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S itting astride the sleeping Asian monster, Beijing is already beginning to brandish its influence more directly against the U. Toward the end of , the U. When the Chinese yuan is fixed at a low level compared to the U.

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As Washington and Beijing continue to bicker over such issues, their relationship will grow more fractious, and the U. By Brad Macdonald. U ntil recently, only the United States and the former ussr could boast of sending a man to orbit the Earth.

China now plans to build on this success and land a man on the moon within two decades. What is the significance of this event? Its implications go far beyond the realm of science into that of global politics.

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Space travel is about far more than science and exploration. An advanced space program indicates an advanced nation. Thus, the net geopolitical gains of space travel are well worth the costs. Through its highly advanced space program, China is not-so-subtly informing the world that it desires more global respect—militarily, geopolitically and economically.

China is now a force to be reckoned with. Traditionally, China has been a politically abrasive, isolated nation, reluctant to join the game of international diplomacy. Twenty years ago, to many nations, China represented famine, poverty, widespread unemployment, poor human rights, Mao Zedong and Tiananmen Square. Chinese officials have spent the last two decades trying to dig China out of this hole. Although great economic strides have been made and conditions for the Chinese people have improved, this mission continues. These days, for many urban Chinese, famine and poverty are being progressively transformed into abundance and wealth.

Chinese leadership has primarily used two mechanisms to foster this resurrection. First, over the past two decades the Communist government has progressively privatized many government-controlled institutions and encouraged capitalist ventures by its citizens. Thus, private enterprise has increased significantly. Second, Beijing has strenuously engaged itself in international affairs, particularly trade and commercial negotiations. Even private companies have been encouraged to strike up relationships with other nations in almost every sector, including trade, finance, military, security, tourism, transport and agriculture.

Abandoning the isolationist mentality, Deng and succeeding leaders have thrust Chinese diplomats into a range of international organizations, agreements, committees and bodies. China is now represented at most prominent international events and meetings. With a gigantic labor force, and an insatiable thirst for knowledge and advancement, China has become a net importer of technical expertise and grown into a massive exporter of a wide range of products from technological hardware to agricultural goods.

No nation or group of nations compares to China in terms of the rate of recent growth and expansion. If the EU displaces the U. Economic relations between Germany and China are flourishing.

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German exports to China doubled during the first half of Chinese President Hu Jintao was inducted into office less than a year ago and has already traveled outside Chinese borders more times than both of the presidents before him combined. Since the mids especially, Beijing has been working overtime to develop stronger relationships, particularly with those nations closest to its own borders. In , Beijing uncharacteristically made overtures to nato, initiating communication with the American-led alliance.

In October last year, China announced its Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity with the Association of Southeast Asian nations asean , focused on developing long-term peace and sustainable development in the region. With more than million males fit for military service and an extensive inventory of military hardware, China has the potential for one of the largest militaries in the world. A concern for China, however, is that much of this hardware is growing obsolete. Thus, Chinese officials have been upgrading, particularly naval hardware, over the past few years, including adding submarines and destroyers from Russia.

In war or peace, nations that control space control the world. Through its highly sophisticated space program, and by working with the EU in developing the Galileo navigational system, China is now ready to be launched onto the global security scene. Not that it is going unnoticed—this success story is being reported worldwide. Yet, too few understand the implications of increasing Chinese dominance for the rest of the world. What plans does China have for Asia? Since World War ii , the U.

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Even today, many Asian nations, including Thailand, work closely with America—especially in the war against terrorism. But for how long? Concurrently, China is also working more intimately than ever with these same nations. The whole objective of the policy it to avoid strategic encirclement by the U. China is finally acting on its long-held ambitions to unite East Asia and is squeezing out U.

Make no mistake: China is quickly becoming the nucleus of Asia, and an attractive alternative to America as an ally.

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From Kazakhstan to the Philippines, Japan to Thailand, and every nation in between, Beijing is forging a foreign policy aimed to increase passively its influence in the region. On its western borders, China has made such uncharacteristic gestures as conceding long-disputed tracts of land to historic rival India and other central Asian nations. Through warm gestures such as gigantic trade and commerce deals, Beijing is causing Eastern nations to grow more reliant on China. The groundwork is being laid for Asia to grow into a tremendous coalition of nations that will rival the U.

China is at the vanguard of this movement. Asian nations are beginning to realign themselves with their Chinese neighbor and away from the U. Washington is losing its grip on Asia —at a time when, in terms of trade and its war on terrorism, it needs Asian support more than ever. In the Bible, God foretold of the Day of the Lord, a time when He will cause the Eastern blocs of nations to coalesce into an overwhelming army of million personnel Rev.

To prove the identity of these nations in Bible prophecy, please write for our free booklet Russia and China in Prophecy. In verse 3, God tells us that China will be one of the leading nations in this great Eastern army. Groundwork for this army is being laid right now! On the scene is a China cleverly gaining influence and control of its East Asian neighbors and growing closer to its northern neighbor Russia. Just as prophecy revealed it would, the Far East is uniting.

Continue to watch this region! The Bible reveals that the timing of these prophecies is just moments before the return of Christ. Their progressive fulfillment should spur us into preparing for the return of Christ. It is not enough to simply hear and understand these prophecies— we must act on them to prepare for the future! By Gary Rethford. P erestroika, glasnost and the demise of the Soviet Union may have led the world to believe that a different nation has emerged than the one that threatened Western values for more than 40 years.

The unique character of individual nations tends to remain constant and resurfaces repeatedly in history. First under the House of Rurik, characterized by Tsar Ivan iv the Terrible , through to the House of Romanov, Russia was ruled by an autocratic monarchy. But by , autocratic rule had taken its toll on the citizenry. Communism became the official state ideology, with Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin—all leaders in the revolution—struggling for power.

He imposed a rigid dictatorship and, within 12 years of briefly flirting with rule by committee, returned to strong autocratic, dictatorial government. True to type, the national character of Russia gravitated toward submission to authoritarian rule. Then, in , Mikhail Gorbachev became the Russian premier. Added to this, the cia -Vatican initiatives in Poland broke the first link in the chain that bound the ussr together. By , Gorbachev had dissolved the ussr. Two years later, he strengthened presidential powers by introducing a new constitution.

At the same time, he tried to transform the existing state-owned economy into a Western-style private enterprise system in order to revive the country. The ironic result was economic power and wealth falling into the hands of a few private owners of industry—the oligarchs. Putin, elected in March , immediately took action to move the country in the direction he wanted it to go.

He stepped up governmental control over the various Russian administrative units, and gained the power to oust governors and dissolve legislatures that enacted unconstitutional laws. President Bush has called Putin a man he can trust. The current form of government in Russia is termed a presidential republic— meaning, the president makes the rules. It is an autocratic form of government, and Putin is prepared to fight for it. Further, his more recent crackdown on the oligarchs when they challenged his oil economics policies reveals the extent he will go to to strengthen his own power.