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China most likely to become sole global superpower by mid-21st Century: Romney

PTI | Washington DC | Updated: 06-12-2019 11:13 IST | Created: 06-12-2019 11:04 IST
China most likely to become sole global superpower by mid-21st Century: Romney

China is most likely to become the sole global superpower by the middle of this century due to its "comprehensive, rigorous strategy to achieve global domination" and the United States' inaction, top Republican Senator Mitt Romney has said. During his "Will China become the world's sole superpower?" address to the International Democratic Union, Romney said a dispassionate analysis of China leads to three possible futures.

"First, China becomes the sole global superpower -- economically, militarily and geopolitically -- by the middle of this century. Second, China's ascension will be disrupted and halted by internal turmoil," he said. Or third, China will be dissuaded from seeking global domination and instead becomes a responsible member of the global order, he said.

"The first scenario is the most likely because of what China is doing and because of what we are not doing," Romney said. "China has a comprehensive, rigorous strategy to achieve global domination and the tip of its spear today is economic aggression," he said.

We are all aware of its practice of forced technology transfer from any company seeking to access its market, he said, going on to accuse the Asian superpower of "outright technology theft". Romney, who was the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, said cyber spying and counterfeiting are vehicles for technology theft. One insidious vehicle for technology theft is China's Thousand Talents program, he alleged.

Predatory business practice is another dimension of its economic strategy, he said. Romney said China's path to domination is eased by what the west is not doing.

"The only way a relatively small country like us can confront a much larger country like china is by linking arms with our friends," he said. "But rather than linking arms, we are shouting America First. We are squishy about NATO. We abandoned the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). Nationalism is all the rage. Like Russia, China understands the effectiveness of "divide and conquer," and we are merrily following their playbook," he said.

The second scenario for China's future is a disruption due to China's domestic problems, he said. China's population and workforce will shrink a lot and they are addressing this by investing heavily in automation, said the former Governor of Massachusetts.

"China lacks energy and raw materials. They are addressing these with their belt and road (projects). And China has a history of revolution. This they are addressing in ways reminiscent of repressive regimes in world history, but armed with modern technology," he added. While China faces potential internal turmoil, it is relentless in preventing and crushing it, Romney said.

The final scenario is a China that is a great but responsible player on the world stage. This result will require us to act, he said.

Romney argued that rather than withdrawing from the world and attenuating our alliances, the US should engage in the world and strengthen its alliances. "We should confront China together -- not alone -- on its trade practices, insisting that counterfeiting, technology theft, predatory pricing, subsidisation, market denial, and all other predatory practices cease immediately or lose free access to our markets. Products with military application, should be sourced only from free countries. Insisting on fair trade practices is not hostility, it is sanity," he said.

"As the leader of the free world, we should lead the development with our allies of a comprehensive strategy designed to convince China that it is in its best interest to change its ambition from dominating the world to instead collaborating and competing in the world," Romney said.


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