China’s Overshadowing Profile in the East
China’s economic growth is a chance for Xi Jinping to showcase his “China Dream.” Unfortunately, Beijing’s aggressive, imperialist-expansionist foreign policy has illuminated persisting fears about its real intentions.
The “Belt and road” initiative, President Xi’s grand vision, is seeing hundreds of billions of Chinese dollars spent on railways, ports, power stations and other infrastructure to buy friends in faraway places.
Indeed, Beijing is making use of geo-economic, geo-political, cultural, geographical and even military instruments to realize its goals. Despite these efforts, President Xi has not yet succeeded in removing suspicions about China’s real intentions as the world still thinks China is suffering from Middle Kingdom Complex.
President Xi distrusts not only his rivals to whom he has shunted out through selective purges but also those of China’s fast-emerging, smart phone-wielding middle class. He seems determined to tighten control over Chinese society, through enhancing the state’s powers of surveillance and consequent control, and to keep the commanding heights of the economy firmly under the party’s thumb. Human rights is also an area of concern for China watchers. There has been an alarming rise of human rights violations under President Xi’s watch.
President Xi is also making efforts to project China as an unprecedented military power throughout the region and beyond. He has already opened Chinese first military base in Djibouti and has also sent the country’s navy on maneuvers ever farther afield towards NATO’s doorstep in the Baltic Sea alongside Russia’s fleet.
Although China preaches that it will never invade other countries to impose its will, yet its continuing base-building efforts particularly in the East are meant exclusively to expand its clout and hegemony throughout Asia and beyond, under an ostensible cover of providing support to peacekeeping, anti-piracy and humanitarian missions or as defensive operations.