Vice-Rector SWISS UMEF UNIVERSITY
"I predict that it is in Asia where the fate of the
future will be decided." - Tsar Alexander III
Needless to say,
forecasts are extremely difficult to make in international relations,
and all the more so when so many factors are in play. The author
does not have any special information that he could use to forecast
the future. The different miniscenarios are very wide and therefore
any of these could reasonably, or unreasonably, be expected to
Integration or growing together in a Sino-centric world
integration is the path to riches and peace." E Prescott
China uses its massive
wealth to invest in other countries generating wealth and peaceful
sustainable development in a Sino-centric world. This will be
done through the One Belt, One Road initiative that groups two
projects, the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime
Silk Road which aims at integration, on a number of levels, a
large number of countries from Asia to Europe. These projects
replace the International Socialization initiative of President
Central Asia will
be the first beneficiary of the first project and could easily
be integrated as a supplier of energy and food.
Europe has largely
welcomed China's financial presence - it now rates as the fifth
biggest investor with 2014 FDIs of $18 billion. China has signed
an Agriculture Cooperation Plan with the European Union. China
is also interested in the Ukraine as a food supplier. Russia would
welcome investments in the Pacific where China could produce food
and timber to fill its large requirements.
The Silk Road initiative
is backed by a $40 billion fund and the creation of the Asian
Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) of which even the UK has
become a founding member, soon followed by France, Germany and
Italy. This could alleviate the negative perceptions the US has
of the bank.
These two initiatives
are very wide and encompass financial cooperation, increased people-to-people
contacts, infrastructure building, investment facilitation, opening
of economic corridors and trade facilitation.
China's actions go
as far as Latin America where investments in Ecuador and Venezuela
cover the entire energy production process. Africa has also been
a priority zone for Chinese investments with a priority for infrastructure.
The possibility of transferring labor intensive industries to
the black continent has also been suggested.
US remains the first destination of China's overseas investments.
Chinese companies are buying majority shareholdings in US companies
cheaply as the American economy has been underperforming significantly.
This has also led the US to considerably reduce its defense spending.
For the project to
be fully successful, however, China abandons its bullying tactics
in the South China Sea, its aggressive stance towards Japan, the
expansion of its naval power in the Indian Ocean and its rhetoric
about reconquering Taiwan. Territorial disputes with India are
settled. Historical issues leading to tensions with Japan and
the negotiation of an agreement regarding the disputed islands
should also come about.
It changes its historical
narrative to reduce anti-Japanese feelings and above all to increase
the GDP per capita of its population.
It is also more cooperative
with its ethnic minorities to avoid confrontation and gradually
slides towards a fully democratic system.
It should reduce
its military spending that make it appear as an aggressive regional
power looking to become a hegemon and invest time and money to
project a friendlier image to the surrounding countries.
A satisfactory model
is the relations between China and South Korea. This has been
achieved through frequent meetings and discussions at various
China and Japan reach
an agreement on the Senkaku Islands, followed by wider agreements
covering trade and investments, and Japan becomes one of China's
closest allies. A number of events related to the US personnel
on the military bases in Japan, leads to a downgrading of the
relationship between Japan and the US and the latter is asked
to reduce the number of military personnel in the country. Effectively
the US presence in the China Sea becomes irrelevant. Taiwan can
no longer be effectively protected and a referendum approves the
return of Taiwan in the fold of the People's Republic of China.
step in increasing China's contribution to a peaceful development
is the rise of the remimbi - which today is the fifth most used
currency and the second most used in trade finance - as a global
currency. It first needs to become convertible and then become
a reserve currency and part of the IMF's SDR basket.
Chaos ahead: The collapse of the Chinese economy
The ageing population
and the impact of decades of the one-child policy led to a major
impact on labor availability. The country stops being considered
as low labor-cost. The government may open the country to immigration
from the neighboring countries, creating social tensions.
drive amplifies and touches a large number of well-established
senior members of the party that decide to band together. The
president is overthrown. Revolts start in several rural areas
where income inequality with city dwellers is large. Farmers and
workers are reluctant to see corruption gain the upper hand. Social
stability is threatened.
Large tracts of land
are polluted and the rural labor force ages, agricultural production
declines steeply leading to food shortages. Imports of foodstuffs
lead to increased prices and a disruption of the grain market,
exacerbated by a US-imposed reduction on exports to China. China
decides it will no longer support North Korea and a flood of refugees
arrives in the poor eastern provinces.
Water scarcity, already
a problem, grows worse due to the present agricultural plans.
A disaster is only a climatic-wrought drought away.
Pollution is affecting
agricultural production and creating major health problems. Air
pollution is major cities already led to episodes of civil unrest.
A bank collapse is
a clear possibility as the amount of outstanding bad loans is
considerable. This could lead the central bank to sell massive
amounts of dollars, putting enormous pressure on the American
The Uigur minority
revolts in an attempt to secure independence.
Maoists entice the
population to revolt and lead them into a civil war. This grinds
globalization to a halt and creates a surge in inflation.
The collapse of North Korea
North Korea's dictator,
Kim Jong-un is assassinated and rival army factions launch a civil
war. Chaos ensues and large numbers cross into China. The Chinese
army tries to secure the border, but facing total lack of success,
invades North Korea. The South Korean army also receives marching
orders to secure part of the North Korean territories and in particular
the Weapons of Mass Destruction. The two armies clash. US ground
forces and air support back the South Korean army.
Certain army units
that had remained loyal to the Kim clan, led by Kim Jong-Un's
sister, detonate in front of Pohang, South Korea, a nuclear engine
loaded on a ship. There follows a large number of deaths. Simultaneously
a similar deflagration is carried out in a Japanese port with
catastrophic mortality. The average Japanese is reminded of Hiroshima
and Nagasaki. North Korean artillery bombs Seoul, including with
chemical weapons. Sleeping North Korean operatives in South Korea
proceed with assassinations of key figures.
South Korea, having
previously obtained nuclear weapons, reciprocates with the use
of these weapons destroying major North Korean infrastructure.
Japans' Primer Minister
orders Japanese troops to land on the western beaches of North
The NATO allies of
the US are expecting to be requested to provide support but no
such request is forthcoming. The US wants to avoid having China
drawn into the conflict. However, as the US, South Korean and
Japanese troops make deep inroads into North Korea and the troops
of that country put a stiff resistance, China calls urgent meetings
of the Security Council which is simply emitting toothless resolutions.
The Chinese military overtake North Korea and explode a nuclear
bomb over Seoul.
Reviving old enmities
China lands a group
of group of marines on the Senkaku islands. Japan may not back
down on its own claim on the islands and answers to the Chinese
provocation by an important landing of Japanese troops and what
starts as small skirmishes rapidly escalate as both sides provide
air cover to their troops. With obvious Chinese superiority due
to proximity and numbers, Japan asks for military assistance from
China disables a
several important US satellites, causing disarray in communications
among US troops. Chinese ballistic missiles rain on the US bases
in Japan as a preemptive move and North Korea bombs Seoul with
classic artillery and missiles.
Russian troops seize
the opportunity of occupying several northern islands and Hokkaido.
Japanese economy is destroyed and the country suffers millions
of dead civilians.
Gas as mediator
For the US, Russia
can be a potential player in the containment for China. Russia,
while refusing this role, is reluctant to let China's influence
increase even more or to join China in limiting US' role in Asia.
While tensions rise
between China and Japan over the Senkaku islands, and several
incidents take place with planes colliding, Russia's increased
penetration in the Ukraine have led to severe sanctions by the
European Union and the US. An ever larger part of Russian gas
is exported to China, Japan and Korea. A conflict would seriously
impair Russia's exports. Russia therefore successfully acts as
a mediator and President Putin's prestige is enhanced both domestically
or is it?
Several vessels carrying
oil for China are hijacked by pirates in the Malacca Straits.
In spite of denials by the US and Indian governments, China claims
this is a plot against it. A vessel also destined to China explodes
a few hundred miles outside the Hormuz Straits and claims are
made by an as-yet-unknown Uighur liberation movement. A US frigate
was sailing very close to the vessel at the time of the explosion.
An oil tanker bound for China is intercepted by a US vessel, thoroughly
searched and then allowed to proceed to its destination.
Central Asian and
Russian supplies are able to replace the Middle East shortfall
in exchange for further Chinese investments and an even greater
The US closely monitors
the synthetic islands built by China in the South China Sea and
which are claimed to be Chinese territory. Small incidents degenerate
and lead to China attempting to close air and naval space to the
US military. The US sinks a Chinese naval unit and China reciprocates.
Escalation leads to a major conflict. Escalation includes cyber
warfare, space warfare and China is able to keep the US outside
the South China Sea. Both powers refrain from using nuclear weapons
and China is free to continue its regional domination.
Asian Square Dance - Part 1
Asian Square Dance - Part 2:
Asian Square Dance - Part 3:
Asian Square Dance - Part 4: Japan
Asian Square Dance - Part 5: The
Asian Square Dance - Part 6: Russia
Asian Square Dance - Part 7: The
Role of the USA
Asian Square Dance - Part 8: The economy
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