When China rules the world…
Sanne van Oosten
The world order is changing, the power of the world is shifting from West to East, a shift that will make the world look very different over time. But what will the West look like when the East comes to power? Let’s try it out with a thought experiment.
From a very young age children will not be pushed to learn English, but Mandarin. Prestigious elementary schools will include Mandarin in their curriculum to make their school more in demand with rich parents wanting the best for their children. People will adopt a Mandarin accent in their language and causally throw in words like Xie Xie and Ni Hau during any conversation. Older people will be annoyed at this, but youngsters will find themselves incredibly hip with their Mandarin lingo.
When children reach adolescence they will be more and more concerned about their looks, nothing new under the sky. But what will be different are the looks they will be striving for. They’ll nag their parents to have clothing in Chinese styles, instead of those boring blue jeans that their parents keep making them wear. Also, they’ll dream of getting eye-lid corrections so they’ll be able to have the slanted eyes they so covet in their Chinese counterparts.
Girls who don’t have the most promising futures will run a high risk to be seduced by a human trafficker. He will tell her she’ll be able to work in a hip bar in Shanghai, but she’ll actually be brought to China to work in a brothel. By that time, white women will be very popular in the brothel-scene, as they are known to be more submissive than their Chinese female counterparts, who are much too emancipated for the average john’s taste. The brothel-owners will also be completely fed up with Chinese women, they don’t let themselves be manipulated like the white women do!
Western youngsters who were lucky enough to finish high school will massively take a gap-year off to travel the world. But the destination will no longer be Asia. Unfortunately, travelers with a tight budget will no longer be able to come anywhere close to Asia, with soaring prices for everything. These youngsters will travel to cheaper places like Africa and set out a new backpacker trail. Luckily, they’ve all learned Mandarin in elementary school, because most of the business owners in Africa will be Chinese.
And what about sports? Football is no longer sport number one in Europe. Also, it will no longer be the case that all of Asia watches the European Cup. Instead, all of Europe will be watching the Asian Ping Pong Cup.
Then it’s time for or college. Youngsters will massively aspire to jobs in the tourism industry, as that is the way to get as close as possible to Chinese people. They’ll study to be tour guides or employees in the hospitality business. Less privileged men will rent a bike rickshaw from some exploitative mafia boss and yell out to every Chinese-looking passerby: Need a ride? I’ll give you good price! Their female counterparts will sit on the side of the road and greet every Chinese passerby with Massage, sir? Children will adopt an instant Pavlov-reaction when confronted with a Chinese looking person and hold out their hand for some money: Please, some money for food, please.
Cities like Amsterdam will be full of Asian tourists, even fuller than they are today. Although some Asians with particularly slanted eyes will go absolutely crazy amongst all those white people with their ridiculous-looking round eyes. Locals with the guts to approach them will keep on trying to touch them and exclaim things like: Your eyes, they are so beautiful! Some really gutsy ones might say: Please marry me, please!
Nevertheless, Chinese tourists will love to visit the West. They’ll enjoy seeing the ruins of long lost times. A crumbled down Eiffel-tower, a Statue of Liberty with the arms missing, the few pieces of the Amsterdam canal belt that are still left over. They’ll love it! But they won’t only be interested in the highlights. Some tourists will venture off the beaten track and visit a few remote villages, just to exclaim things like: Wow, their traditional culture is so cute! Whilst not noticing how degrading saying that can be. But it won’t matter, Western people will not only be looked down on, they’ll also look down on themselves. Calling their culture cute will not be an insult to them, they’ll be used to it.
But hey, who says the global power shift will lead to a complete reverse of the current world? The world upside down? Give me a break. Advancement of the developed, developing and undeveloped worlds is a positive sum game. Meaning that, in the end, all will benefit. It isn’t necessary to be scared of Chinese world domination. It seems highly unlikely that the East will do the denigrating things to the West as the West did to the East. But it is time for the West to stop looking down on the East, or they’ll really miss out during the global power shift. Only that will give the East something to look down on.