One belt one road which is also known the 21st century maritime Silk Road is one of the strategic roads that has been developed and adapted by China through an infrastructure to develop and investment in countries in Europe, Africa and Asia. The project includes a bunch of networks to tie China with many trade zones around the world, finding market for marketing its commodities as well as put its political, diplomatic and economic hegemony around the world, particularly, from the USA hegemony area. China has recently kicked off some moves toward Middle-East including delivering financial aid and economic cooperation for those countries that they have faced economic crisis. Chinese company is now playing a crucial role from the different economic sectors in the Middle-East. Furthermore, They try to get Iran’s natural gas and its oil as Iran has been faced by the USA sanctions once again.
To fully understand the China-USA conflict, China as an Eastern power, the USA as a Western power, we try to examine the different scopes and dimensions of the conflict throughout a theoretical framework. Therefore, we concentrate on Core-Periphery theory or North-South divide theory which Willy Brandt has developed the theory to describe the world as a two dissimilar part. He has politically and economically classified the world into two different parts, the North which is colored in blue and the South which is colored by red.
The North-South divide is broadly considered a socio-economic and political divide. Generally, definitions of the Global North include the Europe, United States, Canada, developed countries of Asia like Four Asian Tigers, (Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan) as well as Australia and New Zealand. The Global South is made up of Latin America, Africa and developing Asia including the Middle East. The North is home to all the members of the G8 and to four of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. Willy Brandt was the first one who has composed this theory, he was the German Chancellor during 1980s simultaneously was head of Social-Democratic party. He argues that the North has put its influence on the South due to their Capitalism system while the South has a dependent/rentier economic system, Hence, China as a part of South hemisphere and the USA as a North part will rival and confront each other on political position, identity, economic capability, geopolitics and hegemony through the world.
The weakening of principles of New World Order
The US has emerged as a super power after collapsing USSR and Cold War which International political system has also turned into unipolarism. The USA has been a major actor since re-shaped the elements of the World Order based on New World Order pillars. Today, China endeavor to weaken the foundations of the New World Order and play a leading role and become a major actor shoulder to shoulder the USA to expand its presence around the world, particularly, in the Middle-East. The USA has entirely understood what the China does and wants even the US administration indicated a new war or conflict form named New Cold War which has referred to China/New economic and technological power as a big threat on both the USA and international political system.
Some US officials have previously indicated those threats that China is seriously putting on the US, its security as well as its position. Donald Trump referred a new phase of conflicts among actors in the latest US national security strategy report; Trump also accused both Russia and China to re-shape the elements of New World Order amid rivaling the USA. Reviving two powers like Russia and China is a new era to reproduce power and rebalance power, regionally and internationally because Russia and China are not only attempt to put their political and economic hegemony but also want to become a major actor from the international political community.
However China is seriously trying to play a major role from international community but meanwhile has faced many challenges above all its authoritarian political system which has been a great barrier in front of China’s role or to obtain its political & strategic goals internationally. China’s political system is day to day stepping toward totalitarianism than democratic path. Political freedoms, civil rights and other basic freedoms have completely been deprived by the Chinese government. International organizations are always criticizing on the situation of human rights in China and they also put pressure on China to provide fundamental rights for the people of China. In general, China has now totally ignored the political development, handing over of power peacefully, developing democracy and human rights as well as has no any intention to develop the democracy. On the other hand, China has socially faced imbalance between male and female due to lack of women resulted a decision which dates back to 1979/every family must have a single child therefore China now needs 60 million female to make balance on its social gender. Thus, the decision has recently removed but the time is too late to recover China as they have been suffering gender imbalance since 1980s. This is a challenge which has socially disabled the social ability and social identity of China.
China wants to take the opportunity from weakening of New World Order elements so as to rival and play a role shoulder to shoulder the USA. They attempt to become a core and decision center around the world. Additionally, Barack Obama and some US officials have already announced that the USA will no longer capable to lead the world a lone, They stated that the USA will not defend New World Order as much as possible and the international system should turn into bi-polarism or multi-polarism. The international system has now somehow stepped toward bi-polarism system as China has now become a leading power from technology and has strengthened its military structure and invented many modern military equipment like, advanced see fighter, jets, drones, hydrogen bombs and nuclear bombs as well. Furthermore, China military expenditure is now lessor than the USA but China has not stopped to rival the USA through its advanced military structure and tools.
After 2008 global financial crisis, the USA faced a tough crisis which has damaged its capitalism and liberalism system. China took this opportunity to take advantage and started investment by billion dollars in the different places around the world to put its economic and political hegemony and its vision, beside that China attempt to play a role like financial institutions (IMF, World Band and World Trade Organization) and give financial aids to the countries particularly for the Middle-East countries. Although, there is no any military clash between China and the USA at the moment but China despite its challenges and opportunities, is continually endeavoring to rival and run race against the USA to earn a position and hegemony in international political system then, turn the system from unipolarism into bi- or multi-polarism.