Kako zavzeti svet brez enega samega strela: Kitajskih neopaznih 10 let, v katerih je prevzela Evrazijo in Afriko

Zgodovinar Alfred McCoy (avtor “The Rise of China (and The Fall of the U.S.?): Tectonic Eruptions in Eurasia Erode America’s Global Power.”) je podal izjemno dober poljudni opis kitajskega načina zavzetja Evrazije. Medtem ko so ZDA po drugi svetovni vojni Evrazijo zasedle z orožjem (z Natom v Evropi in z bilateralnimi sporazumi v Aziji o namestitvi ameriških baz), je Kitajska Evrazijo zavzela brez orožja. V tihih, neopaznih 10 letih (med 2013 in 2023) je s tisoč-milijardnimi investicijami v izgradnjo infrastrukture (z železnico in pristanišči) povezala Azijo, Evropo in Afriko ter jih povezala s trgovino. Kitajska je tista, ki danes nadzira geopolitiko v Evraziji. Kitajska je tista, ki mediira v sporih in jih rešuje. In ne Washington, pač pa Peking je dvor, kamor pridejo tisočletni smrtni sovražniki suniti (S. Arabija) in šiiti (Iran) podpisat “mirovni sporazum”. In Peking je tisti, kamor se pridejo poklonit z namenom delati posel in ne vojne latinskoameriške države (predsednik Lula). In Peking je tisti, kamor se pridejo poklonit evropski voditelji (nemški kancler Scholz in francoski predsednik Macron) in simbolično pokazat, kdo je novi vladar Evrazije. In ne Washington, pač pa Peking je tisti in edini, ki ga priznavata tako Rusija kot Ukrajina, da lahko mediira pri reševanju njunega konflikta. In Peking je tisti, ki bo po neuspehu Rusije in ZDA prevzel Afganistan. Fascinantno je, kako je Kitajska nadigrala ZDA v Afganistanu, ko je Afganistan obkrožila s sporazumi s sosednjimi državami ter izolirala ameriške sile, dokler se te niso raje umaknile, nakar pa po nekaj mesecih vstopila v Afganistan – ne z vojsko, pač pa s trgovinskim sporazumom.

Potrebujete še kak lepši dokaz, kako je Kitajska brez ene same vojaške baze, brez enega samega strela, brez ene same vojaške grožnje postala hegemon več kot polovice sveta? In najbolj fascinantno pri vsem tem je, kako je Kitajska to naredila povsem potiho, brez ene same erupcije, brez enega samega konflikta od tistega dne septembra 2013, ko je kitajski predsednik Xi Jinping na Nazarbayev University v Kazahstanu napovedal “One Belt One Road iniciativo” ter kitajske investicije v potrebno infrastrukturo na tej kopenski in pomorski integraciji Evrope, Azije in Afrike. V teh neopaznih desetih letih je Kitajska prevzela več kot pol sveta.

Nakar se nekega jutra ameriška politična elita zbudi v šoku nenadnega spoznanja, da jim je Kitajska zasedla politično igrišče…

Ameriški način prevlade v Evraziji: NATO v Evropi in bilateralni sporazumi V Aziji

And so, after World War II, when the United States became the world’s great global hegemon, within five years of the start of the Cold War, we had anchored ourselves in Europe through the NATO alliance of, then, a dozen powers, and then, off the Pacific littoral, the eastern antipode of the vast 6,000-mile-wide Eurasian landmass, we began the process of signing, not a multilateral pact like NATO, but basically five bilateral pacts with Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Australia. And that Pacific littoral, that first island chain, became, if you will, the fulcrum of U.S. global power that allowed us to defend one continent — North America — and dominate another: Eurasia.

And during the Cold War, we ringed the Eurasian landmass with three fleets; the six in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, the seventh in the Pacific and Indian Ocean, later the fifth in the Persian Gulf. We arrayed thousands of jet fighters on hundreds of bases to ring the Eurasian landmass, and we effectively dominated that landmass. After the Sino-Soviet split of 1962, the Soviet Union was isolated inside that landmass, and every time they tried to break out, they suffered, usually, reverses until that culminated in that great disaster in Afghanistan, which led to the implosion of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War.

So, during the whole of the Cold War, for the past 75 years, the United States global power has rested upon its dominance over Eurasia through the NATO alliance and those bilateral security pacts along the Pacific littoral. And that remains, even today, the center of global power.

Ameriška usodna napaka: Agitiranje za vključitev Kitajske v WTO

Now, what’s happened is that back in 2001 — at this moment when we were the world’s sole superpower and Washington elites were just absolutely full of themselves, brimming with imperial hubris — they decided that they could bring China on board into the world’s system on America’s terms. And so, bipartisan —Republicans, Democrats alike, all the foreign policy elites — decided that China would be admitted to the World Trade Organization. For the first time, a developing country — a major developing country — got to join this exclusive club of industrial powers who were balancing their trade by swapping, let’s say, American Boeing aircraft or German Mercedes, that sort of stuff, you know? The industrial powers sort of swapping goods and services, and really balancing their trade.

And when China came on board, between 2002 and 2013, they increased their reserves from $200 million — which is pretty small — to an amazing, unprecedented $4 trillion.

Kitajsko zavzetje Evrazije: Trgovina in investicije v infrastrukturo

And then, in 2013, at the apex of foreign exchange resorts, president Xi Jinping stood up in in Kazakhstan and announced something called the Belt and Road Initiative, and said that China was going to spend — which turned out to be over a trillion dollars — to turn the Eurasian landmass into a unified market, stretching from the Baltic Sea all the way to the South China Sea.

And China has, in the last ten years, according to latest figures, expended a little over a trillion dollars in massive development loans. And they’ve done two things: They’ve laid a steel grid across the Eurasian landmass, for the first time actually overcoming that distance, and unifying Europe and Asia. So that, really, we shouldn’t speak of them as separate continents anymore; they were only divided by that great distance in the center. China has filled that distance with a steel grid of pipelines and rail links.

And then, they’ve also ringed the whole world-island — that tricontinental world island of Europe, Asia, and Africa — with 40 ports, stretching from Sri Lanka, around the coast of Africa, and then ringing Europe, all the way from Piraeus in Greece to Hamburg in Germany.

And then, here we have to get almost metaphysical, a little bit mystical, OK? Because everybody talks about geopolitics. You know, you can pick up The Washington Post and New York Times and, probably, in every issue find the word “geopolitics” popping up all over the place. What is geopolitics? What might geopolitics mean? How might geopolitics actually make a difference? What’s the relationship between geographical formations and political events?

And here’s what I think is happening, OK? That geopolitics is kind of like a substrate beneath the visible, tangible surface of events. Now, China has changed the Eurasian politics by investing this trillion dollars and laying down this infrastructure, so that China has an infrastructure for dominance of Eurasia. And then what happens? It’s kind of like the grinding of the tectonic plates beneath the earth’s surface that periodically manifests themselves in earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. When the liquid rock breaks through the earth’s surface and you get an enormous eruption, and then, suddenly, you realize that the tectonic plates are shifting.

Kitajska je spremenila substrat evroazijske geopolitike

Well, that’s what’s happened. China has changed the substrate of Eurasia’s geopolitics. And now, just now, after — It’s only been ten years that China’s been doing this. They started this in 2013, we’re in 2023. It’s [been] ten years. That’s not a long time. But they’ve done it fast, and they’ve done it, actually, pretty well, despite what you might read in the U.S. press about white elephant investments and all the rest.

And so, there are all these manifestations. One was the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021. I mean, what China did was, they ran a geopolitical squeeze play around the U.S. position in Afghanistan. They signed very lucrative development deals with the six countries ringing Afghanistan, particularly Pakistan.

And mind you, how does the U.S. military fight? We have troops on the ground and we have air support. And it’s that combination that’s absolutely central to all U.S. warfighting strategy. No planes, then no soldiers on the ground. And where’d those planes come from? The nearest air base that they could fly from after this geopolitical squeeze play was the Persian Gulf. They had to fly 2,000 miles, which means their ability to loiter over the battlefield and provide close air support was very limited. They could refuel, of course, but it was impossibly inefficient, and it was dangerous for the troops on the ground. And that meant, bang, we had to get out of there as fast as we could.

Kaj bo Kitajska naredila v naslednjih 10 letih?!

So, the way I see that China is going to continue to operate, let’s say, around Taiwan, and let’s put ourselves in historical perspective. This sudden emergence of Chinese power has only been since 2013. It’s only been a decade. The nature of world politics has been transformed in just ten years through this extraordinary Chinese commercial program of, essentially, building infrastructure on three continents: Asia, Europe, and Africa, and they’re also in Latin America very actively as well. And they’ve acquired all this power.

It’s just in the last few months that we’ve seen, if you will, the diplomatic eruptions coming from China’s investment of control over the geopolitical substrate of the Eurasian landmass. They’ve done that in the last ten years. Good heavens! Now that they are the world’s largest economy in purchasing power equity — I have no question about it — and they’re still growing steadily, what might they accomplish in the next ten years?

Vir: The Intercept

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