Many analysts would argue
that it is the relationship between the
United States of America and China
that has the greatest significance for the world.
They quote the great 4th century BC Greek historian, Thucydides who had observed that,
Contemporary thinkers like Graham T. Allison who coined the term 'The Thucydides Trap' point out that over the last 500 years there have been 16 instances in which an established power had felt threatened by a rising power and 12 of them ended in war.
One of the most
devastating was the war between Britain and Germany which was at the
crux of the First World War from 1914 to 1918. On the other hand,
the US took over the mantle of British imperial power after the
Second World War in 1945 in a relatively peaceful manner.
Burdened by perpetual wars and massive debts running into trillions of dollars, a huge segment of the US populace has no appetite for another conflagration that will further sap the nation's energies.
At the same time, the Chinese leadership knows that a war with a technologically superior military power will be a severe blow to the country's economic and social development which remains its foremost goal.
However this does not mean that the US and China will be able to transact a peaceful transfer of power.
The US it is obvious, is
not prepared to accept with equanimity its overall decline as a
hegemon. This is why there will be skirmishes and conflicts from
time to time as we witness the end of the era of US
helmed Western global dominance and the birth of a new phase in
The leaders of the two
countries, Xi Jinping and
Vladimir Putin, who have forged
a strong inter-personal bond, approved in July 2017 the 2017-20
implementation outline for the
Treaty of Good Neighborliness and Friendly
Cooperation between China and Russia.
Though the participants
in all these endeavors are not always on the same page on various
challenges confronting the human family today, they will help to
diffuse and disperse power at the regional and global levels. A
multi-polar world by definition will allow for the growth of
multilateral institutions and the enhancement of international law.
In short, it will be good for global peace.
Let us not forget that China and Russia (the Soviet Union) in spite of their common communist ideology, quarreled with one another from the fifties to the eighties, over a variety of issues pertaining to,
This time however by emphasizing solid economic cooperation and forging common political positions on global conflicts that affect both nations, Presidents Xi and Putin have succeeded in anchoring Sino-Russian ties in shared interests that really matter to them.
Besides, the US's pursuit of its hegemonic agenda in the vicinity of China and Russia has undoubtedly brought the two states closer together.
Chinese and Russian leaders are only too aware that there are concerted moves by the intelligence apparatus in the US and elsewhere to drive a wedge between China and Russia.
If anything it has
increased their determination to remain united...