[News] The birth of the 'de-Americanized' world

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Oct 15 12:20:57 EDT 2013

*The birth of the 'de-Americanized' world*
By Pepe Escobar

This is it. China has had enough. The (diplomatic) gloves are off. It's 
time to build a "de-Americanized" world. It's time for a "new 
international reserve currency" to replace the US dollar.

It's all here, in a Xinhua editorial 
straight from the dragon's mouth. And the year is only 2013. Fasten your 
seat belts - and that applies especially to the Washington elites. It's 
gonna be a bumpy ride.

Long gone are the Deng Xiaoping days of "keeping a low profile". The 
Xinhua editorial summarizes the straw that broke the dragon's back - the 
current US shutdown. After the Wall Street-provoked
financial crisis, after the war on Iraq, a "befuddled world", and not 
only China, wants change.

This paragraph couldn't be more graphic:

    Instead of honoring its duties as a responsible leading power, a
    self-serving Washington has abused its superpower status and
    introduced even more chaos into the world by shifting financial
    risks overseas, instigating regional tensions amid territorial
    disputes, and fighting unwarranted wars under the cover of outright

The solution, for Beijing, is to "de-Americanize" the current 
geopolitical equation - starting with more say in the International 
Monetary Fund and World Bank for emerging economies and the developing 
world, leading to a "new international reserve currency that is to be 
created to replace the dominant US dollar".

Note that Beijing is not advocating completely smashing the Bretton 
Woods system - at least for now, but it is for having more deciding 
power. Sounds reasonable, considering that China holds slightly more 
weight inside the IMF than Italy. IMF "reform" - sort of - has been 
going on since 2010, but Washington, unsurprisingly, has vetoed anything 

As for the move away from the US dollar, it's also already on, in 
varying degrees of speed, especially concerning trade amongst the BRICS 
group of emerging powers (Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, China and South 
Africa), which is now overwhelmingly in their respective currencies. The 
US dollar is slowly but surely being replaced by a basket of currencies.

"De-Americanization" is also already on. Take last week's Chinese trade 
charm offensive across Southeast Asia, which is incisively leaning 
towards even more action with their top commercial partner, China. 
Chinese President Xi Jinping clinched an array of deals with Indonesia, 
Malaysia and also Australia, only a few weeks after clinching another 
array of deals with the Central Asian "stans".

Chinese commitment to improve the Iron Silk Road reached fever pitch, 
with shares of Chinese rail companies going through the roof amid the 
prospect of a high-speed rail link with and through Thailand actually 
materializing. In Vietnam, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sealed an 
understanding that two country's territorial quarrels in the South China 
Sea would not interfere with even more business. Take that, "pivoting" 
to Asia.

*All aboard the petroyuan*
Everyone knows Beijing holds Himalayas of US Treasury bonds - courtesy 
of those massive trade surpluses accumulated over the past three decades 
plus an official policy of keeping the yuan appreciating very slowly, 
yet surely.

At the same time, Beijing has been acting. The yuan is also slowly but 
surely becoming more convertible in international markets. (Just last 
week, the European Central Bank and the People?s Bank of China agreed to 
set up a US$45-$57 billion currency swap line that will add to the 
yuan's international strength and improve access to trade finance in the 
euro area.)

The unofficial date for full yuan convertibility could fall anywhere 
between 2017 and 2020. The target is clear; move away from piling up US 
debt, which implies, in the long run, Beijing removing itself from this 
market - and thus making it way more costly for the US to borrow. The 
collective leadership in Beijing has already made up its mind about it, 
and is acting accordingly.

The move towards a full convertible yuan is as inexorable as the BRICS 
move towards a basket of currencies progressively replacing the US 
dollar as a reserve currency. Until, further on down the road, the real 
cataclysmic event materializes; the advent of the petroyuan - destined 
to surpass the petrodollar once the Gulf petro-monarchies see which way 
the historical winds are blowing. Then we will enter a completely 
different geopolitical ball game.

We may be a long way away, but what is certain is that Deng Xiaoping's 
famous set of instructions is being progressively discarded; "Observe 
calmly; secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our 
capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; and 
never claim leadership."

A mix of caution and deception, grounded on China's historical 
confidence and taking into consideration serious long-term ambition, 
this was classic Sun Tzu. So far, Beijing was laying low; letting the 
adversary commit fatal mistakes (and what a collection of 
multi-trillion-dollar mistakes... ); and accumulating "capital".

The time to capitalize has now arrived. By 2009, after the Wall 
Street-provoked financial crisis, there were already Chinese rumblings 
about the "malfunctioning of the Western model" and ultimately the 
"malfunctioning of Western culture".

Beijing has listened to Dylan (with Mandarin subtitles?) and concluded 
yes, the times they-are-a-changing. With no foreseeable social, economic 
and political progress - the shutdown is just another graphic 
illustration, if any was needed - the US slide is as inexorable as 
China, bit by bit, spreading its wings to master 21st century 

Make no mistake; the Washington elites will fight it like the ultimate 
plague. Still, Antonio Gramsci's intuition must now be upgraded; the old 
order has died, and the new one is one step closer to being born.

/*Pepe Escobar* is the author of /Globalistan: How the Globalized World 
is Dissolving into Liquid War 
/(Nimble Books, 2007), /Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the 
/(Nimble Books, 2007), and /Obama does Globalistan 
<http://www.amazon.com/Obama-Does-Globalistan-Pepe-Escobar/dp/1934840831> /(Nimble 
Books, 2009).

He may be reached at pepeasia at yahoo.com./
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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