China no longer has a monopoly on anything
One of the biggest fears about China has been that it will monopolize an industry, technical expertise, capital, or mineral wealth and then extort concessions from other countries in the world.
China tried to dominate the steel industry with cheap prices and low-quality steel and failed after the United States imposed tariffs on steel of 23% in 2021 to protect the steel manufacturers from Chinese steel imports.
Huawei, a global leader in telecom, had its cell phones banned in the United States and other parts of the world after it attempted worldwide dominance with cheap cell phone prices and data-gathering technology on its users. Google apps are now not permitted on Huawei cell phones.
The Port of Quingdao.
China used to have a 99% almost total monopoly on rare earth metals, but that has fallen to less than 60% today. In 2010, China tried to stop shipments of rare earth metals to Japan because it claimed ownership of contested Japanese islands. This blackmail attempt failed. Since then, rare earth metals have been mined in other parts of the world like Central Asia, the United States, India, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Vietnam, Mongolia, and Brazil. China no longer has a stranglehold on rare earth metals and can no longer extort countries into bending to its political will.
China used to have a near-monopoly on new foreign offshoring investment as companies flocked to China in anticipation of cheap wages and a 1.4 billion–strong consumer market. Today, India and Vietnam have cheaper labor and relatively good infrastructure. China's clampdown on businesses, censoring of wealthy capitalists, food shortages, gross centralized government corruption and mismanagement, stagflation, and a plunging birth rate have all resulted in investment and companies fleeing the country, with China now having a diminished future economic and political outlook.
China used to have good public relations with the world as a relatively harmless, non-aggressive, economically fast-growing country to be imitated by other developing countries in the world. With its building of artificial islands in the contested South China Sea, its takeover of Hong Kong, its threatening military flights over Taiwan's security zone, its fishing in the coastal waters of foreign countries, its non-transparency with the Wuhan lab and COVID, its theft of intellectual property, its genocidal treatment of the Uyghurs, and its predatory Belt and Road contractual agreements, China has made enemies worldwide.
With cheap manufacturing and knockoffs, China tried to dominate consumer goods markets worldwide, but in the United States, Walmart now is selling goods made in other third-world nations, such as pens made in Indonesia and Mexico. So cheap manufactured consumer goods are no longer going to be a Chinese near-monopoly, and if there is a monopoly, then it will not last very long.
China tried to economically hamper and extort South Korea in 2017 for installing the THAAD anti-missile system and failed. China tried to economically hamper and extort Australia in 2020 for asking for an independent investigation of the origin of the COVID virus, and that failed. China tried to economically hamper and extort Lithuania for recognizing Taiwan, and that failed, too. So these economic strong-arm tactics not only made three new country enemies for China but also sullied its reputation as a peaceful trading nation to be trusted and respected worldwide.
China, because of corrupt CCP leadership, no longer has a trusting relationship with most nations, and its reputation on the world scene has been tarnished. China may be feared by some but there is strength in unity, and it is just a matter of time before mutual defense agreements are made throughout Asia.
China may try to gain strategic monopolies in the future, but those too are doomed to fail because, frankly, the world is just too big a place for China to monopolize anything, economically or militarily.
Photo credit: Scebn, CC BY-SA 4.0 license.