Wang Wen, Sun Zhuangzhi, Ding Yifan: China must be prepared to deal with changes brought about by Russia-Ukraine conflict


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Wang Wen, Sun Zhuangzhi, Ding Yifan: China must be prepared to deal with changes brought about by Russia-Ukraine conflict


Source: GT Published: 2024-02-23

Editor's Note:

The 10th Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the Renmin University of China (RDCY) Global Governance Forum was held in Beijing recently under the theme 'The Second Anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Impact and Insights.' Chinese think tank experts believe that the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict signifies the end of the post-Cold War era and that a new era is beginning, ushering in a major global transformation unseen in a century. The world needs new ideas, new trends and new approaches. The Global Times has selected the viewpoints of three attending experts.

Wang Wen, executive dean of the RDCY

The Russia-Ukraine conflict, as the largest international event since the Cold War, has already and will continue to have profound impact on the evolution of the world order and global dynamics.

In the security field, the conflict has fueled more geopolitical conflicts, plunging the world into the most chaotic security situation since World War II. In the social field, the conflict has caused a huge human tragedy, being the deadliest war in Europe since World War II. In the rules field, the conflict has accelerated the trend of 'weaponization' of trade and finance, leading to the most intense wave of sanctions and counter-sanctions in history.

In the political field, the conflict has intensified global polarization and division, resulting in the largest fragmentation of countries since the end of the Cold War. In the ideological field, the conflict has become a catalyst for further global division, triggering a major ideological divergence in the post-Cold War world.

Under the above-mentioned influences, it is important for China to grasp the main characteristics and medium- to long-term trends of the era of change under the Russia-Ukraine conflict and to fully prepare for international and domestic responses.

Sun Zhuangzhi, director of the Institute of Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is about to enter its second anniversary, and I believe that the conflict is showing several characteristic impacts.

The first is the polarization of Europe. After the Cold War, the world entered a stage of rapid multipolarization and globalization. Developing countries hoped for a new international order after the Cold War, which may be more conducive to the development of emerging countries. However, in reality, the West is unwilling to give up its hegemonic position internationally, so the process of globalization has been hindered. Europe is fully leaning toward the US, and Russia is facing unprecedented isolation. The geopolitical game among major powers has entered a new stage.

The second is the abuse of security issues. The escalation of regional hotspot issues seems to make it difficult to see an end to continuous world conflicts. Regional conflicts constantly carry a certain degree of spillover risk. At the same time, energy security and food security issues are becoming more prominent, and non-traditional security issues are being magnified.

The third is a profound adjustment in relations among major powers. The new year brings more uncertainties, especially surrounding the US and European elections, which may increase uncertainty in forming balanced and stable relations among major powers.

Ding Yifan, former deputy director, Institute of World Development, Development Research Center of the State Council

In 2023, Russia became the largest economy in Europe. Russia's economy did not fall into the predicament, as the Western media predicted it would. It is very necessary to summarize Russia's experience. China needs to be prepared for the worst - the possibility of extreme hostility and comprehensive sanctions from the US in the future.

Firstly, in the face of Western sanctions, Russia did not play by the rules expected by the West. The withdrawal of Western companies actually created new opportunities for Russia's domestic enterprises. Other foreign enterprises quickly filled the void left by the departure of Western capital.

Secondly, Russia established a complete supply chain, not only serving its military operations but also ensuring the normal operation of its economy, so that the daily lives of the Russian people were affected as little as possible by ongoing wars and Western sanctions.

Thirdly, Russia's experience in dealing with sanctions reminds China to expand our circle of friends and ensure the security of international trade with non-Western countries. After the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, non-Western countries, especially major countries like member states of BRICS, did not follow Western sanctions against Russia, which is a key reason why Russia was able to withstand Western pressure.

Currently, an important topic among BRICS countries is the development of de-dollarization. If BRICS countries can establish this non-dollar trade cooperation, the Global South will have a way to deal with financial sanctions from Western countries in the future.