When China completes this and most of the worlds nations are permanently in debt to China for the infrastructure, what exactly will happen to Russia, India and the United States? All 3 countries are out of the Silk Road. Trade will bypass them entirely and it will be way cheaper to trade with China and any country on the silk road than trading with the 3 nations who will not be a part of it.
Why does every country take loans from China when they realize they will most likely default on them? Montenegro is trying to build a highway using Chinese Labor that will cost nearly HALF of its GDP
Zambia had to sell their electric grid to China as payment for some railroad going to the capital.
I am considering fleeing to Canada within 20 years because i think america will collapse after the Silk Road is completed. Canada will be a part of the global trade network so it will still be a functional country.
China has ambitious and global objectives and it's making rapid strides to realise these. Its military grows in double-digits each year, which yields a doubling time of under a decade. Already, when adjusted for purchasing power, it buys more than half the amount of military capability as America. By the end of the decade it will purchase nearly as much. The politburo has aims to challenge the American international system, built on free market economics and enforced by sovereign liberal democracies. China's system requires no such separations of power and as you have noted, is built on a model of vassal states. Indentured servitude on the scale of nation states, kept in order by the power of modern technology and science.
Before we speak of global dominion however, we should take stock of where the world is today.
The United States is fundamentally built on the Adam Smith notion of comparative advantage and the free market. Most call this capitalism. Inasmuch as it can be considered a single entity, the U.S. realised that the proper order of the world is one in which a common trading scheme, one that respected the sovereignty of voluntary members, produced the greatest absolute wealth for all. Germany, Italy, and Japan were built on a model that imitated the U.S.' separation of powers and joined a common sphere of governance. In return, non-U.S. members sacrificed their sovereign ambitions and submitted themselves to this Pax Americana. The Grand Strategy of the U.S. as written by the chiefs of staff in 1992 dictated that the U.S. should take on the mantle of defence for all nations, enforcing the rules-based order laid down by the victors of WW2 so no (adequately powerful) nation should feel the need to construct its own substantial defences that might disobey this U.S.-lead order. The U.S., in return, uses its power to further and enforce a relatively even economic playing field (amongst volunteer nations) that members have been happy to abide by. This was even the case in the 80's, when Japan's economy grew to 80% the size of America's--usurping much of America's manufacturing prowess. Nevertheless, the U.S. at its most nationalistic fervour was happy to bow to its own rules and compete peacefully rather than resort to its overpowering military strength. Capitalism requires nations to peacefully cooperate even when they appear to be losing in the short term--even if they wield overwhelming weapons.
The reason why I say all this is to make the point that the majority of weak nations across the globe are happy to relax within the American system. Not so for China's view of the world.
There is a reason why Taiwan still fights tooth-and-nail to keep the United States its protector in chief. It's not just historical--it took Japan less than 10 years to cosy up to the U.S. despite receiving two nuclear bombs. Hong Kong has seen 20% of their population on the streets in a single day in a single protest to oppose the Chinese political-judicial system for a reason. Vietnam, despite sharing a boarder with China and despite having the opportunity to engage overwhelmingly in trade with China has opted to balance its relationship with China and the U.S. to prevent annexation or vassalisation.
Why do leaders of countries borrow within the OBOR initiative? Because they're fallible and because their leadership has not heretofore been privy to the harsh reality of this alternative international system. China is targeting (1) strategically important partners, but especially (2) the outcasts of the incumbent order.
--------- too long, too tired. May edit out blah blah and edit in relevant details
Long story short:
- China needs to cosy up with wealthy consumer markets.
- China's trying to pick off European nations one-by-one.
- Trump's america has done poorly in befriending the europeans through this period. He gets a bad apple. RN, the U.S. needs to demonstrate a universal and eternal friendship (relatively) with allied nations to dissuade excessive commitment in Pax China. By most pew surveys, the U.S. is still leagues ahead however.
- It's not all about raw economic performance nor is economic performance eternal. Nations have various needs beyond the balance sheet (though that's always up there because without the national balance, other needs are meaningless) and China has proven itself to be a disagreeable and painful partner (not used to working within the current system that assumes playing by the rules, freedom of expression etc. Countries that are spoilt with these privileges are having a tough time putting up with the Chinese system despite the cash benefits).
- China has some serious internal fiscal issues to contend with. Migrating the peasantry into cities for 6, 8, 10+% GDP growth is one thing. Breaking out of the middle-income trap and sustaining advanced growth is another. Chinese refuse to spend, China's economy is still primarily supported by manufacturing rather than consumption. That has its pro's and con's. They manufacture twice as much as the U.S. and it has implications in the event of war. This is where Trump does exceptionally well.
- etc etc, goodnight