“May you live in interesting times” is an ironic Chinese saying that’s appreciated by another saying, “Better to be a dog in times of tranquillity than a human in times of chaos!” And against that background, the moves by China to match the US-dominated financial institutions formed after WWII – the IMF and the World Bank are interesting indeed!! Now what exactly, Dear Reader, did you think the Chinese were doing when they launched their Belt and Road Initiative (B&RI) a decade ago?? Just connecting dots on a world map that were really cities??
Naaah!! You gotta remember – even if the Yanks pretend, they don’t! – that for the last four decades they’ve transferred all their vaunted manufacturing capabilities to China!! Now you’d think if the Yanks were smart, they’d know they were building up a country they’d fought against in 1950 – the Korean War. But they probably figured that just as the Germans and Japs became allies after they were rebuilt by them, the Chinese would follow suit!! They didn’t appreciate that China wasn’t Germany or Japan – they had a different ideology – communism – which GUARANTEED they’d eventually triumph. When you combine that belief with their millennia-old one that they were the “Middle Kingdon” around which the world revolves, you know something was gonna hit the fan soon enough!!
And hit it did, when the Yanks’ capitalist drive for profits ended up with China stocking their Walmarts – but insidiously made them end up with TRILLIONS of dollars and euros as debt from the US and the West!! What to do with all of that?? Well…use it to win friends and influence nations by offering cheap loans without the botheration of the IMF and WB to set “conditionalities”!! And not only that…the Chinese didn’t just lend these countries in Africa, Latin America – and even Europe! – money, but actually stepped up to the plate to create all the infrastructure and other projects lusted after to be modern!!
And before you could say “Mao Zedong”, the entire globe was wrapped by Chinese projects in the B&RI that China could use to ship in its manufactured goods!! And these countries now owed China not just the loans that had to be repaid – but a debt of gratitude that they didn’t have to jump through humiliating IMF and WB hoops!!
Now, finally, America realises from Athens and Sparta’s experience that their hegemony’s gonna be challenged any day now by China to be #1!! So it’s been trying to put together strategic alliances to contain the Chinese Dragon with its vision of becoming the globally pivotal Middle Kingdom once again!! But as the US is frantically creating alliances to counter the Chinese – like the QUAD, the Chinese haven’t been sleeping.
…US Black perspective
One area of American politics we Guyanese don’t appreciate enough – even though half our population live there – is the role of ethnic caucuses. The Americans have always openly accepted that when folks vote, they’re gonna be influenced by their identity. Makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, if other people deal with you along particular lines, you gotta respond likewise!! So we got the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) in the US Democratic Party. While the Republican Tea Party has now morphed into a rabid supremacist far-right party for Whites!
And here’s where these state legislators from the US come from. They’ve come on their “fact-finding mission” from a Black vs White paradigm. They’ve been totally weaned for all of their political careers to look at politics through lenses that hone in on issues from a Black American perspective. They’ve no idea of the nuances of dealing with a society in which the representatives were actually RUNNING THE COUNTRY for decades after independence – and had oppressed others!!
So, the PNC’s Central Executive meeting was convened and is over. And lo and behold there were no fireworks!! You gotta hand it to Aubrey to be able to get all those egos under one roof without any explosion!!