The colonization period was established in the early 14th century. The Portuguese colonization in the Eastern coast of South America, Brazil, European settlers started to invade the Central and South-Western parts of Africa, and Spaniards overtook South America. The finesse of capturing the indigenous leaders and coercing the people to provide Spaniards with food and land was the prowess of Spaniards. Systems like Encomienda, Repartimiento de mercancias, Mita, and Trajan sapped the roots of South America. Leaders like De Toledo, Pizarro, and Hernan Cortes deteriorated the “Inca Empire.” Through these systems of extracting food and gold, forced labor, and exploiting the people, they overruled South America till the mid-19th century.
When the English settlers started to invade in North America in 1585 who were well aware of what happened in South America, the episodic attempts to plant a colony in North Carolina with the aid of “Virginia Company” was a complete fiasco. The Englishmen later realized that they couldn’t sap the people of North America like the encomenderos in South America. People of North America were even persuaded to create Assemblies in a state of rebuttal. The Assemblies believed that they had the right to determine both their membership and right to taxation, and that created a snag and a stumbling hitch for Englishmen. The English elites, rather than trying to coerce the people, they tried time and time again to set up institutions that would heavily restrict economic and political rights for all but a privileged few inhabitants.
In the modern world, a country or people can’t be coerced as Spaniards and Europeans did to South Americans and Africans, respectively. The colonization was never ceased but only forged into a new form and moniker that was to abate the coercion and abash other nations using economy and formal institutions like constitutions, nationwide systems, etc.
China has always been prejudiced and abhorred by other nations for its “Debt Diplomacy”: to indebt economically poor nations with a promising autarky but later on own those nations. Many countries are struggling to pay back Chinese debt like Laos, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and South Africa you name it. Sri Lanka has to pay huge but was unable to pay back, and now port Hambantota is a Chinese port. Pakistan is another Chinese colony due to massive investment in CPEC; Maldives owe $1.5 Billion that is 33% of its annual GDP and is now a significant asset for China in the ASEAN States. China is building a forest city in Malaysia that can home 700,000 people and is owned by China. This is a new era of colonization where you indebt nations, and when they are unable to pay back, China strafes the abject countries and owns their part.
On 30 June 2020, the Chinese Government introduced a national security law in Hong Kong that precludes “acts of rebellion, subversion of state power, terrorist activities and collaboration with international or external forces to threaten national security.” The Hong Kong authorities assert that the law will “only target a tiny minority of people.” Yet, its vague language and global scope raise questions about what it means for foreign travelers and the recovery of tourism in the city once COVID-19 has eased travel restrictions. The dogmatism led by Chinese security law over Hong Kong has created an atmosphere of fear for the countries that are to pay back Chinese debt and muddled their sovereignty. Article 38 of National Security Law allows the prosecution of Hong Kong people even outside Hong Kong, and that’s dreadful and formidable.
China’s act of prosecuting Hong Kong residents was an alarming buzzer, but Article 38 in that law is even horrendous where the Chinese can arrest anyone who is not in Hong Kong. Many countries who owe money to China are a silent colony of China, and they should be worried about what China will do to them in the years to come. Who knows what life holds for us?