The Rise of China

China is maybe the biggest ”threat” to the Anglo-Saxon unipolar world order, it has a rapidly growing economy, over one billion citizens, huge potential, but modest technology. 

History shows us that the Chinese civilization is one of the oldest and greatest, we should all know, for example, that the printing press was invented by Bi Sheng around 1040, not by Johannes Gutenberg who created his machine some 400 years later. This advancement gave China the opportunity to become a truly modern state, why this did not happen as expected could be the subject of another article. Nevertheless culture and knowledge now were far more easily transmitted and expanded.

The voyages of Zheng He, seven to be more exact, were conducted by huge fleets of large vessels, some of them being junks. The greatest of this ships was the Treasure Ship (Chinese: 宝船 / baochuan), which had a length of 126 meters and 52 meter wide, by comparison, the ship Christopher Columbus used to reach the New World was 17 meters long. Officially, he went as far as Hormuz, but because of the destruction of the records of his last two voyages, considered the longest there are speculations that he went past the Cape of Good Hope. With ships of that size I am convinced he even got to East Africa but I am puzzle why he did not go further. The huge fleet he had at his disposal was everything an explorer wanted. There are speculations that the maps Columbus had of the "Americas" before even setting sail were of Chinese origin.

These are two details about China I felt were needed to be mentioned, the first which sustains evolution and knowledge, think of it as earth, and the second being a tree, that if planted in a fertile ground will flourish. Discovering the globe and establishing trade posts and colonies was proved productive. Well, things do not seem to have evolved this way because in the 19th century China was on its way to destruction. The 20th century even more, was a time of great social and political changes, you can read more about this here and here and soon more articles to come.

But what about the present? Well, the keyboard I use to write this article is ”Made in China”, everything is made there, even my IKEA table and my iPod. This is nothing new to any of you I am sure. The reality is that they produce all that we in the West consume, and the West excels at this kind of activity. China is fueling its own development with our money. This is not really a bad thing, unlike countries like UK, France, Spain and Portugal that in the Age of Discovery used to practice slavery everywhere they went (more or less), the Chinese actually work for their future.

There is a phrase that says much: ”China's peaceful development" used by Hu Jintao, at the Boao Forum in 2004. If we look at a world map we see America and all of her allies (Anglo-Saxon world order) and we see her enemies (the ones that appose this order), well, China is with neither. It has its own way of becoming a global power, at least this is the official propaganda, the truth is China is following the American example and by this I mean it tries not to get into trouble while it develops internally. Before the Second World War, the United States had a non-interventionist policy.

As I said in the beginning, it has the potential to become a world power, even a solar system power, being the third country that sent a man in space (Yang Liwei on 15 October 2003) with its own technology. Recently America chose to step out of the manned spacefaring nations "club", leaving it all to the private sector, while the Russians still enjoy what the Soviet Union left them (Soyuz, Progress). There is plenty of room for others and personally I am very curious of what PRC will achieve in this field. 

"Carrying out space programs is not aimed at sending humans into space per se, but instead at enabling humans to work in space normally, also preparing for the future exploration of Mars and Saturn."
 Qi Faren, CAS Academician

Recently, the Chinese and Russians started a little dispute, the Shenyang J-15 which resembles (copies) the Sukhoi Su-33 is built using "home made" radars and weapons. Trying to shorten their period of transition, the Chinese adopt tactics of espionage, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. The only problem for the Russians, especially, is that they may end up losing money competing with the cheaper J-15.

We are left with the most important thing, actual living conditions. Hu Jintao came up with the idea of a "Harmonious Society" in 2005, and I would personally like to see it implemented in Europe as well. The main ideas are that developments in the economy most be seen in the life of all people, in fact the reason economy must grow is for developments in the way of life and in society overall. In a Harmonious Society, people at all levels respect each other, there are improvements in education and healthcare.

1 comment:

Alexandra said...

I read your article and my opinion is that all this things you share with us has to be understand through the type of civilizations and ways to communicate with the world. I remember a movie I once saw The last Emperor and I was surprised to discover the real interest of Chinese people to know other country and respect their habits. I only want to suggest that this nation never tried to rule outside his territory. Like Americans,Spanish, English, French and Portuguese who never stop to be interested about the world around them in a negative ways and always tried to prove that they are the only good nation like power (political,economic and social) and culture.China is in my mind a silent mass of people that have been ruled through century in the name of social differences that couldn't been past because they inherited them. Maybe today they think otherwise, but they still have an enormous respect for all people that are better than them. In all others culture man fight to be at his best and he don't give a shit about his social class, is a fact that means nothing when a men wants everything.