In this article, you will learn the most crucial reason why you should care more about China and cannot afford to ignore the country
Becoming aware of the obvious
To create a feeling for you of why you should care about China and get a certain understanding of the country, I published an article called Five reasons why you should care about China not long ago.
Living in China for the past months and studying further content about history and future developments of both China and the globe, I have realized that there is actually a sixth important reason that people should care about. While elaborating on this reason, I couldn’t believe it didn’t come into my mind in the first place. Not only is it very obvious, but perhaps also the most crucial issue among all of the five.
So, what is it that you held back, Eric? It’s global peace and stability, of course. From a historical point of view, you can say that we maybe never had a safer world than now: There’s no global war, all developed countries are far away from having civil wars, and despite undeniable tensions among many powers, it is unlikely that things escalate in a way that would cause millions of deaths – scenarios that were all common throughout the past centuries.
Living in peace has never been a human right
Nevertheless, who guarantees the current status? Well, primarily those countries with an above-average influence on trade and economy, those nations with vast armies and powerful weapons, and of course those who are involved in military affairs and geopolitical tensions already. And guess what, China fits into all of the three categories.
This is not the only important aspect, however. The world is changing rapidly. You have, on the one hand, many conflicts like in the Middle East where it looks like many countries and ethnic groups hate each other more than ever, and on the other hand, you have parts in the world like Africa that have to cope with enormous population growths. To give an example, by the end of this century, five of the world's ten largest cities will be in Africa (compared to only one right now).
Many people in these regions already left their homes due to poverty or war. Most target destinations for refugees such as Europe did a miserable job in integrating them, but even if this had been more successful, it is not a solution for everyone.
Western foreign aid campaigns are relatively inefficient as well due to poor resource allocation. It is assumed that only around 10-20% of the money spent reaches the people that are really in the need of it.
Walking different paths
China has a different approach. For years, the country actively tries to develop other emerging and developing parts in the world by lending money to them as well as providing knowledge and strategic guidance. So instead of donating financial capital, they invest it. Needless to say, this first and foremost happens because of a certain self-interest and to receive some kind of return. Many fruitful collaborations and projects suggest that a lot of these measurements do indeed help the economies though, and anyway, the questions is, what is the alternative?
Without adequate support from outside (from more developed nations), many countries will surely not be able to keep up with the rapid population growth in the next decades including all related economic, social, and infrastructure challenges which they will face.
China is not a port for refugees like Europe or America as it has to handle its own issues first. Though, it provides lots of education opportunities for many young Africans, Arabians, and other people all around the globe - many of them under scholarships. As a consequence, more Africans are studying in China than in the U.K. and U.S. combined.
Hence, China is a vital puzzle piece when it comes to a controlled rise in the developing world. Just like the EU and America, China will never do this without gaining its own advantages; that is just how the game works. However, what China always does is to think long-term.
China has ambitions plans to integrate Africa, the Middle East, and West Asia sustainably into a global system (partly through the Belt and Road Initiative). While other nations try to keep Africa small for a good reason, China is keener on developing them and simultaneously slices off a decent piece of this growing pie.
The same happened in many places in the Middle East, by the way, where until today the focus is mostly on fighting against terrorism instead of developing the countries.
Keeping peace through China's philosophy
Last but not least, we must see China not only as a major source for creating stability but also for ensuring it. More negative phrased, China itself could be a possible threat to global peace eventually.
China is involved in a lot of tensions globally. The most recent ones are the trade dispute with the U.S. and conflicts in the East China and South China Sea. If China would act very short-term oriented, make rash decisions, or react too emotionally, we might already experience a real trade war and a sharp economic downturn, which has not been the case so far, fortunately.
I’m certainly not claiming that China is an innocent lamb, and everything they do is ethically correct and moral. Yet, I know enough about Chinese and their Confucius-based philosophy of solving problems, to be not afraid at all of any inconsiderate steps which might endanger global peace.
I’m going to talk about Chinese attitude and mentality in another blog post, but for now, let’s adhere that China, unlike most other global powers, has basically never started any war outside of the own borders or is known for violent approaches overseas. This is why I am also very sure that China will not act as another world police or dangerously intervene in foreign affairs with dramatic consequences.
Do you agree with my view of China's role to ensure global peace, or do you want to add anything? Please let me know in the comments down below.
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