BRI & US punitive measures and Chinese Integrated Strategies | By Dr Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan


BRI & US punitive measures and Chinese Integrated Strategies

It seems that the US government, its establishment and its trans-regional allies have now speeded up their efforts to entangle “Asia’s Century Doctrine” by “encircling” China’s socio-economic rise and supply chains mechanism. The Chinese President Xi Jinping’s project of the century “One Belt & One Road” is under serious attack by the forces of imperialism and modern capitalism through different “punitive” measures.

To further tighten the screw against China, the US President Joe Bidden has signed a series of legislations mainly CHIPS & Science Act, Inflation Reduction Act and Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act (UFLPA) along with sudden increase in the Federal Reserve System policy basic points up to 2 to 2.50% which have created serious socio-economic impact on global supply chain systems, production cycles, V-shaped economic recovery prospects, fiscal and monetary policies and money markets etc..

All these legislative promulgations and fiscal & monetary administrative measures clearly indicate that the US has started some kind of new “corporate holy battle” against China and its allies. Thus CHIP Act has become flashpoint and potential “time bomb” for World War III in the future.

Moreover, the US has been planning to implement its perpetual “China Containment Theory” through its backyard by forming QUAD (United States, Australia, India, and Japan), AUKUS (Australia, UK and US), Indo-Pacific Strategy, Asia Pivotal Policy, military partnerships with South Korea, Japan, India, Australia and many other regional countries and highlighting the strategic importance of a “NATO-Asia” in the Indo-Pacific and South-East Asia all indicate that the US is seriously “worried” about the development of Chinese BRI. It seems that the global movers & shakers have somehow redrafted, redesigned and re-planned the global cheeseboard of power politics which seemingly has been shifted and schemed new military alliances and maritime choking points against China in Indo-Pacific region, Central Asia and South-East Asia.

On the other hand, strangely, the Group of Seven (G7) introduced USD 600 billion in funding by 2027 to deliver transparent and game changing infrastructure projects in developing countries like India mainly to counter China’s BRI. The US has pledged to raise USD 200 billion of the total through grants, federal funds and private investment.

The White House Fact Sheet describes this “Build Back Better World” (B3W) plan as so-called “values-driven, high-standard and transparent infrastructure partnership.” It also prominently alludes to strategic competition with China. Critical analysis reveals that since BRI’s inception, the G7 has expressed concerns about its potential to expand China’s political, economic, technological and military influence at the expense of the West and so-called the rules-based international order. Independent estimations conclude that the B3W cannot compete with China’s lower costs, massive productive channels, and faster timelines. On its part, China has announced plans to develop the “Health Silk Road,” the “Digital Silk Road” and the “Green Silk Road,” its overwhelming focus remains on traditional projects such as ports, roads, dams, railways, power plants, and telecommunication facilities.

The world currently faces a $40 trillion infrastructure gap, a deficit only exacerbated by COVID-19 and slow economic recovery. The world economy relies on human as well as physical infrastructure to connect supply chains and efficiently move goods, people and services. The Chinese BRI has already invested more than US 1 trillion in the numerous infrastructural projects in its member countries.

Moreover, the European Union (EU) unveiled its “Global Gateway” project on December 01, 2021. The project aims to mobilize up to €300 billion in investment between 2021 and 2027 to underpin a lasting global recovery, considering the EU’s partners’ needs and the EU’s interests. The project aims to support infrastructure development around the world which is perceived as a European alternative to China’s BRI. EU Commission President von der Leyen stated that the EU wants to be seen as a reliable and trusted partner in the world and to be appreciated for its democratic values, while explicitly stating that Global Gateway is “a different way to deliver this infrastructure globally“. In most basic terms, the EU wants to replicate the Chinese model, gaining a foothold in new markets through contribution to the infrastructure and enhanced dialogue with many countries.  However, the EU has a long way to go to catch up with China and it must work hard to convince its partners of its own project. It should also be noted that some countries already have a negative perception of the BRI. That could have a leverage effect on the Global Gateway project. But the question surely rests with how the EU calculates them and adapts its subsequent steps.

Apparently, the US has diversified expertise in forming new media hypes and dissemination of false, fake and fictional propaganda against its enemies. In this regard, its government, establishment, policy-makers, trans-regional puppetry journalists, paid economists, cheap NOGs, so-called civil society and sponsored think tanks have been purposefully indulged in promoting and highlighting Chinese BRI as so-called “Debt Trap Strategy”, reflection of Chinese ancient philosophies and extension of the Chinese imperialism resultantly, so-called enslaving the member countries, economies and communities alike. It is absolutely untrue, ineffectual and irreverent. Thus does not have any direct correlation with Chinese BRI.

It seems that the US government and its manipulative politicians have a “Wild Card Entry ” privilege in case of visiting Chinese split-away province Taiwan. First the US Congress Speaker Nancy Pelosi paid a controversial visit to Taipei which proved unfortunately a lethal plenty stroke and afterward, the US Congress five member delegations and now the US Governor visited Taiwan and thus entered into the “game of thrones of titanic” leading towards unconsciously “sudden death destination”.

Now the regional allies of the US are also preparing themselves to enter the deep waters of the Indo-Pacific and have planned to visit Taiwan as a gesture of solidarity and boosting of so-called democracy. Resultantly, the maritime/blue economy worth US$ 5-6 trillion is under stress and going to be marginalized in the days to come. The Chinese Foreign Ministry and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) initiated befitting statements and countermeasures to show firm commitments and professional preparedness to combat any external infringement and aggression.

To conclude, the policy-makers of China should immediately overhaul its regional as well as international policies in terms of successful execution of the BRI projects, flushing out negative impact of the US punitive legal & administrative measures and last but not the least socio-economic realignments, geopolitical readjustments and renewed geostrategic partnerships.

From now onward, China should give more focus to massive social transformation and modernization alike in all the BRI member countries by supporting their education (higher & technical), health, housing, SMEs, micro-financing and tourism sectors which will further strengthen the BRI successful economic and infrastructural journey in the world. Because humans do matter this is also in line with the ancient Chinese philosophies and traditions.

To counter and mitigate the negative effects of the US Chip Act, unilateral global supply chains schemes, Inflation Reduction Act and many more just to contain China’s socio-economic rise, the Chinese policy makers should start thinking to form a “BRI CHIPS Initiative” to counter the economic and technological blackmailing and sanctions of the US and the West. Early implementation of the “BRI Digital Silk Initiative” would be a game changer.

Moreover, joint projects in artificial intelligence technologies should be pursued and implemented in all the BRI member countries which would be a value addition for the science & technological development among the BRI family.

A comprehensive and holistic “BRI Climate Change Initiative” should be initiated as soon as possible which would play a decisive role in the human survival and safety of the productive channels in the BRI member countries. Thus early execution of “BRI Green Silk Initiative” is the need of hour.

Global energy insecurity has already badly disturbed the confidence of economic recovery in the post COVID-19 period. Thus “BRI Energy Market or Bank” may be an effective policy shift.

More focus should be given to the development of “Blue and Green Hydrogen Fuels” and renewables with the option of transfer of technology among the BRI members enabling them to deal with their widening import bills and energy shortages.

Global food insecurity has become one of the main hurdles for world inflation and price hike. A “BRI Food Security Initiative” should be formulated and implemented as soon as possible.

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