By Ankit Shah
The countries with whom you trade are your real allies. The West has been foolishly enriching brutal regimes by allowing free trade benefits. Globalization should not pivot on profits; it has to pivot on democratic values. Every life in the West mattered until 2000 AD. One death of a citizen by a foreign action evoked heavy response. With millions of deaths by Covid19 staring in its face, the complacent West is unable to make any apparent punitive moves on China’s CCP. What Globalization does in the long term is that your population gets hooked on cheap foreign imports and your capitalists fall for the profit-making possibilities in foreign markets. You basically become dependent as a country. The West has little clue how communist forces function and the weapons they use against a democracy.
India’s jaw-breaking Response
The only country that is able to stand up to China at borders is India. And the reason is clear. Despite allowing a good amount of trade benefits to China, India has not allowed the CCP to creep into its sensitive spectrum of operations. Besides the exemplary fight at Galwan, Indians took a lead in the World by banning a host of Chinese applications.
Through applications like Tiktok, China has access to a massive less-literate population of the country which can be mobilized into believing any anti-government fake information and play havoc. Imagine what one lac mis-guided crowd per city can do. Imagine the marketing asset pool China can create with the emotional – social profiling of such a big population size of what they like, feel, prefer and think. The ability to talk to the enemy’s population directly, by-passing the enemy’s leadership is a lethal weapon of information warfare. India plugged a major part of that loop-hole. The ban had everything to do with security rather than just money.
How do Chinese companies work as Weapons?
China has a very unique corruption-growth model because the state handles the resources. This means that the CCP rushes to release all the factors of production to the private players at the earliest to take a cut in profits. So, there is no “Private” Chinese company in that literal sense. But this helps to push tremendous growth. Whereas in other countries, the officers restrain approvals and licenses for bribe and corruption, while these private players additionally have to fend for themselves to arrange the factors of production. This slows down the growth.
Applications like Wechat has no equivalent replacement anywhere. With over a billion-plus users worldwide, it can do everything one can imagine. From hiring a cab, calling, texting, shopping, buying movie tickets to hiring a hotel room, make or receive payments to transferring money. While the CCP bans all foreign technology within China, it has freedom to roam everywhere else. No country has the benefits of the principle of reciprocity with China on any count, be it diplomacy or trade.
According to the Chinese laws, the companies are supposed to turn in all and any user and company data as and when demanded. The CCP creeps in communication channels through applications like a spy, with literally all businesses in indirect control. Applications like Wechat has all user approvals on sign up of turning on cameras, microphones, tracking locations, copying address book data and so on and so forth. The latest detained victim who died was the first whistleblower of Covid19, the Wuhan doctor who used Wechat to try to warn us all. From jailing Tibetans who used Wechat for wishing happy birthday to the Dalai Lama to keeping a tab on anyone and everyone who use Chinese applications, these are official weapons of suppression and manipulation. The global flow of communication and transaction are under serious threat. What an irony that the Huawei 5G internet was supposed to be brought to you by the World’s worst censorship of internet freedom.
Why is the West unable to Act?
The Corporate elites line up to oppose any decisions to stand strong against the CCP. Apple would lose a huge chunk of China market if applications like Wechat are banned. Google is alleged to have gone so far as to design a surveillance oriented and highly censored search engine format for China. Imagine the dangers of western corporate elites bringing back communism home if they achieve a political nexus in the western governance. These agents of Beijing are sitting in democracies lobbying hard for the CCP. Companies like MetLife, Goldman Sachs, Walmart, Disney, Morgan Stanley, Intel, Proctor & Gamble, Ford and many others are known to have objections to the forthcoming economic actions against China. Believe it or not, democracies are known to have been led and directed to operate to the tunes of Capitalist elites through the pockets of the lawmakers.
It’s time that the World follows the Ancient India model of economic setup. Profits alone cannot be the objective of business. Otherwise, one private player can sabotage government or other players even at the cost of the lives of people and the security of the state. Democracy cannot become a welcoming climate for rogue regimes and their agents to play havoc freely in open societies as a matter of their right or freedoms promised by the constitution. It’s high time that the West woke up and smells the coffee and at the very least seriously considers quitting its corporate interests with China.
The author is a CA & CS by qualification, Consultant, Faculty, PhD scholar, South-Asia Expert & has served as Academic & Research Associate at IIM Ahmedabad. Follow him on @ankitatiima for his predictions-analysis of China-Pakistan issues. He can be reached at [email protected]