Twenty Indian soldiers are murdered in a surprise cross-border attack by the People’s Liberation Army. A Philippine fishing boat is sunk in its own territorial waters by increasingly predatory Chinese ships.
Peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong are beaten bloody by riot police on Beijing’s orders. Australia’s farmers and miners are hit with trade sanctions after Canberra suggests that the virus, which came out of China, may have come from . . . China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has apparently decided that now is the time to assert dominance over an economically prostrate, post-pandemic world. But instead of just rolling over, a growing number of nations are fighting back.
India, for one, is clearly not intimidated. In response to China’s unprovoked attack, the largest democracy in the world has moved 30,000 troops to the Himalayan border. Many Indians are now boycotting “Made in China” products, a task made easier because online retailers like Amazon have been ordered by New Delhi to tell buyers where products are made.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also raised tariffs on Chinese goods, restricted Chinese investments and banned TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps from Indian phones.
Meanwhile, the people of the Philippines are up in arms over China’s expansionism into areas of the South China Sea claimed by Manilla. When anti-US President Rodrigo Duterte was elected in 2016, he initially ignored popular sentiment and announced a “pivot to Beijing” on the promise of $24 billion in Chinese investments.
Four years later, all that has changed. With the Chinese navy sailing ever closer to Philippine shores and few Chinese projects in progress, Duterte has reversed his earlier decision to terminate his country’s Visiting Forces Agreement with the US. Given a choice between having American or Chinese naval vessels anchored in Subic Bay, the decision was pretty obvious.
The sight of the 7.3 million free people of Hong Kong being crushed under the heel of the communist boot is one the world will not easily forget. It has already prompted UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to offer British citizenship to 3 million Hong Kongers, not to mention take a tougher line toward China itself. Huawei, for example, can kiss its 5G business in the UK goodbye.
The Australians are also fed up with Beijing’s bare-knuckled efforts to spy on and disrupt their country’s government, infrastructure and industries. To counter the recent surge in cyberattacks, Canberra has promised to recruit at least 500 cyberwarriors, bolstering the country’s online defenses. Meanwhile, an astonishing 94 percent of Australians say they want to begin decoupling their economy from China’s.
The same story is being repeated around the globe. From Sweden to Japan to Czechia, more and more nations are coming to understand China’s mortal threat to the postwar democratic, capitalist world order.
Xi Jinping and the Communist Party that he leads have so badly overplayed their hand that they have, in a mere six months, accomplished what Donald Trump could not in almost four years: They have unified the world against China.
And communist leader Xi has only himself to blame.
On Wednesday, Congress unanimously voted to sanction China for its new security law that would effectively nullify Hong Kong’s legal system and put Beijing in charge. But America cannot fight China alone. And now, thanks to Xi’s aggressive policies, we won’t have to.
As someone who has been warning about the China threat for decades, I take grim satisfaction in watching this new alliance crystallize with each new misstep by Beijing.
As Napoleon Bonaparte once remarked, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”
Steven W Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author of “Bully of Asia: Why China’s ‘Dream’ is the New Threat to World Order.”