This piece covers several interrelated items. We have seen President Xi visit Moscow and agree an extended relationship. The addition of the word coordination to their relationship is unique in their international relations lexicon. International rules was related to the United Nations charter and to G20. Very significant.
From there to Kyrgyzstan for a meeting of SCO, the rising world organisation, where President Xi’s Community of Shared Future – CSF – the new world concept, featured significantly. SCO is fast becoming a core of Asia.
And now to Tajikistan where CICA will meet.
Perhaps the focus of major national resource investment deals across Central Asia, Russia and China.
Without writing at length we can see the formation of an Asia which now includes India and Pakistan as a continent very different from Europe – the E.U. – or North America.
It is that part of Asia that is the Western area of Asia, including Mongolia, but not including East Asia or South East Asia – Asean. It is a relatively safe area including over half the world’s population. It has an agenda and direction of travel. It will organise its infrastructure and economic development in its own unique way. It is not a threat to the West but it is a defensive line towards the West. We can invest and do business there, extensively, and especially through the vehicle of BRI. It is not a NATO focused on another country – the USA or Nato. It is a rising global power with different strategies from that of the West. Our papers do not notice it. They will.
It will have a different approach to reserve currencies and mutual support for their currencies and economies. Their development will be sustainable, transnational and green. There will be no surrender of sovereignty, but there will be increasing transnational focus. It will increasingly shape the business of the land mass from the Pacific to the Atlantic and down through the Middle East to Africa.
Other developments in Asia are through Asean plus China and 1/2/3, and through the formative trilateral cooperation of China, South Korea and North Korea.
Tension exists around Taiwan and North Korea but it looks increasingly likely that these will be managed with China and Russia taking the lead. Taiwan is a Chinese issue as it is part of China, but the regional security will be coordinated.
The USA is focused on Iran, Venezuela, the Middle East, Russia but most of all China.
The Western nations, including Japan, but not including the USA are giving support to the USA but do not appear totally committed.
Some think the West needs to develop coherent international strategies as Europe cannot survive on the basis of global protectionism.
So this seems a moment in history when Russia and China are fairly clear about what to do, but others are preoccupied by local issues and fogs.
My sense is that the USA may get frustrated and Trump could withdraw from conflict to focus on the 2020 election, or use conflict to focus his campaign. Neither are a solution for the USA, whose future, commentators suggests, depends increasingly on big investments in USA infrastructure and rebuilding industries long gone.
For the West that rebuilding of the American economy, which sits in the centre of the West, is key. The West is dependent on the USA. The West needs to discuss their needs with the USA. Together they can do a deal with the emerging Asia. But the USA and Europe have different ways and need to align their approaches. This may not be a time for aggression. It may be a time for negotiating a bilateral access. Or a series of bilateral accesses.
President Xi has been clear about the significant role of western capital and technology in BRI. That is where the West should focus.
It is where Asia is focused. And it is clear that BRI is all over the globe. But centred in Asia. In China.