it is very difficult to predict what the post-Covid-19 world will look like, there seems to be consensus among key analysts that profound changes will occur in the order in force after World War II, including important changes geopolitical policies – less stable than was supposed – that followed the end of “socialism and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
One of the most predictable changes, about which there does not seem to be much disagreement (regardless of the value judgments about it), is overcoming of the United States of America (USA) by China as the largest economy on the planet. This overrun has already occurred in terms of purchasing power, a criterion often used by international financial institutions such as the Monetary Fund and the Bank World Bank, to eliminate exchange rate fluctuations in the measurement of the economic weight of each country. In a few more years, the overcoming of the North American economy by the Chinese should, in all likelihood, it will also occur with regard to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measured in market prices.
It should be noted that China’s economic rise, as it usually does, is reflected in the political level and, to a lesser extent – but noticeably – in the strategic field military. Even Western thinkers, notably North Americans, point to the addition of the so-called Chinese “soft power”, in contrast to the decline in US attractiveness.
One of the great unknowns, to be clarified in the coming months, is precisely know where US foreign policy is going. Obviously, structural interests Americans will continue to be the same, starting with financial capital, large technology companies and due to strategic-military considerations, even though internal exchange rates, derived from the pandemic and the growing revolt of the population of African origin, can substantially modulate the way in which these interests they are presented and defended around the world. Essentially, it is about knowing, for the choice between Joe Biden and Trump, whether Washington will maintain its defensive attitude aggressive use of its economic and strategic interests, without taking into account other positions or sensitivities, or whether, as has occurred to a large extent since Il Guerra World Bank, will seek to modulate its action in order to avoid risky conflicts and confrontations unnecessary. We will have the answer to this question in the first days of November.
The US-China preposition could indicate that the world will transition from the pitch post-Cold War unipolarity, which had been fading over the past two decades, towards a new bipolarity (some analysts speak of “new Cold War”). There is no need to underestimate the potential for conflict and rivalry between the two largest economies of the world. A respected political analyst, who held important positions in the American administration, Graham Allison, coined the expression Thucydides ”, regarding the risk (or almost certainty) of confrontation or war when one emerging power surpasses or threatens the supremacy of another, dominant until So. It happened between Athens and Sparta in the Peloponnesian War, five centuries before our era.
But it is not necessarily so. First, from a strategic point of view – military, there is no way to rule out Russia, whose potential in modern-day high destructive power has been constantly updated and improved, from rockets hypersonic to very long range nuclear powered torpedoes. In addition Russia owns a vast territory, ranging from the heart of Europe to arctic reaches from the Far East, rich in natural resources, starting with oil and gas, whose roles in the world economy need no comment. Not to mention the fact that after the Yeltsian hangover period, post-dissolution of the USSR, Moscow demonstrated again great assertiveness in the international field, illustrated, among others, by the actions in Crimea and Syria. Thus, from a strategic-military point of view, but with an obvious impact political, it would perhaps be more correct, instead of bipolarity, to speak, as I have already mentioned, of a tripod, in which three superpowers would seek variable balances.
Today, this balance tends to be achieved with an “Eurasian” alliance between Moscow and Beijing, in the face of a voluntarily aggressive American government and with high degree of unpredictability, which was demonstrated in the conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan and, to some extent, in relation to North Korea. But the stability of this alliance is far from permanent. Nothing excludes that, as in the past (who does not remember the Sino-Soviet conflict of the 60s and 707s), shocks of interest occur between the two great powers of the Eurasian continent and that, eventually, Washington can benefit. A very long common border important cooperation actions, but it is often also a source of friction. It is not a probable scenario, for now, given Russia’s great dependence on investment and economic support from China, but it is not to be dismissed in a longer-term scenario.
The strategic tripod does not exhaust the list of actors that will shape the new order post-virus worldwide. In a rebuilt world, the European Union (EU) will continue to have relevant weight. Recent decisions seem to indicate a renewed willingness of its most important members, notably Angela Merkel’s Germany and France Emmanuel Macron, in strengthening the Union, in particular with a new conception the role of the European institutions in tax policy. In addition to loans, European rulers woke up large direct stimuli, in the trillion euros, in the form of subsidies, to boost post-pandemic reconstruction. Obviously, it is necessary to wait and see how these good intentions announced by the European Commission will translate into concrete projects for the benefit of more economies hit by the crisis. In a multipolar system, where it will be necessary to balance the raw exercise of power with attitudes of authentic cooperation, the capacity for initiative and EU negotiation should not be underestimated