For the last two decades, we had been hearing about the “Asian Century”. The intellectuals and analysts across the world have argued that the 21st century would be an Asian century, thanks to the rising stature of India and China. Analysts argued that the world is about to turn a full circle as China and India, two of the largest economies and dominant powers of the world for most of human history, are on the path to reclaim their old glory.
The rise of Western world started only in 1700 AD, thanks to the Industrial Revolution in Western Europe. Until 1700 AD, the western world never came even close to Asia, thanks to the two giants in the region- India and China. In the subsequent years, Western Europe became the centre of the world by colonizing most of Asia. The loot and plunder of Asian lands, which financed the Industrial Revolution in Western Europe, made them dirt poor and meek.
However, in the 80s and 90s and the last century, China and India started their journey to global domination once again with cautious economic liberalisation. Today, China is second-largest economy in the world with a GDP of 14 trillion dollars and India is the fifth largest economy with 3 trillion dollars. In the next few decades, India is expected to rise exponentially and China is expected to slow down. And, in the next two decades, the combined Asian GDP is expected to surpass that of the Western world (Europe and the Americas).
But, the rise of Asia is being undermined by the confrontation between two of its pillars- China and India. China, under the authoritarian regime of the Communist Party, has become an expansionist power, like the European powers of the 18th and 19th centuries. With its newfound wealth and power, the country is trying to destabilize its neighbours, forcing them to ally with the United States- the dominant Western power.
China itself was being ruled by European colonial powers and the Communist party is very well aware of the humiliations of a colonial subject. But, the Communist Party, under the leadership of Xi Jinping (came to power in late 2012) is pushing its neighbors towards European and American powers for a strategic alliance.
Xi Jinping is shattering the dream of visionary Deng Xiaoping, who opened the relations with India in 1988 after Mao’s 1962 misadventure, in the hope of growing together to take on West. But, Xi Jinping is a dictator without a vision beyond expansionism. He is undoing all the efforts of visionary leaders for petty territorial gains and to protect his throne.
As long as China is being ruled by the Communist party, some Mao or Jinping would pop up in every few decades to break all the goodwill and trust between the two countries. For more than 2,000 years, the two of the most powerful countries never confronted each other, as they never had any border-related issues. In fact, both sides enjoyed healthy trade and cultural relations, which is visible even today.
But, as the buffer zone Tibet has come under Chinese occupation, the border confrontation started. The 1962 war, in which China occupied a part of Ladakh created a huge mistrust, which took decades to bridge. Things were moving in positive direction thanks to visionary Deny Xiaoping and Rajiv Gandhi, who opened up relations once again, till Xi Jinping came to power, with his agenda of world domination.
After coming to power, Jinping tries to encircle India through a string of pearls, and also started smaller nations around the South China Sea. He changed China’s “peaceful rise” into a disruptionist one through Belt and Road Initiative.
Due to Jinping’s disruptions, the Asian alliance which should have been built against the West has actually turned against China, with West in it. India has options open to join the United States-led alliance against China, which would leave Beijing alone in the global system. If left alone, China would be a poorer and weaker country in the next few decades- which is not good for the dream of the Asian century.
But if Jinping continues to irk all neighboring countries like India, Japan, South Korea, and Southeast Asian one through expansionist policies, an alliance against China is inevitable.
Therefore, for the dream of Asian century to come true, a democratic China is needed. A China owned by the Communist party would continue to produce stupid shorts-sighted leaders like Xi Jinping, who disturb the larger agenda for petty gains. The democratisation of China is a much-needed step for an Asian alliance against the West.
The hard-working Chinese citizens, who themselves are greatest victims of authoritarian Communist regime, should start the movement to overthrow the authoritarian Communist government of China. A democratically elected leader like the Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-Wen is best suited to take visionary steps to strengthen the Asian alliance. And, as long as Communist Party runs China, they would get a Mao or Jinping on regular intervals, who will destroy the larger agenda for petty territorial gains.
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