By Mohammad M. Farahani

China is on par with U.S. on all fronts: researcher

October 27, 2021 - 15:18

TEHRAN – A Pakistani researcher believes that Beijing can compete with Washington in military power, highlighting China’s economic rise.

“China is already on a par with the U.S. on all fronts, including military,” Mahrukh Khan tells the Tehran Times.

“Both the nations have extraordinary military capabilities including nuclear power,” Khan adds.

However, many political pundits believe that economy gives China a significant advantage over other aspects. 

“China is also cognizant of the fact that it will be more able to defeat the U.S. as well as maintain Beijing’s influence and role of a superpower by increasing its economic might rather than military,” Khan remarks.

Following is the text of the interview:

How do you assess U.S.-China differences? Why doesn’t the U.S. want to acknowledge China’s rising global status?

The differences between the U.S. and China are on a constant rise, whether it is in the realm of economy, diplomacy, or securing strategic upper hand. Over the course of many years, China has been able to establish its footprint on all the continents across the globe through its diplomatic efforts and through building infrastructures such as the BRI and CPEC. This has created an atmosphere of bipartisan stress in the U.S. and its Congress with mutual consensus to curb the rise of China. The U.S. is in no mood to acknowledge the rise of China because it will in return bring Beijing at par with Washington something that the U.S. doesn’t want. Moreover, the rise of China and its acknowledgment will be a direct threat to the international world order established in the aftermath of WWII which has constantly put the West at an advantage. 

“China has established its footprint on all the continents, through its diplomatic efforts.”Do you think the U.S. is able to curb China’s influence through QUAD?

It is fairly difficult to suggest or assume that the U.S. will be able to curb the growing Chinese influence by or through the QUAD. While the basic construct of the QUAD is against China the countries in the Quad have been unable to achieve it as they differ in doing so. Australia is not interested to take China by its horns as it has reasonably good trade and economic ties. Similarly, the only nations on one page to go against China are the U.S. and India alone for obvious reasons and have become a desperate attempt by Washington and New Delhi to counter China. 

How do you see the importance of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in consolidating China’s influence and promoting its deterrence power?

SCO has played a significant role in putting China’s perspective across the globe. While it has not given it a deterrence power in a pure sense, it has provided it with a platform to put its voice across in multiple ways and infiltrate and influence countries in the region and beyond through economic and diplomatic agendas. 

Some experts claim the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan to leave a destabilized region for China? What is your comment?

Not really. I believe that there was a general Afghanistan fatigue prevalent in the U.S. for many years. It was a lost cause that only needed some political realization and materialization which happened while Trump was in office. China has been a keen neutral player in the perusal of an end to the Afghan crisis and if anything the exit of the U.S. from Afghanistan is more or less a relief for Beijing and Moscow and it has given them more space to maneuver without the U.S. policing their moves. 

Do you think that China is able to contain U.S. moves in the Far East through the SCO?

China doesn’t need SCO in a realist sense to contain the U.S. Its obvious rise both in the diplomatic sense as well as strategic sense has worked as deterrence for the U.S. Moreover, whatever the U.S. says, it cannot take China by its horns as it cannot afford to do so for multiple reasons. 

Do you expect China enter military rivalry with the U.S. after its economic rise?

China is already at par with the U.S. on all fronts, including the military. Both nations have extraordinary military capabilities, including nuclear power. China is also cognizant of the fact that it will be more able to defeat the U.S. as well as maintain Beijing’s influence and role of superpower by increasing its economic might rather than military.


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