“China is a larger economic player than the US”

“China is a larger economic player than the US”

The US withdrawal from Afghanistan has once again fueled discussion on the decline of the American Empire and the rise of a multipolar world. These discussions include the position of the rising Asian civilization and the economic role of Eurasia and specifically China.

United World Expert Fabrizio Verde gave an interview the multipolar world, the economic position of China and perspectives in West Asia to the Iranian daily newspaper Tehran Times.

UWİ documents the complete text of the interview, which can be assessed also here, below.

Do you think the unipolar world order has come to an end? The U.S. is fighting tooth and nail to show that it is still the only leader of the world while China and Russia and some other new emerging powers have started to challenge U.S. hegemony.

They will try to resist in all ways, but U.S. power is in an irreversible decline. They have now irremediably lost their status as the hegemonic power of the world order.  A nation must be considered a hegemonic power if it has a whole dominance in key sectors such as economy, population, personnel and military power, research, and development.

In contrast, the situation of the United States portrays a country in economic, social, and cultural collapse and decay. Simultaneously, we have a new multipolar order with Eurasian traction in strong growth. Precisely for this reason, the United States, in a desperate attempt to stop its decline has launched a new cold war against Beijing in the style of what it did in the days of the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, times have changed and China is not the old Soviet Union. In today’s integrated global economy, China is a larger economic player than the United States. While in the days of the old Cold War, the Soviet Union was much weaker economically than the United States. Already today, China, which is constantly on the rise, is superior to the declining United States in many key aspects. Furthermore, the Soviet Union chose to compete militarily with the United States, with disastrous consequences, given the reduced economic strength. On the contrary, China will not pursue the United States on this terrain by concentrating resources on the defense of its borders and its territory. Moreover, in the long run, economic power invariably outweighs military strength. U.S. imperialism is experiencing historical decay and has no way out to resolve its structural crisis, neither with neoliberalism nor with the return to Keynesianism. The future is multipolar.

Do you think that the EU is reliable when it comes to containing U.S. unilateral moves? Some observers say that the EU cannot take decisions independently as it needs a U.S. security umbrella.

The European Union is an amorphous creature governed by absurd economic policies based on the wildest neoliberalism. A construction without sovereignty that follows the directives coming from Washington. This is why the Trump presidency was badly lived in Brussels. During the G7 summit in Taormina, Trump scrambled the European vassals so much that Chancellor Angela Merkel affirmed that, with these manners, the U.S. had broken a historic relationship of solidarity. Now with the return of the Democrats to the White House, it seems to have returned to the old fencing where the important directives are decided in Washington and Brussels just executes. Even if France and Germany, perhaps exclusively for economic reasons, try to keep some channels of opening towards Russia and above all China. Just French President Macron, at the time of the Trump presidency, had declared that NATO was in a state of brain death. That denunciation was not followed by any concrete step in the dismissal of a useless and anti-historical entity such as NATO.

On the other hand, France is the only country within the European Union that questions strategic autonomy from the United States and that, starting from nuclear deterrence, includes the perspective of defending Europe’s independence and thinks in terms of sectors strategic including communication and energy supply networks. The other countries, however, primarily Germany and Italy, do not seem willing to follow Paris in these reflections. So, the European Union, as we said earlier, remains in a subordinate position with respect to the U.S. and NATO.

Can Western powers hamper China’s efforts to develop the infrastructure of developing countries?

Western countries have announced plans to counter China with its New Silk Road project. These plans, both the one announced by Biden at the G7 and the less clear one launched by the European Union that would like to involve India, involve lavish investments aimed at supplanting the Chinese advance. However, do Western countries have this economic strength? I do not think so. The economies of the Western powers come out devastated and depressed by a long pandemic managed in an absolute bankruptcy from all points of view. Unlike China, which has already started running again. It should also be noted that the New Silk Road brings, empirically, immediate benefits for the countries involved, allowing them to equip themselves with the capital necessary for the construction of expensive infrastructures (roads, railways, ports and airports). In fact, the total investments made this decade are estimated at around $1,800 billion with the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank as the main lender. Thanks to the modernization of infrastructures, 67 countries that already adhere to the Silk Road have greater and more stable growth prospects.

The world is no longer what it was after 1945 or 1990

How do you assess the EU’s performance when it tried to confront Trump’s unilateral sanctions on Iran? Apparently, they failed to curb Trump’s impulsive behaviors?

As we said before, the countries of the European Union have not gone beyond a few verbal skirmishes. So, they ended up accepting that Trump would exit the nuclear deal with Iran and impose new criminal and illegal sanctions on Tehran. Even in this case, Brussels remained in a subordinate position with respect to Washington. In addition, let’s go back to the point of the non-real independence of the European Union from the United States. We can then add that there are European countries that have taken advantage of the situation: in 2011, the volume of Italy-Iran trade had reached the remarkable figure of 7 billion dollars. However, in 2013, this volume plummeted to $ 1.3 billion because in 2012 sanctions imposed by the “international community” – a euphemism for the United States and its vassal countries – were launched against Tehran for their nuclear program. Meanwhile, France and Germany, especially the latter, were working hard to replace Italy.

Do you think the political milieu of the region (West Asia) is ready for a regional coalition between powers like Iran, Russia, Turkey, and China to confront Western outrageous policies? 

I believe the times are ripe. I don’t see any other alternatives either. On the other hand, it would be shortsighted to remain anchored to a decadent imperialist power like the United States, with its flock of vassal countries. A new world is being built. The world is no longer what it was after 1945 or 1990. Now we have the unipolar order in a downward phase, while at the same time a new Eurasian unipolar order is on the rise. A more human, sharing and democratic world. I believe, like the president of the Turkish Vatan Partisi Dogu Perincek, that Iran, Russia, Turkey, and China are building the 21st-century alliance.

Fabrizio Verde

Journalist and geopolitics analyst.

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June 2024