Source: Imagining an emerging new world order | The Herald
Group Political Editor
ON March 19 2021, The Economist magazine led with a story that betrayed its apparent distress of a possible alternative world order emerging in the post-Russian/Ukraine conflict.
Titled, “The war in Ukraine will determine how China sees the world: And how threatening it becomes,” the article put forward two scenarios.
The first one looked at China building on a pre-war friendship with Russia to create what it calls “an axis of autocracy” and the second scenario suggested that “America (was) to shame China into breaking with Russia,” isolating the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
One year on after this report, neither of the two scenarios were accurate.
In fact, The Economist report has simply confirmed the West’s fears of a solid pact of two formidable neighbours whose common interest is the fulfilment of a new multipolar world order.
China has not only baffled the West by declaring to stand with Russia and “guard over the world order based on international law”, but has gestured a middle figure towards the United States following President Xi’s visit to Moscow a few days after the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICC) made President Putin a subject of an arrest warrant.
Washington’s response to President Xi’s visit to Moscow on Tuesday was predictably dismissive, but nevertheless nonconsequential.
The US Secretary of State Mr Antony Blinken told theguardian.com that; “The world should not be fooled by any tactical move by Russia, supported by China or any other country, to freeze the war on its own terms.”
Sad to say Mr Blinken’s words sounded very hollow and some kind of desperate effort to curry favour with a world that seems to favour the emergence and mediation of China in the Ukraine/Russian war.
Africa and the rest of the world are aware of the power China currently holds in influencing the turn of events in the Ukraine/Russian conflict.
The West is also aware of this, but would have wanted an outcome to be on its own terms. But things are not moving towards the direction the Americans would want. America’s hegemonic dominance on global affairs is waning.
Already, China has put forward a 12-point peace plan, which the Russian leader said had “thoroughly studied” and seemed to endorse it by telling reporters that it represents “as much as possible the unity of the world community’s views.”
If indeed the Russians are amenable to the 12-peace place and if President Xi succeeds in making that phone call to Ukraine President, Volodymir Zelensky for the thawing of hostilities – then it would leave the Americans and their allies in a quandary.
Refusal for a ceasefire will expose the Americans as merchants of war and not peace and will elevate China on a higher political and moral pedestal.
Africa and Zimbabwe are more keen on seeing the resolution of the conflict through a humanistic approach rather than a bombastic blackmailing strategy, which seems to have been the hallmark of American diplomacy since the post-cold war.
The post-cold war era is a period of history that follows the end of the Cold War, which represents history after the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union- a period that saw the United States becoming the world’s sole superpower and the world order becoming unipolar.
There is no doubt that America’s dominance of the world order is declining especially with the emergence of China.
A new alternative order that sticks to international law beckons on the horizon.
Russia this week announced that it would be suspending its participation in the last remaining nuclear-arms treaty with the United States, a vestige of the security design that has helped keep the peace for decades.
Devoid of a new persuasive narrative to sway countries like Turkey and India, the West’s world order is certainly facing a decline.
The era of unilateral approaches to addressing international issues is dissipating because over time it has only managed to incite contradictions, differences and confrontation and hampered the development and progress of mankind.
Without doubt, this is a credible observation, especially regarding the United States’ policies across the world.
Sanctions on Zimbabwe as an example, have been unilateral, serving no purpose at all other than to create disharmony among citizens and create groundswell for regime change.
The world has seen enough of the United States’ hypocrisy especially when it comes to the Israeli—Palestinian conflict.
Despite Israel’s numerous, well-recorded human rights and international law violations, decades-long illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, and apartheid policies against the Palestinian population, the United States has blocked 53 UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions against Israel in the last five decades.
So it is not only Russia and China that are concerned with the West’s apparent hypocrisy in handling international affairs.
Africa has had a long gripe against the current global order that pecks the continent at the lowest rug.
It has long campaigned for such an order that gives much power to the powerful and condemns weaker and smaller nations not to have a voice on the international arena.
Through the African Union (AU), Africa has called for the UN to institute massive reforms to make the international body more democratic in the manner it claims to be.
In 2005, for instance, the AU adopted the Ezulwini Consensus, which called for a more representative and democratic UNSC, in which Africa, like all other regions, is represented.
It, therefore, comes as no surprise that the majority of Africa is in support of a multipolar world order, which Russia and China are yearning to build.
It also explains why at the recent UN General Assembly vote on a resolution calling for Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the majority of African states either abstained while others like Ethiopia voted NO.