BY: Abu Hurrairah
PEJOURNAL – Geoeconomics defines itself in two ways: One is the use of the economy to gain geographical or territorial advantages. Second is the use of geographical location to achieve your economic objectives. To understand this core concept in the contemporary world, the best examples to deal with are China and the United States of America. They are keeping in mind that the primary goal of both is to gain power, but the procedures are different.
Talking about China first, we can say that China stands with the first definition of Geoeconomics. It uses its location and geography to enhance its economy to a global level that ultimately defines its geoeconomics objectives. The primary goal of China is to become an Economic Giant in the Asian region and then in the entire Globe, or maybe they would aspire to become a superpower later.
However, the way they are pursuing their task is quite interesting. China’s BRI (Belt Road Initiative) is a more significant step reflecting the use of the economy to promote and defend national interests to gain desired geopolitical results. China has taken some severe measures towards economic and national security to advance innovating and producing technology by prioritizing self-sufficiency. This move was taken to keep China’s economy on track and to lessen the military gap between the USA and China.
This is the era of technology, and here these advancements play a crucial role in safeguarding your economic interests and power transitions on a global level. The USA is the most significant player in technological advancements. Still, China, as a rising power, chose their Chinese kind of “innovation imperative” China has made smaller countries their target audience and increasing its consumers day by day.
You can take an example of an American iPhone and a Chinese Xiaomi device with the same characteristics. One from a third-world country will opt for Xiaomi. This is why Xiaomi has become the second most selling brand in the world in no time.
The United States put a serious critique over China by calling them a “Copy-cat nation, ”but who cares for this when you get the same brand of American quality with a Chinese label at a low price. This is the best technique used by any nation throughout history. According to the 2025 Made in China plan, China is looking to gain 70% self-sufficiency in high tech markets and aspiring for a dominant global position in the market by 2049. According to their President, self-sufficiency in technologies is mandatory for both economic and security advantages.
China’s geoeconomics approach is not only restricted to economic and security purposes, but it also covers a coordination aspect between the Chinese state and market actors across the Globe. China is also providing full support to build infrastructures for technological advancements, and then through BRI, they are looking to supply these products to almost half of the world.
China uses multidimensional knowledge and Tecno-based products to achieve its economic objectives and then, through trade routes, wants to achieve its geopolitical objectives. China is a more significant rising threat for the USA because of its successful geoeconomics approach so far.
The United States of America, on the other hand, has some different approach to pursue its objectives. The USA as a superpower has a primary goal to maintain its global hegemony by hook or crook. For this, they usually use their military or economic power because they have both in surplus. Apart from this, the USA also loves to work diplomatically in a devious way through proxies. First, they use carrots to make their allies in different regions safeguard their interests; otherwise, they go for direct military intervention with complete legitimacy.
A recent example is a war on terror against Al Qaeda. Pakistan was the front-line ally of them in that war, and it was all because Al Qaeda broke down their geographical security. The USA entered Afghanistan and portrayed themselves as they were doing it for humanity.
In Addition, thousands of Iraqis died in the 2003 invasion, and the whole region was set on fire. The USA has been following for many years is using international financial organizations like IMF and World Bank etc. There are some severe criticisms on World Bank and IMF working as they usually work for the USA’s interest. IMF provides loans to different countries with a so-called motto of “helping “them but imposes tight and stiff conditions over them, which they cannot fulfill.
The main reason for such a rigid policy is to make their economy handy kept to depend on them forever. Programs also take away the state’s sovereignty from its economic affairs. They introduced their policy, which is mandatory to be implemented in the country. They give suggestions like full-fledged autonomy to the central banks, privatization of public assets, and amendments in labor laws that provide unchecked powers to pro-capitalist employers.
The recent passing bill of giving autonomy to the State Bank of Pakistan is the best example to understand their working tactics. It will automatically become impossible for a country to recover its economy in these challenging situations, and you will ultimately be in slavery.
All of this is done to maintain the Global hegemony of the U.S.-led capitalist bloc. In the past few years, Pakistan has been on the hitlist of the USA just because of its inclination towards China. The USA is building a partnership with India to tackle China in the region and suppress Pakistan to gain its geoeconomics advantages. Conclusively, the approach of the USA in pursuing its goal has been ruthless and draconian throughout history, but China so far has proved to be significantly less brutal for all the concerned countries.