A Complicated Process

China appears to be the new primary competition for the U.S. economically, militarily and in the struggle for geopolitical influence.

The fact that the world is going through a time of great change is undeniable.

But no one has any idea what direction this transition will take, let alone what scenarios it will bring about.

What is certain is that the international order, as it came to be known after the Second World War and perhaps until the era of European hegemony, is now in flux, and new and old powers are trying to gain a foothold, while a process of regionalization is starting to take hold.

For more than 200 years, Britain was one of the greatest empires the world has ever known, and to some extent, it could be said that it found in the U.S. an heir to Anglo-Saxon hegemony.

Today, both countries are in a crisis of their own making. In the U.S., some are worried about the future of their political system, which seems compromised by the rise of a Caesarist figurehead who is exploiting the growing social and economic frustrations of a section of the population that feels threatened, not least by the growth of ethnic minorities.

From the outside, Great Britain looks like a shell of its former self. The ruling Conservative Party is in the midst of a power struggle with no resolution in sight, after dragging its nation into a break with the EU, which itself has internal problems.

There are certainly those who believe that the current hegemon, the U.S., must abandon its role as universal arbiter and retreat in the face of the new emerging powers. Today, however, it is the only power with the capacity to involve itself in any region of the world.

There are those who want to see the People’s Republic of China return as the central power. Now considered to be the world’s second-largest economic power — perhaps the first in the foreseeable future — Beijing is experiencing a peculiar moment with Xi Jinping’s second re-election and his call to prepare for difficult and confrontational times.

China would appear to be the primary competition for the U.S., both economically and militarily, as well as in the struggle for geopolitical influence and the supply of raw materials. But it’s in an economic tussle with Washington, and its mistrust of its neighbors could well be a turning point in its development.

Russia, despite its image as a military force, now seems to be relegated to the background, after the obvious problems created by its semi-failed invasion of Ukraine and despite its destabilizing impact on Europe.

Certainly, its geopolitical game is at its peak, with transitory coalitions and the creation of new alliances.

Some believe this is the swansong for global hegemonic models, but it’s also a moment of regionally driven globalization: the EU, Oceania, the Turkic community, Gulf countries, and North America.

The truth is that there are no certainties, but there are forced alliances.

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