HomeEast AsiaChina's Leadership Position: Under Threat or Government's Lack of Interest?

China’s Leadership Position: Under Threat or Government’s Lack of Interest?

One year ago, an unknown pneumonia-infected disease, now known as coronavirus, broke out in Wuhan, China. When the virus was spreading in China, various countries around the world imposed sanctions on China. Like the US & India set blockades, China’s adversaries & China’s main allies like Russia & North Korea also cut off all contact. Because of this, China was obstructed completely. As a result, China’s economic situation was likely to collapse. But thanks to the Chinese government’s extraordinary leadership, the Covid-19 pandemic was controlled inside less than three months. That’s why China was viewed as an excellent example of pandemic control. This colossal achievement of China helped it to get a place in the leadership seat.

First of all, the USA pulled out its enrollment from the WHO, a tremendous open door for China. Because without the USA, China got the shot to take the lead in controlling the coronavirus from the front.

Besides, China didn’t retaliate but extended a helping hand to all countries by providing masks, PCR machines, PPE & other medical kits. Along these lines, China’s economy keeps on booming quickly. That’s why China got a significant advantage to spread its dominance over the world. But in 2020, China became so engrossed in ‘dirty’ politics that it lost the chance to show its monopoly superiority to the world. Where 2020 was viewed as a massive opportunity for China, China seemed to be losing its case.

When Covid-19 was first identified in Wuhan, Wuhan’s physician Li Wenliang warned the new disease’s authority. But the administration didn’t heed the warning; they rebuked Wenliang for spreading ‘rumours.’ Even the Chinese authority didn’t inform the WHO about the new disease. That’s why Covid-19 has infected around 90 million individuals & about 2 million people have died so far. Due to China’s indifference, Trump mentioned the coronavirus as a ‘Chinese virus’ & a negative attitude towards China is spreading in the Western world. Consequently, the Western world is reluctant to give China a solitary leadership role.

Simultaneously, China’s hatred in South Asia & the Asia-Pacific locale has become a migraine for the USA. Notably, in May 2020, when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the Sino-Indian clash, the USA became very anxious about its ally India. Because China considers the Galway Valley as its property, China continues its raid in Nepal & Bhutan. Even Sri Lanka handed over the Hambantota Port for 99 years to China as Sri Lanka failed to pay its dues. As a result, the Trump administration was concerned about the security of South Asia.

Also, China’s military expansion in the Pacific region is seen as a threat to the US allies Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam. Besides, Australia claimed that China was trying to manipulate Australia’s internal politics by making thousands of fake WeChat accounts to discredit the Australian Prime Minister. Even China was condemned for building intelligence networks at Australian universities. Thus, China’s invasion in South Asia & the Pacific region was seen as browbeating to democracies.

That’s why US President Trump & his Secretary of State Pompeo introduced the ‘Indo-Pacific Strategy’ last year to protect the territory from Chinese hostility. Not only India & South-East Asian countries but also Japan & Australia are involved in this scheme.

It should be noted that the EU had documented a complaint against China to the WTO alleging intellectual property theft. USA, UK, Canada, the EU have often accused the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of stealing information from their technology users. Even the Chinese Constitution empowers the government to steal data from the users. Furthermore, several acts in the Chinese Constitution claim that the Chinese government can receive information from Chinese companies. So it clears that Chinese companies would have to dance to the tunes of the Chinese government. Due to these policies, the US, UK, Australia, Canada & the EU have restricted Huawei in their countries. In 2020, the British government disallowed Huawei’s 5G network construction.

Moreover, China has been trapping several African countries for many years as those African countries could not repay debts to China for China’s development programs. In consequence, China has occupied several seaports & strategic locations in Africa. IR specialists mention it as a ‘debt trap by China.’ So it’s a reflection of China’s desire to become a ‘world dictator.’

One more thing that should be considered that China became embroiled in controversy for another reason in 2020 & that’s ‘Hong Kong National Security Law.’ According to this ordinance, the Chinese administration can send any Hong Kong citizen into jail if they threaten national security. If Hong Kong citizens try to campaign against China or Hong Kong authority online or offline, the authority may invite them lifelong imprisonment. The Chinese government can now declare who’s nationalist & anti-nationalist by evading Hong Kong’s judiciary system. The Chinese government doesn’t allow any freedom of speech in China & Hong Kong because they fear being overthrown from power.

So world leaders are so concerned about Hong Kong’s autonomous status. Because in 1997, the British colony handed over Hong Kong to China & China, ensuring they’d respect Hong Kong’s independent right. But this ‘Security Law’ will abolish Hong Kong’s autonomous status.
In response to China’s action, British PM Boris Johnson affirmed to give asylum to 3 million Hong Kong citizens into their country. Taiwan also announced to welcome Hong Kong’s citizens into their country.

Lastly, nowadays, world leaders are voicing their opposition to the persecution of Uyghurs. For the past decade, the Chinese government has been oppressing more than 1.5 million Uyghurs in concentration camps.

So 2020 might be a huge opportunity for China to assert itself as a supreme power. But its authoritarian attitude has pushed it out of that place. Due to this, the number of enemies of China is increasing day by day.

 

 

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