by A Rajamanickam

The US and the West believed that China's wholehearted embrace of capitalism under Deng Xiaoping [1978-1992] would pave the way for its peaceful rise and later reform its political structure as a democracy. In other words, it would transform itself into another Japan, subservient to the US and her Global Interests!

Deng Xiaoping had that kind of charm and charisma with his inscrutable smile inveigling like a colourful spider awaiting the next prey in its web, an apparent [though dubious] embodiment of all the refinements of an ancient civilization. No doubt, US and the West, its intelligentsia, greedy corporates salivating for a huge market swallowed it all, hook, line and sinker! On the contrary, Deng Xiaoping was in fact all the while plotting with a long term view i.e., a generation ahead against the benefactors: US & the West.

"China in about 1982, under Deng Xiaoping, decided to proliferate nuclear technology to communists and Muslims in the third world. They did so deliberately with the theory that if nukes ended up going off in the western world from a Muslim terrorist, well that wasn't all bad. If New York was reduced to rubble without Chinese fingerprints on the attack, that left Beijing as the last man standing. That's what the old timers thought."

The idea was A CHINESE CENTURY in other words a hegemon in Asia when they gain the necessary wherewithal. However, Tiananmen Square Massacre against peaceful protesters seeking political rights during Deng Xiaoping's rule was the watershed. It was put down ruthlessly in 1989 which till now is a stark reminder to the US and the West as to the real DRAGON's fiery nature behind the façade of peaceful bamboo munching PANDA!

After that, the US and the West were having second thoughts cautiously but the business went more or less as usual with some restrictions here and there. However, China understood the loopholes of the US and Western polity, its corporate greed and the all round openness. It exploited the loopholes in blatant theft of IPR, espionage & outright purchase of high-tech but financially weak companies for their continued economic growth at a furious pace. It is a fact of history that the authoritarian China's ruling Clique was buying time for its aim of ultimate Global domination as the sole super power by its phenomenal economic growth and military might.

His successors Jiang Jemin & Hu Jintao each ruling a decade didn't exactly fit into that bill. So, some elements of the old guard in the CPC Clique brought Xi Jinping as their protégé which role I must admit he played excellently in the confidence that China has arrived there. He had purged the soft liners, crushed its dissidents, Tibetans and Uyghurs, militarized the SCS, put more pressure on China's potential competitors in East Asia by North Korea and in South Asia by arming Pakistan to the teeth while extending the economic tentacles in the form of BRI, a signature project CPEC in Pakistan, besides ensnaring into debt traps the other smaller countries in our periphery and in Africa - a kind of neo-colonialism!

Inimitable in his own style during a massive military parade Xi Jinping announced the arrival of Chinese Century loud and clear. The strategic planners of Central Military Commission of CPC exhorted the PLA to prepare for a fifty years war project to expand their Empire by land and sea grabbing what is others by apocryphal and irredentist claims. The so-called Chinese Century isn't going to be benign for humanity but shall take it to the precipice of destruction of human race by war and pestilence like SARS, Avian Flu, Swine Flu, Wuhan/China virus! Assuming that Wuhan/China virus was NOT a botched up bio-weapon accidentally released outside but a virus that jumped off from the animal chain, the following begs our questions.

Why did the Chinese allow the hunting, trapping, selling and eating of wild life openly in their markets? In poor African countries where traditionally hunting and gathering were the means of human survival, they have banned the poaching of wild life in general and endangered species in particular. Let not Chinese Govt change the tack by stating it was illegally done. When everyone's day to day activities are under surveillance in PRC, let them not pretend that they were not aware! They do not care about Global Opinions and Global Concerns on the preservation of wild life nor for that matter Global laws and Conventions, so unbecoming of an aspiring super power.

Isn't it very strange that Chinese PANDA represents the logo of WWF?

The world isn't going to be the same. Certainly the fallout has revealed the nature of the egregious empire. In comparison, Ronald Reagan's description of Soviet Russia as an evil empire pales into insignificance because since the outbreak of Bolshevik Revolution [1917-23] and the dissolution of Soviet Union on 26-12-1991, the Global Community didn't suffer as much as now. During WW-II only Europe, North Africa & the far east Asia suffered! Despite all this, the Chinese ruling Clique does not recant and attempt to set its house in order by ushering in openness, freedom and democracy. It is pretending as though nothing had happened as though expecting the Global Community to carry on the business as usual with China. Strangely it is attempting to play the victims card.

What is in it for India? The fallout will be substantial in diversion of trade, flight of capital and technology, shifts in manufacturing etc. While we may not be able to harvest all of it, if we play our cards wisely, we can certainly overcome the stagnating growth and climb on a higher trajectory of economic growth!

Rajamanickam is an amateur defence watcher and after retirement is pursuing his favourite hobby of writing for newspapers, journals and think tanks