Worse Than Coronavirus: US-China Confrontation Called New Cold War
After the pandemic began, relations between the two giants of world politics sharply exacerbated: the United States and China. The Trump administration considers Western and Chinese political systems incompatible. Where we are going?
Jeffrey Sachs, an influential economist and professor at Columbia University, believes that the world should be more concerned about the growing confrontation between the US and China than the coronovirus. The scientist believes that the “new cold war” weakens both countries, and the world risks being left without any leadership, which inevitably leads him to chaos during the pandemic and recession. Jeffrey Sachs accuses the growing US hostility. “Instead of expanding cooperation, the US is reinforcing the split. Starting it, it is very difficult to get out of this spiral, ”the professor shared his worries.
There are many conflict zones between the two superpowers, and trade is only one of them. The Trump administration accuses Chinese companies, especially telecommunications giant Huawei, of spying on customers. The Chinese government denies everything, just like the Huawei. Experts think it's not just about security. John Bolton claims Trump needs a war against Huawei for re-election. Sachs says Americans are lagging behind China in G 5 technology and are trying to maintain their markets in this way.
Last week, President Trump signed sanctions against Chinese leaders implicated in the repression of Uighurs in northern China. In an interview with WSJ, the American president accused China of spreading the virus around the world with one goal - to harm the economies of other countries. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went further than his boss and declared the Chinese Communist Party a No. 1 threat to security, greater than international terrorism.
Other countries are inclined to this position . Those governments that hoped that the economically more liberal China would become politically more liberal in the next round remain in the minority in the modern world. And China itself gives more and more reasons to doubt such a blissful prospect. Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Himalayas and the Indian border, islands in the South China Sea - the new Chinese foreign policy is forcing the governments of other countries to rethink their attitude to the "factory of the world." As, for example, the message of the Australian government about a cyber attack by one of the states is only one of many indications of a new vision of the situation, although China itself was not called directly in the government message. The United States is calling on its allies to join the anti-Chinese alliance. The Chinese are less likely to lobby their friendly countries to create an anti-American bloc.
During the Obama presidency, the rivalry between the superpowers did not develop so violently, and political scientists expected that the peak of disagreement would not come soon, the world was still far from acute situations. Everything changed dramatically with the advent of Trump. His ideological alter ego, Steve Bannon, already, however, expelled from the White House, briefly formulated the main contradiction - the systems are not compatible. Coronovirus greatly accelerated these processes.
The problem with the Americans is that neither Asian countries nor Europeans are in a hurry under their banner. With Asian countries, everything is simpler: America is a very powerful factor in politics, but it is far away, and China is on the verge. No one wants to quarrel with him. Although Europeans declared the Chinese rivals a year ago, they decided to go their own way. Joseph Borell, EU chief foreign policy strategist, said China poses no military threat. The economy is still defeating politics. China annually purchases goods in Germany for 96 billion euros, and this is half of European exports. If Deutsche Telecom is to replace Chinese equipment, for example, with American, it will take him 5 years. Nobody even wants to think about billions in losses, which is why this script was called Armageddon.
Latin American countries also hold on to China. Their movement in the American channel is a thing of the past. On the issue of Taiwan, Panama, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador have supported China since 2017. China has become one of the largest lenders to developing countries, and the largest on the African continent - collectively, African countries owe China 20% of their total debt.
China gradually gained power in the UN. In July 2019, the Chinese managed to break the resistance of the UN Human Rights Council on the Uyghurs. 22 countries have proposed a resolution condemning the oppression of the Uighurs, mostly Muslims, by China. In response, 50 other countries adopted a resolution condemning the politicization of the human rights issue. And not a single Muslim country supported the West.
Today's Russia is mentally closer to China than to Europe or the United States. And in this regard, one should not wait for Russia's mediation in the confrontation between the USA and China, American political scientist Ramis Yunus explained to NI: “Today, neither politically nor economically, Russia is playing the role of mediator. Russia, on the contrary, will try to receive dividends from this confrontation. Given the current economic situation in Russia, this is very important for the Kremlin. Modern Russia is not a world power, as the Soviet Union was once, and only the presence of a huge amount of nuclear weapons forces many in the world, and especially the USA and the European Union, to reckon with this. In the 21st century, the main argument in the club of giants is the presence of a powerful, developed economy, rather than saber rattling. ”
The good news for our country is that no one will pull it to their side. Then new opportunities, both economic and political, open up. But this path can be very difficult. The Guardian quoted the Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci: “The old world is dying, but the new is not yet born. The time has come for monsters. ”