Opinion: Coronavirus Has Sown the Seeds of the Third World War
The genesis of the present conflict lies in 1971 when the United States facilitated the entry of China into the United Nations Security Council as a permanent member with veto power. This was followed by the visit of Richard Nixon to China in 1972 and that led to the groundwork of close cooperation with the Chinese. The impetus of the American leadership to get closer to China was because of an irrational fear of the Soviet Union. The American think tank assumed that China could be used as a bulwark against the Soviet Union and at the same time China with its vast market could be an excellent field for American goods.
The Americans turned a blind eye to China copying American goods and circumventing patent laws. The Chinese also did reverse engineering on the goods supplied by America and produced their cheaper versions. With American corporations looking to China to bail them out, trade between the two nations went up to a whopping $680 billion. A point that was overlooked was that there was a trade deficit of $500 billion in favor of China.
The Americans with their fabled sense of business, however, failed to gauge the Chinese mind which believed in setting right the wrongs of the 18th and 19th centuries when the opium wars and exploitation by the western powers and Japan, reduced it to an important power. The Chinese communist party, in particular, nursed a grouse against the United States for supporting the Kuomintang regime of General Chiang Kai Shek. At the back of their mind was that the USA had kept them out of the United Nations and the Security Council for over two decades as it propped up the regime in Taiwan.
China was anxious to assert its power in the world stage. The Chinese have a lot of pride in their civilization which is many centuries older than anything the West has. They also believe that they are the "middle kingdom" and the center of the world and it was always on the cards that China would make attempts to take leadership of the world by displacing the United States.
Coinciding with the rise of Communist China the West European colonial powers France, England, and Spain became shadows with the loss of their empires within a matter of half a decade. The British Empire collapsed within two years of the end of World War II.
Over the decades the West European powers with their declining population and low birth rate and no colonies to support them decided that China was their best bet, not only to outsource their manufacturing activities but also for trade. This was like playing into the mouth of the Dragon.
The American think tank also assumed that China could be trusted and made equal partners in trade and commerce. They also gave a free hand to China in the South China Sea as well as colonize Tibet and suppress the Muslim Uighur movement in Sinkiang.
The Chinese think tank was extremely clever and they went about undermining the US presidency. No wonder that the American president Donald Trump at the height of the coronavirus crisis praised President Xi and people began to wonder what is the background to it. Partly this could be because the United States wanted to maintain friendly relations with China as equals. China also reportedly gave 26 patents of various products to the daughter of the American president Ivanka Trump. She obviously would have made a pile of money.
China is intent on replacing the United States and this coronavirus has given it the biggest chance. The western world has now realized their mistake and would like to backtrack but all their eggs are in the Chinese basket and their economies are almost busted. This is, in my opinion, the start of the Third World War. We normally associated war with the firing of guns and movement of tanks and armor but this war is biological and psychological and the Chinese have been preparing for it for a long time.
China Ruptures the West Economy
There are a lot of theories doing the rounds as to how coronavirus spread. The Chinese are past masters in the art of deception. Initially, they spread the word that the virus spread from the wet markets of Wuhan. Later some of their scientists came out with a theory that it had emanated from bats. The Chinese failed to bring to the notice of the world that they had a laboratory running in Wuhan which was experimenting with biological warfare. The virus escaped from this lab. We do not know how this happened because the request by the Americans to ask for a joint investigation into the causes of the virus spread in Wuhan has been rejected by China. What we do know is that once the virus spread in China the Chinese quickly clamped down on it but at the same time they never informed anybody else in the world and allowed the business to go on as usual. The result was that millions of Chinese traveled abroad to Europe and America and they were the harbingers of this virus.
The Chinese were well aware that the coronavirus is an extremely infectious disease and yet they allowed their citizens to travel freely to the World. One can only conclude that this was part of their strategy and later on they began to give help to the very nations they had infected but the damage had been done and the first round had been won by China.
The result of a war is normally the destruction of the economy of the nation. The First World War ended in the economic death of Germany codified by the Treaty of Versailles. The Second World War led to the destruction of Japan and the Third Reich.
In this case, the economies of the Western countries of Europe have been almost destroyed and America is standing unsteadily. The loss suffered by the West European powers runs into billions of dollars. In addition, over a hundred thousand Europeans have died without a shot having been fired. Unemployment and strain on their economy have devastated these countries.
The United States has over 22 million unemployed in a population of 325 million and one can gauge the devastating effect it has had. Trade and commerce are greatly affected and the American political leadership is wondering whether they should open up trade and commerce even before the virus has been eradicated or allow things to lumbar along and set the USA back by at least two decades. They are faced with the enigma of Hamlet, "to be or not to be." Either way, the path is fraught with danger.
The Chinese were able to achieve this without firing a bullet. The western world has only given a muted response and many of the West European nations are scared to make any statement against China. Even the US president who was earlier parroting words like "China virus" and "Wuhan virus" has not used the terminology for quite some time.
Alistair MacLean wrote a famous novel titled "Fear is the key." One can sense this in the approach of the Western powers to China. They are aware that China is economically and militarily strong and they will be wondering how to counter the Dragon.
The Last Word
Does it mean that China will become the number one power in the world and the Western powers led by the USA will be subservient to China? The West european powers don't have much to look forward to because they neither have the resources nor the younger lot of workers to sustain their economy. The United States is a different ball game and historically the Americans have always been resilient and hardheaded when it comes to their survival.
In mathematics, we have the theory of probability which states that for any particular action there are many solutions. In fact there can be infinite solutions for a problem. Keeping this in mind the Chinese solution may not give them victory if the United States can rally under a astute leader and take the help of countries that are inimical to China like India and Japan. In the world of power politics, these two countries are the only two nations along with the USA that can collar the Chinese.
China has it's Achilles Heal in Tibet, Sinkiang, Hong Kong, and Formosa. In addition, the Chinese state while paying lip service to Marxism is nothing but a dictatorship with all its negative concepts. It is a totalitarian state and we are aware of the history that such states invariably implode from inside.
The United States has to bite the bullet and forget about short-term economic gains from China and look to the bigger picture to confront China for its perfidy. Trusting the Chinese for anything at this juncture and later on will be suicide. The Chinese will make any number of promises to try to get the world off its back but this is where leaders will have to come in.
It is a difficult task and can mean great economic hardship. In case the West does not have the stomach to face economic hardship then the Chinese will have a field day and there is no guarantee that another decade later they infect the world with something else. The Third World War is now effectively a war in the laboratory and one will have to wait and see how things pan out in the future.