Currently, China has two great strategic opportunities internationally. One is the global financial crisis, which has hit the U.S. and other Western countries and has yet to see the bottom. The other is that the U.S. has encountered major obstacles in implementing its Middle East strategy, which could further keep the U.S. from shifting its focus toward the east. (We) should also pay attention to the strategic adjustment following the “March 11” earthquake and the nuclear incidents in Japan and to their potential influence on the international economic and political structure. China should recognize, fully grasp, and carefully make plans for these two great strategic opportunities, so as to use them to maximum advantage in extending the duration of the opportunity. If we don’t recognize, take full advantage of, and plan well for these opportunities, they will, instead, become two great strategic challenges.
The international financial crisis is getting worse, which is marked by the rapid increase of the sovereign debts in a number of countries, especially big countries
The U.S., the E.U., and Japan, the three major economic blocks, have yet to show any obvious improvement: their sovereign debts are all sharply increasing. In 2010, the U.S. national debt hit a new high of US$14.056 trillion, or about US$45,300 per capita. According to Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) statistics, currently, the debts of the U.S. government and the corporate and private sectors have reached a total of about US$200 trillion. With the U.S. population of 305 million, the debt per capita is about US$700,000 and the debt per family (assuming 3.1 persons per household) is US$2.17 million. It is certain that if the world’s other great powers can properly deal with this situation, the U.S. national debt will further increase, the polarization will further intensify, and a variety of deep conflicts will inevitably emerge in the coming years.
The Eurozone, Britain, and Japan’s sovereign debts are also very high. The ratio of E.U. member’s government debts to GDP increased to 79.6 percent in 2010. It is projected that the ratio will increase to 83.8 percent in 2011. Japan’s Finance Ministry predicts that, by March 2012, Japan’s public debt will increase to $997.7 trillion yen (about US$12 trillion), from 943 trillion yen (about US$11.3 trillion) in 2011. Its public debt relative to its share of nominal GDP will increase to 232 percent from 217 percent in 2011.
In a sense, as the global financial crisis deepens, the world’s major powers and all the major strategic companies will continue to play off each other. Because a new round of financial crises in the next few years could become even more intense, emerging and developing countries are also likely to face international capital monopolies conducting a new round of looting. Of course, the techniques and methods will vary widely and even be very cruel. Historical experience has repeatedly shown that an economic crisis will inevitably result in a political crisis. When necessary, the so-called “international community” will inevitably resort to war to get out of the crisis. This is their last ditch and possibly most effective way to end the crisis. Where, in the past, we talked about “geopolitics,” can we now add “currency politics” and “resource politics?” It seems that only by the sum of these three politics can all the major events that have occurred in the world be explained. On March 19, 2011, the coalition troops from the United States, France, Britain, Italy, and Canada attacked Libya. It is a profound reflection of how the global financial crisis is deepening. It is also the result of the intense conflicts among geopolitics, currency politics, and resource politics.
The widening gap between rich and poor and the deepening of the international financial crisis has further increased global instability. Relative to the low point after the drastic changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the left wing in the world and the socialist movement are now seeing a revival.
From developed to developing countries, from Europe to the Middle East, North Africa and then to Asia and Latin America, social anxiety is spreading. The general public in developed and developing countries are widely dissatisfied with capitalism; large-scale street protests have increased; extreme political events have occurred frequently; many countries’ political situations are unstable; and the risk of global social unrest has significantly increased. Among them, the bright spot worth paying attention to is that, worldwide, Marxist theory has been attracting increased attention. In some areas, the Communist Party abroad has engaged in joint activities within a limited range. We must pay special attention to the left wing and socialist ideologies that are reviving, consider them broadly, and use a variety of ways to actively cooperate and coordinate (with them). This cooperation is an extremely favorable international opportunity for socialism with Chinese-characteristics to advance and develop. We must cooperate on all fronts, and we should not limit our cooperation only to developed capitalist countries. In the current complex and volatile international situation, we must measure our abilities and be prudent. We must not pledge to carry the flag, or even want to export “revolution,” disregarding our national power and other characteristics. At the same time, we must further open up our minds, move with the times, make a difference, and courageously shoulder our necessary international responsibilities and obligations.
Because of the suddenly occurring incidents in West Asia and North Africa, the United States is adjusting its strategy. Once West Asia and North Africa stabilize, the United States will continue to intensify the implementation of its “new Middle East strategy” and use mainly its “smart power” to achieve its goals.
What is the United States’ primary goal in the “new Middle East?” First, it wants to destroy the economic cooperation between China, Russia, Japan, and Korea in Northeast Asia and the ASEAN; second, it wants to use territorial and maritime rights’ disputes to instigate conflicts between China and its neighboring countries; third, it wants to contain China by applying the “smart power” of finance, ideology, “street politics,” and so on through engagement. From its experience of bringing down the equally-powerful Soviet Union 20 years ago, the United States will use more of its soft power to achieve the goal of “defeating the enemy without fighting.” In fact, the “peaceful evolution,” “Westernization and division,” “color revolution,” “street politics,” “soft power,” and “smart power” are essentially the same thing, or are intrinsically linked to each other. It is noteworthy that during the process of implementing “smart power,” it is also often accompanied by hard power, such as aircraft carriers to ensure the effectiveness of the “smart power.” U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton focus more on “smart power,” which fully reflects the strategy style and prominent features of Democrats. On February 14, 2011, during her speech at George Washington University, Clinton pointed out that the U.S. government will invest US$25 million and get more private capital to “develop technological tools for online activists, dissidents, and the general public to bypass Internet surveillance in ‘repressive countries.'” She publicly named China, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, Syria, and Vietnam as being “countries that implement the censorship of books and magazines, restrictions on Internet freedom, and the arrest of those who criticize the government on their blogs.” She said that the Chinese control of the Internet “will have a long-term cost and will sink (China) into a vicious cycle that limits its growth and development;” and (we should) make the countries with Internet control sink into “the plight that tyrannies deserve.” The emergence and development of Twitter is also a “double-edged sword.” On the one hand, it is beneficial for interaction among the general public; on the other hand, it provides strong technical support and special and effective ways for domestic and foreign hostile forces to instigate a so-called “color revolution” in China. Regarding the U.S. attempts to use the low cost “Twitter” and other “smart power” means to implement the strategies of Westernizing, dividing and weakening China, we must be highly alert, study them carefully, and take timely and effective measures [to counteract them]; we should never take them lightly.
 Qiushi Theory Online, “Seize the Two Strategic Opportunities and Strive to Extend the Period of Opportunity,” July 12, 2011.