"The emerging nations of the world or the Global South are all energized by China’s Belt and Road Initiative."
“You know you’re winning when you’re being copied,” writer Robin Sharma says. And we who are watching the US and the G7 meet and discuss should take a cue from their emulation or intent to copy China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). That's China’s program of land-sea-telecommunication infrastructure development across the Eurasian continent towards Africa and Latin American through ASEAN and the Pacific back to China.
The emerging nations of the world or the Global South are all energized by China’s BRI which has led many African leaders to enthusiastically endorse China in Africa’s present and future – to the chagrin and envy of the U.S. that now under President Joe Biden seeks to copy the multi-trillion dollars program of China, with a big “BUT” – but with the help of the G7 and its private sector funds in a public-private “Blue Dot” (as dubbed by Biden) version of China’s BRI.
The U.S. understands that it is hard to find the wherewithal to match China’s resources (foreign reserves now grown to $ 3.2-trillion), but neither does the E.U. with its languishing post-Covid-19 economies. Biden is actually turning to Japan and South Korea which are both part of the BRI and its financing arm AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) and unlikely to embrace the notion with gusto.
This copying of China’s BRI was a central event in the recent G7 Summit held in Cornwall, England led by President Biden and graced by Queen Elizabeth at its opening. The summit tackled other issues as the 15% minimum unified tax among G7 countries to undercut tax havens, eliminate “forced labor” in supply chains (targeting imagined violations of China), fight ransomware and combat corruption, but the China issue was the elephant in the room.
Biden also revived the Zombie issue of the COVID-19 virus origins, obviously taking aim at China again. Though it’s an entirely futile revival of the Wuhan lab-leak theory as Biden himself killed the Trump-Pompeo investigation into the Wuhan lab-leak allegation. In May 2021 Robert Hart reported in Forbes magazine describing the probe as “suspicious as hell”, but ghosts in the FBI have apparently pushed for the revival based on unsubstantiated “intelligence.”
The WHO mission representing 196 member countries that visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), the Wuhan market and other suspected sources, concluded that the man-made and lab-leak theory as “extremely unlikely. Then, French biosecurity expert Gabriel Gras who supervised the construction and accreditation of the French-funded WIV facility, publicly asserted that there was “zero percent” chance of a leak from the BSL-4 (level 4 security) laboratory.
All allegations of the U.S. and the West against China have never been proven with any shred of evidence. There is no forced labor in any part of China’s industries that the U.S. can show - in Xinjiang, solar panel production, or anywhere. There was never a million in so-called Xinjiang concentration camps nor concentration camps at all. Hong Kong today is better than ever before the new National Security Law and Taiwan secure so long as it does not declare separation.
It’s not that China will ever succumb to such nefarious pressures of the U.S. but that the U.S. can hope and dream such outlandish plots and schemes that reflect the psychosis of the American Way. We can look at all the desperation attempts of the U.S. to rally its allies around baseless accusations and allegations against China and be amused, but the U.S. does carry a big stick and has a record of using it even against its own good – and may take the world down while doing it.
What the world is seeing and what we Filipinos are observing is that China is winning the “strategic competition” between the two, and China can rest assured that, as another saying goes which I paraphrase, “The U.S. can copy all it wants, but it will always be one step behind.” That is the advantage of the early starter.
The U.S. may try to copy China but can no longer copy the spirit with which China forged its partnership with nations of the Global South and the World - the spirit of building a “Community of Shared Future for Mankind”. Only a socialist orientation can imagine such a future for the world community, a notion alien to any profit-mongering ultra-capitalist nation.
(Herman Tiu Laurel is an author, writer and founder of the Phil-BRICS Strategic Studies think tank. He conducts “Power Thinks” with Ka Mentong Laurel and guests - Every Wednesday 6pm Live on Global Talk News Radio [GTNR] on Facebook and Talk News TV on YouTube; and Every Sunday 8 to 10am on RP1 738 on your AM radio dial.)