Chinese ascendency in the East (a threat to the receding European West)

Confronted with stagnant population and economic growth, a declining work ethic, social disintegration and soaring crime rates, the power of the west is in decline. The two newly emerging giants, China and India with a combined economic output of almost one-third of the United States but achieving near double-digit growth and a population threefold that of the entire West, is steadily replacing the post of the current global superpowers. Economic prosperity is rapidly shifting to Asia, especially China, India, and the other East Asian nations like Japan and the other four Asian tigers (South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan). And the military capability and political supremacy is also following. The European West definitely has to be concerned about the shifting power balance.

Transformation of socio-economic landscape of Asian giants like China and India has moved so fast. Ninety percent of Chinese and more than seventy percent of India are literate today, a dramatic increase within a mere quarter of a century. Moreover, currently 30 percent of India and more than 40 percent of China is categorized as urban dwellers. This figure though smaller in terms of percentage is greater than the total population of the European continent, and these two countries have made their economic take off just recently- a couple of decades ago. Many more millions are added into this figure every year. While Britain and the United States, the core countries contained in the term “West”, took half a century to double its per capita output, the same process took thirty years for Japan and only ten years for China. In addition, China and India combined military capability compose about one-third of world’s total military manpower.

In the age when “Westernization” was credited globally and more or less practiced by virtually all Asian societies in hope of benefiting from the content of modernization which is contained in Westernization, states rallied along with the West generating huge efforts to transform every aspects of their societies to resemble to the West. In contrary, As originally deprived nations in East Asia gained modernity both militarily and economically through sustaining relative social stability, while the West is confronted with successive moral decline (crimes rates, cohabitation, divorce rate, etc), Asian societies have become increasingly stressing the superiority of their cultures over the Western customs and traditions. China itself and almost every Asian society not to mention the Islamic world have been so successful modifying the content of Western liberal principles (democracy plus market-economy) to accommodate Eastern way of life. And, Virtually all newly industrialized states of East Asia have secured economic performance unprecedented in the West and maintained social stability by deploying market-oriented economy under the supervision of a (paternalistic) authoritarian government (Singapore is a very good example). One question arises out of such rapidly developing world-wide phenomenon. Has “Modernization” necessarily brought about “Westernization”?

A major consequence stemming from the newly developing states’ partnership model is that China poses a conceivable threat on the receding Western hegemony. While Indian economic and political performance has to be further assessed in the years to come, formation of “Greater China” is well on the way constituting the single largest threat to the West from China, a great nation severally humiliated and exploited by the British (Westerners) during the colonial era. Moreover, the three smaller, but economically and technologically advanced Chinas containing substantial amount of technology and manufacturing capability, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore have become increasingly oriented toward the mainland as well. Hong Kong has been totally (economically and politically) integrated into China and ties have expanded between the Taiwanese faction and the mainland in the light of Chinese economic reforms. Similarly, early Singaporean (anti-communist) leaders and intellects including Lee Kuam Yue has been contemptuous of Chinese backwardness, however, beginning in the 1980s, as the Chinese economy took a respectable shape, Singapore has become to reorient toward its brotherhood with the mainland as well.

Chinese historically conceive a “Sinic Zone” embracing Korea, Vietnam, and often Japan. In addition, the composition of relatively small but influential Chinese minority in Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, and Myanmar (Burma) is also an important factor shaping the China’s economic landscape and her political dominion. Non-Chinese societies like Vietnam and the two Koreas nonetheless share and cherish China’s confusion culture alienating them from Western Christendom and channeling to desperately subordinate themselves into moving toward coalition with the Dragon (China). For even considerably powerful states like a unified Korea (a possible unification of North and South Korea) and Vietnam, there is no plausible solution alternative to subordination. Consenting on the demands of the increasingly powerful dragon will be a more diligent option to save millions of lives and to avoid a shameful chapter in history.

Eventually, State after state will have to pay tribute to the modern culturally assertive Chinese princes who believe and esteem Confucian culture. The West though still militarily and economically advantaged, can certainly not interfere with to constrain the spread of Chinese ascendency in the region. Iraq is a good example and China is a nuclear state with a veto to emasculate the United Nations’ charter. Moreover, the West always has the tendency resolving conflicts, minor or major going through channels which exclude civilians from military attack. Presumably, the West mutually will have to recognize Chinese expansion considering the potential cost (human cost) of its action. Thus a likely and emerging East Asian new sphere of influence could conceivably drawn centering its focal point in Beijing encompassing all of South China Sea, Taiwan in the east, the Korean peninsula to the south and stretching further south reaching Vietnam and virtually all of Southeast Asia and its seas. Now, the imaginary but rapidly developing shape of sphere of influence preserving a colossal and advanced nuclear arsenal, controlling more than one-third of global population while achieving economic, military, and technological competency parallel to the West will be an inevitable challenge for the West in a few decades.

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