Unlike the US, China does not have a substantial history of invading and subjugating the inhabitants of far-flung lands.

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Murtaza Hussain is a Toronto-based writer and analyst focused on issues related to Middle Eastern politics.

China is one of the most influential commercial players in Iraq’s oil boom [Reuters]

“The nationswhich today own the world’s resources fear the rise of China and wish to postpone the day of that rise.” – Rabindranath Tagore, 1915

Until the mid-20th century, China suffered what has been termed as the “Century of Humiliation” – a period of subjugation and oppression by Western military powers (as well as the Japanese). During this time Western imperialists flooded the country with drugs, raped and murdered its subjects with impunity and – due to both insatiable greed and abject ignorance to concepts such as culture and history – wantonly desecrated the priceless monuments of ancient Chinese civilisation.

At the outset of this period – when hordes of English soldiers destroyed Beijing’s ancient Summer Palace in an orgy of looting and arson – Major General Charles Gordon said, “You can scarcely imagine the beauty and magnificence of the places we burnt” – which in many ways was emblematic of the entire carnivorous project of Western imperialism in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Today, however, Rabindranath Tagore’s prophecy about China seems to have come to fruition, and the modern heirs to rapacious criminals such as Gordon now openly lament their fear of rising Chinese power.

In the place of the former colonial forces such as England and France, however, today, sits the US, the world’s only remaining military superpower. While since the fall of the Soviet Union the US has been widely considered to be the preeminent nation globally, in recent years it has fallen into an observable malaise.

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