In this Issue
It has become increasingly difficult to engage in global dialogue amid rising international tensions. Due to the US-led New Cold War, efforts to promote constructive discussions about China, Russia, and the changing world order are relentlessly attacked by state, corporate, and media institutions as disinformation, propaganda, and foreign interference. In this global climate, it is essential to develop lines of communication and encourage exchange between China, the West, and the developing world.
The Ukraine crisis has not merely altered the geopolitical landscape, it has severely disrupted the current international order. The imposition of extensive sanctions on Russia by the US and its allies has compromised the rules of the existing system and revealed its true, coercive nature. This crisis should provide a strong reminder to China that it must seriously contemplate, as a major strategic aim, building a new international system parallel to the current Western-dominated order.
Humanity is in the midst of a global upheaval, on a scale unseen in 500 years: namely, the relative decline of the United States and Europe, the rise of China and the Global South, and the resulting transformation of the global landscape. By examining the shifting relationship between China and the West over the past five centuries, we are able to better understand the current conjuncture and the important role that China has in shaping a new international order.
The ‘special military operation’ launched by Russia against Ukraine, along with the attendant stalemate between the West and Russia, are landmark events that signal the approaching end of the globalisation wave that began in the 1980s. In the face of a potential forced and complete decoupling from the United States and Western countries, China must take initiative and adjust its foreign strategic orientation, reprioritising the countries that it engages with in order to develop a new international order.