There has been unprecedented outrage in India against China since the Galwan Valley skirmish in the remote Ladakh region of the Himalayas. But the protests all over the country to boycott Chinese products are not unique to India.
As I write this piece, more than a dozen countries are directly or indirectly demanding to cut off all trade ties with China. US Senator Rick Scott recently appealed that “no one in America should buy products made in communist China.” While India banned 59 Chinese apps, the US Defence Department declared 20 top Chinese companies, including Huawei and Hikvision, to have links to the Chinese military.
Just a few days ago, Australian Prime MInister Scott Morrison had said that his government and institutions were being targeted by ongoing sophisticated state-based cyber hacks covering ‘all levels of government’ as well as ‘industry, political organizations, education, health, defense manufacturers, government contractors and critical infrastructure and accounting firms’.
Meanwhile, China launched a new security law that would dramatically curtailHong Kong’s civil liberties, giving Beijing sweeping powers over Hong Kong security law.
China’s relationship with the world has changed dramatically since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan resulting in human lives and global economies being ravaged.
Since then China has been in panic mode attacking every neighboring country and threatening others.
On January 20 this year, Indonesia’s military said that Chinese coast guard vessels and fishing boats had left disputed waters in the western reaches of the South China Sea. Jakarta summoned China’s ambassador after the coast guard and fishing boats entered waters around the northern Natuna islands, where Indonesia has established an exclusive economic zone.
On March 31, China rammed a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship: the incident is the second in March to involve a Chinese fishing vessel in a collision.
Earlier, Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration reported that one of its vessels was struck by a Chinese fishing boat in the waters off the Kinmen islands.
China has been criticised for using civilian fishing vessels as ‘maritime militia’ to exercise administrative rights by fishing and conducting other activities in disputed waters. Territorial claimant states in the South China Sea, for instance, face illegal fishing activities by Chinese fishing vessels in their claimed waters regularly.
On April 4, Vietnam protested Beijing's sinking of the South China Sea boat. A week later, on April 12, Taiwan said that the Chinese carrier group drilled close to the island.
A Chinese naval flotilla, led by the country’s first aircraft carrier, passed by the eastern and southern coasts of Taiwan aimed at training for an invasion of Taiwan.
Soon, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang dropped the word ‘peaceful’ from the usual phrasing which was ‘peaceful reunification with Taiwan’.
On April 17, Chinese and Malaysian ships in the South China Sea were engaged in an extended standoff. On April 22, the Philippines protested against China’s declaration that a Manila-claimed region in the disputed South China Sea is Chinese territory, and its aiming of weapons control radar at a Filipino naval ship.
On May 10, Australia raised concerns over China imposing punitive trade measures on Canberra for daring to ask for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19. On May 31, in Hong Kong, China threatened businesses and workers using fear and pressure to drum up support for its increasingly hardline stance in the Asian financial capital, threatening its status as a global business centre.
Why is the world’s most populous country, that was emerging as the undisputed superpower, so desperate to assert itself? Why would China go on the offensive with so many countries and on so many fronts that it would eventually become unmanageable for it to fight so many battles alone? What’s wrong with the CCP’s line of thinking?
The answer lies in China’s hyper growth causing the nation to spin out of control of its leaders. China has become a ticking time bomb, facing many wars within, triggered by a number of internal ticking economic and demographic tinderboxes that threaten to bring on that which the Chinese people fear most -- ‘chaos’ or ‘luan’.
Today, the number of protests and riots in China has risen to nearly 100,000 annually.
The Chinese countryside has become a slave labour camp and dumping ground for every imaginable pollutant. The rural peasantry is being sucked dry by corrupt government tax collectors.
Corrupt local government officials seize land on behalf of developers, pocket the monies that are supposed to compensate villagers, and then enlist local gangsters to quell protests.
In big cities, unpaid construction workers leap to their deaths, protesting for their wages that go callously unpaid. Meanwhile, on China’s western grasslands, ethnic separatist tensions continue to smoulder over the ongoing ‘Han-ification’ of the mostly Muslim population along the western frontier.
Most alarmingly, China’s people are getting old faster than it is getting rich. China is now facing a pension crisis. China is also a nation getting increasingly sick. Environmental pollution serves as a deadly catalyst for an explosion of myriad cancers and an epidemic of respiratory and heart diseases. Adding to these extreme pressures is an HIV/AIDS epidemic that may soon become the worst in the world.
This epidemic began with the most scurrilous HIV/AIDS blood donor scandal on the planet.
It is being rapidly fueled by rampant intravenous drug use, a late-blooming 1960s-style sexual revolution and the explosive reemergence of China’s once-infamous flesh trade.
On top of all these ticking bombs, China is at odds with the entire world. It has been blamed for letting the coronavirus spread globally by misinforming the planet and for causing over half a million deaths and pushing economies into an abyss sparking off a hunger pandemic.
Chinese goods are lying at various ports. Supplies have exceeded demand. Now, coronavirus has erupted in Beijing, shutting down the commercial capital.
Mildly put, China is in big trouble. It is quite possible that it is following Sun Tzu’s maxim from The Art of War, “Appear weak, when strong and appear strong, when weak.” No wonder, it is asserting itself by showing off strength in the sea, on land and in cyberspace, while actually being weak inside.
Today, the ambitious, egotistical and totalitarian CCP (Communist Party of China) is attacking the free world. The CCP has become the political incarnation of the deadly coronavirus, infecting the world with illegal trade practices, arm twisting smaller nations, debt -- a.k.a death -- traps and sinister imperialist ambition.
Soon, the world will have to do what the protestors in Hong Kong are doing: before the CCP becomes the existential risk for humanity. Period.
Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri is an award-winning filmmaker and a bestselling author. He tweets at @vivekagnihotri
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