The World That China is Making Part I

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary In 1949, if I had told someone that the devastated, nearly destroyed country of China would rise up to become superpower number two, would anyone have believed me? When the Communists took over China in 1949, industry had been destroyed. Agriculture was in ruins, and the country’s infrastructure was shattered. Whole cities may in ruins from years of revolution, foreign invasion and civil war, and an estimated 15 million people had been killed within the last 20 years. All of this damage would have meant that no other country would have ever risen from the ruins again. Yet look at China today. It’s agriculture can not only feed its huge population but Chinese agricultural produce is being exported. China’s cities, especially on the eastern sea coast, are wonders of architecture as China’s real estate is still in demand. A huge middle class has become a reality in China—something that did not even remotely exist in 1949. One does not have to look far to find how impressive China’s economic growth has been. In almost every category, China is the leader in technology, the leader in industrial production, and now has the second largest military force on earth.

And being the leader in technology development and in military might, China is asserting its influence all around the world. The numbers speak for themselves. China has more investments in the continent of Africa than any other country. China has become investor number two in Latin America only after the United States. China’s Navy is beginning to be found in most major seaports (one tiny example is the fact that Chinese naval ships have been calling in Libya’s seaports before and after the regime of Muamar Kaddhafi). With this flush in cash, Chinese tourism has grown one hundred fold. Twenty years ago this would have been inconceivable. Now Chinese tourists are quite common in just about every continent. The Chinese government owns or mines 98 percent of all the world’s rare earth metals. Even in Afghanistan, where U.S. troops are fighting and dying, China owns almost all of the rare earth metals in that country. These rare earth metals are key to the very things we use today such as our computers, our high definition TVs, our iPads, our smart phones, etc. What is no less important is the fact that the Chinese government is supporting regimes that are not only undemocratic in nature but are guilty of crimes against humanity. Such governments include the Sudan, South Africa, and Zimbabwe in Africa; Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Ecuador in the Americas; and Nepal, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in Asia.

Why is China becoming so strong and influential in the world? The three reasons are that China is now the world’s manufacturing center, that it has the largest cash reserves in the world because of this, and that its economic and military clout has reached around the world. Because China manufactures the majority of all the world’s industrial goods that the country and especially the Chinese government has become the single greatest power on earth. The Chinese Communist Party is not only the largest party in the world in terms of membership but is also the single richest entity. No other political party has the money of the Chinese Communist Party. Finally, China’s military is bigger, larger and technologically more advanced than almost any other military with the sole exception of the U.S. military. Even the old Soviet military was never as advanced as the Chinese one is now. In so many ways China is now where the United States was 40 to 45 years ago. Back then the United States had the largest manufacturing base, the most advanced agriculture, and was the most technologically advanced country on earth with the highest standard of living of any country. In this regards, China has taken our place.

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