leaders designed its comprehensive health diplomacy that includes both bilateral and multilateral medical and health cooperation.

It has in a way used global health diplomacy to build its benevolent image, to seek fertile ground for extending its geopolitical influence in several regions such as Africa, Asia, and Europe. China has made the best use of its health diplomacy by providing medical aid to the African countries, at the same time seeing it as an opportunity to push forward its ‘Health Silk Road’ diplomacy to expand its geopolitical and geostrategic influences.

China is typically ahead of many other nations in terms of growing their economy by using unfair means to achieve dominance over the world. China is also well aware of Iran and Turkey’s importance as a form of gateway to Western markets for its BRI project. Therefore, China has been trying hard to expand its influence in both countries through its health diplomacy. These tools used by China are only going to create chaos and friction all over the world as we have witnessed after the outbreak of Covid-19. Meanwhile, China would continue to build its economic might at the cost of the rest of the world.