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The rise of the Chinese World Order

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“When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.” – Chinese proverb

The above proverb tells a lot about the Chinese mindset. At a time when the whole world is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, away from the media glare, China is capitalizing on the situation. It is using this moment to expand its global leadership and advertise its governance model across the world.

The Chinese are rewriting the codes of the international world order through new strategic chokepoints. Chinese leaders have taken decisive and aggressive steps in the last few months to gain an advantage over all the strategic opportunities presented by the rest of the world, and especially the US, amid the Covid-19 crisis. 

A month back, Beijing established two new research stations in the contested South China Sea. At the same time, China has launched a maritime law-enforcement campaign, “Blue Sea 2020,” to run from April 1 to November 30. This has increased the chances of confrontation in the region as the project will target any violation of Chinese laws in sectors such as oil exploration, marine coastal construction, and deep-sea mining.

In the current scenario, this can only be seen as a way to target opposing claimants to territory in the sea and to conduct unlawful “law enforcement” operations in waters claimed by Southeast Asian states such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

China’s belligerent behavior including military maneuvers and large-scale deployment of military assets to the region has increased the chances of serious standoffs with other claimant states as well as raising serious questions over whether the Chinese respect international world order any more. But apart from the South China Sea, they are also creating new strategic chokepoints with the help of technology.  

The 5G revolution

The Internet played an important role in increasing US soft power and public diplomacy in the 20th century. The Americans were the key architects of the system, so much of the standardization or structure of the Internet was determined by them, and the rest of the world had to follow their rules.

US corporations like Google, Amazon and Facebook helped the Americans to control much of the Internet traffic. With the help of this data and the National Security Agency, they built the best surveillance system to protect their world order. 

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