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Prognosis of the World Development between 2000 and 2030
II. Geopolitical Scenario, 2000-30.
What great events will most probably happen from 2000 till 2030?
It is almost obvious that principal battle for power and global influence, fought for the possibility to translate oneís cultural codes and national strong points into reality, is to be staged between the Atlantic and Pacific civilizations, i.e., between the U.S. and China. By 2015 or 2020 economic potentials of the two will be almost equal. By 2030 the Chinese economy will exceed that of the U.S. by 30-35 percent and that of Europe (both Western and Eastern) by 5-15 percent. It will be an unaffected and genuine realization of a Soviet dream, that of "catching up with and surpassing" the West. By 2010 China will have already extended its political and (to a certain degree) economic influence on all of the Indo-China, with few exceptions maybe. Its dominance will be strongly felt in Indonesia, which could benefit from Chinese rationalism and turn into a new industrial power. However, there is still a chance that Indonesia is not able to maintain its territorial integrity and splits into several "insular states".
Confrontation and competition between India and China will be steadily tightening during the 2010s-2030s. Between 2015 and 2030 India will be receiving large amounts of IV feeding from the Atlantists that will help her stand up successfully against Chinaís influence in the region. I believe that by 2020-2030 weíll be able to see a new old face of the ancient Indian civilization. Indian capitalism will owe much to China: itís the "Chinese threat" that will make India develop her own, healthy and fast growing type of capitalism. Economic growth will allow India take a strong grip of the peninsula, and, perhaps, of some neighbor states of the Indo-China too.
By 2030, the levels of economic development and standards of living of China and India will differ strikingly, being approximately 2.5 to 3 times higher in China. By that time China will have left India far behind and be struggling for the world hegemony. India will be isolated within a circle of Chinese allies.
Chinese influence will be felt also in Russia. However, in the second decade of the twenty-first century, the latter will already develop a system of economic barriers to prevent Chinese workers, Chinese money and Chinese influence from leaking into the country from outside. Already by the year 2020 those barriers will not be making any sense, as the number of Chinese living in Russia will then reach several million. The Chinese will be controlling 7 to 10 percent of the economy of Russia. The stand of the Russian government in this issue would be varying in times from moderately pro-Chinese (itís then that Chinese influence will be strengthening quickly) to aggressively anti-Chinese propaganda (which will, however, end in only a minor decrease of Chinese domination).
This state of things will continue until 2025, when Russia reaches the boundary, after which its foreign policy in Asia depends entirely on China. This dependence will be felt strongly in the Far East and Siberia, less in the Ural region and the Caucasus and only partially - in the Volga region and Central Russia, which will experience strong European influence instead. Such a "difference of potentials" could pose not a trifling threat for Russiaís integrity, ending in the breaking away of Siberia and the Far East or in a new Caucasus war.
Chinese sphere of influence will be expanded further, engulfing Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. This influence will be felt there even stronger than in the Russian Far East or Siberia, making those states a zone controlled directly by China. In that case the enhancing factor will be ethnic and cultural affinity, which exists to a certain degree between those nations and some of the ethnic groups living in China. Economic and political confrontation between Russia and Central Asian states, especially in times of anti-Chinese reaction in Russia in 2010-20, will be only bringing oil to the fire. As a result, all the nations of Central Asia, plus Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran (to a certain degree) and, perhaps, Turkey will finally be wooed into the orbit of Chinese impact and interests.
During the first decade of the twenty-first century the U.S. will be continuing their arrogant imperial policy, which will be greatly to blame for their failure in the East. The feeling that they are the only superpower in the world will make them push too far, coasting through a useless now anti-Russian policy. An enfeebled and "Atlantist"-besieged Russia will make an easy prey for the Chinese in their advance to the West along her southern borders. Sometimes Russia may even support them, confronting the ill-disposed West.
In that period the U.S. will be assuring their hegemony in Europe by opposing Russia and taking advantage of Turkeyís rise, by working up European nations against Germany and trying to undermine Russia in order to strip her of her military potential. They will be manipulating Turkey and Egypt in order to maintain the balance of forces in the Middle East and to control oil trade, at the same time protecting the security of Israel. Beginning from 2010 or 2015, American activities abroad will be mostly anti-Chinese. The U.S. will first look at Russia, India and Turkey as pillars of their new anti-Chinese policy. They will also be making offers to Pakistan and Iran, liberated from its severe Islamist regime. This perestroika will take almost all of the 2010s to be completed, but will never hit its target, as Chinaís influence will be already bulwark-strong in Central Asia and, possibly, in Pakistan and Iran too. American par for the course allies - India and Russia - will also prove not very willing to pursue the policy dictated by the U.S.
By that time the fast developing Mexico and Brazil will grow into another rivals of the U.S. To limit the US dominance in Latin America, they may even enter into an alliance, while the U.S. will be making their best to destabilize the situation in both countries. Beginning from 2020, as pro-Chinese feelings get stronger in Latin America, the U.S. will begin gradually shifting towards a more reasonable and balanced attitude, in order to keep core Latin American nations within the sphere of their influence.
In the next century the words "Battle of Europe" will be used in a new sense, as well as "battle of South America". That latter continent, with a civilization resembling that of Southern Europe, will be given special importance.
A new national state likely to unify all the black people may possibly emerge in Africa. The unification may begin from the South or from Central Africa, with South Africa, or Nigeria or Zaire playing the leading role. At the end Africa will make another stage for struggle between China and the U.S., in which Arab nations are also most likely to be involved. But, as for the Arabs, itís hard to predict which part they will take.
What interest could China be possibly taking in Africa? In 2030 the U.S. and Japan will be still pursuing the "diplomacy of deterrence" in the case of China. It is highly improbable that Japan would ever revoke its alliance with the U.S., except if some most unpredictable things happen. E.g., a pro-Chinese dictator could seize power on the tide of an economic crisis in Japan, or China and Japan could come to an impossible arrangement for dividing their spheres of influence in the Russian Far East, etc. Thatís why China will have almost no chance to extend its influence beyond Philippines and Indonesia. It will have to go north and west, instead of going south and east. The north means, quite obviously, Siberia and Russia. However, involvement there, whatever poor the region be, could result in a war (even a nuclear one) with allied European nations. Thus only way left for China will lead through Central Asia, Pakistan, Iran, Arab countries and Turkey into Southern Europe. In this way India could be completely isolated, the Muslim world successfully controlled and the global hegemony just at hand. Moreover, in that case processes going on in Xinjiang could be working on Chinaís "friendship" with Muslim countries.
I donít mean here anything like a military expansion, similar to that of Germany of 1930s and 1940s. The nuclear age has made such schemes by far too dangerous. So, the twenty-first century Chinese expansion has to be performed by economic or political means. Probably, it will be first carefully prepared by diplomats and secret agents, then followed with migrations and backed by the Chinese underground ("Chinese triads") or by local separatist movements, or enforced by threats, or camouflaged for peace-keeping operations in times of Chinese-inspired local conflicts, etc. All those methods are sure to be even more popular in the twenty-first century, than they were in our times.
Still, what interest could China possibly be taking in Africa in the nearest future? Even strong China of the 2020s and 2030s doesnít seem very likely to take any. The nations the most embroiled in African affairs will obviously be the U.S. and Europe. Thatís why an all-African movement for unification will certainly be anti-American and anti-European - take only remembrances of colonial period or the centuries-long history of slavery. China will need the conflict to sap the "Atlantists"í forces. She will take measures for the "Black Continentís black revolution" to win.
Arab nations are not likely to be interested in this new civilization, culturally different from their own, when it appears in their closest neighborhood. Thatís why black Muslims of Sudan, Madagascar, etc. will probably oppose the idea of an "African Empire". However, Arabs have never been able to unite whatever happened during their history, so their hostility towards the new African union would hardly make any difference.
By 2020 or 2030, a new ideology will be created, to explain why the Black Continent, rich in mineral resources and all, has been suffering so much humiliation and poverty during its history. This ideology, developed in the U.S., Brazil, or Africa, will certainly be anti-American and, perhaps, anti-European. In short, the 2020s will bring not minor difficulties in Africa to the "Atlantists", while China will be making treaties with its new allies at the same time.
As for Europe, the 2010s will be filled with attempts at real unification. Actually, by that time Germans will begin feeling more Teutonic than ever, Frenchmen will grow to be ultra-French, and the British will realize that Britain is above all. Despite nationalist sentiments, consolidating trends will grow stronger and making more for Europeís economic unification than at the beginning of the century. Itís only by the end of the decade that financial resources in different European states will finally merge into a pan-European capital. The euro will gain a firm foothold only by the end of the decade, after getting through a long hard period. Europe will undergo a new period of rapid development, expanding its economic influence eastwards and southwards - to Russia, Arab countries and Africa. A period of conflicts between national governments will follow, with small anti-unification, anti-German, anti-French, anti-Muslim, anti-Slav parties popping up everywhere. Those parties will make perfect ground for all sorts of maneuvering by the U.S. (in the 2000s) and China (between 2010 and 2020), which will be aiming to shatter the European Union.
Itís only in the 2020s and 2030s that United Europe will finally reap the harvest of unification, absorbing Eastern Europe, including Belarus and Ukraine, Turkey and, perhaps, northern Africa into the orbit of her economy. Some of those nations will enter the European Union as full-fledged members. As for Russia, from 2020 on she will also be driven into the sphere of European influence. However, European nations will be looking down on her, making her play a part of a mere buffer between Europe and China. Their policy will spur processes of disintegration in Russia, making her split into a European (this side of Ural Mountains) and an Asian part. Still seen as a rival by France and Germany and as a threat by East European nations, Russia will be finally allowed to drift towards China and will eventually make a part of Chinaís sphere of interest.
Despite the changes occurring in the world politics, many among the European policymakers are almost sure to maintain their narrow-minded and provincial attitude in the coming century. It is the reason why they will always be afraid of a strong Russia, whether enemy or friend of China, preferring her to be small and deeply entangled in the recovering her own territories from the Chinese. Itís only much later than in the U.S., that the Chinese threat will be felt in Europe. By that time attitude towards it will change, giving place to serious concern, especially if China manages to have already torn Turkey away from the European Union, and activated the "Africa factor" by that time.
Itís only by the end of the 2030s that United Europe will be able to see the world how it is seen with Chinaís - one of the worldís greatest powers - eyes. Only then Chinaís hegemony will become evident for everybody. It will be also the time, when Arab nations are first brought within the Chinese orbit. Only then Europe will feel that Russia should declare her joining the European Union as quickly as possible.
As for the Arabs, which have been "renters of the whole world" between 1975 and 2000, they will still be prospering in 2010. However, by that time they will have fallen far behind the rest of the world in technical progress and headhunting. By the end of the 2010s, those nations will have also felt the perils of Chinaís pushing westwards. In addition, by that time scientific revolution and ecological movement will have made mere possession of oil resources less important than high technologies or developed economy. During 2010-2015 the danger for Arabs will be growing, as China extends her influence and purchases ever increasing amounts of crude oil and industrial goods in the Middle East. With Chinese goods sold in great quantities to the Arab countries, Chinese labor force migration, together with Arab investments in China, will do the rest. In short time China will be already backing separatist and opposition movements in Arab countries, forcing them to let her military forces carry on "peace-keeping" operations during armed conflicts she will herself be igniting. Thus, in no time, all the Arab nations, one after another, will be skillfully turned into Chinese protectorates.
Chinese policies will be the main source of instability in Arab and other Muslim countries between 2010 and 2030. China will be skillfully using every trifle contradiction between them to worsen economic woes of the 2010s, caused by the steady loss of oil revenues. One of maneuvers could be charging the West with using price-rigging tactics in oil business. Several Arab regimes will fall as a result of civil disorders, their elites, perverted by the Western-style luxury, immigrating to Europe. Needless to say, theyíll take all their money along. New pro-Chinese governments of those countries, supported by Russia, will try to get the money back, but fail.
The things will then go from bad to worse. A part of the Muslim world being already included in the Chinese sphere of interest, only Iran and some other regimes will retain their independence. However, deep misgivings about the future, as well as common sense in politics, will make them recognize Chinaís hegemony. The West tortured with contradictions between the U.S. and Europe, the U.S. and Russia, Russia and Europe, and so on will have to take an ambiguous stand.
From all the nations of Europe and Middle East, itís only Turkey, Jordan, Israel and Egypt that will prove able to confront the expansion. Instability in the Arab world will call forth a strong national and religious movement aiming at all-Arab consolidation on the grounds of Islamic fundamentalism, Asian solidarity and anti-Atlantic feelings. Egypt and Turkey, both economically independent and integrated into global economic system, will remain immune to it. So will do Iran that has been "vaccinated" in the twentieth century. However, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, and United Arab Emirates, maybe together with Sudan, Algeria, and Libya, will unite to proclaim a new United Arab Republic - a furiously anti-American union. It may happen by 2025. This China-supported UAR, as its first large-scale military and ideological action, will probably attack Israel, triggering war with the U.S. and Europe. In this war Russia (Europeís prodigal daughter that finally has come back by that time), Turkey, Egypt, and possibly Iran will join the anti-Arab/anti-Chinese coalition. The uneven contest will end in prompt restoration of independence of Israel, moderate regimes coming to power in Algeria and Libya. The belligerent and hostile towards the Atlantists ally of China will entrench in the very heart of the region, controlling oil routes of worldwide importance and being an incessant threat for Europe, India and moderate Arab governments.
After the war, relations between China and Russia will take a turn for the worse, giving China a pretext to meddle in the Far Eastern and Siberian affairs. It could be also a chance for China to poke her nose into Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. This period of Chinese expansion will not end in a war, resulting in a mere several years worsening of trade relations between China and Russia.
The course of global development between 2000 and 2030 will make the world bipolar again. Without bringing things to a real war, China would be doing all the best to destabilize the situation, while sounding strong points of the enemy and establishing her hegemony in Asia and (from 2020 on) in the whole world. Between 2000 and 2020 Europe will be implementing her new pro-American policy, trying to expand east- and southwards at the same time. Until 2025 there will be no chance of strong feelings of a pan-European unity emerging, which would allow Europe to dominate in the economy of the U.S. and Latin America. And during the 2020s Europe will finally grow into the worldís third center of power, able to demand the hegemony in Eurasia from China.
At that time Russia will see through a period of zigzagging between China and Europe, finally choosing Europe. But she will never really enter Europe, feeling herself rather like a bridge closing the gap between the West and China. Having made her choice, Russia will bitterly miss economic relationship with her southern neighbors, which will be torn away from her by the general instability in the south.
In the Americas itís Brazil that will make a new local center of power and challenge the U.S. domination. Local contenders for the nomination of superpower will also surge in Africa and the Middle East. In Asia, incessant Chinese threat will give India an impulse to develop, making her ready to claim regional hegemony from the Chinese by 2030.
As a result of those processes, by 2030 two stable zones of influence will have formed: the Americano-European one, which will include Europe and North America, Russia, Australia, India, Turkey, Japan and a part of Africa; and the Chinese zone, comprising China, Indo-China, Indonesia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia, several Caucasian states, and the new Arab state (formed by united Iraq, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and a large, yet unknown state in Africa).
The year 2030 will divide the world in accordance with the interest in globalization and the stand on human and capital migration. In both centers of power main resources will be concentrated in the core state, so that the "psychology of a plunderer" will not play any role in their relations with satellite nations. The fear of a nuclear war will limit the means of re-dividing the world to several local wars in Africa and the Middle East. Large-scale armed conflicts in Central Asia or in places, where interests of China and India collide (e.g., in Bangladesh), are not likely, and a military confrontation in Latin America, between the U.S. and Brazil, is even less probable.
© Dmitry Alemasov
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