The US-led West-China friction has set the precedence of the global world order for many. This rivalry has witnessed growing drifts during pre and post-pandemic situations; the ongoing Ukraine-Russian war; the Indo-Pacific paradigm; and now bringing sharp changes in the global economy through the dominant discourse notion of ‘De-dollarisation.’
Insecurities and paranoia are on the rise. Both are yearning for the opportunity to decimate each other at all costs. Several experts have claimed that China is audacious, bold and now acting like the global power challenging the US led- global order.
This imposed division of the world is prolonging the impediments and both sides are shadow-boxing, deviating from the real problems.
Facing reality: Being ‘Maximalist’ going out of fashion
The two so-called nemesis have been negating global growth and embraced a narrow and narcissist perspective of the prevailing perceived situation. This is a regressive take on the world.
China and the West blatantly gave a blind eye to the undertones of multilateralism and have created an illusion for themselves where the world is for them and they do not owe anything to the world. This one-way street they are walking on is a dead-end, which they are intentionally dismissing.
Both nations are necessary evils for the global order. Both are economically advanced and hold geopolitical influence which are the driving forces of the global structure. However, this hostility has totally sidelined the fact that the concept of hegemony is more like a square peg in a round hole in the contemporary multipolar puzzle.
Geopolitically, China is expanding its diplomatic footprint where the West’s appetite is diminishing and waning. Recently, China facilitated detente between two important West Asian regional foes, Saudi Arabia and Iran. It is sweepingly claimed that China is becoming a significant player in fostering international conflict-resolution techniques.
With the interference to end the Ukraine-Russian war with its ‘grandiose’ and ambitious concepts such as the “community of common destiny for mankind” and “global security initiative” etc, have been promoted to portray that after the recent whirlwind Moscow visit of Xi Jinping, China is unbiased and non-interventionist as compared to West.
It is noteworthy that China, who usually went for localised and low-intensity conflicts and continuously nibbled up small portions of the territories, just like what it is doing with the LAC conflict with India, not completely engaging or disengaging. It has abruptly now engaged itself in distant geopolitical flashpoints. This is a long shot.
Parallely, the West backed IMF has announced lending of $15.6bn to Ukraine. It will become the first country at war to receive a loan from the organisation. There is sudden bending of rules. Analysts said rules were tweaked because “it is their kith and kin.” However, when other countries are facing a crisis, the West often gives them the cold shoulder. The West may put its head in the sand, but their hypocrisy is apparent.
In its defense, the global lender said the bailout is to save Ukraine from the devastating impact on their economy by the Russian invasion.
The acts are not rendering any breakthrough, furthermore, informally creating power camps, one headed by the US-led West and one by China-Russia. These patronages are taking the crisis far from the culmination point.
The binary has undermined the point of view of those who don’t wish to join the battlefronts created by China and the West. They have once again neglected the volatility of the conflict zone. The constant misplaced confidence between China and the West is a setback.
Fueling proxy war
Meanwhile, China is quite proud and mentioned that it is “seeking political settlement of hotspot issues through dialogue and consultation.” But perhaps it is a gimmick to upstage each other by fueling proxy wars.
In the emerging Indo-Pacific paradigm, China unequivocally has been a dominant challenge. Despite, western condemnation, its authority in the South China Sea emboldened, alleged genocide against Muslim minorities has been carried out.
China has been able to evade any severe repercussions because of its relentless diplomatic and economic rapport with several. It has easily offered virtual silence on the issues. It has got a golden chance to play the victim instead.
It is ironic but not surprising that the same countries who are involved under the table and behind-the-scenes diplomacy are now acting as the global policemen and giving lectures on world peace and stability.
Amidst this backdrop, the concept of ‘De-dollarisation’ is pontificated by the Chinese-Russian camp. It is assumed that this thwarted concept is accepted by all. Global South countries like India who believe in strategic autonomy and have a distinct point of view to perceive the global scenario, reject it.
It wants to foster financial freedom, democratise and enable equitable access to the global currency for all. It does not want to displace the dollar, but reduce the dependency. The de-throning of dollar legacy is antagonistic. This is a click-bait of reviving the age-old 20th century bipolar rivalry in the contemporary world.
Perhaps the caveats created by this constant power struggle between Chinese and the West nexus is the reason why the world is looking for diversification and creating mini-multilaterals to get away from this headache.
Both are playing hardball against each other. Its losing momentum swiftly. The world has more pressing issues staring at it. It is marching on with its own agendas. It is the need of the hour to look at a more collaborative approach. Give emphasis to the convergences and take account of the big picture of the international community. Is the conflicted approach taking the world in any coherent direction?
Today, we must look at where the global growth would be achieved from and shape the global order. It is certainly not from the West. It is from the focal points of developing regions. The harsh reality is West is finding it unpalatable as it has reached its saturation point. There is degrowth in human resources. The Global North’s economy is now more consumer-based. Unless they decentralise the power play and collaborate with all, they are going to be sore losers.
Global South has several players but can they challenge the paramountcy of the West? No. It needs Global North for its experience and technological advancement. Without each other’s assistance this is a losing battle for all. Partnership and cooperation must be the key to resolve the issue.
Groupings are inevitable in the world structure. However, the purpose and aim can be redefined. Global paradigm has always maintained the status quo, defeating the purpose of multilateralism and multipolarity. For Global South’s voice to reach the high table, breaking of this wheel is imperative.
The entire discussion and deliberation should be stressed on the reforming of the mindset of the international fraternity. It is much beyond the binary outlook that has been misleading us. Reinforcement of robust multilateralism is an important catalyst to counter the hostile cleavages intensified by the animosity of West and China.