Beijing has a documented plan to be the premier global superpower by 2049. It’s over halfway there.
Americans think in four-year election cycles. Chinese leaders think in terms of centuries. Just leaf through the glossy, cream-colored, gold-flecked pages of The Governance of China. This anthology of political theories by Chinese President Xi Jinping is considered almost sacred scripture in Beijing.
Across 18 chapters about leading the most populous nation on the planet, Xi outlines his utopian vision for the Chinese people. In the world he describes, the Chinese are heirs to an ancient and unique civilization entitled to a privileged position among nations. In this world, China is an economic, cultural and military superpower, while the United States is no longer a major geopolitical power.
Consolidating power in the Panama Canal
For more than 100 years, the Panama Canal has controlled the bulk of goods transferred between the Pacific and the Atlantic. For much of that history, this monumental feat of engineering was under the control of the United States. But this is no longer the case.
In May, Panama’s largest port was purchased by a Chinese company called Landbridge Group.
Margarita Island Port, on the canal’s Atlantic side, offers the company intimate access to one of the most important goods distribution centers in the world.
While promising to upgrade the ailing Panama facilities and offer more trade with America’s distant east coast, there is substantial reason to hesitate at the purchase of such a critical trade hub.