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World should stand together to oppose China

World should stand together to oppose China
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World should stand together to oppose China

Highlights

Recently, the media in Taiwan had exposed China's real face unmasking its cunningness and the strategic nature and wider implications of its seemingly innocuous moves of late

Recently, the media in Taiwan had exposed China's real face unmasking its cunningness and the strategic nature and wider implications of its seemingly innocuous moves of late. It should be an eye-opener to one and all as far as China's aggressive designs are concerned. First, look at the campaign of "peaceful rise of China" launched by the media of China. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's statement that "Beijing uses intimidation to undermine the sovereign rights of Southeast Asian coastal States in the South China Sea, bully them out of offshore resources, assert unilateral dominion, and replace international law with 'might makes right'" is credible, timely and significant on several fronts.

And, the statement has long-term strategic ramifications for nations already feeling threatened by the expansionist policies of the PRC as the Taiwanese media says. Even though it is hard to predict President Trump, the signals are a sign for nations like Taiwan, India, Japan, Australia, the UK, South East Asia and Middle East Asian nations along with the EU to work in tandem. This single statement provides a comprehensive indication that the US still holds the fort in the unipolar world as the lone superpower frail nations can count on during troubled times. Despite its flaws and weaknesses, the US remains the best bet for all those opposed to or afraid of China's expansionism.

The world within a short period has quickly realised the 'peaceful rise' term no longer exists, or at best is a 'myth' of magnificent proportions, given the aggressiveness in Beijing's dealings in the Indo-Pacific region, and the strong arm tactics at the Indo-China border. With all its encompassing aggressiveness, the world is unaware of the dangers of debt-trap diplomacy being played by China. Here is where even the US has failed to address this concern. A report published by Harvard Business review dated 26th February 2020, and written by Sebastian Horn, Carmen M Reinhart and Christoph Trebesch highlights the dangers posed to the world reeling under a US$ 1.5 trillion loan to 150 countries at differential rates. The problem with the debt becomes all the more grievous with a systematic underreporting of 'hidden debt' which makes the picture murkier for analysts to estimate overall problems. A CIA report estimated at least 3,000 grants and 2,000 loans have been administered by the PRC to international debtors between 1949, and 2017. This has resulted in a rise in the average stock of debt owed to China in 50 developing nations from 1% to 15% within just the past decade.

A dozen nations including Djibouti, Tonga, the Maldives, the Republic of Congo, Kyrgyzstan, Cambodia, Niger, Laos, Zambia, Samoa, Vanuatu, and Mongolia now have debts at more than 20% of their GDP. As a result, many of these nations have had to hand over ownership of several investments, and swathes of sovereign territory to the Chinese government, Taiwanese media hit the nail on the head. It is time the world realised all this and came together to oppose China and its expansionism. The world bodies must come together to save smaller countries from Chinese debt too.

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