Binay Kumar Singh | 22 Sep, 2020
Two viruses have taken over the world. One, a minuscule creature called
Covid-19, has killed more than 8,00,000 people around the globe, but is
slowing down and will most likely be eliminated in the coming months.
Vaccines have already been developed against it and once inoculated,
citizens of the world can expect to go on with their normal lives.
However, it is the second virus, that of Chinese imperialism, which
poses a long term and a much more potent and incurable threat to the
world at large.
China's shadow looms large over the world.
Not only geopolitically, but also in the economic and cultural realms,
the Chinese are attempting to remake the world as per their conception
of a master-serf relationship. Though in international relations,
politics, economics and culture are interrelated, it is important to
discuss them separately in order to bring out the nuances of Chinese
The age of colonisation and imperialism ended for
good in the wake of the breakup and reordering of the international
order. This order was based on liberal principles of free trade, respect
for international law, prevalence of democratic norms and a security
architecture underlined by the presence of two superpowers. Intra and
inter country disputes did happen but they were generally localised at
best or limited to particular regions.
It is only with the entry
of China on the world stage in force that global disruptions have
started to manifest themselves brutally. The 2008 financial crisis
decimated economies of the West and the East Asian Tigers but China
emerged unscathed, riding on the success of its impervious wall which
prevented (and still prevents) foreign investments unless approved by
the Big Brother Xi. China by then had established mass manufacturing
bases in major parts of the country and unimpeded by human rights or
basic minimum wages, yoked its population to work tirelessly. The end
result: China now mass produces everything from a needle to an airplane.
This has enabled it to dump its produce on other countries
initially through the pretensions of free trade (now censored by the
WTO) and later through the mega-ambitious Belt and Road Initiative
(BRI). BRI has been used by China to weasel its way through national
sovereignties like a hot knife through butter. Pakistan and Sri Lanka
are best examples of what international observers euphemistically call
"Debt Trap Diplomacy" but in reality is a gross usurpation of national
China's tentacles, unlike Covid-19's, reach far and
wide. In fact, Europe faces a double whammy of being repeatedly hit by
the coronavirus and China almost simultaneously. With access to the
Piraeus port of Greece, China has already started dumping products of
all kinds in the European Common Market system. Italy's untimely
submission to Covid-19 was also made possible due to its proximity to
the Chinese trading system. After all, Covid-19 and China have become
synonymous with each other. In terms of politics, China has undertaken a
multi-pronged attack across international borders of many countries.
has been the first to bear the brunt of Chinese Janus-faced policies of
illegal aggression on one hand, while calling for normalisation of
trade and other relations on the other. However India is not the only
one. The US faces a challenge of another kind. There is a real threat of
China's disinformation campaign affecting the outcome of the US
elections in November.
China's Thousand Talents Program has
already ensured massive theft of data and exclusive technology from the
US, the latest being Zhengdong Cheng of College Station, Texas who has
been charged with making false statements and hiding his affiliations to
the PLA. With Taiwan, China is playing the waiting game, pushing its
ships and jets closer to the island nation with every passing week under
the garb of exercises. Hong Kong for all matters has stopped existing
as an autonomous region with only its nomenclature remaining unchanged.
has also been active on the cultural front. The various China Study or
Culture Centres opened in a number of countries act as both espionage
and propaganda centres. There is a proactive effort to disseminate Xi
Jinping Thought, a constricting ideology that aims to cement the Chinese
President as the centre of China's absurdist and all-encompassing
The number of mushrooming Confucius Institutes all
over the world teach everything but Confucian values. They are a front
to propagate Chinese communist ideology under the facade of an
educational institution and are now being investigated by a number of
governments for their links to "The Party". Chinese Students
Associations have also been implicated in a number of countries to
stifle criticism of Tibet and Xinjiang by expatriate Chinese students
through use of violence and coercion.
Covid-19 is something that
will ultimately have a cure. As it is, its lethality is very limited.
However, the bigger virus of Chinese Communist Party keeps growing
potent everyday and to counter it, the entire world needs to come
together. The vaccination to get rid of the Chinese communist virus,
though much more painful than the Covid-19 affliction, will have to be
(Binay Kumar Singh is a columnist and researcher. Views expressed are personal)