It is the year of the Huawei affair, the year when US President Donald Trump’s tariffs bounced off the Chinese economic juggernaut, the year in which the Covid-19 crisis demonstrated that the West does not have all the answers, and the year in which chip blackmail became a fact.
It is a year China will not forget. For all the talk of global rules and level playing fields, it became clear the United States does as it pleases while Europe sits on the sidelines.
For me, as a Euro-Asian sitting in the audience watching the great power game, the West made all the wrong moves, writes Aravinda Korala in the South China Morning Post.
2020 was pivotal moment for China: US falling behind in massive crisis: To explain why I say that, we need to take a step back and understand the backdrop to the great power game that is unfolding. When it comes to geopolitics, GDP is everything.
At a very basic level, it defines what resources a nation has at its disposal that it can devote to defence spending or avoid being blockaded by commercial or military means.
The International Monetary Fund puts China’s purchasing power parity GDP at US$24.2 trillion and the US’ at US$20.8 trillion in 2020.
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That in itself should have been a warning sign. It is like a heavyweight boxer weighing in at 95kg taking on a boxer of 110kg. Of course, weight is not everything, even in boxing, but it should inform one’s tactics.
This power game is not just a single round in 2020. It will continue round after round, for the next 50 years and beyond. Let’s see how the two protagonists will weigh in during the decades to come. PwC has forecast China’s GDP in 2050 will be US$59 trillion and the US’ US$34 trillion.
The point I want to make is that our mythical Western boxer will not be just taking on a heavier boxer each year. It will be a gorilla.
Tariffs and commercial blackmail will not work against an Asia that is six times larger than the West. It would be just as effective as Britain attempting to blackmail the US today with an economy more than six times smaller.
The West needs a different tactic to stay relevant in the decades to come. Holding back China and Asia is not an option. As Kishore Mahbubani writes, now is the “dawn of the Asian century”. Read the full article here.
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