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China is Taking Over World Trade – America is Falling Back

May 15, 2017
Plain English Version

Chinese workers at a tunnel being created near Vang Vieng, Laos It is part of a $6 billion Chinese rail project that will connect eight Asian countries. Photo credit: courtesy of Adam Dean for The New York Times

China has staked a claim. It wants to be the world’s economic superpower. It is proclaiming that global trade is the wave of the future. It is constructing rail lines and tunnels around the world.

It calls its program “One Belt, One Road.”

China is bringing power plants to Pakistan. It is mapping out train lines from Budapest to Belgrade. These lines will bring Chinese goods into Europe. The goods will flow into Europe through a Chinese-owned port in Greece.

There are hundreds of other Chinese projects in Asia, Africa, and Europe. The purpose of the projects is to forge ties and create new markets.

What is the political strategy behind this approach? China wants to show how they can lead global development. It is about creating strong ties with other countries.

Chinese President Xi wants to use China’s wealth and know-how. He wants a new kind of world trading order. The new order will throw out the old rules of Western nations.

He wants to draw countries and companies into China’s orbit.

Map of One Belt, One Road.

The Chinese are promising to spend more than $1 trillion for future projects. The money will go to more than 60 countries.

The U.S. spent huge amounts of money in Europe after World War II. It was the “Marshall Plan.” It rebuilt Europe and led to agreements and pacts like NATO.

President Obama endorsed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). He said it would make the U.S. the trade leader in the Pacific. Now, the United States is going the other way. President Trump said “No” to the TPP and pulled the U.S. out of the pact.

The President of China spoke. He said, “Pursuing protectionism is just like locking yourself in a dark room.”

There is a global conference coming in Beijing. The President of Russia will be there. The U.S. sent a member of the National Security Council.

Not all bets are on the potential success of China. There always is a big chance of failure in global projects. The Chinese are saying the potential gains outweigh the risks. But no economy is strong enough to ignore what happens in worldwide markets.

China wants acceptance as a great nation. It wants to show its model is better than the governments in the West.

The world is watching. All leaders of all nations, rich or poor, must be wary of inviting China into their backyards.

Source: The New York Times May 13, 2017

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