By 2049, the centennial year of the Chinese Communist Revolution, the world will be under the hellish fire of the dragon. With Covid-19 raging everywhere, the ‘peaceful rise’ of China is all but over.


Dragon is a symbol for fire breathing serpentine beast that can fly in from nowhere and create chaos in moments. Mythology is filled with that. Cinema has used it so effectively. A flick of the armoured tail of the dragon could erase towns and villages. And the terror a dragon silently brought even when it was invisible is something that can only be imagined and not explained.  

The dragon always came from the east, far away in the east, not without a reason. The Chinese emperors were obsessed with the dragon symbolism because the dragon was the emblem of that supreme power that hid in their clenched fists. A fire-spewing dragon gliding in from the east is an ultimate image of terror, fire, destruction, death, and cruelty that is unmatched even by your most villainous thoughts. A dragon is complete evil.


When in October 1949, Mao Zedong declared the country as People’s Republic of China, the seeds were sown for a hundred-year takeover of the world and the formation of a global Chinese empire. People have written about the abundance of expressions in Chinese documents that aspire for grand Chinese supremacy in the world in 100 years of their so-called revolution and formation of communism. Mao Zedong ruled with an iron fist till his death in 1976 and kept the country under severely controlled communism. By the late 1970s and early 1980s, the fall of the Soviet Union had become imminent and in the post-Mao period, the world felt a kind of liberal socialism emerging out of China. In fact, the world mistook ‘post-Mao China to be a society aspiring for socialistic democracy. The western world overwhelmingly gave a helping hand to China to emerge on the world stage. Hundreds of billions of western dollars were spent on China in modernising the State, developing industry, transferring vital technology and helping State-owned businesses. All the while, China had no intention to build a democratic fair society. It showcased socialism but pursued hardcore communism. In fact, it was global benevolence that unleashed the dragon and filled the fire in the dragon’s belly to be spewed out in time. And mark my words – by 2049, the centennial year of the Chinese Communist Revolution, the globe will be under the hellish fire of the dragon which it parented with goodwill. This yearr is being touted as the year of rejuvenation of the People’s Republic of China, which is nothing but a hegemonistic ambition.  


There are two ways to conquer the world. One way is through direct military expansion and strategies while the other way is through softer options of remotely manipulating in the economy, politics, societal peace, health and hygiene, environment and food security and internal opposition to the establishment. In the old world, only militarisation was the option. In the new world of technology, communication and shared resources, the non-military options turn out to be very effective and disastrous too. China has been mastering both. The new dragon has not only the wild fire in its mouth, but it also has the cold fire in its belly.


In 2020, the Department of Defense of United States sent an Annual Report to Congress, entitled “Military and Security Developments involving the Republic of China”. The report brought out some startling figures. 

China now has the largest number of battleships — some 350 large frigates, which is way ahead of what even the USA possesses. 

China has over 1250 Ground Launched Ballistic Missiles (GLBM) and Ground Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCM). In fact, India and the USA only have GLBMs of some 300 kilometres reaching capacity whereas GLCMs that either of us has, are capable of striking up to 5000 kilometres away. In addition, China has the most robust surface to air integrated air defence architecture in the world, which is unmatched as yet in capacity and coverage. Besides, the nuclear arsenal, armaments, military bases and strategic military cooperation with countries are expanding every day. And China is in the advanced stage of negotiations (some already successful) to establish military bases in Djibouti, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Seychelles, Tanzania, Angola, and Tajikistan. Already, some islands and disputed lands in the South China Sea and the Pacific are in Chinese hands without a contest. With this, the hegemonistic empire in the Eastern part of the globe is already under the breath of the dragon. And its strength is such that it is almost impossible to contain its influence even for the west.


One big way in the modern world to influence countries to be subservient is by providing aid to the country and influencing the communities. International aids and international NGOs also work from within the countries at times and influence the cultural, socio-economic, socio-political and environmental justice systems, thereby determining the kind of development or non-development they want in such countries. China began this game soon after the 1980s, it had been pledging as much as 2% of GDP to foreign aid to impressionable countries. In official circles, it is recorded that China pays some US$ 5 billion in annual aid to countries for developmental projects and much more in terms of concessional loans, which bind the countries in its obligation. Aid Data group conducted the most detailed study on this aspect and stated that between 2000 and 2014, China gave about $75 billion and lent about $275 billion — compared to $424 billion given by America during the same period. A fifth of this Chinese aid, $75 billion, was in the form of grants given away. This is a systematic influence building exercise in countries in need. In 2018, China established the Chinese International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), which became the flagship organisation for disbursing economic aid to countries in need, so that they could be subjugated to the economic slavery of China in the long run. CIDCA disburses grants, interest-free loans, concessional loans, low-concessional loans and several kinds of aid. Centre for Global Development has brought out a clear description of CIDCA’s activities. 

 In the following map, one can see the number of countries and their geographic locations, that have signed up with CIDCA for Chinese financial aid. And it is absolutely clear that these countries are located in very strategic global locations of the Pacific Ocean rim, South China Sea, Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf, Caspian Sea, Atlantic Ocean and the West African bight. One of the most notorious economic aids of CIDCA is the ‘Sovereign Guarantee Loan’, through which a developmental project in the country is identified and elaborated by China, built by a Chinese company and funded by a Chinese bank. This exposes the country’s information and sensitivity completely to China and because a Chinese company only builds the project, the company in an indirect manner begins to colonise the country. The American companies necessarily started scouting small and cheap labour countries to produce cheaper technology items. And most cheap labour countries are under the Chinese Sovereign Guarantee Loan grip and CIDCA assistance obligation. Under other aid schemes of China, about 140 countries are covered. 

In fact, Chinese international loans to countries surpass 5% of global GDP. The grip of indebtedness of nations to China is tightening in time. A white paper from China also elaborates upon the foreign aid it is disbursing.

Further, the Chinese population growth is now under severe State control and has reached below 0.4%, while India’s population growth rate is approximately 2.5 times more. With an over 7% mortality rate, the Chinese population is declining and it might just take a couple of years before India and China will have the same population, with India being a young population country in contrast to China. This will pose difficulty for China to manufacture goods at a cheaper price. Thus, Chinese hegemonistic ambition needs to see that it gets to a position of high influence in countries of cheap labour. In this regard, we need to notice that those countries under immense Chinese aid and benevolence, such as Pakistan, Indonesia, Nigeria, Bangladesh etc. have population growth rate anywhere between 1% to 2 %, thereby ensuring that China will have access to young and cheap labour around the world in the coming years to meet its aspirations to become the undisputed superpower by 2049.  

 The writer is Chairman, Khadi and Village Industries Commission, Government of India, New Delhi. This is Part 1 of the two-part article.