U.S. Imperial Decline And The Belt And Road Initiative: The Most Important Global Struggle Of The Century

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Above Photo: Blackagendareport.com

U.S. imperialism views the One Belt One Road as an existential threat to the domination and monopoly of the dollar.

China is becoming deeply connected to Asia, Europe, and Africa and this spells doom for U.S. imperial hegemony.”

The U.S. is once again mired in the political circus of the presidential election cycle. Corporate Democrats have aligned themselves firmly against the social democratic aspirations of the Sandernistas. The Republican Party has collapsed at the feet of chief arch-racist billionaire Donald Trump and will remain under his political thumb for as long as there is a White Man’s Party. A crisis off legitimacy has been set off by the economic condition of the U.S. imperial system where slow growth stagnation, austerity, and endless war reigns supreme. West of the United States, a new giant is emerging. China possesses a development plan that threatens to undo U.S. hegemony for good and one which has already laid the basis for the most important global struggle of the century.

The development plan is called the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The BRI was launched in 2013 under the leadership of president Xi Jinping. China invested an initial one trillion USD into the BRI with the hopes of connecting China to Europe by both land and sea. In 2013, BRI included 65 countries and an estimated 55 percent of global GDP . This has since increased to tentative agreements with 126 countries after the latest Belt and Road summit . The value of current trade arrangements from the BRI is nearly eight trillion USD, which accounts for over a quarter of all Chinese trade. In other words, China is becoming deeply connected to Asia, Europe, and Africa and this spells doom for U.S. imperial hegemony.

“China possesses a development plan that threatens to undo U.S. hegemony for good.”

The Belt and Road Initiative is the starkest example of how U.S. capitalist system and its current stage of imperialism has been eclipsed by China’s market-oriented socialist economy. China’s growth rate has averaged 10 percent since 1978 as compared to the sluggish 2-3 percent that the U.S. has been garnering over the same period. China is becoming the world’s leader in both technological development and poverty reduction. Since 1978, the People’s Republic of China has accounted for the entire reduction in poverty in the world by lifting 800 million Chinese workers and peasants out of the underdevelopment that Western imperialism imposed on the nation prior to 1949. Old industries have been updated and new industries such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence account for over sixteen percent of China’s GDP.

China’s rapid industrialization and technological growth is important because technological advance under capitalism leads inevitably to a higher rate of exploitation. The capitalist system utilizes technological advances to speed up production and automate labor, which vastly increases the surplus value (profit) accumulated by capitalist enterprises. This widens inequality and raises the number of workers relegated to the reserve army of the unemployed. In China, the opposite has occurred. China has become a technological powerhouse while decreasing unemployment and raising the standard of living for all. While inequality between the rich and the poor has widened through the implementation of market reforms, colonial underdevelopment has become a thing of the past in China.

“Technological advance under capitalism leads inevitably to a higher rate of exploitation.”

One of the central objectives of socialism is the rapid development of the productive forces of society. Only the rapid growth of the productive forces within nations ravaged by colonial plunder and underdevelopment can ensure that the basic needs of the masses are met and that the revolution can move toward communism, or a classless society. Market reforms, while not without contradictions, have allowed China to preserve its socialist revolution and advance in ways the Soviet-led socialist bloc never could. In a hostile global environment characterized by U.S. imperialist destruction and provocation, China has been able to bridge the gap between the city and countryside by eradicating the backwardness left by semi-colonialism and imperialism. It is China’s success in this area which led late Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro to remark that “China has become the most promising hope and the best example for all Third World countries . . .”

The People’s Republic of China is engaged in a constant struggle between the implementation and suppression of capitalist mechanisms. President Xi Jinping’s embrace of Marxism and “free trade’ is a manifestation of that struggle in the political realm. The Belt and Road Initiative represents the duality of China’s economic miracle. China has not required its partners to adopt a socialist command economy. Rather it has lent its technical and economic prowess to build massive railway projects in both neocolonial states, such as Indonesian and Malaysia; and socialist countries like Vietnam and the DPRK, as part of a “win-win” arrangement.

“U.S. and Western imperial states have left the planet in utter catastrophe.”

Whatever contradictions exist within the Belt and Road Initiative are to be resolved by the people of China and the nations that participate in the project. It is worth noting that critics of China’s Belt and Road Initiative have almost entirely come from the U.S. and Western imperialist orbit. Corporate outlets have described the Belt and Road as a “scheme” designed to impose debt traps on participating nations and expand Chinese “imperial” influence across the world. Such criticisms are laughable when one takes stock of the enormous debts that the I.M.F. and the World Bank, two wholly U.S.-led institutions, have placed upon the throats of the former colonial world. U.S. and Western imperial states have left the planet in utter catastrophe and only have austerity and war to offer its inhabitants.

That the U.S. and its Western allies opposing the Belt and Road Initiative are primarily responsible for the fact that five individuals own more wealth than half the world’s population tells us all we need to know about the legitimacy of U.S. and Western critiques of the BRI. U.S. opposition to China’s Belt and Road is evidence of a global struggle between the decline of U.S. imperialism and China’s market socialist economy. The Trump Administration has continued Obama’s “pivot to Asia” by labeling China (and its partner Russia) the gravest threat to U.S. “national security.” Trump’s regime has engaged in a “trade war,” purged Chinese scientists in the U.S. mainland, and illegally placed the CFO of Huawei corporation under house arrest . Most recently, the U.S. has increased its military aid to Taiwan in a blatant violation of the One China policy. These provocations are a signal to China that its very existence as a global power is unacceptable to the U.S. imperialist albatross.

“U.S. opposition to China’s Belt and Road is evidence of a global struggle between the decline of U.S. imperialism and China’s market socialist economy.”

The One Belt One Road Initiative represents the biggest threat to U.S. imperial hegemony in this epoch. China offers the world’s nations access to what U.S. and European imperialism has historically prevented in order to extract the wealth and labor of Third World at the cheapest price: technical expertise and infrastructure development. U.S. imperialism views the One Belt One Road’s objective of enhancing the productive forces of the poorest nations as an existential threat to the domination and monopoly of the dollar. The equation is simple. The more that China dominates trade and investment worldwide, the less likely that these nations will continue to use the U.S. dollar to conduct its economic affairs.

U.S. imperialism offers only austerity and war and is thus unable to compete with China’s Belt and Road initiative. To be more precise, U.S. imperialism is incapable of doing anything to the contrary given the current stage of the system. China doesn’t operate from the basis of unfettered capitalism where the “market” (a euphemism for private capitalists) dictates all affairs with private profit, and profit alone, in mind. Capitalism has reached its most advanced stage of imperialist development. Monopolies and finance capitalists call the shots. True competition and investment in the form of a different economic mode of development is nothing but an impediment to the maximization of profit. And because finance capital refuses to hedge its bets on anything that doesn’t bring a maximum return on investment for its shareholders, the U.S. military has been deployed to threaten China into submission.

“The more that China dominates trade and investment worldwide, the less likely that these nations will continue to use the U.S. dollar.”

China’s planned economy is here to stay. Military threats and trade wars have not weakened China. On the contrary, they have brought China closer to key allies such as Russia. The question is, what can people in the U.S. learn from the One Belt One Road process? First, the BRI teaches us that the U.S., as it is currently constructed, offers no hope for humanity. China’s plan offers more than hope; it offers an opportunity in the here and now to further erode the legitimacy of the U.S.-led austerity regime. In a moment where reparations and Medicare for All are both being uttered by Democratic Party politicians, movements for social transformation in the U.S., especially the Black left, should look abroad for relationships of solidarity.On this point, China cannot be ignored.

The One Belt One Road Initiative also urges us to defend China from U.S. imperialism. Some on the “left” in the U.S. have repeated corporate media and State Department talking points about China’s “imperialism” and other iterations of Yellow Peril critiques of China’s policies. Yet while these “left” forces condemn China’s infrastructure projects on the African continent as exploitative, they rarely if ever mention the U.S.’ neo-colonial military presence on the continent which has contributed to chaos and carnage in nations such as Libya. They also fail to mention that the U.S. military state has as its main priority the “containment” and ultimate destruction of China’s planned economy—a mission that can only end in nuclear war.

“Movements for social transformation in the U.S., especially the Black left, should look abroad for relationships of solidarity.”

A left that finds itself aligned with the militarist and imperialist U.S. state on the question of China is no left at all. Radicalism that searches for a “pure” socialism amid the incessant attacks from U.S. imperialism should not be labeled as such. The responsibility of an insurgent and organized left in the United States is to oppose war and develop cooperative relationships with nations around the world. As a journalist and witness of the achievements of the Belt and Road Initiative, Andre Vltchek notes , “BRI is the exact contrast to the Western colonialism and imperialism.” Condemning China without investigation reinforces Western imperialism and failing to engage with the Belt and Road Initiative only renders the people of the U.S. irrelevant in the most significant global struggle of the 21stcentury: that between the U.S. and China.

  • Infarction

    All right boys and girls, today were going to decide which of the system mentioned below belongs to the Evil Empire.

    Is the Evil Empire nation “A” that creates exploitation, death and tyranny as it seeks to steal the natural resources and enslave the peoples of other nations? Or is it nation “B” that offers programs with nations that build infrastructure, increase the quality of life and form an open and sincere path to cooperation and peace?


    For a horrifying look at US religious imperialism watch The Family, directed by Jesse Moss

  • PeterPaget

    Not sure you have considered all important elements of a nation. No mention of dictatorial control over millions of peoples’ lives, or of the appalling things the Chinese central government and the CPC have done to the Tibetans and Uyghers, the suppression of free speech and of organizing for worker rights, the lack of a real and effective justice and court system. Your so-called nation “B” is in the end a substitution of a national government system of total control of a population in a “no win” race to the pinnacle of great power for an admittedly somewhat flawed system which nevertheless acts on principles of justice, fairness and according to written laws and rules. I note most of the criticism of nation “A” is based on historical facts, not what is actually happening in today’s world.

  • Infarction

    So which nation do you think is the Evil Empire? Nation “A” or Nation “B”?

  • David Chu

    Still better than communist dictatorship.

  • kevinzeese

    China is a one party system but that does not make it a dictatorship. And, its economy has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and improved the lives of billions of Chinese. The US government and economy have not been serving the people of the US well for 40 years.

  • kevinzeese

    A one party system is not the same as a dictatorship. The president and other top leaders can be removed.

    The other claims you make are in dispute.

  • Allan Rios

    The USA is far from perfect, in fact the whole Western world has its governing and cultural flaws
    But he 1 thing that sets the West apart is not it’s human rights record, nor even it’s social inequalities. 
    It’s the believe in “balance of power” where no one ruling party can control it all.
    Why was Japan/S Korea able to become some most technologically developed nations in the world?
    Because they Embraced democracy, human rights, balance of power which led to their own “democratic intellectual innovation” without having to break any rules nor stealing it from other nations.
    Democratic intellectual innovation China lacks, and it’s clearly not so confident they can create it without having to steal it, not just from North America, but from the EU & Japan & Korea
    The Chinese communist government takes hypocrisy to an entirely new UNHEARD of level by claiming innocence in IP theft, by pro-claiming “Mutually beneficial by equal cooperation with China” by denying the existence of Uighur Muslims imprisonment in re-education camps for years to the face of the world while with its actions the Chinese Government clearly proclaims the complete opposite and with its actions it clearly shows it has world domination aspirations by financially dominating ALL of the world’s most important technological Industries and having the world depend on the Chinese government for exclusive services and industries only China will be in place to provide. It’ll be a World-Monopoly which will evolve from economic, to military of course.
    The Chinese have very wise sayings, here is an American saying I learned and I’m very proud of Having learned it
    “Actions speak louder than words”
    Right now the only balance of power rising China has is the USA by clearly not such coherent actions, but actions nevertheless, by a NOT so impartial NOR well-liked leader but opposition to total power nevertheless, 
    If you know your history you would know that nobody liked the Romans in their own generation (and rightfully so) for just the same reason, they were the ones calling the shots, albeit by totally brutal methods but in an entirely different era of the world
    Regardless, the Huns, the Germanic tribes & all the rest of the peoples that displaced the Romans out of hate, were unable to recreate anything closely equal to what the Romans achieved,
    What did we get out of the fall of the Roman Empire?
    A thousand years of generations living in Dark Ages, Generations that had plenty of time to look at the ruins of technological innovations the Romans created & left behind, plenty of time to look back with a clear understanding that past Generations had a higher “standard of living” which is the reason why the Western world to this day praises & admires the achievements of the Romans
    That is exactly what the world will get out of displacing the USA as the dominant global power, “the fall of democratic intellectual innovation and a new Dark Age for Human Rights and freedom of choice” by replacing it out of pure hate, NOT reason, with an oppressing authoritarian communist regime, who’s self-interest outweighs everything and everyone in order to ensure the party’s survival
    Chinese civilization, Chinese people are not rising and are not inheriting the political power that the USA has. They are not filling the vacuum left behind.
    It is the one-party communist government with too much power
    Here is another outstanding American saying “Better the devil you know then the devil you don’t”
    Ask yourself this, given China’s record on human rights, do you believe we would live in a better world 50 years from now? 100 years from now? If the Chinese communist government was the most economically / politically / military dominating power on Earth?
    America has a multitude problems to address, some call America the devil,

    Which devil do you know better?

  • Tim Czarkowski

    The chinese person who wrote this speaks fantastic English, congratulations….

  • iuate Stewart

    I just can’t believe alot of you so call human beings, Christians, Church going, Jesus who taught love your neighbor can say and act as if you have more Lucifer/Satan in you than anything else. Vengeance will be Gods on you and every thing around you for using his name for hate.

  • John Chadwick

    Why do some people blindly associate an economic system with ‘dictatorship’? We should automatically associate ‘exploitative’ with all mention of capitalism…

  • KK Fung

    said the loser

  • Blaine

    There are more labor strikes in China per year than in the US.

    Currently the US has had a hand in militarily destroying Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq.

    It has had a hand in economically or politically trashing Colombia, Honduras, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, Indonesia, Ukraine, etc etc and is currently meddling in so many countries political affairs it is impossible to keep track.

    China is limited to countries and regions in its immediate sphere and that have a long historical association with it. Outside that it is engaged in infrastructure improvements, and in many countries that have long been hobbled by association with America.

    While the US won’t lift a finger to help PR, even in the regions of China the West considers “oppressed” the Chinese have built water treatment, power generation, schools and hospitals. This is what is possible when you spend a sane amount of $ on national defense and build a military whose primary mission is…defense. In the US that $ goes to departments of the govt that unconstitutionally cannot account for the funds they receive.

    At home the US has wracked up a debt that now accounts for over 400billion in debt service per year and growing rapidly, and a total that is virtually impossible to ever pay down – effectively hobbling the next several generations, taxation without representation, with debt to pay off $ given away in the form of needless wars and financed tax cuts, most of it in the last 40 years.

    At some point soon the Federal Govt will have to sell off what commons it possesses leading to privatization of…everything, and that still won’t be enough to clear the debt.

  • zonmoy

    nation a, the US of course.

  • Infarction

    Very good! Go to the head of the class. 🙂