The competition and tensions between the US and China are intensifying. Where could be the most interesting conflict of interest between the two major power?
The main battlefield of the competition between China and the US will be in Europe. Why? Because elsewhere, the answer is already very clear. First, we have to categorise which field we are talking about in terms of competition. Politically speaking, China is not competing with the United States. We have our own political system, but it’s only for us, we are not exporting revolutions. Economically speaking, it’s clear that the Chinese influence is growing around the world. Therefore we might also have competition with the US in the economic field, but I don’t believe that the US could actually win over China in the Global South. In this case, Europe is in a special position because the US has more allies there than anywhere else, but also China is the largest trading partner of the EU.
China also gained significant influence in the Middle East. What can Beijing offer to these countries that the US couldn’t in the past decades?
Traditionally speaking, China is the only major power that has been able to maintain good relations with everybody in the Middle East. That is a real achievement. Beijing is dedicated to economic activities only and doesn’t meddle in local politics. China has also been successful in mediating between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which raises further questions: can China do more? I think it can. The time has come for Beijing to play an even bigger role in the Middle East. This success demonstrates that China can actually do something, and because of China’s good record, no one will doubt its impartiality. This is the real advantage of China.
It is clear that the world order is already changing. What impact does the war in Ukraine have on this process?
Before the war started, the centre of gravity had already started shifting towards Asia. This process has been accelerated by the war. The end result of this geopolitical shift is that this century would truly become Asia’s century. The 19th century was characterised by the so-called „Pax Britannica”, and the 20th century by „Pax Americana”. The 21st century won’t be „Pax Sinica”. It will be characterised by the collective rise of Asian countries.
The author is editor of Eurasia
China always looks at EU member states as partners. We have more cooperation than competition, more common sense than disputes, Dr. Chun Ding, Director of the Center for European Studies at Fudan University - who visited Budapest on the invitation of the Mathias Corvinus Collegium - told Eurasia.