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New Reality

Who can advise America?  Maybe no one.  But this great teacher tried it.  He is also a great diplomat.  His name: Prof. Dr. Kishore Mahbubani.  He has served as chairman of the United Nations Security Council.  He was Singapore's ambassador to the United Nations - for two long terms.  He then became dean of public policy at the Lee Kuan Yew School at Singapore National University.

And Mahbubani is also a fan of Indian songs.  Especially the one sung by Mohamad Rafi - whose song has graced thousands of Indian films.  Rafi until he got the title "Singer of the Century" - died in 1980. At a relatively young age: 55 years.  While writing this I also listen to Rafi's songs.

Mahbubani was born in Singapore.  His parents fled from India when there was great mass riots in India.  It was when suddenly Britain separated Pakistan from India on August 14, 1947. Residents who are Muslims must flee to an area called Pakistan.  The Hindus had to move to a land called India.  Within one day.  It was bloody.

Professor Mahbubani is now 74 years old.  Still very healthy and fresh.  Also wrote 8 books.  Regarding America, Asia, China and Singapore.  All are bestsellers.  They are about the handling of policy makers in many countries.

"We have to help President Joe Biden make America successful," he said in a recent international Webinar.  Until now the Webinar video continues to be widely circulated.  By "we" he means the leaders of Asia.

 "If Biden fails, Donald Trump will return," said Mahbubani.  And that's a disaster for the world.

 He also advised America to be realistic.  “Blocking China from becoming the number 1 in the world will fail.  It will definitely fail, ”said Mahbubani.

What does America have such intentions for.  Like being unhappy to see other people coming forward.

China itself has no goal of becoming number 1 in the world.  China's main goal is to alleviate the poverty of its own people.  Then prosper it.  And advancing his country.

It's just that when that goal is achieved China automatically becomes the number 1 in the world.

Mahbubani also thinks America wants communism to disappear from China.

 "That's also not possible.  The CCP is the strongest party in the world.  Even now, many universities in America are starting to study their success, "said Mahbubani.

America, he said, must recognize that this century is no longer the same as it was in the past.  The past century was the century that could make America the greatest country in the world.  He then described America's greatness in all areas of life.

 But America now has serious internal problems.  It has been happening for the last 30 years.  That is, the income of 50 percent of Americans continues to decline.

According to Mahbubani, America must know this fact.  And must take steps to overcome it.  Without new thinking, the income of 50 percent of the people will continue to decline.

For example: why did America budget $ 1.3 trillion for defense.  It was to create the most sophisticated fighter aircraft.  Why is the budget not intended to increase the economy to 50 percent of the people.

"On the other hand, China has budgeted USD 1.7 trillion to build infrastructure in many countries," said Mahbubani.

 It will make America lose more influence in the world.

 So the professor was emphatic: stop the trade war, stop cornering China, don't tease about Taiwan and immediately release Meng Wanzhou - the daughter of Huawei's founder.

 To improve the economy of the lower 50 percent of the population, according to Mahbubani, there is no other way except cooperation with China.  "The Chinese retail market is huge," he said.

 In 2019, China's retail market was USD 3 trillion.  The American retail market is still USD 4 trillion.  But now the Chinese retail market is already USD 6 trillion.  Meanwhile, the US retail market is USD 5 trillion.

So China is indeed in its road to victory.  This new reality cannot be deterred.  Especially through the policy of decoupling the American economy from the Chinese economy.  That is also the topic of Mahbubani's latest book: Has China Won.

Biden himself, said Mahbubani, had actually said that China would indeed become number one in the world.  In due time.  Biden already realized that new reality.  Even Biden said it would happen before his own eyes.  "But it seems impossible in four years," said Mahbubani.  What might be - when that happens later - Biden is still alive and witnessing it.

Indonesia will not be able to deny that fact either.  Happy or hate.  For example, people all over Indonesia are united in hating China.  Nor will it prevent the country from becoming number one.

 So what.  So our focus should be to continue to make an inventory of what we can take advantage of from China.  Especially the very large market.

But, right now, who would dare to speak pro China in America?  Even here?  Talks about this must be opened.  It is precisely in order to know what to do with this new reality.

"If someone in Washington DC proposes to get back on good terms with China, they could be shot by people," said Mahbubani.

Also in Indonesia?  (*)

By Dahlan Iskan