World Perspectives 2018: IV. Accelerating Rivalry Between the Imperialist Great Powers

 

Note of the Editorial Board: The following Chapter contains several figures. They can only be viewed in the pdf version of the book here for technical reasons.

 

 

 

46.          We have elaborated in previous works with much factual evidence that the past decade has been characterized by the decline of the U.S. as the absolute hegemonic imperialist Global Powers and the emergence of Russia and China as global rivals. We have explained that in the context of a historic revolutionary period opening in 2008 in which the productive forces are in decline, the rivalry between the imperialist monopolies and the Great Powers inevitable accelerates and provokes a crisis of the global political order.

 

47.          We have predicted in our last World Perspective document that this tendency, with Trump becoming US President, will intensify. “Trump’s victory also represents a watershed in the rivalry between the imperialist Great Powers. As we have stated in our pamphlet on the outcome of the US presidential election, the rise of this politician with a protectionist and unilateralist platform calling for an end of “unlimited humanitarian interventions around the globe” – in contrast to Hilary Clinton who stood for a continuation of Obama’s foreign policy – was an implicit recognition of the US’s inability to continue its role as the “world’s policeman.” At the same time, Trumpism expresses the will of the ruling class to reverse this trend.” In this document we will not repeat our analysis of the present historic period and its central contradictions and refer readers to our past works on this issue which are mentioned in footnotes above. At this place we will only give an update of the most important factors reflecting the relation of forces between the Great Powers and deal with the most important political developments of the recent past.

 

 

 

The Decline of the U.S. and the Rise of China in Numbers

 

 

 

48.          The trend of the decline of the old imperialist powers (US, EU and Japan) and the rise of new imperialist powers (China and Russia) is continuing. A reflection of the change in the relation of forces is the share of the Great Powers in global capitalist value production and trade. In Figure 15 we can see the development of industrial production between the years 1970 and 2015 and the dramatic rise of China’s share in this period. In Figure 16 we see the turn-around of the relation of force between the US and China in the past decades. While the US’s share in global industrial production decreased from 25.1% (2000) to 17.7% (2015) and Western Europe’s share declined from 12.1% to 9.2%, China’s share grew from 6.5% (2000) to 23.6% (2015)! A similar transformation took place in world trade. While the U.S.’s share declined from 15.1 (2001) to 11.4% (2016), China’s share rose in this period from 4.0% to 11.5%. (See Figure 17)

 

 

 

Figure 15. Global Industrial Production, US, Western Europe and China 1970-2015 (in Current Prices) [1]

 

Figure 16. Share of the US and China in Global Industrial Production, 1970-2015 (in Current Prices) [2]

 

 

Figure 17. Share of the US and China in World Trade, 2001-2016 [3]

 

 

49.          Let us look now to the national composition of the world’s biggest corporations – another important indicator for the relation of forces between the monopoly capitalists of different Great Powers. A comparison of the Forbes Global 2000 list – a list the world’s 2000 largest corporations – of the year 2003 and the year 2017 reveals dramatic changes. (See Table 3) While the US remains the strongest power, its share has declined substantially from 776 corporations (38.8%) to 565 (28.2%). A similar development took place in other old imperialist countries like Japan (from 16.5% to 11.4%), Britain (from 6,6% to 4,5%), France (from 3,3% to 2,9%), and Germany (from 3,2% to 2,5%). On the other hand, China was hardly represented at all in the list for 2003 (0.6%). However, by 2017 China had 263 corporations on this list and became the second ranking power (13.1%). The same dynamic is reflected in another widely-used list of the largest capitalist monopolies – the so-called Fortune Global 500. While in 2001, 197 corporations among the Fortune Global 500 had their headquarters in the US, this number decreased to 132 by 2017. China, on the other hand, was able to dramatically increase the number of its corporations from 12 (2001) to 115 (2017), becoming the second-ranking power closely behind the U.S. (See Table 4)

 

 

 

Table 4. National Composition of the World’s 2000 Largest Corporations, 2003 and 2017 (Forbes Global 2000 List) [4]

 

2003                                                       2017

 

Number                 Share                     Number                 Share

 

USA                                                       776                         38.8%                    565                         28.2%

 

China                                                    13                           0.6%                       263                         13.1%

 

Japan                                                     331                         16.5%                    229                         11.4%

 

United Kingdom                               132                         6.6%                       91                           4.5%

 

France                                                   67                           3.3%                       59                           2.9%

 

Canada                                                 50                           2.5%                       58                           2.9%

 

Germany                                              64                           3.2%                       51                           2.5%

 

South Korea                                        55                           2.7%                       64                           3.2%

 

India                                                      20                           1.0%                       58                           2.9%

 

 

 

Table 5. US and China: Their Share among the World’s 500 Largest Corporations, 2001 and 2017 (Fortune Global 500 List) [5]

 

USA                                                       China

 

Number                 Share                     Number                 Share

 

2001                                       197                         39.4%                    12                           2.4%

 

2017                                       132                         26.4%                    115                         23.0%

 

 

 

50.          Likewise, China remains the country with the largest number of billionaires, or the second largest – according to which list you take – in the world. According to the 2017 issue of the Hurun Global Rich List, 609 billionaires are Chinese and 552 are US citizens. Together they account for half of the billionaires worldwide. [6] The Forbes Billionaire List, which is US-based while Hurun is China-based, sees the U.S. still ahead. However, the trend is the same: the weight of China’s monopoly capitalists is increasing. According to Forbes: “The U.S. continues to have more billionaires than any other nation, with a record 565, up from 540 a year ago. China is catching up with 319. (Hong Kong has another 67, and Macau 1.) Germany has the third most with 114 and India, with 101, the first time it has had more than 100, is fourth.[7]

 

51.          Finally, China’s rise as an imperialist power relative to its rivals is also reflected in its massive increase in capital export. As Table 5 shows, China’s capital export (without the figures for Hong Kong) grew dramatically since the year 2000, and has come close to reaching the volume of capital export of all imperialist rivals except the U.S.!

 

 

 

Table 6.         Foreign Direct Investment Stock of Great Imperialist Powers, 1990, 2000, 2016 (Millions of $US) [8]

 

Country                         FDI inward stock                                                                              FDI outward stock

 

                         1990                       2000                       2016                                       1990                       2000                       2016

 

USA                539,601                 2,783,235              6,391,293                              731,762                 2,694,014              6,383,751

 

Japan              9,850                      50,322                   186,714                                 201,441                 278,442                 1,400,694

 

Britain            203,905                 63,134                   1,196,520                              229,307                 923,367                 1,443,936

 

Germany       111,231                 271,613                 771,010                                 151,581                 541,866                 1,365,375

 

France            97,814                   390,953                 697,579                                 112,441                 925,925                 1,259,385

 

China             20,691                   193,348                 1,354,404                              4,455                      27,768                   1,280,975

 

Russia            -                               32,204                   379,035                                 -                               20,141                   335,791

 

 

 

52.          As a result, Chinese monopolies have become major players in the world market. As we have already pointed out in other works, China became the third-largest investor in Latin America in 2010. [9] China is also Africa’s biggest trading partner and buys more than one-third of its oil from that continent. [10] According to a recently published study from McKinsey, Chinese corporations already play a dominant role in Africa. About 10,000 Chinese corporations (90% of which are private capitalist firms) operate in Africa. They control about 12% of the continent’s total industrial production and about half of Africa’s internationally contracted construction market. In Africa, China is also a leader in “green field investment” (i.e., when a parent company begins a new venture by constructing new facilities outside of its home country); in 2015-16, China invested USD 38.4 billion (24% of total green field investment in Africa). [11]

 

53.          However, China’s capital export is not only growing to countries of the South but also to the old imperialist economies. Foreign direct investment in the European Union traced back to mainland China hit a record €35 billion in 2016, compared with only €1.6 billion in 2010. In a historic shift, the flow of Chinese direct investment into Europe has surpassed the declining flows of annual European direct investments into China. [12] As a result, a growing number of bourgeois figures become nervous about Chinas increasing political and economic influence in Europe. [13]

 

54.          Another indication for China’s rise as a Great Power is the growing use of its currency, the yuan, as foreign exchange reserves. For the past seven decades, the US dollar has been the world’s dominant currency. Two-thirds of the world’s $6.9 trillion allocated foreign exchange reserves are held in US dollars. However, the yuan took a major step towards broader international adoption in 2016 when the IMF decided to include it in the basket of currencies that make up the Special Drawing Right, an alternative reserve asset to the dollar. While the yuan’s share is still small with just over 1% of foreign exchange reserves there are signs that this is about to increase. The German Bundesbank already announced that it would include the yuan in its reserves for the first time. Likewise, the French Central Bank revealed that it already holds some reserves in yuan. And in June 2017, the European Central Bank announced that it had exchanged €500 million ($611 million) worth of US dollar reserves into yuan securities. This was a small shift—the ECB has €44 billion in foreign exchange reserves—but nonetheless it reflects China’s growing prominence in the global financial system. [14]

 

55.          China’s and Russia’s position as main rivals for the U.S. and other old imperialist powers is also reflected in their military strength. For example China and Russia are ranked as second respectively third, only behind the U.S., in export of weapons as well as nuclear weapons. Here, too, the US remains No. 1, but Russia and China are ranked right behind it and in front of all other imperialist powers (with the exception of France with regard to nuclear weapons; see Tables 6 and 7) It is however noteworthy that the Trump Administration tries to counteract against its decline by increasing its military spending. Last year, Trump boosted the Pentagon’s budget by 10%.

 

 

 

Table 7. The World’s 10 Top Exporters of Weapons, 2012–16 [15]

 

Exporter                               Global Share (%)

 

1 USA                                    33

 

2 Russia                               23

 

3 China                                 6.2

 

4 France                                6.0

 

5 Germany                          5.6

 

6 UK                                      4.6

 

7 Spain                                 2.8

 

8 Italy                                    2.7

 

9 Ukraine                             2.6

 

10 Israel                                2.3

 

 

 

Table 8. World Nuclear Forces, 2016 [16]

 

Country                                Deployed Warheads          Other Warheads                Total Inventory

 

USA                                       1,800                                      5,000                                      6,800

 

Russia                                   1,950                                      5,050                                      7,000

 

UK                                          120                                         95                                           215

 

France                                   280                                         20                                           300

 

China                                                                                 270                                         270

 

 

 

56.          The U.S.’s decline and China’s and Russia’ rise has also been reflected in the global political developments. One of the most important developments has been the decision of US President Trump to withdraw from the negotiations process over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). At the same time, China is advancing the alternative Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and hopes to conclude the negotiations in 2018. [17]

 

 

 

Russia Expanding its Influence

 

 

 

57.          As we have pointed out in past documents Russia is economically weaker than China but stronger as a military power. While their interests are certainly not identical, they have intensified their cooperation given the aggressive efforts to keep their economic and political domination. STRATFOR, an US imperialist think tank, observes in its forecast for 2018: “In fact, lately Russia and China have found more reason to cooperate than compete with each other. Both countries are working to insulate themselves from U.S. pressure and reduce Washington's influence in strategic theaters around the globe. To that end, they have hashed out a division of labor of sorts: Where both states share interests, Russia addresses security issues as it deems fit while China takes the lead on economic matters. Moscow and Beijing also have deepened their cooperation in finance, trade, energy, cybersecurity and defense.[18]

 

58.          Russia was also able to expand its influence, in particular in the Middle East. This has not only been reflected in its dominating position in Syria and the expansion of its military bases – both its naval bases in Tartus as well as its air base in Hmeimim. Its expansion has also resulted in intensifying relations with various states in the Middle East like Israel, Egypt and even Saudi Arabia. It has also built closer relations with the ex-Gaddafi general and arch-reactionary militia leader in Eastern Libya, General Haftar.

 

 

 

“Make China Great Again”

 

 

 

59.          The political leadership of China is fully aware of its increasing global role. China’s strong man, Xi Jinping, explicitly spoke about China’s global leading role. He said: "It is time for us to take centre stage in the world and to make a greater contribution to humankind." [19] The Chinese patriotic ideologists link to the old Chinese concept of Tianxia, an ancient Chinese concept that views the country as the center of the world and of civilization. Recently, People’s Daily, the Chinese Communist Party’s flagship newspaper, published a 5,500 word long editorial – a kind of manifesto. This document expresses without disguise China’s imperialist ambition to become the world dominating power. It states, referring to China’s past empire which considered itself as the center of the world, that China faces an “historic opportunity” to "restore itself to greatness and return to its rightful position in the world." It emphasizes: ““The world has never focused on China so much and needed China so much as it does now”. It states: “The historic opportunity is an all-round one, which refers to not only economic development but also the speeding up of science, technology and industrial revolution, the growing influence of Chinese culture and the increasing acknowledgement to the Chinese wisdom and Chinese approach (...) We are more confident, and more competent, than any time in history to grasp this opportunity." Furthermore, the editorial points out that “the global governance system is undergoing profound changes; and a new international order is taking shape.” Fittingly, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s biggest daily newspaper, titled a report about this manifesto “Make China great again”! [20]

 

60.          An increasing number of Western ideologists become aware that the old imperialist states are losing geopolitical influence and that Chinese imperialism is seen by a growing number of states as an alternative leading global power. The Eurasia Group writes in its latest report: “Still, since 2008, we’ve seen a gradual erosion in global perceptions of the attractiveness of Western liberal democracies. There is now a viable alternative. For most of the West, China is not an appealing substitute. But for most everybody else, it is a plausible alternative. And with Xi ready and willing to offer that alternative and extend China’s influence, that’s the world’s biggest risk this year.[21] Edward Wong, the New York Times’ former Beijing bureau chief, warns: “China is shaping the world in ways that people have only begun to grasp. Yet the emerging imperium is more a result of the Communist Party’s exercise of hard power, including economic coercion, than the product of a gravitational pull of Chinese ideas or contemporary culture. Of the global powers that dominated the 19th century, China alone is a rejuvenated empire.[22]

 

61.          While various reformists and centrists continue to deny the imperialist character of Russia and China and rather believe that Russia and China are weak, non-imperialist states (and some muddle-heads like the Spartacist school of ICL, IG/LFI and IBT even claim that China is still a “deformed workers state”! [23]), the imperialist bourgeoisie knows better. As they recognize people of their ilk, they are aware that the US, EU, Japan, China and Russia are imperialist Great Powers which are rivaling against each other for world domination. This is why various strategy papers and forecasts by imperialist think tanks express pessimism about the decline of the US, the crisis of the global order and the increasing tensions between the Great Powers. The WEF, for example, warns in its recently published annual report: “The intensification of strong-state politics has the greatest disruptive potential among the world’s major powers: relations between them are changing, mostly for the worse. As each of these states becomes increasingly assertive of its own interests, consensus is fraying on the rules that govern their interactions and the directions in which the world might converge. As a result, there is evidence of a general breakdown in trust and an erosion of respect for global norms designed to govern peaceful international interactions.” [24] Another imperialist think tank, the Eurasia Group, is even more explicit in its worries for an end of the Western-dominated global order as a result of the US’s decline and China’s surge: “Last year, we wrote that the world was entering a period of geopolitical recession. After nearly a decade of a slowly destabilizing G-Zero framework, the election of Donald Trump as US president has accelerated the descent into a Hobbesian state of international politics. The world is now closer to geopolitical depression than to a reversion to past stability. (...) The decline of US influence in the world will accelerate in 2018. The mix of soft power and economic and political liberalism faces a crisis of credibility. With little sense of strategic direction from the Trump White House, US global power, used too aggressively by George W. Bush, then too timidly by Barack Obama, is sputtering to a stall. (...) For decades, many in the West have assumed that the emergence of a Chinese middle class would force China’s leaders to liberalize the country’s politics in order to survive. Instead, China’s political model, despite its domestic challenges, is now perceived as stronger than it has ever been—and at a moment when the US political model is weakened. Today, in terms of the legitimacy of government in the eyes of its citizens, the US may be in at least as great a need of structural political reform as China. It’s a shocking statement; all the more for its obviousness once you think about it. It’s also one we’ve not once heard uttered in Washington, from either side of the aisle. Combine that with the strongest Chinese president since Mao Zedong and one of the weakest US presidents in modern history, and you end up with a moment of global reordering.[25]

 

 

 

The Aggressive Strategy of the Trump Administration

 

 

 

62.          Russia’s and China’s rise as imperialist rivals is also reflected in the latest strategy documents of the White House and the Pentagon. While in the past 15 years, the U.S, has emphasized the struggle “against terrorism” as the main priority of its military policy, this has shifted now to the struggle against China and Russia. Naturally, this does not mean that the “traditional” enemies of US imperialism have disappeared as the recent National Security Strategy document of the White House makes it clear: “A central continuity in history is the contest for power. The present time period is no different. Three main sets of challengers— the revisionist powers of China and Russia, the rogue states of Iran and North Korea, and transnational threat organizations, particularly jihadist terrorist groups—are actively competing against the United States and our allies and partners.[26] However, the inter-imperialist rivalry is now the priority number one as U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis summarized in a speech on 19 January 2018: “Great-power competition - not terrorism - is now the primary focus of U.S. national security.[27] The National Security Strategy document states: “The United States will respond to the growing political, economic, and military competitions we face around the world. China and Russia challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity.[28] And: “China and Russia want to shape a world antithetical to U.S. values and interests.[29] Likewise, the Pentagon’s National Defense Report makes clear what the number one priority for the U.S. is: “Long-term strategic competitions with China and Russia are the principal priorities for the Department, and require both increased and sustained investment, because of the magnitude of the threats they pose to U.S. security and prosperity today, and the potential for those threats to increase in the future.[30] It accuses its rivals: “China and Russia are now undermining the international order from within the system by exploiting its benefits while simultaneously undercutting its principles and ‘rules of the road.” [31] Consistent with our view of the world political situation as one which is marked by acceleration of inter-imperialist rivalry, the U.S. Defense Secretary warns of increased “global volatility and uncertainty, with great power competition between nations a reality once again.” [32] Another example of the growing aggressiveness of U.S. imperialism is the new Nuclear Posture Review. It expands the circumstances in which the US might use its nuclear arsenal, to include a response to a non-nuclear attack that caused mass casualties, or was aimed at critical infrastructure or nuclear command and control sites. [33]

 

63.          US imperialism also tries to halt the advance of China and Russia in its traditional spheres of influence. Before starting a tour of the region, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in early February that Russia’s growing presence in Latin America was “alarming.” He also said the region did not need “new imperial powers,” in reference to its fluid commercial relations with both Russia and China. [34] Expressing the imperialist arrogance of Washington, he even went so far to praise the old Monroe doctrine which originated in 1823 and which declares that Latin America is a U.S. sphere of influence where other Great Powers must not interfere. In a speech in Austin (Texas), Tillerson emphasized the “importance of the Monroe Doctrine and what it meant to this hemisphere and maintaining those shared values. So I think it’s as relevant today as it was the day it was written.[35]

 

64.          The ruptures in the global order and the lack of a dominating Great Power makes it urgent for the capitalist states, on one hand, to look for geopolitical alliances but, on the other hand, it also makes such alliances more instable. Capitalist states, which are strong enough so that they don’t have to subjugate themselves completely to one Great Power but which are too weak to dominate an alliance themselves, are sometimes in a position to shift or to split their loyalty. Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, for example, are long standing allies of the U.S. But the later decline and Russia’s rise as an important power in the Middle East have led to the situation that these countries are also looking for collaboration with Putin. Turkey’s shift from Washington to Moscow, while remaining a member of NATO, is another case in point.

 

65.          Another important example is India. While it has close political relations with Moscow for many years and it has been a member of the China-Russia dominated BRICS alliance, it is increasingly turning to Washington and Tokyo since Modi and his Hindu-chauvinist BJP came to power in 2014. While South Korea remains an ally of US imperialism, it is increasingly worried about Washington pressure to renegotiate a trade agreement as well as Trump’s war threats against North Korea since it would be the Southern neighbor, and not the US, which would bear the brunt of such a devastating confrontation. Furthermore, China is becoming a crucial country in terms of foreign investment and trade, so that Seoul might also look for accommodation, instead of confrontation, with Beijing.

 

66.          However, for the time being there seems to be some axes which will determine the geopolitical developments in the next phase. As mentioned before, these alliances are not set in stone and new developments can, and in one way or another will, alter them. Having said this we can recognize, on one hand, an alliance centered on China and Russia. These two powers are bound together by their opposition against the US hegemony. They can only increase their sphere of influence at the cost of Washington. In their camp, to name the more important states, are Iran, Venezuela, South Africa and, to a certain degree, North Korea (see more on this below in the chapter on Asia). Increasingly, Erdoğan’s Turkey is also moving closer to this camp.

 

67.          On the other hand, there is an alliance centered on the United States. Japan is aligned with the US as it faces the same rival – China – and because it remains for the time being militarily relatively weak. Other important states in this alliance are Israel, Saudi-Arabia, Australia and, increasingly, India.

 

68.          The European imperialist powers are also in motion. The EU has faced a number of difficulties as has been seen with London’s Brexit or the opposition of several states against an increasing political and institutional cohesion. As we have dealt with this issue in past documents, we want to remark at this point only the following notes: [36] It is without doubt true that centrifugal forces could bring the EU to a collapse. In such a case its individual states have to look for an alliance, as a subordinated state, with stronger Great Powers. It is however clear, that the only chance for European imperialism to play any independent role in the global economic and political developments is a deepening of the EU integration process and steps towards the creation of pan-European political and military institutions. Contrary to our viewpoint, various centrist opponents (e.g. the CWI, IMT, etc.) have always stubbornly emphasized that the EU will unavoidable collapse. In fact, they have been predicting a collapse of the EU since several decades (only to be disappointed every year). And when Brexit won in the referendum in summer 2016, they felt confident to make again such predications. However, the developments of the past 18 months have again demonstrated, once more, that the majority of the monopoly bourgeoisie of the main European powers is determined to deepen the EU integration. Macron is certainly pushing the EU integration forward. And even if the EU in its present forms collapses, it is likely that it would be replaced by a smaller version which would probably include Germany, the Benelux countries and some other European states.

 



[1] Hong Kong Trade Development Council: Changing Global Production Landscape and Asia’s Flourishing Supply Chain, 3 October 2017, p.1

[2] Hong Kong Trade Development Council: Changing Global Production Landscape and Asia’s Flourishing Supply Chain, 3 October 2017, p.1

[3] Hong Kong Trade Development Council: Changing Global Production Landscape and Asia’s Flourishing Supply Chain, 3 October 2017, p.4

[4] Fortune Global 500 List (2017), https://www.forbes.com/global2000/list/45/#tab:overall; see also Josie Cox: Chinese banks dominate Forbes ranking of world’s biggest public companies, 24 May 2017, The Independent Online, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/china-banks-forbes-ranking-world-biggest-companies-industrial-commercial-bank-of-china-china-a7752896.html; Tzu-Han Yang and Deng-Shing Huang: Multinational Corporations, FDI and the East Asian Economic Integration, National Taipei University Academia Sinica, Feb. 4, 2011, p. 3; http://hi.knoema.com/nhmovec/the-world-s-biggest-public-companies-2017

[5] Fortune 500 List in 2017, http://fortune.com/global500/list/; see also Bai Ming: More Global 500 Firms from China, Bejing Review, No. 32, August 10, 2017, http://www.bjreview.com/Opinion/201708/t20170807_800101899.html

[6] Hurun Global Rich List 2017, http://www.hurun.net/EN/HuList/Index?num=8407ACFCBC85; see also Zhu Wenqian: Beijing listed as billionaire capital of world once again, China Daily, 2017-03-08, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2017-03/08/content_28470987.htm; Michael Pröbsting: China’s “Socialist“ Billionaires, 16.11.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/china-s-billionaires/

[8] UNCTAD: World Investment Report 2014, pp. 209-212 and UNCTAD: World Investment Report 2016, pp. 200-203 (The figures for China do not include those for Hong Kong which is listed in the UNCTAD statistics separately.)

[9] Miguel Perez Ludeña: Adapting to the Latin American experience; in: EAST ASIA FORUM QUARTERLY, Vol.4 No.2 April–June 2012, p. 13

[10] The Chinese in Africa: Trying to pull together. Africans are asking whether China is making their lunch or eating it; in: The Economist, Apr 20th 2011, http://www.economist.com/node/18586448?story_id=18586448; see also SA, not China, Africa’s biggest investor: study, 23 July 2010, http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9049:sa-not-china-africas-biggestinvestor-study&catid=7:Industry&Itemid=116; Sanne van der Lugt, Victoria Hamblin, Meryl Burgess, Elizabeth Schickerling: Assessing China’s Role in Foreign Direct Investment in Southern Africa, Oxfam Hong Kong and Centre for Chinese Studies 2011, pp. 68-74; UNCTAD: Asian Foreign Direct Investment in Africa. Towards a New Era of Cooperation among Developing Countries (2007)

[11] Irene Yuan Sun, Kartik Jayaram, Omid Kassiri: Dance of the lions and dragons. How are Africa and China engaging, and how will the partnership evolve? McKinsey & Company, June 2017, p. 10 and pp. 29-30

[12] John Seaman, Mikko Huotari, Miguel Otero-Iglesias: Chinese Investment in Europe A Country-Level Approach, ETNC Report, December 2017, p. 9

[13] See e.g. Thorsten Benner, Jan Gaspers, Mareike Ohlberg, Lucrezia Poggetti, Kristin Shi-Kupfer: Authoritarian Advance, Responding to China’s Growing Political Influence in Europe, Global Public Policy Institute, Stiftung Mercator, February 2018

[14] Eshe Nelson: Europe’s central banks are starting to replace dollar reserves with the yuan, January 16, 2018 https://qz.com/1180434/europes-central-banks-are-starting-to-replace-us-dollar-reserves-with-the-chinese-yuan/

[15] SIPRI Yearbook 2017 (Summary), p. 15

[16] SIPRI Yearbook 2017 (Summary), p. 16

[17] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: The China-India Conflict: Its Causes and Consequences; RCIT: The China–Pakistan Economic Corridor is a Project of Chinese Imperialism for the Colonialization of Pakistan! 22.1.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/pakistan-cpec/

[18] STRATFOR 2018 Annual Forecast, 26.12.2017, https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/2018-annual-forecast

[19] BBC: Xi Jinping: 'Time for China to take centre stage', 18 October 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-41647872

[20] All quotes are taken from Bill Bishop: China wants to reshape the global order, in: Axios China, Jan 19, 2018, https://www.axios.com/chinas-growing-global-aspirations-in-the-xi-jinping-era-1516305566-aa5be206-c156-4313-8229-cfa88af9b75a.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=&stream=top-stories; Nectar Gan: Make China great again: Communist Party seeks to seize ‘historic’ moment to reshape world order. High-profile comment piece urges country to rally around Xi and realise nation’s global aspirations, 18 January, 2018, http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2128711/make-china-great-again-communist-party-seeks-seize; Xinhua: CPC newspaper says China should "grasp historic opportunity", 15.01.2018, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-01/15/c_136897189.htm

[21] Eurasia Group: Top Risks 2018, p. 5

[22] Edward Wong: A Chinese Empire Reborn, Jan. 5, 2018, New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/05/sunday-review/china-military-economic-power.html

[23] In our studies on China, we have demonstrated in detail the capitalist character of China economy. (See e.g. Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South, chapter 10, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/great-robbery-of-the-south/) It is absurd to claim that China is still a post-capitalist workers state when the majority of China’s industrial output is produced by the private sector, as is attested to by figures published by the World Bank and the Chinese Development Research Center of the State Council. Both of these institutions attribute 70% of the country’s GDP and employment to non-state sectors. The state sector’s share in the total number of industrial enterprises (with annual sales over 5mn RMB) fell precipitously from 39.2% in 1998 to 4.5% in 2010. During the same period, the share of State Owned Enterprises in total industrial assets dropped from 68.8% to 42.4%, while their share in employment declined from 60.5% to 19.4%. (The World Bank, Development Research Center of the State Council, the People’s Republic of China: China 2030. Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative High-Income Society, p. 104) We do not deny that the state sector continues to play a central role in China’s economy. But this is not a “socialist” but a state-capitalist sector! The ultra-left muddle-heads might believe that the Chinese leadership is still “communist”. But the imperialist ideologists know better which is why they characterize the regime in Beijing as an “authoritarian and state capitalist Chinese government.” (Eurasia Group: Top Risks 2018, p. 5)

[24] World Economic Forum: The Global Risks Report 2018 13th Edition, p. 38

[25] Eurasia Group: Top Risks 2018, pp. 3-4

[26] The White House: National Security Strategy of the United States of America, December 2017, p. 25

[27] Anthony Capaccio: Terror Loses Top Spot to Russia and China on U.S. Threat List, Bloomberg, 19. January 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-19/rising-threat-from-china-russia-dominate-trump-defense-strategy-jcm1xi6v

[28] The White House: National Security Strategy of the United States of America, December 2017, p. 2

[29] The White House: National Security Strategy of the United States of America, December 2017, p. 25

[30] U.S. Department of Defense: Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America. Sharpening the American Military’s Competitive Edge, p. 4

[31] U.S. Department of Defense: Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America. Sharpening the American Military’s Competitive Edge, p. 2

[32] Helene Cooperjan: Military Shifts Focus to Threats by Russia and China, Not Terrorism, New York Times, 19 January 2018 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/19/us/politics/military-china-russia-terrorism-focus.html

[33] See e.g. Ernest Moniz and Sam Nunn: Three Steps to Avert an Accidental Nuclear War, Bloomber, 1. Februar 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-02-01/three-steps-to-avert-an-accidental-nuclear-war; Julian Borger: US to loosen nuclear weapons constraints and develop more 'usable' warheads, The Guardian, 9 Jan 2018 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/09/us-to-loosen-nuclear-weapons-policy-and-develop-more-usable-warheads Jessica Corbett: Rising Concerns About Nuclear War as Trump Prepares to Loosen Constraints on Weapons, Common Dreams, January 10, 2018, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/01/10/rising-concerns-about-nuclear-war-trump-prepares-loosen-constraints-weapons; see also the leaked draft Nuclear Posture Review, January 2018 (this document was originally leaked to and published by Huffington Post at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trumpnuclear-posture-review-2018_us_5a4d4773e4b06d1621bce4c5).

[34] Robbie Gramer, Keith Johnson: Tillerson Praises Monroe Doctrine, Warns Latin America of ‘Imperial’ Chinese Ambitions, Foreign Policy, February 2, 2018, http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/02/02/tillerson-praises-monroe-doctrine-warns-latin-america-off-imperial-chinese-ambitions-mexico-south-america-nafta-diplomacy-trump-trade-venezuela-maduro/

[35] Rex W. Tillerson (U.S. Secretary of State): U.S. Engagement in the Western Hemisphere, Remarks, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, February 1, 2018, https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2018/02/277840.htm

[36] See e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Marxism, the European Union and Brexit. The L5I and the European Union: A Right Turn away from Marxism; in: Special Issue of Revolutionary Communism No. 55, August 2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/eu-and-brexit/; Michael Pröbsting: Does the EU Represent "Bourgeois Democratic Progress"? 16.09.2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/eu-brexit-article/; Michael Pröbsting: The British Left and the EU-Referendum: The Many Faces of pro-UK or pro-EU Social-Imperialism. An analysis of the left’s failure to fight for an independent, internationalist and socialist stance both against British as well as European imperialism, August 2015, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 40, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/british-left-and-eu-referendum/; Michael Pröbsting: The EU Reform Treaty: what it is and how to fight it, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/eu-reform-treaty/; Michael Pröbsting: ‘Americanise or bust’. Contradictions and challenges of the imperialist project of European unification, 2004, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/eu-imperialism-americanise-or-bust/;