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The People’s Liberation Path

The People's Liberation Path

China’s People Liberal Army En Marche…

China has benefitted from the lack of focus on its actions since 2022 while the West was completely concentrated on Ukraine. The conflicts in Europe and the Middle East were not expected soon before they began, and once those conflicts took shape, the focus on China’s growing presence on the world stage was no longer the main concern in the West. China has been able to avoid sanctions while not only having some ties to Russian arms deals, but also by avoiding a major fallout from Covid. While China is not in a poor position due to these international events, the ties that China forms or diminishes will have a significant impact on life in China.

US economic Tic Tok Toe with China through both Republican and Democratic administrations has put pressure on China’s export economy which relies heavily on manufactured goods exports to North America and Europe. While China’s economic burdens grow due to those policies, China’s manufacturing weight on the world economy is still in a fair position. China still has a great amount of access to many of those Western economies that its fair-weather allies have been locked out of, and will still be able to manage their economy in a position of strength. Chinese companies have been able to seek some direct benefits through nearshoring to places like Mexico, and will need to come to a meeting of minds in achieving new economic arrangements via importing raw goods after Government changes in places like Argentina. China may not be in a boom phase like they were in the 2010s, but they can enter into their position as an advanced economy, complete with stable policies, manageable recessions, and clever investment policy, if they choose such a path.

China must choose to create an image of itself as being independent, strong and not greatly aligned to nations that are embroiled in direct conflict with their trade partners, even if the trade relationship is not ideal for China. Exporting and trade with Western countries who allow for a great deal of leeway in their relationships with China are already a political advantage. Even if these activities are serious concerns in Western countries, there are surprisingly few actions being taken to stop them at this time that will prevent Chinese exports to Western nations. This balance of national/party interests for China not only have a limit, but likely have an expiration date, and China should avoid making themselves into a target as there is little benefit to China in a hot conflict with any regional or international opponents.

Russia has recently taken to importing artillery surpluses from North Korea, and likely has sought such ammunition and gear from China as many of their Soviet designed systems operate with similar equipment. There is little benefit however to China in aligning itself with Russia’s war in Ukraine, as the sales from consumer goods outweighs the sales of artillery sales to one nation. While China and Russia do align on many policy positions, they are not proper allies in any sense of the word, and make decisions to their own singular benefit. China would be able to balance their own position by selling its arms to both sides, as both sides use similar artillery shells and China’s only benefits from the Russo-Ukraine war are possible export opportunities and cheap raw imports. With funds drying up to support Ukraine, and both sides using the same Red Dawn era equipment, China does not need to take a position to gain a balanced economic and political position when dealing with Russia or NATO in Europe. China does well when it is not directly or indirectly involved in a war, or with those who seek conflict.

China has sought recent assurances to secure their energy imports from actors in the Persian Gulf region in order to fuel its manufacturing economy. The strategy of tamping down the pressure helps China in two ways. The first it to maintain Chinese commercial shipping capabilities towards the region that can be easily blocked by smaller regional powers or by India, and the second is to secure a dependable and frequent supply of energy imports to its massive economy and population. To ensure this, China should maintain its own military capabilities as it has done throughout its history, but make trade and profits from exports the primary policy driver over possible plans to assault Taiwan, or having shooting sessions in the mountains with India. An attack on Taiwan would end much of China’s relationship with the West, aka, all of their export consumers, and conflicts with India will only sour relations further with what will be the most important power in Asia over the next ten years.

Economic and societal pressures is the biggest threat to China’s current government. Energy should be clearly sought though agreements with allies of export consumer nations, as ties to regimes that cause more conflict is not good for Chinese exports, Chinese imports, or Chinese energy infrastructure. Tying China’s economy to nations in perpetual conflict will have the effect of putting economic pressure on the Chinese people themselves. China possesses a large population, a fair amount of natural resources, and a good amount of territory, and does not need to fight for those essential elements to be a stable nation. The biggest threat to China’s regime is a local revolt, and that will come with instability and conflict. Economic pressure for China is one of the main elements that may disintegrate stability in Chinese communities. While economic trade pressures may result in a slow but managed decline, pressures from conflicts will unravel a society rapidly. Allies in conflict give no benefit if China has no direct goals in those conflicts, simply adding hardships to Chinese citizens. China’s ties to horrific regimes only ensures losses of funds, fuel, food and family members who rely on the youth to care for the elderly…and with these great pressures, come great changes. The next few short years will determine China’s ultimate path.



Richard Basas

Richard Basas, a Canadian Masters Level Law student educated in Spain, England, and Canada (U of London MA 2003 LL.M., 2007), has worked researching for CSIS and as a Reporter for the Latin America Advisor. He went on to study his MA in Latin American Political Economy in London with the University of London and LSE. Subsequently, Rich followed his career into Law focusing mostly on International Commerce and EU-Americas issues. He has worked for many commercial and legal organisations as well as within the Refugee Protection Community in Toronto, Canada, representing detained non-status indivduals residing in Canada. Rich will go on to study his PhD in International Law.

Areas of Focus:
Law; Economics and Commerce; Americas; Europe; Refugees; Immigration