The “Chinese Dream” involves the reassertion of the economic and political primacy that China claims it has enjoyed over neighbours for millennia. This agenda is now being pursued globally but most intensely in South-East Asia and Australia/New Zealand.G’day ChinaIt’s our biggest trading partner and the source of our greatest strategic anxiety. But do we really understand the Middle Kingdom? G’day China brings you different perspectives on China.Throughout the region, China is attempting to establish economic connectors through the 21st Century Maritime Silk Route and the Silk Road Economic Belt, the $100 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the $40 billion Silk Road fund, the internationalisation of the renminbi, the shifting of its industrial production offshore and the various free trade agreements it has entered into. Hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese funds are being invested abroad as the PRC economy and national power expand. Infrastructural investment and control over that infrastructure are key in extending Chinese power across the region.
A vast range of PRC state-owned (and state-linked) enterprises are busy developing their control over infrastructure throughout South-East Asia – funding ports, power generators, energy transmission networks, highways, dams, railways and airports. China already completely dominates the infrastructure sphere and thus the economies of Laos and Cambodia, and Malaysia is swiftly following into that camp. This economic control is a precursor and necessary condition for strategic domination of the region.