A new superpower | By Imtiaz Rafi Butt

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A new superpower


THERE is one fact that is being unanimously accepted by statesmen, researchers, historians and academicians alike that the Old World Order is over in its entirety. The end of the Second World War marked the rise of the United States of America.

Many Western Democracies became satellites of this new power. The United States of America emerged as a leader of the Free Democratic and Capitalistic World.

In the aftermath of the war, even religion took sides as the Vatican announced the new era as Pax-Americana, or simply the Peace of America, similar to the Pax-Romanum, the peace of the Holy Roman Empire ordained by God.

Further, Vatican even announced that all Europeans who believe in Communism were ex-communicated from the Church.

The United Kingdom resumed and renewed its relationship with the United Statesman and became a pawn in the game of American dominance.

The Americans unveiled the Cold War on Communist nations, which eventually destroyed the Soviet Union and for a time there was a uni-polar superpower of the World, the Old World Order as of today.

From the 80s, 90s and the 2000s, the Americans touched the peak of their economic and national power.

The Americans remained at the top even after disasters like Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan invasions.

During this time, the world was in shift and China revived itself under the banner of the previously defeated Communist philosophy.

The Chinese were able to the mix the ideas of Confucius and Sun Tzu and entered the world stage with their own version of One Party Social Communist Rule. In a matter of two decades, the tables have been turned.

China is set to surpass the previously World Order under the United States but there are other emerging powers as well.
The most striking element of rise of China is its policy of non-interference and non-violence.

From a perspective of history, it can be observed that China has a long history of internal warfare and destruction.

Many Chinese dynasties remained at war with one another for hundreds of years and kept the progress of China as a whole at a halt. Now, under the unification of the Central Communist Party, that element has been taken care of. But still, China is averse to violence and warfare.

In the language of Sun Tzu, the writer of the famous book “Art of War”, the great General only wages war when he is sure of victory and the best victory is one which is accomplished even without any battle taking place at all.

This is the heart of the Chinese expansion policy. They have raised millions out of poverty and established themselves as a centre of power without waging excessive wars, unlike many other nations in the past who took risk of war and violence to acquire wealth and resources.

China has successfully implemented a multitude of five year plans which have continued in regular progression.

But still a doubt exists, with the risk aversion and policy of non-interference and non-violence, can China continue on the path to World domination with a peaceful mindset? The answer lies in the global issues around the world and in the comparison of soft power versus hard power.

The Americans have had a steady rise of power but it is now in clear decline. With the presidency of Donald Trump, the world came to know that the United States is no longer fit to lead.

The Trump presidency showed the Americans are now far right radicals. They practiced the worst form of protectionism and took a step back from peace, security and freedom for the world.

Climate change took the deepest hit when Washington engaged the top Climate Change deniers in the Pentagon.

Trump thought that there is no such thing as Climate Change and profit is all that matters. The United States became the Divided States of America as White Christian Supremacists took hold.

Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims and other immigrants are being treated in ways that does not befit a modern democracy. The effects are far reaching and will surely destabilize the source of power of the White House.

America is no longer the champion of Democracy and freedom and supports nations like Israel out of irrational decisions.

It must be kept in mind that Israel is actively violating United Nations Security Council Resolutions and Human Rights of the Palestinians.

The Americans have turned a blind eye to their own guiding principles that made them a superpower in the first place.

In the fallout of this recession from power, European nations like Germany, United Kingdom and Italy are already looking towards the Chinese-Russian bloc to save their economies through bi-lateral ties.

Europe is no longer a satellite of the United States and it is expected that in future, more nations will join the league.

Nations like India and Turkey are also making solid progress worthy of notice. India is a leader in terms of population but it is, like the United States, deeply divided. Segregated into languages, classes, sects and most notably around religion.

The Narendra Modi Government believes in divisive politics and it is one of the major reasons why India will never emerge as a superpower or even a regional power.

India is still under the influence of the West. It considers the United States and United Kingdom to be its role model. A mindset of slavery and colonialism prevails.

India has not been able to uniformly develop its policies and nationalism. On the contrary, India is plagued with post-colonial hurdles and divisive politics that will hamper its path to dominance.

India only possesses soft power through its culture and population and market potential but has little hard power. As a comparable case, Turkey is making the right choices. It has consolidated its national institutions.

It has solved the complication of military versus democracy rule. The new Government under Erdogan has improved the economy, expanded diplomatic ties and fostered nationalism across social sectors, a strategy that is sure to pay off in multiple facets.

Americans can basically be referred to as businessmen of geopolitics. For them, even warfare is business.

Profit drives the whole nation but in stark contrast, China believes in collective gains. And with this collective approach, it has managed to beat the capitalists of the world at their own game.

China has successfully leveraged its size and population by buying resources from around the world, processing those resources with cheap labour and producing finished products to be sold across the globe.

It is now a force that cannot be denied. Soft power of China has been growing steadily but now China is exercising hard power as well.

It responded aggressively to threats from India in Ladakh, it has deployed sizeable forces in Pacific waters to counter US influence, and has taken a hard strategy to counter moves against it in the United Nations regarding Taiwan and Hong Kong.

China is an excellent example of balanced response and weighted reactions, unlike the disastrous decisions taken by the United States, think of Iraq invasion of 2003 and attacking Afghanistan in 2001, both of them causing huge losses and shame for the White House.

China in its entire rise to power has not committed any such miscalculations. The New World Order and a new Super power is at the doorstep of the world.

Many nations are in the race for domination and increasing their influence, China is in the lead, the United States is in decline and India is struggling to keep up, but in all these geopolitical games, perhaps the answer lies in the dignity of human existence and progress for all.

It can only be hoped that the new Super power of the world will rise to dominance with collective progress in its vision and humanist agendas rather than mutually assured destruction at the cost of greed, wealth and an empty lust for power.

—The writer is Chairman, Jinnah Rafi Foundation, based in Lahore.

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