Unified Chinese Empire
The decades-long Warring States period in ancient China resulted in the formation of the first unified Chinese empire. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has taken note of its imperial roots and harmonized the lessons of American success with those of Chinese history pre-colonialism. Unlike the Warring States period though, modern warfare is not limited to the application of military technology and physical force. The doctrine of unrestricted warfare that modern China has appropriated is a multifaceted strategy of lawfare, economic warfare, network warfare, and cultural warfare. The primary goal of the CCP is to strengthen itself using any means, and as a result, China is taking over the world.
At present, the United States is the world’s largest economy with a GDP of over $20 trillion. By comparison, China’s total GDP grew from $190 billion in 1980 to over $14 trillion today. This unprecedented growth is expected to continue, and by 2050, it is estimated that China’s GDP will equal or surpass the US. But how and why has this growth happened? While much of this growth can be attributed to foreign investment, China’s ambition cannot be understated.
China’s Domestic Trade Law
China protects its corporations by using domestic trade law on the international stage; the arbitrary erecting and dismantling of tariffs; the use of splenetic trade sanctions; and the imposition of embargoes. Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE are the leading suppliers of Internet and telecommunications hardware to countries in Central and Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa. China censors its own citizen’s internet access and this is increasingly spreading internationally. Firstly, the government employs over 1 million bloggers to promote pro-party views and discredit the opposition. Secondly, the government-controlled tech companies require countries that use their technology to censor anti-communist content.
There are many cases of China using national security law and criminal law to retaliate against international economic rivals. Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested and charged with spying in China only days after the CFO of Huawei was detained in Vancouver for violating U.S. law. This political hostage-taking is a transparent manipulation of the law to have the Huawei executive released, thereby guarding China’s business interests.
Corporate espionage is another tool used by the CCP to steal technology and intellectual property. The U.S. Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property reported that the theft of intellectual property costs the American economy up to $300 billion per year. This short-cutting of information technology advances China’s interests at the costs of other nations.
China’s massive economy funds the export of its culture war all over the world. In Japan, the Chinese government-funded Confucius Institute has established financial ties with 15 Japanese universities that allow them to establish cultural centers to promote Chinese culture, with the stipulation that certain aspects of the party dictatorship and history be avoided, such as Tiananmen Square, Tibet, or Taiwan.
Economic influence is key to advancing the CCP political agenda around the world. Developing countries are also included among targets of China’s economic control, and influence over these countries is gained through loans. In 2009 and 2010, China managed to outspend the World Bank in loans to developing countries. A condition for the loans is that the recipient government promotes Chinese interests.
Globalization has irreversibly connected the world’s laws, economies, networks, and cultures. This intricate interconnectedness is fragile and subject to manipulation. There is now no mistake that China has weaponized the law and their economy to manipulate global systems. Gas prices, stock markets, and the media are prime targets for controlling or destabilizing countries until China becomes the dominant superpower.