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A New World Order Is Emerging

The democracies of the West are moving closer together, they are courting Indo-Pacific partners. But an authoritarian bloc around Russia and China is also striving for dominance.

The reports about war and political crises, Corona and rising inflation are driving people. It is easy to lose sight of the fact that a new world order is currently emerging. The dividing lines of the next generation are drawn: between the West and the rest of the nations, between liberal democracies and illiberal autocracies, between those who join the alliances that are currently emerging and those who pursue their own interests independently of them.

First of all, Vladimir Putin has achieved what would have been unthinkable without his warlike expansionism. The transatlantic partnership, the European Union and NATO are more united, more determined, more security-conscious and more defensive than they have been for a long time. The alliance is now also joined by the two Scandinavian neutrals, Sweden and Finland. "We will strengthen our unity, our cohesion and our solidarity," says the recently adopted NATO 2022 Strategic Concept. The eastern flank is drastically strengthened; 300,000 soldiers are to be on alert in the future - if the plans are actually implemented.

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Russia as a threat – and China?

In 2010, the alliance's strategic concept referred to Russia as a "strategic partner". Now, on the other hand, it says: "The Russian Federation is the most significant and immediate threat to the security of the allies and to the peace and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area. NATO is not looking for confrontation, but it will respond to hostile actions as one."

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It goes on to say that the declared ambition and the coercive policy of the People's Republic of China pose "challenges to our interests, our security and our values". China is trying to increase its global footprint politically, economically and militarily. They remain open to constructive engagement with the People's Republic, but will increase their own willingness to take action and intensify the pressure and cooperation with like-minded people in the Indo-Pacific. An investment program of over 600 billion dollars is also intended to counter the Chinese infrastructure projects with a Western one; however, its financing is pending.

These are Russia's partners

The new Indo-Pacific partnership became visible with the participation of the heads of government of Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea at the NATO summit in Madrid. You are looking for allies. India and Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa could not be pinned down against Russia; they don't think much of Western sanctions.

Meanwhile, China and Russia are also looking for allies. Putin recently visited five Central Asian states that emerged from former Soviet republics. He also has hopes for the Brics, a forum in which Brazil, India, China and South Africa are connected and which Iran intends to join in the near future. China, however, is also building on the Brics, which last week held a summit of the five-party forum, which Beijing plans to join with Indonesia, Argentina and Egypt. For Xi, the Brics states are "one big family". He turns to them massively because his own Silk Road project has all but come to a standstill due to Covid-19. He now attaches more geostrategic significance to his project of the century; this leaves his latest catchphrase anyway"

It is still unclear what kind of world order will ultimately emerge from all these initiatives. Only this much is clear: it will be more multiple. It will become confrontational in a new way. They will have a say in new actors; competing centers will not necessarily be involved. One question is whether Russia and China can stick to the alliance between Putin and Xi Jinping. Whether the West - one billion out of ten billion people - would survive another bout of Trumpism is another. It also depends on which principles will ultimately prevail, democracy or autocracy, and what balance of power politics will settle.

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