THE FUTURE FOR ASIA, AFRICA & EUROPE IS BRI(GHT)
China is creating the most sophisticated transport network ever seen. It will link all major transport hubs from China all the way across Asia to Africa and Europe with a high speed network able to deliver goods at half the duration and cost of other modes of transportation across these distances.
The ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI) will transform the economies of the myriad countries it passes and links to by an interconnectedness never seen since the days of the long gone days of the Silk Road. By road, rail and sea China is gearing up to trade with the world and with this increase in trade will come a seat at many tables, including those where she can have a very agreeable effect in reducing the inherent aggressive instincts of the USA and West in general.
‘As of January 2021, the number of countries that have joined the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with China is 140.’
40 countries are in Sub-Saharan Africa
34 in Europe including 18 countries of the (EU) & Central Asia
25 in East Asia & the Pacific
17 in the Middle East & North Africa
18 in Latin America & the Caribbean
6 countries in South East Asia.’
Though China is building up her trading network to deliver products and receive resources she wants no empire. Her leaders desire no political or cultural control and are uninterested in anything but expanded trading possibilities along with making agreements bringing predictable stability. This desire to seek stability as a constant will, in my view, begin the progress toward an eventual world where war and the enmity that leads to war finally ceases to exist.
Unlike the USA and UK China has no intention to be disruptive or interfering and will not seek to change any system of governance or social norms of these nations as the West most aggressively does in relation to China.
Though the USA and UK in their usual style of competitive aggression wish to build a somewhat similar network of their own done in a mindset that creates adversaries rather than partners. They consider themselves superior, the peak of political and social perfection and that it is their duty to attack other forms of governance, undermine and weaken them to the point of total collapse... and then presumably rebuild them in their own image. Whether you agree or not with their views that so-called western liberal values should be the birthright of every human being I feel that you must surely agree that the path they are on to achieve this will produce enormous chaos if not a third world war. Yet we see them resolute in pursuit of a world where there is only one single mode of governance and one unified, unipolar mode of command under the auspices of the USA.
China has not followed the path hoped for by western political elites. They believed China, when it began to embrace aspects of western capitalism that it would eventually transform itself into a fully capitalist nation mirroring the political systems and social values of the West. Instead China has made a success of incorporating capitalist principles in the market place while retaining planning and social policy controls in the hands of the state. This they call 'Socialism with Chinese Characteristics’ and has proven itself the most successful economic system in the world bringing one hundred Chinese out of abject poverty over the past thirty years alone.
The ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ is already effective in bringing Chinese products in faster times to all nations signed up to the project. In Europe the German ports of Hamburg and Duisburg are major rail hubs for the BRI network. Travel time for trains pulling fifty or more containers from China has been constantly reduced making this mode of delivery much faster and cheaper than by sea.
‘According to the China State Railway Group, a record 12,400 freight-train trips between China and Europe were made in 2020 ... up 50 percent on 2019.
Data shows that this record number of trains transported the equivalent of 1.14 million twenty-foot container units last year, up 56 percent year-on-year.’
The BRI network cannot help but bring China and Europe closer. Its effect in Asia and Africa along with the enormous investment capacity of the Chinese state will bring all nations involved closer together and more able to resist the dubious, strings-attached offers of the West.
During the pandemic China has actively assisted European nations using the BRI network to bring medical supplies speedily and efficiently:
‘The freight trains covered more than 90 cities in over 20 European countries. In total, 76,000 metric tons or 9.31 million units of epidemic prevention and control supplies were delivered from China to Italy, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, Russia, Poland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Belgium.’
China’s new trading network will gradually act to lesson the historical domination of the USA in Europe:
“China is not only eating into preexisting US market share, but also developing economic relations that will define the global market going forward. The reality is China has a decade’s head start on the US in terms of BRI-like activity, and while it is a certainty that China will continue to expand the scope and scale of the BRI, there is no guarantee that Biden would be able to get any competing program off the ground, let alone fund it to the level needed to compete with China.” - Scott Ritter
While the USA and UK have been the hardest hit by the pandemic with the U.S. demonstrating the most devastatingly chaotic response of all, China responded with all the necessary state planning and control in its power to defeat it speedily. This has left China in a position to speedily resume its ascendant economic growth and in the first months of 2021 has seen its GDP rise to 3.5%. The UK, USA and Europe by comparison appear to face an inevitable descent in GDP to a range of negative percentage points.
In addition to the upgrading and construction of land and sea transportation nodes, tracks and roads China is also creating a Digital Silk Road (DSR) from Asia through Africa to Europe. Land and sea cables are being laid.
‘The Mediterranean section of the cable is already being laid, and runs from Egypt to France. The 15,000 kilometer-long cable is expected to go into service later this year.’
‘The DSR has become a significant part of the overall BRI strategy, under which China provides aid, political support and other assistance to recipient states. DSR also provides support to Chinese exporters, including Chinese technology companies such as Huawei. The DSR assistance goes toward improving recipients’ telecommunications networks, artificial intelligence capabilities, cloud computing, e-commerce and mobile payment systems, surveillance technology, smart cities, and other high-tech areas.’
‘Chinese firms are bringing additional benefits to developing countries by establishing training centers and research and development programs to boost cooperation between scientists and engineers in these countries and their Chinese counterparts, and to transfer technical knowledge in areas such as smart cities, artificial intelligence and robotics, and clean energy, among others.’
China is on her way to becoming the world’s chief economic powerhouse much to the dismay of Washington and Whitehall elites who have been desperately seeking to weaken China by any means possible to them from economic sanctions to some of the active propaganda campaigns seen recently such as those regarding the secessionist rioters in Hong Kong to the secessionist terrorists in Xinjiang. The signs clearly point to western elites failing in their endeavors however as China shows no sign whatsoever of being significantly damaged, quite the reverse.
The only result of the sanctions and propaganda campaigns on China have been a new-found rigor in the responses to them by Chinese officials. Patience with the incessant aggression from the West seems to have run out. What were hoped to be partners in a cooperative effort to unify all nations in an effort to establish good trading conditions are now apparently seen clearly as enemies. The USA and its allies have only themselves to blame. The hand of cooperation was very definitely held out by China. By Russia also. But these hands of friendship and cooperation were rejected.
China, along with Russia will continue their infrastructure projects to completion and Europe will be one of the main beneficiaries. China’s BRI and Russia’s ‘Nordstream2‘ pipeline will revolutionize East-West trade and in my view will usher in a much healthier and fundamentally more stable geopolitical landscape. The disruptive, negatively interfering, ever-aggressive and ultra-competitive influence of the USA will gradually reduce neutralizing its malign influence first in Europe and then progressively across the rest of the world.
And this, apart from all the very many other highly beneficial effects brought, is why I say with great confidence that, THE FUTURE FOR ASIA, AFRICA & EUROPE IS BRI(GHT).