“History is littered with geo-political conflicts, unfortunately many used physical assets and intelligence networks to subdue their opponents. This was underpinned by the prevailing attitude that knowledge represented real power. However, as the global community developed, there has been a shift from the physical to cyber space. This is an interesting time in history, particularly as the technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, has altered the playing field. Countries such as China can now challenge the USA ‘s hold on global trade without having to resort to a physical conflict.
With the Western focus on military hardware and being the policeman on watch to ensure globalised free trade, very little attention was paid to China’s 100-year plan to restore itself to a global economic powerhouse. This lack of attention was evident by the initial reactions by the West when China formally announced the Belt Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013. The plan was seen as overly ambitious and unachievable in a geo-political sense. Perhaps driven by bias and preconceived notions of China’s capability, there was universal failure to appreciate and understand the ambitions and scope of the BRI.”