There is now question that the US and China have been fierce rivals, especially in the past 10 years. The recent outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has made it clear that changes in the global economy will give Beijing a clear advantage as it exposes the weaknesses in Western Liberal Democracies vs Command Economies. The recent comments from a Chinese diplomat, “China is hear and its time has come” was perfectly timed.
China is stepping in and filling the gaps in its economy – replacing the export sectors with domestic sectors. Now the US has faded away from the global management business and with challenges in the US economy and the weight of the coronavirus, China is happy to step up and enjoy some leadership positions – China has arrived.
As China expands its influence in the South China Sea, it is now seeing overlapping territorial claims with Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and Philippines. These countries are now being challenged with an historical claim by China – the Nine Dash Line – which captures much of the South China Sea. China is now expanding land on islands, building airfields and submarine bases to ensure it can control these islands and project power around the world.
China also claims this area is it drilling there is profitable for mineral resources and 5.2 trillion dollars of trade each year – all flowing past the South China Sea. This trade route impacts Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and 30 other countries from Europe to the US and Asia. Now China is expanding its territory and is a clear challenge to the US in the region.