The historical nexus in which we find ourselves is a significant one, as the Asian powers clearly recognize that this is their first real opportunity in five centuries to restore the power balance that had always previously favored Asia over Europe.
While Europeans in general, and Americans in particular, erroneously tend to believe that their global primacy is inevitable and permanent, the people of Asia a very well aware that their civilizations are much older and they tend to correctly regard the last 500 years as a historical aberration. History did not end and if it is to rhyme, as we are told it does, then it is probably about time for the pendulum to swing back toward the East.
The victory of the Japanese over the Russians in 1905 appears to have presaged the current crisis, even though the foolish decision by the Japanese military to directly challenge the growing US naval power in addition to the declining British Empire was 70 years too early.
China, being more circumspect and far less aggressive than most historical Asian powers – for example, Deng repeatedly refused to invade Cambodia to free it from either the Khmer Rouge or the occupying Vietnamese, and did not approve the very limited invasion that eventually took place without massive pressure from Lew Kwan Yew and other Asian leaders who feared “the Prussians of East Asia” would continue their imperial offensive into other nations if China did not forcibly bring it to a halt – is not about to make the same mistake with regards the West.
All Asian powers in general feel that the world is going through a very important period of development, and the international system is going through a moment of transformation. This transformation is occurring in favor of the Asian powers in general, i.e., China first and foremost, and the main Asian states such as Russia, India, Iran and Turkey. These forces feel that they are witnessing a historical turning point in which they are regaining their civilizational weight and influence on the world which had been lost during the past 500 years.
These (Asian) states are still witnessing disparities, rivalries, and disagreements among them, the frameworks of cooperation between them are still developing and have not yet been crystalized, and part of these main (Asian) forces still have partnerships with the West and we know that. However, all of these states share a feeling that this world is becoming more pluralistic and balanced, and that they are facing a very great historical moment that they can seize to take away from the West a part of its domination and hegemony over them, whose (consequences) were at expense of them and their people.
Therefore, these forces are creating this form of partnership to try to seize this historical moment. This economic, demographic and political transition from West to East is considered by these states a historical opportunity that must be grasped. All of that was evident in the recent war with Ukraine. (For example,) India, despite its close relations with the United States, did not go into conflict with Russia as requested (by the US). Turkey kept its options open, even on the Ukrainian issue. Why? Because these states, as I told you, see that the Asian powers, that Asia, is back at the heart of the international system.
The marginalization of Asia was at the expense of the powers (in this continent) and its people. Therefore, this course is not new, and (its players) have taken advantage of the crisis of the West, the decline of American hegemony, and the rise of Asian powers; and this is still ongoing. As for speed of this path, its transformations may occur faster or may slow down depending on certain events. For example, we are waiting for the results of the war in Ukraine. We are waiting for the prospect of the US-Chinese confrontation, which I believe is the most important event from now until the year 2050. The next 20 or 30 years will determine the fate of the world through a confrontation that will escalate quickly between America and China. This competition and conflict and its consequences will shape the world for decades and centuries to come.
The United States announced in June or at the end of May, in a speech made by Blinken (, the US Secretary of State,), the American approach to confronting China. (Blinken) said four times in his speech “this decisive decade”, which is from 2020 to 2030. All American literature today uses the term: “the decisive decade”. (The US) says that it has the next 10 years (until the end of 2030) to resolve the conflict with China. If it can reverse the trajectories in this time period… In other words, if (the US) can transform the rise of China into a decline, and the decline of the United States into a rise, it has a chance of reclaiming or maintaining its leadership (over the world). However, if it does not succeed to accomplish its goal before 2030, and China continues to rise at the current level and pattern, and America is not able to regain the initiative, (the US) will reach the point of no return and China will become the strongest in the international system. Consequently, all American thinking (today) looks at the world, including the Middle East, with its conflicts and forces, from a Chinese perspective, at the first, second, third and fourth stage, before it gets into any other issues.
The most important thing to keep in mind here is that nothing the US leaders and diplomats do or say is going to cause the other Asian countries to fear China as much as they fear the West. All of the anti-Chinese propaganda about Chinese totalitarianism, communism, and imperial ambitions absolutely pale besides 500 years of Western colonialism. It is the USA, not China, that presently occupies Japan and South Korea. It was the USA, not China, that maintained a massive military presence in the Philippines from 1898 to 1992.
National grievances last a long, long time. Remember, it took more than 500 years for the Spanish to reclaim their conquered lands, but they succeeded in the end and went on to establish one of history’s more glittering empires.
If we are fortunate, globalism will soon lose its death-grip on the nations of the West even as it has lost its control over all of the unoccupied nations of the East. If we are even more fortunate, the nations of the East will learn from the mistakes of the Spanish, the British, and the Americans and eschew the temptations of Empire.
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