The vacuum left by America’s leadership crisis has been filled, but not by Europe. Power has shifted to the east, and now China is stepping up to the plate in a big way. In a world where western free market ideology has become tarnished and mean, China’s economic imperialism is eagerly welcomed.
Make no mistake, Russia still has command of massive resources, but its technology seems rooted in the industrial age; an economic minnow, left stranded by the tsunami of digital tech sweeping the globe.
With markets measured in billions of consumers, China’s innovators in the fields of machine intelligence, robotics and nanotech have disrupted more than telecoms, ecommerce and global financial systems.
Perhaps because they came late to the game, and could afford to reject all legacy thinking, while exponentially scaling the best of the rest of the world’s advances, Chinese techno heroes like Jack Ma have become global icons like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
President Xi, the new serene emperor, dispenses aid, influence and access with equal aplomb, to all those who wish to expand international cooperation. One Belt, One Road is merely one manifestation of the ancient philosophy that guides his ambitions: a ‘mandate of heaven’ to have a world of harmony and prosperity, with China at the center.
And neighbouring India is the perfect partner in this endeavour. With an equally large population adopting middle class values and absorbing new products and services, and a youthful, entrepreneurial labour force to carry the wave forward.
A wave that will reach to the furthest corners of the seven seas.