Twenty years after 9/11, voices in the United States such as that of James Dobbins, the first diplomat in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban in 2001, acknowledge that they have lost a generation in foreign policy. Its greatest opportunity cost has been not seeing China come, which has gained in development, weight and dialogue in the world without having to go through the western ring. When the terrorists brought down the Twin Towers, Beijing had not even entered the World Trade Organization, it was finishing off the last fringes. For two decades, while Washington has squandered resources in its “war on terror”, China has expanded using two hands, as its propaganda says: the visible (the market) and the invisible (the Government). At the same time that it built infrastructures to connect its cities and develop the countryside, it was weaving a network to control the population through technology.
The United States was convinced that, as it grew rich, China would get on track. Since Reagan, all presidents had argued that, by liberalizing its economy, Beijing would accept not only importing products from abroad, but also democratic values. They spoke to their own echo chambers. The Chinese Communist Party attributes this view to American arrogance. Without noise, it has been acquiring resources on five continents and in the Arctic, and buying strategic companies whenever the law has allowed it. You can afford to negotiate with the IMF without applying its prescriptions. And it has been deployed in Asia-Pacific taking advantage of the fact that Washington was focused on the Middle East.
We are launching a new era in international relations and the most important thing is that the West has fallen from the cherry. We already know that the Communist Party is not a monolith, because many political currents revolve within it. It does move, even if it does not move in the direction that the US and Brussels want. There are those who believe that in order to stay in power, they will increasingly become the rope of liberal capitalism, but it is not clear. In any case, it presents itself as the glue of the collective idea of China and is deeply nationalistic. He wants to change international institutions to accommodate his values and interests. The sufficiency of Beijing is not as obvious as the American one, and thanks to that it has loyal a very broad public: those who reject the liberal order, those who need investment and those who, like Germany, have their value chains fully established in the Asian country. It has happened at full speed, like when we look at the landscape through the window of a moving train. Suddenly, Beijing is betting as never before on the fight against climate change. It has exceeded all the economic forecasts of Western governments and organizations ahead of time. But this does not imply a more open or, of course, a more democratic system. @anafuentesf