The year 2021 was the year China broke the glass ceiling of Anglosphere’s scaremongering myth of the “China Threat” and opened the eyes of the world, and in particular the Third World, to the nouvelle superpower’s constructive intentions amid the crisis of the global pandemic as China’s pushed for development and trade over Big Power politics and war.
As reported by the midyear 2021 survey of PUBlicus Asia, one of the Philippines’ most reliable survey groups, Filipino popular perception of China shifted from the previous decade’s negativity to an openness of 53% to China as a friend. Conversely, the Europe-based Democracy Perception Index (DPI) of 2021 showed that the US (44 points) is seen as a greater threat to democracy than China (38 points).
Five global initiatives by China, each of which we will describe in this article, which were addressed specifically to the developoing and under-developed countries, led to the successful breakthrough, leading to the final goal of China, the building of a “Community of Shared Future for Mankind”, a prosperous future for its people and the world.
Today, China is embraced as friend and mentor for all.
Vax Humanitarianism led the way
In the lingering crises from the Covid-19 pandemic China continued to lead the world, towards hope and progress, assuring the less privileged nations of vaccine supplies and economic opportunities, even as the global economy struggled to cope.
After the first quarter of 2020 China after containing the pandemic internally, China geared for massive assistance to the world by way of production and distribution of vaccines. President Xi Jinping May that year announced China’s vaccines as a “global public good” and donated $ 2-billion to WHO to help other countries.
China established the “Health Silk Road”, which I prefer to call the “Life and Health Silk Road” for it also saved lives, supplying in the early periods of the pandemic everything from medical mask to PPEs, face shields to ventilators, to countries East and West.
This was followed by vaccines donations and “global public good” deliveries numbering to billions of doses.
China extended its “socialist” ideology beyond its borders with what’s good for mankind at heart, unlike the profit-motive of the West.
China’s vaccines relied on tried and tested “inactivated virus” methods with ambient temperature storage for transportability for limited third world facilities, and technology more adaptable against emerging virus variants.
Tracking China’s vaccine donations is not easy as they number to hundreds of millions of doses going to 120 countries, but in ASEAN up to 150-million doses have been donated while Africa has reportedly received up to 21-million donated doses.
Over and above the vaccine deliveries are the vaccine joint venture productions being set up, uniting the third world with China. China’s vaccine humanitarianism has convinced the underdevelopment countries and the rest of the world of its vision of a “Community of Shared Future for Mankind”.
China leads the Global economic recovery
In the first pandemic year of 2020 when all the Western developed and leading economies all fell into negative growth rate, China continued to register a 2.8% growth rate in the midst of the global economic meltdown.
But in the first three quarters of 2021 China’s GDP expanded 9.8% while the world’s largest economy, the US, 2.1 percent.
Last year, trade between China and Africa increased by 40.5 percent year-on-year in the first seven months, valued at a record high of USD 139.1 billion in the face of the crisis brought about by the pandemic. This sustained Africa’s growth enough for it to prepare for a full-blown revival in the year ahead, 2022.
In Latin America, the greatest dynamism is seen in trade with China, in 2021 the annual variation in the value of regional exports to China is 35% whereas that figure within the region of Latin America and the Caribbean is 33%.
Its shipments to the European Union and the United States are seen growing by 23% by 19% respectively.
ASEAN trade with China grew by nearly 40 percent in the first six months exceeding 410-billion U.S. Dollars making it again the largest trading partner of the region.
This performance is expected to shoot up even higher as the largest ever trading bloc the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) takes off on January 2, 2022.
China’s support to Third World countries, particularly Asian and ASEAN, is boosted by the annual China International Import Expo (CIIE) where Chia invites exporters from hundreds of countries to offer good for China to imports. Hundreds of billions of deals are closed in this event, where China pledged to buy $ 22-trillion of goods in the next decade.
China’s economic vibrance is assured by the effectiveness of its political and economic governance tested over a hundred years of the CPC’s successes, 71-years of governance since the founding of the People’s Republic and 66-years of promise of development and liberation in the 1955 Bandung Conference and delivered to the Third World today.
China and the Third world’s cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative to push forward global prosperity and peace withstood the challenge of the Covid-19 crisis, it has nowhere else to go but forward and upward in the decades to come.
Belt and Road amidst pandemic
Despite the tremendous burden of the pandemic all works under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proceeded without let up.
In the Philippines the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge was completed and opened in July 2021, while the Intramuros-Binondo Bridge suffered a slight delay and will open in the first quarter of 2022. Dozens of other projects continue apace.
The China-Laos Railway opened in December 2021 linking landlocked Laos to the vast China market and eventually to Singapore in the south. In Bangladesh the Padma rail-road bridge is nearing completion while Phase-II of Pakistan’s Karakoram Highway was declared one of the best projects in the world the past year by U.S. Engineering News.
To help Afghanistan China has made special chartered freight to resume the flow of pine nuts to China reviving incomes of Afghans, while in Sri Lankan progress in the Colombo Port City and Hambantota projects is reported by the ADB thus, “Sri Lanka’s GDP Growth Projected to Rebound Amid Pandemic and Vaccination”.
In Latin America and the Caribbean China has continued with its BRI talks have reach eight cooperation and entrepreneurial agreements involving animal husbandry, minerals, automobiles and medical equipment valued at nearly $ 1.1-billion. From 2005 to the present China has funded 138 projects totaling $ 94-billion and creating 600,000 jobs for locals.
While China aims to become a first world economy by 2049 the rest of the Third World is certainly looking forward to be part of China’s journey to that goal and progressing along the way with China.
“Whole Process Democracy” gains traction
The world systems of governance and political ideologies were put to the test in 2021. China’s system of democracy it calls the “whole process democracy” proved itself superior to previous models that have touted themselves as the only true democracies but have failed to deliver during the most crucial year of 2021.
Ironically, it is in the year that the so-called “show window” of democracy, as the US called a “Summit for Democracy”, that China proved its “People’s Democracy” is the more perfect system of governance “for the people, by the people and of the people” because it truly delivers democratic satisfaction to its citizens.
We cited the DPI in our opening paragraph reporting global perception of the US as a greater threat to Democracy than any other country. The same survey cited China’s citizens rating its government’s Covid-19 response at an astounding 95% satisfaction. The World Average is 70% and France at 46% on the same color map and graph range as the US.
January 6, 2021 saw a coup try in the United States over as the US is torn apart now amidst fears of “civil war” as expressed by three US retired generals. The European think tank International IDEA (Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance) described US democracy as “backsliding” and Time magazine called Biden’s democracy summit as “the height of hypocrisy”.
WATCH: What primarily is wrong with the West?
The Summit for Democracy called by President Biden to highlight American democracy against China’s system only succeeding in displaying the confusion and incoherence of US Liberal Democracy while reinforcing the success of China democratic governance. Like another US project to insult China, the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, it just backfired.
The final feather on the 2021 cap for Mankind’s unity and harmony is the final vindication of China and the global community’s triumph in holding the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics which cynical forces hoped to besmirch by announcing an international boycott of the event over patently false allegations.
Affirming China’s credibility and Human Rights standing in the eyes of the international community, 173 countries called for a “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal” and enjoining all to observe an Olympic Truce for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, defying the boycott call of the U.S.
The February Beijing Olympics sets the tone for 2022 as international friendship, cooperation and harmony triumphed over politics, division and prejudice. Seven countries or so, some half-heartedly, joined the US boycott that had been reduced to only a “diplomatic boycott” but seemingly withdrawn as some US officials eventually applied for visas to attend.
President Xi Jinping in his 2022 New Year’s Eve message stated that China will “… spare no effort to present a great Games to the world. The world is turning its eyes to China, ad China is ready.” Indeed, the world has witnessed in 2021 how ready China is to lead the world as an equal partner and as a brother to the Third World aspiring to become “moderately prosperous” as China is today.
Indeed, the Third World has witnessed the sincerity and capability of China to help build the “Community of Shared Future for Mankind” from here on and succeed by the middle of the 21st Century. ###