Not far than 10 years ago the inscription on the goods “Made in China” was considered as indicator of poor quality and counterfeit. Nowadays almost every TNC has its own manufacture in China. A lot of luxury brands produce its goods on Chinese factories, machinery producers prefer to pay for a cheap labor of Chinese workers, and some world-renowned corporations now belong to China, for example, Volvo.
China has caught up the United States in economic development. Given the economic expansion rate, it will become the leading economy in the world in the coming years.
While economic rises, ambitions rise too. China is seeking to secure not only its status of rapidly developed country, but status of the state, capable to defend their interests on the world stage. Economic ramp-up has given China the opportunity for further expand and rise its power.
Nowadays the world has entered an era of multipolarity. There are centers of power in every Earth corner and all territories are under the influence of powerful actors of international relations. Simply put, every world economic realm or territory of political influence are already occupied by certain states or groups of superpowers. To let a new player enter this structure, the old one needs to double up or go out at all. Of course, when it comes to income and the world position, the dominant states hold conservative views. However the world is changing and now China aspires to global leadership, challenging none other than the Unıted States.
Another decade – and the US won’t be able to compete with the Chinese economy. Moreover they are not able to live without the Chinese economy now and then. Firstly, because the main US foreign creditor is China, the debt to whom already amounts to 1.3 billion dollars. Secondly, because the whole world enjoys affordable Chinese-made goods and therefore depends on it for consumption.
The issue of competition in the defense sector also can’t be ignored. It is true that now China is underperformed in compare with US or Russia, but its armed forces are steadily growing. As it is well-known, China is not participating in the restrictive agreements, such as the START-3. It allows China to build up their nuclear warheads. The impetus for the technological development of the Chinese defense industry is necessity of leveling the US missile defense system that has been built on the pretext of security guarantees for American allies.
A peculiar demonstration of their ambitions became the building of a Chinese naval base in Djibouti. There is already an American one. This African state with favorable geographical position has become a centre of intersection of geopolitical interests. The China’s motivation in Djibouti is not only in military-strategic gain. They aspire to protect their economic interests, in particular investments in the oil and gas extraction in this region, as well as to have an access to the Africa’s natural resources, exchanging it for financial flows. Military base is an additional insurance.
Now China has become the great ocean-power and a leader in the APR, whither global economic powerhouses are shifting rapidly. “New Silk Road”, coupled with the influence in the region and its expansion outward, the cooperation within the SCO, that will transform from the economic integration to collaboration on international security soon, increasing defense industry and nuclear capabilities – all of these makes China a serious threat for NATO, well-known hegemon of the world order.