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FALLING CLOUT OF CHINA

The world is amazed, bemused and curious. It has never happened in the last 95 years old history of Interpol that its own chief is missing without any information. Meng Hongwei, the Interpol chief disappeared from world arena after entering his fatherland: China. The mystery was uncovered when the Lyon (France) based Interpol headquarters received an unusual email from its chief, Meng Hongwei that he has resigned from his post.

Later, the Chinese authorities informed through media that he has been “taken away” for questioning by “discipline authorities”. Apparently, they did not elaborate the reasons but it is the alleged corruption of Hongwei, while he was serving his own country: People’s Republic of China.

Primarily a politician, he was elected to the post in 2016 and was to remain in the chair till 2020. Kim Jong Yang of South Korea has been told to temporarily occupy the chair till permanent arrangements are made. This is the second instance when Interpol chief was detained on corruption charges. In July 2010, former INTERPOL President Jackie Selebi was found guilty of corruption by the South African High Court in Johannesburg for accepting bribes worth €156,000 from a drug trafficker.

This is happening at a time when China is celebrating the 40th anniversary of transparent policies heralded by Deng Xiaoping. A lot is happening in China that will have a very negative impact on the image of China and its “lifetime President”, Xi Jinping. The United States has imposed a total tariff of $250bn worth on Chinese goods. In lieu, China has also imposed the counter tariff of $60bn worth on US products as the retaliatory measure. However, China does not have much of leeway since its imports are one-third of its export to the US. The two countries already exchanged tariffs on $50bn worth of each other’s goods earlier this year. In last week of Sept, China summoned the US ambassador in Beijing and postponed joint military talks in protest against a US decision to sanction a Chinese military agency and its director for buying Russian fighter jets and a surface-to-air missile system. China also recalled its naval chief from the US.

The US wrath is compounded due to the alleged attack by Chinese IT spies on 30 top US companies. Bloomberg, a financial, software, data, and media company headquartered in New York City; in its investigative report has revealed the most evil design of Chinese spies. It has detected malware on Chinese products that have impacted America’s technology supply chain. Bloomberg affirmed about ‘Nested on the Servers & Mother Boards’, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that was not part of the board. Bloomberg further reports that this might have compromised even the data center of the department of defence, sending a chill down the spine of military establishments of the most powerful nation in the world. The US is angry and considers such act gross transgression with deceit.  The worst news for China came from Australia, when two months back, the latter blocked two Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE from supplying 5G equipment. The weave of hostility is spreading in Europe too, where most of the countries have shown indifference to the proposals of BRI (belt and road initiative).

The worst nightmare of China today is that no one believes China. Most of the world looks at China with suspicion. Its ambition to overtake the US as number one power in the world may never come true in the future. Its hegemony in Asia has hit a roadblock. Even most friendly countries have downsized trade and business. CPEC in Pakistan initially proposed at $60 billion is gradually being downsized, after seeing the fate of Sri Lanka in the matter of high cost of debt repayment of Hambantota port. Finally, Sri Lanka had to give it on lease for 99 years to the Chinese; since it was not in a position to repay the debt. Pakistan is afraid it will fall in debt trap and will become a virtual colony of Chinese. Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Nepal have lessons to learn before it is too late. The worst that has happened is that Mr. Xi Jinping has become vulnerable and may face resistance within.

22 Oct 2018/Monday                                                  Written by Azadazraq

 

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