How is CHINA challenging the AMERICAN EMPIRE? - VisualPolitik EN

How is CHINA challenging the AMERICAN EMPIRE? - VisualPolitik EN
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    We had the Roman Empire, the Spanish Empire, the British Empire… now we live in the age
    of the American empire… No other country has such a military presence in so many places.
    Even in a remote place like GUAM, in the middle of the Pacific, America has a military base…
    and… that's pretty useful! The fact that you can buy a mobile phone made
    in South Korea with just one click is the outcome of global capitalism, yes. But global
    capitalism would not be possible if trade wasn't safe. Those American bases are there
    to protect all those ships that move goods from one place to the other. And this is the
    ultimate reason why America invests so much in having the strongest army, unchallenged
    by anyone… UNTIL NOW. Who is challenging this empire? Of course,
    China. How is it doing so? You'll see in this video.
    This is the million dollar question… Why does America have such a big army? You might
    argue that it doesn't really need one. In fact, just by looking at a map, you can see
    that America has a big advantage. It's secured by two oceans, making it almost impossible
    to attack or invade.
    Nonetheless… America has the biggest army on the planet. It has more than a million
    active military personnel and almost 800 military bases located in 70 different countries and
    territories all over the globe. Britain, France and Russia, by contrast, have about 30 foreign
    bases combined. Just look at this map. America is just all
    over the place. And there is no country that can challenge them…
    Oh wait a minute! Maybe there is? Yes, my dear viewers, today we are going to talk about
    CHINA.
    Here on VisualPolitik, we've talked thousands of times about China's economic progress.
    It's the World's factory and many Chinese companies are starting to become big competition
    for the technological behemoths. But now we're talking about their military. More specifically,
    their military presence in the South China sea. And believe me, this is no joke.
    China's South China Sea Play: The End of Beijing's "Peaceful Rise"?
    The definition of "String of Pearls" was first used in 2005 in an international report
    given by the Department of Defense of the United States. In this report it was predicted
    that China will try to expand its naval presence throughout the Indian Ocean Region. In this
    context, the pearls are a metaphor for each of the military bases China wants to build,
    making a string that goes all the way down to Africa and the Middle East, where China
    imports most of its natural resources. And, as you can imagine, these military expansions
    scared the whole world… especially America. And it got even more scary when the former
    Chinese president, HU JINTAO, said this in 2009…
    "The road of peaceful development is a strategic choice made by the Chinese government and
    people in the line of the nation's peace-loving traditional culture, the trend of our times
    and the fundamental interests of China" –Hu JINTAO
    Yeah… for some reason, this quote that was intended to chill the Americans out had the
    opposite effect. It pretty much sounded like China was… saying the opposite of the truth.
    But OK, I know what you're thinking: So what? What's the problem with China trying
    to increase their military? After all, it's just another country. And every country has
    an army, and wants to be safe, right? Why should we care about China having military
    bases? Do they really want to surpass the US? Can they? Today, we're going to answer
    all of those questions but, before we do, let's take a look back at the history.
    LESSONS FROM THE PAIN
    Yes, we said America is almost impossible to invade. But… there was an exception.
    That was in the year 1941, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii. A year later, the
    Japanese invaded the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. That was the moment when America learned an
    important lesson: nobody is 100% safe. And they'd better start caring about protecting
    the oceans. In fact, during World War II, the US had to fight among lots of small islands
    in the Pacific. That was the case during the Battle of Midway.
    After the attack on Pearl Harbor the Japanese tried to eliminate the US as a strategic power
    in the Pacific and they hoped to succeed by demoralizing the American forces with another
    surprise attack. American cryptographers managed to decipher the date and location of Japan's
    attack and prepared a counter surprise attack. Needless to say, the US inflicted irreparable
    damage to the Japanese fleet.
    World War II ended. The Americans won. And they remembered their lesson: we cannot let
    this to happen anymore. So what did they do? The covered the Pacific ocean with military
    bases! Basically, they kept soldiers on all those small islands where they'd fought.
    And now you might wonder… Why is so important to have soldiers on a small island nobody
    cares about? Is it that bad if someone wants to invade an atoll like Midway? Really? Listen,
    moving soldiers to any other part of the planet is not easy or cheap, if not done properly.
    A war ship is a floating city with big guns in it, a city that can travel 500 to 1000
    km in one day. So, moving one of those from Los Angeles to Shanghai would take more than
    10 days. But, if you already have ships and soldiers in Guam, you can arrive at the Shanghai
    coast in a little less than 3 days. This is a great way of deterring potential conflicts.
    In fact, most of those ships would never have to fire a single weapon. Being so powerful,
    nobody would even dare to attack them. But not only that! Many of these ships are
    not meant to combat other armies but rather, pirates! For example, the USS Independence
    is a war ship created for the main purpose of combating pirates. And there are many other
    ships. In fact, the USS naval force is getting bigger and bigger all the time. And this means,
    so far no one on earth can match its might. US Navy to add 46 ships in five years, but
    355 ships won't come for a long time
    Of course, this gives America an uncontrollable amount of power. And perhaps this can be worrying
    to some people. But, so far, it has created a safe environment where everybody can trade
    untroubled. Whenever some country or some pirates want to block a trade route, they
    have to face all those American ships. This is one of the reasons why South East Asian
    nations have become exporting powerhouses. And, of course, that has benefited China too.
    The truth is, there are many countries that would be happy to block China's trade routes.
    But… is China comfortable in this position? Does it like depending so much on America's
    army? Let's have a look!
    A NEW HEGEMON
    What defines a territory? Well, a territory is an area of land under the jurisdiction
    of a ruler or a state. Not all territories are born equal, some have abundant natural
    resources like gems, gas and oil, while others have little to no resources.
    The availability of some resources gives the country they belong to some pretty big advantages
    in trade. The most obvious example of this is oil and how much its trade has defined
    Saudi Arabia's economy. But what about the others? Those who have
    few, little or no resources? They need to import everything for their industries. They
    must compete with international bidders to secure stable supplies of resources, which
    basically means their industrial cost of production would also be higher.
    And this, dear viewers, is essentially China's situation. Yes, China has a lot of industry
    but… almost no resources. Oil, steel, uranium… most of the things it needs to make those
    mobile phones, cars or TVs has to come from other parts of the world. And this appetite
    for raw materials is increasing day after day. But this isn't the end of the story!
    Once those resources are acquired, China needs to transport them into its territory safely
    and for as little money as possible. The South China Sea is the busiest collection
    of shipping lanes in the world. It's the lifeblood of East Asia, carrying most of its
    trade and oil. It's obvious than that China would very much like to keep these lines of
    trade open and, preferably, to control them.
    China also doesn't have a big consumer market like the US, so it has to export a lot if
    it wants to make money, and all these routes can be blocked anytime by one of the neighboring
    countries. The communist party, the governing force in China, also has lots of mouths to
    feed, so control over this region is essential for the party to stay in power.
    OK! Now I know what you're thinking… China isn't the only one! Many other countries
    have no natural resources either and they don't complain! Of course! But there is
    a problem. Being so dependent on imports and exports, China only needs one country to block
    its routes to collapse in a matter of months. And, oh boy! There are many other countries
    who would be happy to do that! Especially one in particular: INDIA.
    See this string of islands in the Indian Ocean? Well, those belong to India. And the Indian
    army could easily block Chinese boats there, which would mean China couldn't buy most
    of the oil it consumes. Most of the oil tankers that go from the Middle East to China pass
    through the so called MALACCA STRAIT, right where Singapore is. We're talking about
    almost 20 million oil barrels a day and many other goods.
    But if India blocked the routes among those small islands… good luck trying to get that
    oil! In fact, this is such an existential threat to China that their former president,
    HU JINTAO, used to called this the MALACCA DILEMMA.
    But we're not just talking about India. In fact, America isn't going through their
    best time when it comes to loving the Chinese. And, again, the American navy has the capability
    to block the oil supply to China by sea. This would be far more devastating than the trade
    wars. So what's the solution?
    The Belt and Road Initiative and its maritime counterpart: The String of Pearls.
    The Belt and Road Initiative was initiated by President Xi Jinping in 2013 with the aim
    of rebuilding infrastructure and accelerating China's economic growth. Essentially, this
    is a brand-new Silk Road and the String of Pearls is its maritime brother.
    In 2017 Mr. Xi pledged an additional $124 billion towards his $900 billion Belt and
    Road initiative.
    China is promoting this global trade infrastructure as a long-term win-win campaign for the 65
    nations that have signed up for it. Most western leaders stayed away from the two-day summit
    announcing the ambitious Chinese project, but the 28 heads of state present at what
    Mr. Xi called "a gathering of great minds" included President Putin of Russia and President
    Erdogan of Turkey.
    "This is indeed a gathering of great minds. In the coming two days, I hope that by engaging
    in full exchanges of views, we will contribute to pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative,
    a project of the century, so that it will benefit people across the world." Xi Jinping.
    With China consolidating its power and relationships with countries all over the South China Sea
    region, it might become really difficult for the United States to keep being the big boss
    in charge. If China were to surpass the US, the United
    States would lose all of its deterrence power in a key region of the globe. And this would
    completely change the rules of international trade.
    Americans are pretty worried and earlier this year the CIA went so far as to state that
    the US has two major problems right now: Russia and China and their effort to undermine the
    US's influence in key regions like Africa and the South China Sea.
    "We are not naïve and we are taking significant steps on the counterintelligence side so that
    we have all the defenses that we need" –U.S Africa Command's Gen. Thomas Waldhauser.
    OK! I know what you're thinking now! America is a World empire! And we're only talking
    about the South China sea here! Of course, you're right. In fact, China is only threatening
    US dominance in the South China sea, not in the whole World. But this region is one of
    the most important when it comes to international trade. And this is why the struggle is so
    intense. But the show is still going on. In fact, China
    knows that, if it goes too far with building military bases, the US will call on its allies
    in the region to do the same. This would mean scaling up military spending. And… look,
    China and the US might not be the best couple on the planet. But… they kind of tolerate
    each other. But the US's allies in the region… oh boy! Those nations really have problems
    with China. We have India for one, and Japan, among others. And China does not want those
    guys to increase their military presence. This is why, so far China is playing a very
    patient game here. This is a very long term challenge. And long term, in Chinese, means
    really long term. We might be talking about decades here.
    But despite the slow path, you'd better remember the term 'STRING OF PEARLS' because
    it's going to appear more and more in the newspapers. This is going to be so important
    that, in the beginning of the next year, on VisualPolitik, we'll continue telling you
    more about it in another series of videos coming up. So if you don't want to miss
    them, don't forget to subscribe to this channel and hit the bell button so you won't
    miss any posts.
    Now the question is… Do you think this String of Pearls is really such a threat to international
    stability? Where does the US go from here? Is this the beginning of the end of the American
    empire?
    Please, leave your answer on the comment section below. And of course, don't forget to visit
    our friends from RECONSIDER MEDIA.Com, the podcast that provided the voices on this video
    that are not mine. If you liked this video, give us a thumbs up and as always, I'll
    see you next time!
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