An interesting forecast. What to expect from China in the near future — opinion

23 April, 05:00 PM
Xi Jinping (Photo:Getty Images)

Xi Jinping (Photo:Getty Images)

The key element of the answer to this question is in Ukraine.

These days the world has been actively discussing the new role of China and its prospects as a real center of power. The world has already realized that Russia has lost any chance of becoming a (as they believed) pole of gravity. Russia's perspective is clear: it is becoming (as one American president once said) a regional state, and its chances to play a more assertive role are decreasing. As are its chances of even keeping its current borders.  Therefore, our Western partners have identified China as the nearest competitor, perhaps even in the medium-term.

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How will China behave, and what can we expect from it in the near future?

Having asked this question, we understand that the answer is not unambiguous and instantaneous. But a key element of this answer is in Ukraine. It was probably pleasing to the Lord that he put Ukraine in the center of world intrigue and decided the world's future in our country.

If it is assumed that Russia will be defeated (even the most staunch Putinverstehers and Russophiles are beginning to understand this), then it can be assumed it will turn into an economic vassal of China. On the other hand, China is not interested in Russia disappearing. A junior partner is still a partner.

And here comes the biggest intrigue — who will prevail?

Therefore, China will do everything it can to save Russia, at least in some form. Although it will take advantage of its weakness to restore, as they say in China, historical justice, and return at least a few of its territories seized by Russia in the 19th century. Then the situation will develop quite interestingly. On the one hand, the civilized world is thinking about how to counter China's expansionist plans. But, on the other, China is thinking about how to assemble an anti-Western coalition around itself. And here comes the biggest intrigue — who will prevail?

In my opinion, when Russia is defeated, it will create a trend in global security. This will mean that Western countries will gradually but relentlessly dictate their terms on a global level.

It is already clear that a coalition of countries is developing to contain China. It includes Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and, very importantly, India. Just the other day, new demographic information showed that India overtook China as the largest country in the world. So India will undoubtedly play an influential role in containing China. The question of India’s governance, its chosen path, and whose side it will be on will decide the geopolitical landscape in Asia for many years. We know it has contentious relations with China due to border disputes and other problems.

Therefore, the calculation on the part of the West and, above all, the USA, that they will be able to build a coalition of states that will restrain China is quite understandable and justified. Naturally, this will be an uncomfortable situation in Beijing.

On the other hand, China has its own machinations. It is trying to form an anti-Western coalition. It will pay the most attention to the countries of Asia (except those I have mentioned), Africa, and Latin America. We see countries forming around this BRICS idea, fueled by China and Russia's anti-Western position. Therefore, the situation will look quite dynamic as well. China, losing somewhere in Asia, will try to take revenge in Africa or Latin America.  Moreover, it will begin actively using Western politicians, such as Macron, to undermine the transatlantic unity between Europe and America, fueling anti-Americanism even in Europe. There are also opportunities for it here, because anti-American sentiments in France or Germany are traditionally quite strong.

So we will have an interesting events forecast. On the one hand, the weakening or even the disappearance of Russia as a global player will significantly weaken China's position. But it can then take revenge on other continents, trying to increase its influence. But, I think the main factor will still be the economic one. The current Chinese emperor will most likely see that, even with their possible allies and partners, it will be challenging to compete with the collective West, even if the West is not always united and does not always speak with one voice.  Therefore, I think that in the future, in 7-10 years, we will see a new equilibrium. There will be something like a model of peaceful coexistence of the civilized world with weakened totalitarianism. The totalitarians will be in a weekend position because the West's line to contain it after Russia's aggression becomes the top priority.

The West, especially the United States, does not want Russia entirely in the Chinese orbit. Therefore, there is no answer to what the outcome of the war should be. There is now a dominant position in the West that it is necessary for Ukraine to win, but also for Russia not to lose. This means that the West thinks that Russia should be preserved in its current form, but liberalized and democratized. However, this is nonsense and a complete misunderstanding of the essence of Russia. It is not capable of democracy and liberalism. Therefore, it is certainly not in the interests of the West for post-Russia to turn entirely into an economic appendage of China. That is why they will attempt to preserve Russia if possible, but not in a pro-Western way rather than a pro-China one.

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In order to compete, the West will look for anyone who can set the conditions for a new Russia. The uncontrolled disintegration of Russia carries with it the threat that its individual pieces, especially those close to China, may come under its direct influence. But even under such circumstances, if Russia breaks up into dozens of state entities, no one will interfere with the Americans, British, and French coming with investments. The choice will be up to the local leadership - to adhere to progressive Western technologies or those copied by the Chinese. That is why there will be such difficult decisions on whether to leave Russia whole or not. It is precisely from this that a new field of conflict will develop between China and the West. The division of the present Russian Federation territories will come with a great deal of tension. But, in this competition, the West has more power than China and its potential allies.

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