Three pow­ers will shape fu­ture state of world

China Daily (USA) - - VIEWS -

In­ten­si­fy­ing com­pe­ti­tion among the world’s ma­jor pow­ers raises the is­sue of po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship to a new level. The ob­vi­ous lack of strong lead­er­ship in the Euro­peanUnion has not only led it to crises, but has also dis­qual­i­fied the EU from be­ing a global strate­gic ac­tor.

The three ma­jor pow­ers of to­day’s world, theUnited States, China and Rus­sia, have very dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal sys­tems and very dif­fer­ent lead­er­ship styles. TheUS rests on di­vided gov­ern­ment, with in­tri­cate checks and bal­ances; China for­mally has col­lec­tive lead­er­ship; and Rus­sia lives un­der per­son­al­ist rule that en­joys the con­sent of most peo­ple. Things, how­ever, are chang­ing.

The Com­mu­nist Party of China has just named Xi Jin­ping its “core” leader.

In so­ci­eties go­ing through trans­for­ma­tional pro­cesses, like China’s and Rus­sia’s, strong and re­spon­si­ble lead­er­ship is re­quired more than in es­tab­lished ones, which are largely self-govern­ing. In the US, it is Congress, state and mu­nic­i­pal au­thor­i­ties that take care of the do­mes­tic agenda, while the pres­i­dent’s pow­ers are most im­por­tant in the field of for­eign and se­cu­rity pol­icy. With the global en­vi­ron­ment get­ting more com­pet­i­tive, it is re­la­tions among the lead­ers of the US, China and Rus­sia that will have a de­ci­sive im­pact on global pol­i­tics through the rest of this decade, and be­yond.

So far, the mu­tual em­pa­thy and close­ness of world views be­tween Putin andXi has greatly pro­moted Sino-Rus­sian co­op­er­a­tion and ce­mented the new“en­tente”— some­thing more than part­ner­ship and less than an al­liance— be­tweenMoscow and Bei­jing. By con­trast, Putin’s rocky re­la­tions withUS Pres­i­dent Barack Obama have ag­gra­vated, rather than mit­i­gated the fun­da­men­tal US-Rus­sian dif­fer­ences. Xi’s con­nec­tion to Obama, by con­trast, has been gen­er­ally busi­nesslike, but hardly warm, even as the two coun­tries have raised the level of their com­pe­ti­tion.

Go­ing for­ward, Xi, Putin and the nex­tUS Pres­i­dent will be largely re­spon­si­ble for the state of the world. China’s and Rus­sia’s lead­ers will not only work closely with each other, but also learn from each other, in eco­nom­ics as well as in pol­i­tics. They will prob­a­bly con­tinue to re­solve their dif­fer­ences in a friendly and rea­son­ably ac­com­mo­dat­ing man­ner.

This will strengthen Bei­jing’s hand in re­la­tions with­Wash­ing­ton, and provideMoscow with a much-needed part­ner in con­struct­ing Greater Eura­sia, Rus­sia’s new­est geopo­lit­i­cal blue­print. The tri­an­gle which for­merUS pres­i­dent Richard Nixon and his top aideHenry Kissinger— the two very strong and in­sight­ful for­eign pol­icy lead­ers— built in the early 1970s and which put theUS on top is now stand­ing on its head. The author is the di­rec­tor of the CarnegieMoscow Cen­ter. His re­cent book, ShouldWe Fear Rus­sia? has just been pub­lished by Polity, Cam­bridge (UK).

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