I AM a patriotic Egyptian and Middle Easterner. It does not matter who we are – Egyptians, Syrians, Pakistanis, Indians, Africans, even Americans – we cannot do what they do. We would have a mountain, an Everest of changes to make, and we would whine and bicker and fail at every one of them.
China’s story since the 1980s has been one of an almost divine metamorphosis. Apart from China, the entire Western world from Alaska to New Zealand has stagnated, while the entire developing world from Brazil to Madagascar has progressed only at a crawl.
China is the mother of all gargantuan bullet trains. It manages to create something new and astonishing every day. And unlike the Western nations that had its turn at being a superpower in the past four centuries, China does not need to run anybody over or take something from somebody else to rise majestically.
China is also standing up to the Western world on her own. The West fears that China is shooting up to the top. They cannot believe their 400-year-old global supremacy is being challenged. They hoped the more China developed, the more it would submit to their influence, interests, and leadership but that did not happen.
The 1500s – 1000s BC were Egypt’s time. Antiquity belonged to the Greeks and Romans. The 1700s belonged to France, and the 1800s to Britain. From 1945 to the present, the world has been under American superiority, which they call Pax Americana.
Now in the twenty-first century, we are witnessing the rise of China. We are decades away from China becoming the greatest power on earth and this will be her time.
China has been attacked by rumours time and time again but none of them has been supported by evidence. In spite of that, China has not been affected by the accusations.
For her first 30 years, from 1949 to 1979, China was basically blockaded and isolated economically and politically. It did not even have a seat in the United Nations General Assembly.
Furthermore, it was poor, having barely a speck of the global economy, a tiny fraction of Japan’s or Germany’s gross domestic product – not even able to prevent famine. Despite being a weaker country, it did not submit to pressures from stronger nations. Why would it do now?
China will be the next global superpower and there is nothing that can deter it. The first step for it to become the world’s largest economy by 2035 is to grow at 4.7% per year. This means the usual, historical
bare minimum of 6% is an overkill.
China can be slapped with as many sanctions and alleged genocide crimes but it adapts to any situation. It took China a mere 10 years to go from being barred by the US Congress from participating in the “International” space station, to building its own space station from the zero. What China has is an invisible national resolve.
While it takes the US five years to renovate a bridge, it takes China just 43 hours. There is no competing with that.
China does not need to be a military superpower or empire. That was never part of the plan, but it will continue to develop.
China is now a better place to live in today than at any time in its previous 5,000 years. Americans saw their highest standard of living in the 1960s. So yes, China will be the next global power.
There will be no limits for us if we can do what the Chinese did.
Imagine a world where the World Court may be headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the World Bank in New Delhi, the United Nations in Jakarta, the International Monetary Fund
A world liberated from the US banking system and the dollar as its reserve currency.
When I hear that China has built its own space station, landed a rover on Mars, ended extreme poverty, built the Earth’s biggest city, dam, telescope, 5G network, highway and air purifier, I feel the same pride as if I were Chinese.
There should be such a thing as developing-country nationalism – a common nationalism for all countries that were colonised. A nationalism for the global South, so we are not divided.
We should be helping and supporting China to keep climbing to the top, and give her some serious solidarity as she withstands Western imperialism. It has been a long 400 years.
China is the first non-Western country to come close to reaching a status of ultimate global importance. There will be something good in this for all us.