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Russia and China and the world in 2035. Better or worse? The disintegration of the current world order is still in its infancy. We are likely to see many remnants of the world of 2024 or even of 1945

Abstract

How far will the disintegration of the world order develop in the next 10 years? What impact will this have on international institutions, international regimes, bilateral and multilateral treaties, and other elements of the international system? What factors are likely to persist? Which ones might disappear? When will humanity hit rock bottom, and what might it be? The world in 2035 will be different from the world in 2024. The global population will increase by another billion, from 8 billion today to nearly 9 billion, but overall growth rates will continue to decline. Global warming may exceed the 1.5°C tipping point at some point between 2030 and 2035, triggering a series of profound changes in Earth's ecosystems. Global economic growth will continue, but may slow down significantly; Asia may remain the main driving force of the world economy, and China will become the world's most powerful economy. National economic priorities are likely to continue to shift away from traditional indicators of gross national product and toward more comprehensive parameters of sustainable development. By 2035, most humans will live in what futurists call the "post-information economy" era. Of course, all of these trends could be reversed by various "black swans", ranging from unforeseen deadly pandemics to a global nuclear war that could completely destroy human civilization. There are many other unpredictable things that could happen between 2024 and 2035 - at least in theory (have you seen "The Wandering Earth"?). The disintegration of the current world order is still in its infancy. To date, it has mainly affected a relatively small range of bilateral and multilateral institutions and systems in which Russia plays a major role—from the United Nations Security Council and the U.S.-Russian Strategic Arms Control Regime to the Arctic Council and the OSCE to global energy and grain market. However, what we are seeing today may be just the tip of the iceberg, as disintegration is increasingly affecting many other areas of global politics and economics - such as the WTO and WHO, non-proliferation regimes and counter-terrorism cooperation, various regional security and development mechanism. Not all disintegration trends are related to the Russia-Ukraine confrontation or the U.S.-China confrontation. Long before these unfortunate developments, some signs of a growing problem were evident. It would therefore be too simplistic to suggest that the current crisis in multilateralism is caused entirely by a sharp deterioration in relations between Russia and the West or by tensions between Beijing and Washington. The problems of multilateral mechanisms and systems have deeper and more universal roots. We cannot analyze the crisis of global governance without exploring some fundamental changes within nation-states. What we observe can be described as: a long-term decline of traditional social and political mobilization mechanisms due to the continuous differentiation of social classes and the emergence of new means of social communication. In many countries, traditional parties are losing their grip on power, and the legitimacy of core state institutions and processes is being called into question. The old political boundaries between right and left, conservatives and liberals are no longer stable. Under the influence of these trends, nation-states, especially in the West, are increasingly governed by very fragile political alliances that are highly susceptible to even minor fluctuations in public mood and preferences. Of course, it is difficult to expect such a political alliance to pursue a consistent and responsible foreign policy. Uncertainties in international relations are increasing, and this trend is likely to continue in the future. An important question in the current transformation is: will the collapse of the world order affect individual countries or not? Is it possible to avoid further deepening the crisis in fragile states and their domestic social and political institutions? Will the gap between developed and underdeveloped countries deepen? What impact would possible national crises have on economic growth, technological progress, environmental and climate change, global food and energy security, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and international migration? It is not difficult to predict that the continued disintegration of the international system, especially the growing division between China and the United States, will bring huge losses to the global economy, technological progress, climate change, global food and energy security, not to mention nuclear proliferation, regional conflicts and international terrorism and other challenges.



Recently, Professor Zhao Huasheng, a special expert at the Beijing Dialogue, and Kortunov, academic director of the Russian Council for International Affairs, jointly wrote an article stating: The world order is in the initial stage of disintegration, and global governance faces severe challenges. It is unlikely that a new international "grand agreement" will be reached at present, but "bottom-up" pragmatic cooperation can be used to promote the stability of global governance. As permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China and Russia should work hard to restore the authority and effectiveness of the United Nations. The two countries should also join hands with the "Southern countries" to make greater contributions to maintaining international order and strengthening global governance through mechanisms such as the SCO and BRICS.



The first quarter of this century is almost over, the second quarter is quickly approaching, and we are getting further and further away from the early days of the new millennium. Now, it is time to think about 2050 or at least 2035. What the world is like now. To what extent will the disintegration of the world order develop in the next 10 years? What impact will this have on international institutions, international systems, bilateral and multilateral treaties, and other elements of the international system? What factors are likely to persist? Which ones might disappear? When will humanity hit rock bottom, and what might it be?


The root of the problem

The world in 2035 will be different from the world in 2024. The global population will increase by another billion, from 8 billion today to nearly 9 billion, but overall growth rates will continue to decline. Global warming may exceed the 1.5°C tipping point at some point between 2030 and 2035, triggering a series of profound changes in Earth's ecosystems. Global economic growth will continue, but may slow down significantly; Asia may remain the main driving force of the world economy, and China will become the world's most powerful economy. National economic priorities are likely to continue to shift away from traditional indicators of gross national product and toward more comprehensive parameters of sustainable development. By 2035, most humans will live in what futurists call the "post-information economy" era.

Of course, all of these trends could be reversed by various "black swans", ranging from unforeseen deadly pandemics to a global nuclear war that could completely destroy human civilization. There are many other unpredictable things that could happen between 2024 and 2035 - at least in theory (have you seen "The Wandering Earth"?). In this article, we will limit our discussion to those that rule out the most catastrophic and the most unlikely scenario of potential changes in the world order.

The disintegration of the current world order is still in its infancy. To date, it has mainly affected a relatively small range of bilateral and multilateral institutions and systems in which Russia plays a major role—from the United Nations Security Council and the U.S.-Russian Strategic Arms Control Regime to the Arctic Council and the OSCE to global energy and grain market. However, what we are seeing today may be just the tip of the iceberg, as disintegration is increasingly affecting many other areas of global politics and economics - such as the WTO and WHO, non-proliferation regimes and counter-terrorism cooperation, various regional security and development mechanism.


Anti-Brexit demonstrators hold placards outside the Houses of Parliament in London, England.

Not all disintegration trends are related to the Russia-Ukraine confrontation or the U.S.-China confrontation. Long before these unfortunate developments, some signs of a growing problem were evident. For example, the Comprehensive Agreement on Iran's Nuclear Program (JCPOA) expired as early as 2018 due to the Trump administration's withdrawal. In 2019, Washington also withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) signed with Moscow. In 2015, an unprecedented migration crisis hit Europe. In 2016, the UK held a controversial vote to leave the European Union. Increased volatility in global commodity and financial markets began much earlier—at least in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Regional multilateral institutions, from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), have also experienced difficulties for quite some time. The accumulation of problems around the world ultimately triggered an avalanche of previously universally accepted norms, procedures and principles that had earlier maintained global stability and international order.

It would therefore be too simplistic to suggest that the current crisis in multilateralism is caused entirely by a sharp deterioration in relations between Russia and the West or by tensions between Beijing and Washington. The problems of multilateral mechanisms and systems have deeper and more universal roots. The efficiency and even legitimacy of these institutions and systems have been questioned, with political populists arguing that they are increasingly divorced from ordinary people and represent only the interests of a cosmopolitan, selfish elite. Trump and his supporters lashing out at the United Nations and European populists demonizing the EU bureaucracy in Brussels speak volumes. In an era where the economy is becoming increasingly difficult, society is becoming increasingly tense, and security is increasingly threatened, the brewing and outbreak of this kind of emotion is inevitable.

We cannot analyze the crisis of global governance without exploring some fundamental changes within nation-states. What we observe can be described as: a long-term decline of traditional social and political mobilization mechanisms due to the continuous differentiation of social classes and the emergence of new means of social communication. In many countries, traditional parties are losing their grip on power, and the legitimacy of core state institutions and processes is being called into question. The old political boundaries between right and left, conservatives and liberals are no longer stable. Under the influence of these trends, nation-states, especially in the West, are increasingly governed by very fragile political alliances that are highly susceptible to even minor fluctuations in public mood and preferences. Of course, it is difficult to expect such a political alliance to pursue a consistent and responsible foreign policy. Uncertainties in international relations are increasing, and this trend is likely to continue in the future.


Continuity and Change

There is no doubt that if today's international trends continue—and it now appears they will—more profound and potentially more dangerous changes will occur in the international order. In short, some basic frameworks of the original international system and international order will still exist. This is because, on the one hand, they can still reflect the common ideas and needs of the international community. Although the international community is deeply divided, multilateral platforms are still used by various parties. On the other hand, the transformation of the current international order is still an evolution based on the original foundation, rather than a revolution that completely destroys the old order and rebuilds a new one. We should not underestimate the resilience of many long-standing international practices, rules, and even habits and traditions; this resilience has been proven more than once in the past two or three years. In the world of 2035, we are likely to see many remnants of the world of 2024 or even the world of 1945.

On April 8, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the United Nations Security Council held a meeting to review Palestine's application to become a full member of the United Nations.

But 11 years from now, the authority of the original international institutions may be even less respected, their functional effectiveness even less, and they – or most of them – may become merely political or symbolic. sexual mechanism. Some functional mechanisms that cannot adapt to new needs will fail or disintegrate, such as the old security mechanism between NATO and Russia, and establishing a new security mechanism in Europe will be a difficult and long process. It is difficult to imagine that in 2035, we will see a new, well-developed and appropriately institutionalized collective security system in regions such as Northeast Asia or the Middle East. Current institutional fatigue is likely to persist for the foreseeable future, and this fatigue will serve as a serious obstacle to launching new global or regional institutions.

At the same time, regional organizations and sub-international mechanisms that reflect the common political, economic and security needs of their members will not only continue to exist, but may also become more prominent protagonists, such as the BRICS Group, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the European Union, NATO, ASEAN, Arab League and so on. The institutional inertia accumulated by a long-established organization should not be underestimated; it is almost impossible to imagine how NATO could be disbanded, or even completely transformed. On the contrary, it is highly likely that membership in at least some of these multilateral institutions will increase. We can also predict more flexible arrangements within some of these institutions, blurring the red lines between membership and partnership (such as BRIC+). The cost of greater scale will be more complex and cumbersome decision-making processes and less discipline in these organizations.

Unlike the United Nations, issue-focused regional and even global institutions are composed of like-minded members and are therefore more politically coherent and functionally more effective. The rise of these institutions could inadvertently lead to further fragmentation of the international system. In other words, the existence of a unified international order will be more symbolic, while the role of regional organizations and sub-international mechanisms will be more substantive (problem-based), and the focus of the international order structure will shift from the main multilateral mechanisms. to secondary multilateral mechanisms. In short, the world in 2035 will be more fragmented than the world in 2024, which will make the task of achieving global governance increasingly challenging.


National crisis

An important question in the current transformation is: will the collapse of the world order affect individual countries or not? Is it possible to avoid further deepening the crisis in fragile states and their domestic social and political institutions? Will the gap between developed and underdeveloped countries deepen? What impact would possible national crises have on economic growth, technological progress, environmental and climate change, global food and energy security, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and international migration?

National crises are likely to persist — at least in some parts of the world. By 2035, we will see more “failed states” in places like the Middle East, Africa, and even South Asia. In some of these countries, national identity remains very weak, and the sense of belonging to a particular nation is often not as strong as that of belonging to a tribe, region, or religious belief. These problems will also be exacerbated by increasing cross-border migration, which often creates hybrid or parallel identities. Today, approximately 184 million people (2.3% of the global population) live outside their country of nationality. By 2035, these numbers could easily double.

Since the self-protection capabilities of weak and small countries are weaker than those of large and powerful countries, they often feel the impact of the collapse of the international order more strongly, and their survival and development environment worsens. How to adapt to this environment is a major challenge they face. In addition to thorny domestic problems, regional conflicts will develop and become more likely, terrorism, extremism and separatism will easily spread, and the goal of eradicating poverty will become more difficult to achieve.

On April 22, 2024 local time, in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, after the Israeli army withdrew all ground troops from the southern Gaza Strip, Palestinians returned to their homes, which were in ruins and devastated.

On the other hand, the willingness of major powers to participate in assistance in remote corners of the world may still be low. The idea of ​​aiding nation-building has been greatly discounted by clear failures or recent attempts in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia or Haiti. Multiple domestic problems in developed countries will also limit their ability or willingness to engage in large-scale resource reallocation. This could lead to a situation in which large swaths of the global South would be de facto excluded from the international system, although de jure they would remain legitimate international actors. However, this exclusion also has its limitations: "failed states" will continue to cause international problems by "exporting" new waves of illegal immigration, transnational crime (including drug and human trafficking), pollution, and other problems.

It is not difficult to predict that the continued disintegration of the international system, especially the growing division between China and the United States, will bring huge losses to the global economy, technological progress, climate change, global food and energy security, not to mention nuclear proliferation, regional conflicts and international terrorism and other challenges. In theory, small countries can gain additional benefits by playing both sides of the competition between the two economic giants, China and the United States. However, such gains, even if realized, would be offset by global economic losses that would affect everyone.

The paradox of today is that the world desperately needs a higher level of global governance, but current geopolitical trends are pushing the world in the opposite direction. The exact cost of such a movement depends on many independent variables, depending in particular on how long Russia’s conflict with the West is likely to last and how comprehensive and thorough the strategic decoupling between China and the United States is.

In any case, in 2035 we should be prepared to face a world with slower economic growth, declining social cohesion, more pronounced and damaging climate change and environmental problems, more intense competition for natural resources, and traditional and non-traditional security challenges. More urgency. The era of intense geopolitical competition may also bring some unintended benefits - for example, the acceleration of military technology competition may provide new impetus for the development of civilian technology. It may drive new strategies of social protection, economic development, education and research and development in both East and West, as it did during the Cold War in the second half of the twentieth century. However, all these benefits cannot offset the new problems and risks created by the fragmentation of the global system.

It is therefore crucial that over the next decade responsible actors are able to manage fragmentation in the most orderly and least painful way, even if they remain fundamentally divided over the ideal world order. It remains to be seen whether national leaders are capable of mastering the art of "division management." This art requires tremendous patience, empathy, stamina, and vision—all qualities needed to govern a country that are always in short supply.


There will be no "grand deal"

Can the major global players reach a strategic agreement (a new “Grand Deal”) between now and 2035 on the basic elements of a new world order? If the answer is yes, then who should be involved in such an arrangement? How should regulations be formulated? If the answer is no, is it possible for autonomous international political and economic subsystems to coexist in the long term (if the world continues to be divided along “East-West” and “North-South” lines)?

A new “grand deal” looks highly unlikely for at least two reasons. First, it is virtually impossible to determine who should participate in this initiative. The last "Grand Agreement" was reached in 1945 by the five victorious powers, who agreed to create the United Nations. Although they disagreed on many issues, they still managed to reach acceptable compromises, in part because they were only five countries and in many ways were willing to abide by common rules of the game. Today, it is difficult to imagine that a small group of countries, such as the P5 or the G20, can make decisions on fundamental issues of global governance in the absence of other international actors, both state and non-state. Even if such a decision were made, it would have obvious legal flaws and would be difficult to enforce. On the other hand, it is difficult to imagine that the 193 member states of the United Nations plus hundreds of private companies, civil society institutions and other international actors can negotiate a "grand deal". If this possibility is so small today, how can it become more likely in 2035, when global politics and economics have become more complex and multidimensional?


On January 1, 1942, 26 countries including the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union, and China issued and signed the "United Nations Joint Declaration" in Washington

In fact, under today's conditions, it will be difficult to produce a final winner in the foreseeable future. This is a major difference between today's era and past history. In other words, we cannot expect the "grand deal" in history to reappear. Times have changed and conditions are no longer the same. The new "grand agreement", that is, the new international order, can only be constructed under the condition that there is no ultimate winner. That is to say, it is no longer the winner who sets the rules, and the rest of the world can only passively accept the winner-take-all situation. A compromise must be reached through equal negotiations among multiple international actors. This is where the biggest difficulty lies, because it requires major actors to treat each other as equals in political status, accept the existence of the civilizations and ideological systems that each other represents, accept each other’s power in the construction of the international order, and negotiate on their different compromise on the basic concepts and rules of the international order. It is foreseeable that comprehensive breakthroughs in all these aspects will not be possible in the near to medium future.

Second, historically, “Grand Deals” have been struck in the wake of large-scale international conflicts that helped define and measure new balances of power within the system. This was the case after the Thirty Years' War (Westphalian System), the Napoleonic Wars (Concordat of Vienna), World War I (Versailles System) and World War II (Yalta-Potsdam System). Today, however, a direct military conflict between major international actors will almost inevitably evolve into a global nuclear war that no actor can afford. Therefore, in order to test the changing balance of power, major actors no longer use traditional military conflicts, but use various alternative means - proxy wars, hybrid wars, economic wars, technological wars, etc. The advantage of these alternatives is that they can control risks and limit the cost of confrontation, but the disadvantage is that changes in the balance of power cannot be accurately measured. All these proxy and hybrid wars can go on for a long time without identifying an ultimate winner. There can be no "grand deal" without an ultimate winner. This situation is unlikely to change fundamentally by 2035; instead, there is reason to believe that the scope of proxy and hybrid warfare will have expanded significantly 11 years from now.

If this assumption is correct, it means we will be living in a fragmented world for a long time to come. We very much hope that we can maintain true global cooperation in at least some areas, not just regional cooperation, in relatively less "toxic" but vital areas such as sensitive technologies, biodiversity, resource management, etc. . Today, however, even seemingly technical issues such as artificial intelligence, genetically modified organisms, public health, and climate change are inevitably politically charged and used by major actors to gain advantage over their opponents. This “politicization” of the global commons will inevitably set severe limits on true global cooperation in a fragmented world. Such cooperation, although much needed, will likely only reappear after 2035.


Project-based multilateralism

Is it possible to restore acceptable levels of global and regional governance on a “bottom-up” basis, that is, through a set of tactical, situational, transactional agreements that address specific issues? If so, which problems are the least “toxic” and most promising in the near and further future? How can these agreements be developed into more strategic, durable and comprehensive agreements?

Global governance can proceed in two orders: "top-down" and "bottom-up." The "top-down" approach is to first reach a consensus at the macro level and determine basic concepts, ideas, values, frameworks, mechanisms, etc., and then promote specific measures on this basis. "Bottom-up" means to bypass differences in concepts and ideologies in the absence of macro consensus and promote the gradual development of global governance from local to global, and from low-level to high-level, through concrete and pragmatic cooperation.

The most ideal way is simultaneous coordination of "top-down" and "bottom-up". However, in the context of sharp opposition between major powers, it is extremely difficult and time-consuming to reach consensus on their different ideas, propositions, values, and visions. . Therefore, while promoting global governance at the strategic level, "bottom-up" can be the main breakthrough, and through the accumulation of cooperation results on specific issues, global governance can be promoted to a larger scale and a higher level.

The “bottom-up” approach to global governance has many shortcomings and potential flaws. First of all, there is little room for compromise on narrowly defined issues, because both parties cannot expect the other party to make reciprocal arrangements in another area or at an uncertain time in the future after making concessions in one area (that is, what is said in IR theory) of “diffusion reciprocity”). Second, a “bottom-up” approach has limited potential to build trust between the parties because it often does not address core issues of security or development, but instead focuses on relatively small, mostly technical issues. Third, this approach attracts little public attention, which is why the tactical and technical agreements that may be reached through this approach are not likely to gain broad public support.

However, some of its limitations can also be viewed as potential comparative advantages. Often, small-scale and incremental agreements can remain below the political radar screen, without the need for cumbersome and complicated political approval processes. The more technical the issue under consideration, the more it allows experts to play an active role and expands their autonomy from the influence of politicians. Furthermore, we know clearly from history that linking patterns are not necessarily a positive factor in negotiations; in many cases, linking one issue to another can introduce additional complications into the negotiation process, delaying both parties' efforts to reach an agreement. An agreement acceptable to all.

If one considers the most promising thematic priorities for rebuilding global governance in this “bottom-up” way, it makes sense to focus on three key areas. First, common security threats (such as the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, international terrorism, and high-tech crimes). Second, challenges related to new sensitive technologies (artificial intelligence, cyber and biotechnology, Internet governance, genetically modified organisms and molecular engineering). and third, the complex relationship between humans and their environment (climate change, biodiversity and environmental protection, resource management and the transition to sustainable development). In all three areas, we should start with relatively small, incremental steps and move toward more comprehensive and politically divisive aspects of global governance.

Whether substantial progress can be made in any of these broad areas by 2035 remains an open question. Each area has its own stakeholders, drivers of change, political and technical barriers, implementation mechanisms and verification challenges. Each area has its own logic and dynamics, but ultimately all three areas are interconnected and interdependent, so any success or failure in one area will have a significant impact on the other two areas.

On the other hand, it does seem that, on at least some of the issues discussed above, the world is approaching a point of no return, beyond which there is no turning back and our ability to regain control of negative trends comes to an abrupt end. Perhaps the most appropriate approach is to focus on the most pressing dangers that cannot be avoided until 2035, although agreeing on a short list of priorities will also be a considerable challenge.


Impact on Russia and China

What does this mean for Russia and China? Based on the ever-changing balance of world power, as well as the objective existence of resources, population, technology and other constraints, what role can each country play in the process of establishing a new world order? In what areas do Russia and China have comparative advantages and can play a leading role globally? How to "operationalize" these advantages?

If we are talking about Russia in 2035, we can assume that by this time the conflict in Ukraine has ended and some kind of compromise with the West has been reached. Such compromises will be staged and partial; even in 2035, some of the sanctions imposed on Moscow by the United States and the European Union in 2022-2024 are likely to remain in place. Even after 11 years, it is unlikely that the pre-2022 pattern of relations between Russia and the West will be fully restored. Even if it successfully avoids direct military conflict with NATO and resumes some degree of cooperation with the West, Russia's Asian pivot will continue to develop. At the same time, Russia will also continue to explore opportunities in other parts of the world, including the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.


Russia transports natural gas to China through the "Power of Siberia" pipeline (Photo source: foreign media)

However, by 2035, Russia will need to find its proper place in the new international system. In particular, Russia must secure its place in the global economy after the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Russia's current role as a major provider of hydrocarbon resources and select raw materials will be difficult to sustain over the next 10-15 years. Global oil consumption may peak in the early 1930s or even earlier, while global natural gas demand will peak approximately 5-7 years later. Moscow may have major problems maintaining its current share of the global arms market or space launches, as many new entrants will be aggressively seeking new contracts. This not only means profound changes in Russia’s foreign economic policy, but also means that the country’s overall modernization strategy must further break away from the model of the early 2000s. This transition will also be fueled by long-term demographic issues that will not go away by 2035.

One of the options for 2035 and beyond is to position Russia as a “green country”, i.e. one with a primary emphasis on preservation, environmental protection and “green production”. Given its vast size, rich and diverse natural resources, and untapped space, Russia may find itself well-positioned in the condensed and crowded world of 2035. At the same time, Russia can still demonstrate its comparative advantages in certain areas such as basic science, research and development, education, public health and urban planning. The main challenge in all these areas will be to unleash the creative potential of Russian society and retain the best and brightest in the face of fierce international competition for human capital.

Finally, Russia may join other powers in fulfilling the role of security provider. These functions may extend to parts of the post-Soviet space and to unstable regions of the world such as the Middle East and Africa. Ideally, such engagement would take place under the auspices of the United Nations, but as mentioned earlier, the effectiveness of the United Nations is unlikely to increase significantly by 2035; therefore, security arrangements between Moscow and its partners may be negotiated through appropriate bilateral or multilateral agreement. We can conclude that Russia’s future international standing will depend on the country’s ability to contribute to various global commons and position itself as a reliable and predictable international partner.

In the medium to long term, China's international environment may become more complex and the international challenges it faces may become more severe. In the future, the relationship between major powers will change, and the status of Russia-US relations and Sino-US relations in US diplomacy may be reversed. After the war in Ukraine, as relations between Russia and the West ease, Russia may no longer be the "most direct threat" to the United States. At the same time, Sino-US relations will become the most direct focus of the United States. This does not mean that Russia-US relations will turn friendly and Sino-US relations will inevitably deteriorate, but it only means that the challenges posed by Russia-US relations to US diplomacy will be relatively reduced, and Sino-US relations will become the most prominent focus of US diplomacy. This means that the United States will turn more attention and resources to the Asia-Pacific region and more vigorously promote the exclusive political, security and economic mechanisms led by the United States, aiming to establish a strategic containment system against China. At the same time, NATO's activities will further extend to the Asia-Pacific region, making China's strategic security environment even more unfavorable. However, hot-spot issues such as the South China Sea, the Taiwan Strait, and Northeast Asia will not cool down, but may become even hotter and more likely to explode.

But China’s role in building the international order will only grow higher. This is first of all because China's international influence will continue to rise. China's economic development may accelerate in one period and slow down in another, but China's status as one of the countries with the strongest comprehensive national power in the world is stable. Many people often predict whether China will surpass the United States and become the world's largest economy, but China does not set surpassing the United States as its development goal. China has its own development needs and development trajectory. The most important thing is to keep moving forward. The country's strength will continue to increase to meet the increasing living needs of the domestic people.

China's "personality" in the construction of the international order will be more distinct, it will participate more actively in international governance, and it will be willing to put forward its own ideas, provide more public resources, and play a greater and unique role. China has put forward its own basic concepts and assumptions, that is, taking a community with a shared future for mankind as the overall framework and using global development initiatives, global security initiatives, and global civilization initiatives as its main support. Obviously, China’s perspective is global and it focuses on forming a unified international order and global governance mechanism.


The need for cooperation

In a period when the current international order is disintegrating and a new international order has not yet been formed, China-Russia cooperation in the field of international order construction should be conducted in a constructive manner and oriented toward stability, aiming to update the existing international order by providing constructive elements. unreasonable and unfair rather than destroying all original order and mechanisms regardless of the consequences.


In August 2023, the 15th BRICS leaders’ meeting will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa. The picture shows the BRICS summit banner taken in Johannesburg, South Africa on August 17

As two permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China and Russia bear important responsibilities for maintaining the United Nations, the world's most widely representative multilateral mechanism. They should strive to adapt the United Nations to the changes of the times through reasonable reforms, restore its authority, and improve its effectiveness and reassert its central role in international affairs.

As members or partners of the "Southern countries", China and Russia should join hands with the "Southern countries" to jointly build international order and global governance. The Global South is not an entity, has no clear definition, has internal diversity, and does not have identical demands. Therefore, we cannot expect to form a single cooperation mechanism with the Global South, but it is possible to form a multi-level, multi-field, and multi-form grid-like cooperation pattern.

The SCO and the "BRICS" were originally a platform for political, economic, security and cultural cooperation among participating countries. However, as it develops and expands, its functions have begun to expand, and its impact on the international order and global governance has also increased. big. On the one hand, these two mechanisms already have many members, and more will be added. They have a cross-regional or even global scale, and they have broad political and economic representation; on the other hand, as members of different political A cooperative mechanism composed of countries with systems, ideologies, religions and civilizations, their practice is also a valuable reference for the construction of international order and global governance. China and Russia are both major participants in these two mechanisms. Therefore, the two countries should pay more attention to integrating the construction of international order and global governance in their cooperation.

Source Guancha

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