The rise of China in the global geopolitical context

In the current global geopolitical context there is no doubt that the most important event is the weight that China is acquiring in the geopolitical dynamics that are “shaking” the world and its geopolitical balance as it has taken shape in the last 30 years. All things considered, the entire current geopolitical dynamic is nothing other than the result of the rise of China and the profound geopolitical repercussions resulting from it. Even the war in Ukraine ultimately has to do with China’s rise on the global geopolitical stage of the last twenty years. In this article we will try to understand why the rise of China has caused such upheavals in the world and why the Asian country is a candidate to be “the backbone” of the global “geopolitical architecture” of the years to come.


China’s geopolitical importance is directly consequent to its industrial and economic power. To understand the extent of the economic strength of the Asian country, just look at some figures. Beijing covers over 27% of the entire world’s industrial output. Over a quarter of finished products in the world are “made in China”. To understand the extent of this data it is appropriate to compare it with that of the second industrial power in the world: the United States of America. Washington produces 16% of the world’s industrial products and Europe just over 10% of global output. China’s industrial production is equivalent to that of the US and EU combined. Which says a lot about the colossal dimensions of Beijing’s industrial potential and the economic relevance that the Asian country has in the world economy today. This was made possible by the expansion of global trade in Chinese products. We live in a world where everything (or almost everything) is Chinese. The Asian country is today the largest trading partner of many states in the world (including the USA and the EU) and trade relations with Beijing are of vital importance for a large part of the world’s states. Who have found in the immense Chinese market a formidable outlet for their agricultural and industrial production (which has also allowed a great economic expansion of developed economies such as Germany whose economic growth of the last 20 years has been supported precisely by the strong increase in exports with the Far Eastern country) which has given great impetus to global economic growth. The centrality of the Chinese economy in the world world is now an essential factor for any geopolitical actor in the world. And this makes the Asian giant the main economic engine of the planet. Beijing appears to be an essential point of reference not only for the industrial powers of the planet (which export a good part of their products to China) but also for the nations that produce raw materials of which the Middle Empire, given the size of its apparatus industrial, is in dire need. And in fact this explains the economic and geopolitical synergies that have arisen in recent years between Moscow and Beijing and between Beijing and Riyadh. China therefore today appears to be the true center of the world economic stage whose main players, for various reasons, cannot ignore referring to it.


If the immensity of its industrial production and its internal market make it the pivot of the world economy, the alliance with Russia makes it a leading geopolitical power in today’s world. The two countries have cemented their ties and their economies to the point of being completely complementary. Moscow supplies Beijing with the raw materials it needs and China constitutes an outlet market for its resources for Russia. The agreement between the two countries also concerns the field of defense and the global geostrategic framework. In fact, the Russians provided their technological-military know-how to the Chinese and this allowed a modernization of the army of the people’s republic, now very strong not only from a quantitative but also from a qualitative point of view. Thanks to this cooperation, Beijing now has an armed forces capable of competing with its main geopolitical rivals, including the USA. The alliance with Moscow has given the Asian country an indispensable “shoulder” to face on equal terms a West that looks at the growth of Chinese power as a real “smoke in the eyes”. And it has also made Beijing’s geostrategic strength much more solid, as it now collaborates with the strongest military power on the planet (Russia has not only the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world but also unique weapons from a from a technological point of view as well as a military satellite network of great strategic value also for Beijing).All this makes the Middle Empire today a global superpower whose potential, economic and military, is simply frightening for any geopolitical rival. And it is precisely the enormous size of Beijing’s economic and geopolitical weight that makes the Anglo-Saxon empire restless and engages it in a desperate attempt to contain its expansion.


But China also appears to have other competitive advantages that position it as a leading player in future global geopolitical and geoeconomic developments. Its geographical position places it at the center of the area with the greatest economic development in the world. We are talking about the Asian macro-region which includes the Indo-Pacific area, i.e. the area which includes, in addition to China, the Indian region, Indochina and Indonesia. Not only the bulk of global growth is concentrated in this area but also the largest market in the world. In fact, with a population of over 4 billion inhabitants, the aforementioned area will be the true economic engine of the world in a few years. Compared to which even the entire West, with its billion inhabitants, will seem small. The economic development of South Asia will see further growth opportunities for the Chinese economy which will have an easy time winning the competition from foreign goods given the higher production costs (labour costs in the West are much higher than those found in East, the cost of raw materials for Europe is rising sharply after the breakdown of trade relations with Moscow, the transport costs of Western goods are higher than those of China) of its biggest competitors. All this will make Beijing even richer and more powerful on the global geopolitical scene.


The rise of China in the global geopolitical context has undoubtedly been the most relevant geopolitical phenomenon of the 21st century. All this was made possible by good choices not only in the economic field but also at a geostrategic level. The alliance with Russia, in particular, guarantees Beijing military protection and technological know-how in the defense field that “protect” it from external aggression. At the same time, it also guarantees an unlimited influx of low-cost raw materials which represents a “manna from heaven” for the Chinese economy. Resources that China’s industrial and commercial rivals (primarily Europe) previously had at their disposal and which today, due to the conflict in Ukraine, are at its complete disposal (like the Russian market where Chinese goods no longer have competitors due the withdrawal of Western companies following the economic sanctions imposed on Moscow by Washington and Brussels). These are no small competitive advantages. And neither is its geographical position which guarantees it a leading role in the future “beating heart” of the world economy. We believe that it is not necessary to add anything else to fully understand the role that the Middle Empire, inevitably, will play in the world in the years to come.

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