Cold War 2.0 By James Reed

     Welcome to the new Cold War, with China now taking the place of the USSR:

“It’s the world’s second largest economy in nominal GDP and, with 1.4 billion people, the most populous nation. It boasts the world’s largest military force with 2.2 million active personnel and another 510,000 in reserve. It has financially colonised much of the South Pacific, central Asia and Africa. Now it is buying influence in Europe, with heavy investments in Greece, including ownership of the port of Piraeus. China is home to the world’s most extensive expressways and high-speed railways. There are 298 airlines and 235 airports. According to Credit Suisse, for the first time there are more rich people in China than in the US. Of the world’s wealthiest 10 per cent, 100 million are Chinese, 99 million are American. China is also home to 12 of the 100 largest companies in the world. Yet the UN still recognises China as a “developing” country. At the World Trade Organisation, it enjoys the same “special and differential treatment” as Zimbabwe and Haiti. Naturally, Beijing sees no reason to give up this self-declared status, claiming the preferential treatment it enjoys is a “fundamental right”. Commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng recently -described China as the “largest developing country in the world”. That it certainly is. The WTO does not define a developed or developing country. Nor does it provide benchmarks or guidance. This is left entirely to the discretion of -individual members.

In February, the US tabled a proposal to determine if a country is developed or developing. It pushed for a framework to cut back on special treatment for self-designated countries. Unsurprisingly, the proposal was rejected. While it provides just 8 per cent of the UN budget, Beijing’s power and influence is disproportionate to this. Chinese officials run four of the UN’s 15 specialised agencies. Washington, which contributes three times more than China and, more than 185 member states combined, leads just one. Because of its “developing nation” status, China avoids the economy-destroying emissions reduction targets guilt-ridden Western countries adopted in Paris. A self-effacing President Xi Jinping was quick to downplay this incredible gift, saying Beijing would cut its “emissions intensity” by 60 to 65 per cent by 2030. Presenting himself as a model global citizen, Xi said China would be guided in its efforts to facilitate the Paris Agreement by “a future of win-win co-operation, with each country contributing to the best of its ability; a future of the rule of law, fairness and justice; and a future of inclusiveness, mutual learning and common development”. Appearing virtuous is what counts. So when “developing” China, refreshingly distinct from the ugly “developed” West, signalled that by 2030 it intended to construct between 300 and 500 coal-fired power plants, it barely raised a murmur, notwithstanding that it renders the Paris global emissions targets practically unachievable. No complaints either when, in addition to new coal-fired power stations and the 3000 coalmines it already operates, China announced it is funding 17 more mines. As Premier Li Keqiang disarmingly admits, coal is “the most dirty energy”, but then again: “Given our country’s bounty of coal resources … (we should) promote the safe, green extraction of coal and the development of clean and efficient coal.” In its determination to keep China’s economy competitive, Beijing is also refusing to approve wind and solar power projects unless they can compete with coal. This decision has seen new investment in renewable energy drop 39 per cent. To the ever-pragmatic Chinese, it must seem wryly amusing watching ever-gullible Western governments impoverishing themselves with subsidised renewables manufactured in China.” Why then, if the world’s biggest “polluter” is so clearly dismissive of the “climate emergency”, do global grandstanders such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Greta Thunberg and Greenpeace continue to direct their hostility at the West? Why isn’t Extinction Rebellion disrupting traffic in Tiananmen Square?”

     China has been given a dream run, and allowed to rise because of the self-destructive nature of the West, best seen in the malignant Left. All of the above inconsistencies arise from the Left giving special exemption to communist entities. Human rights issues that would sink the West in guilt, becomes simply water off a duck’s back with China. Concentration camps? Organ harvesting? The Left will close their shell-like ears to this.



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Tuesday, 16 July 2024

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