The “New World Order” was established by the US following the end of World War II. It is a political system of the world based on democracy, freedom of trade (capitalism), international laws, international institutions like the United Nations Organization (UNO) collective security and so on, to address the global problems and maintain peace. The term first emerged after the end of World War I based on the president Woodrow Wilson’s famous 14 points to achieve international peace. He also called for the establishment of international institutions and freedom of trade among others to avoid indulging in the world wars. The term was most frequently used when the Cold War between the US and USSR finally came to an end because it resulted in the collapse of communism, which was the biggest hurdle in the way of liberal democracy and the “New World Order” of the US. The “New World Order” is a replacement of old political system with the new and better structure to govern the world in harmonious, prosperous and peaceful manner. Undoubtedly, the “New World Order” not only kept the globe safe from the wars, but also indulged the countries into deeper economic activities because of the development of international institutions related to trade.
Is the New World Order in danger from China? Does China want to replace the New World Order with its own governance system? The answer is big NO. Instead, China is a proponent of the “New World Order” based on capitalism because its present glorious position is due to it. The following facts prove that China will never disown the “New World Order.”
Firstly, the current mighty economic position of China is linked to the Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms of 1978 in which he adopted the capitalism system of free markets, privatization of industries, opening China’s market for foreign investors and permission to the entrepreneurs to start the business. As per World Bank figures, the percentage of extremely poor people in China in 1981 stood at 88.3%. By 2015 only 0.7% of the Chinese population was living in extreme poverty. China has lifted over 850 million people out of extreme poverty since the adoption of capitalism. China has been the fastest growing economy in the world since the 1980s, with an average annual growth rate of 10% from 1978 to 2005, based on government statistics. Today, China is the largest exporter and second largest economy of the world. Since 2001, China’s economy has grown from $1 trillion to a whopping $ 13 trillion. It is all because of capitalism. China has not only accepted this system at home, but is also proponent of the private market all around the world. Under these circumstances, will China replace the capitalism with communism and ruin its own economy? Never, China will support the capitalism and the existing World Order.
Secondly, China is the biggest beneficiary of globalization. It has created its influence and boosts its trade in the globe using the Western-led multilateral institutions, such as the World Trade Organization (WHO). It was the reason that Beijing joined WTO in 2001, which was considered the Western institution. The Belt-Road-Initiative (BRI0 vision of China is also based on globalization.
Globalization was promoted by the US after the end of World War II under its “New World Order” and reaped maximum benefit from it. For example, the GDP of America increased from $228 billion in 1945 to around $1.7 trillion in 1975 because of economic integration among the countries. China started to get similar benefits from the globalization after 1978 economic reforms and remained successful to such an extent that it became a core competitor of the US in economic sphere. For instance, the trade between China and the US has grown from $6 billion in 1986 to a whopping $586 billion now with America facing the trade deficit.
The opposition of the US towards globalization, as evident from the trade war policies of Washington, specifically targeted at China, further makes it crystal clear that China has replaced the US in acquiring the maximum benefits from it. Again, will China replace the “New World Order” based on globalization? The answer is big NO because it has started to harvest benefit from the system and will try to salvage it from being jeopardized by the US.
Thirdly, China is not against the liberal democracy. In fact, it is the strong proponent of the system in the world. However, at home, it remains stick to the authoritarian rule. It is no more an ambition of China, like the erstwhile USSR to introduce communism in the world. China became realists because by 1980s, communism became obsolete. People did not trust it anymore. The ideology failed to provide the people what it promised. Unlike former USSR, China has never forced its allies including Pakistan to introduce communism. It is a reason that communism survives in China but failed in the USSR.
Besides, China does not want to replace the US in the political sphere. It wants Washington to continue its role as a global administrator and carry the burden of international conflicts. Beijing has avoided drawing into the global issues to save its resources. However, as far as economic sphere is concerned, it is keen to replace American as a global power. It is, therefore, Trump waged a trade war with China to prevent it in becoming an economic power of the world. Beijing’s economic development is within the limits of the “New World Order” and it does not act as a threat to the existing global structure. Hence, China is not a threat to the liberal democracy. In fact, it wants the system to prevail in the world.
Finally, China also supports the existing international institutions like World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Organizations (UNO). These international institutions are the backbone of the existing “New World Order.” Under Xi, China is now the second-biggest financial contributor to the UN and is in the top ten of contributors of personnel to UN peacekeeping operations. It has steadily been building up its influence in international institutions for years. It also joined WTO in 2001. Thus, China, under the current governmen,t continuously supporting the institutions formed following the World War II.
However, the “New World Order” is in jeopardy, not from China, but from its own developer- the United States of America. The US violates the crucial principle of the order (globalization) by engaging in trade war with China. The attitude of the US is astonishing as it supported the globalization as far as it helped her to strengthen its economy. When the other country starts to harvest the benefit, it turns against the principle citing that it produces the lopsided benefits and must be replaced with something better.
The United States, under Trump, started to withdraw from the multilateral trade deals. According to him, “multilateral trade deals are to steal American jobs.” He also blackmailed Canada and Mexico and signed revised free trade agreement known as NAFTA to safeguard American economic interests. Besides, he threatened to withdraw from the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Trump also withdrew its support to the democratic countries around the world and raised the slogan of “America First.” He wanted to put his house in order first instead of acting as a policeman of the region.
It is hoped that the new government of the US under Joe Biden will reverse the policies of Trump that were targeted against the “New World Order” established by the US following the end of World War II. It is the responsibility of the US, not China to protect the order.