The rise of the East and decline of the West

The most important things going on in the world today is the rise of China to world leadership.  The second most important thing is the decline of U.S. power.

China historically has been one of the world’s most advanced and powerful civilizations.  Now it is resuming its historic place.

Its Belt and Roads Initiative (aka New Silk Road) is bringing about the economic integration of the interior of Eurasia through construction of oil and gas pipelines, railroads and roads.

China is slowly drawing the rest of the world into its economic and diplomatic orbit by offering benefits and treating other nations with respect.

We US Americans could have kept our leading position longer if our leaders had simply made a good-faith effort to be what we claimed to be – friends of democracy, upholders of international law, impartial trustees of the world’s financial system.

The USA is alienating the rest of the world by threats and brute force. There was a long period when Russia and Iran would have welcomed good relations with the USA.  Instead we have driven them into the arms of China.  Now it is too late to change.

Long-time allies such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia are turning to the China-led bloc, as are neutrals such as India. No nation in Latin America or Africa and only a couple in Asia have been willing to join in the U.S.-led crusade against Russia.

It is not just that the Global South nations are shifting from the perceived losing side to the perceived winning side.  It is that Chinese and Russian leaders treat them with respect and offer them benefits, while US American leaders no longer do.

That’s not to say China, Russia and their allies are examples of democracy and human rights.  They aren’t.  I still would rather live in the dilapidated, dysfunctional U.S. democracy, under what’s left of our Constitution, than in those countries.  But that’s my personal preference.  Not everybody in the world shares it.

The Russian-Chinese alliance does have vulnerabilities.  The integration of Eurasia depends on the ability of China and Russia to pacify the subject and restive Muslim peoples in Xinjiang and the former Soviet republics in Central Asia.  

Also, the whole struggle for power is based on control of oil and gas resources.  Someday the supply of affordable fossil fuels will run out, unless catastrophic climate change wrecks industrial civilization first.  But that is an issue for a later day.

With all their problems and defects, China, Russia and Iran are on the way up.  With all our US American residual strengths, the USA is on the way down.  Our economic system, political system and social system are decaying.  

If we don’t change, we’re going to learn a very painful lesson, and we will find that much of the world thinks it is payback time.


In Moscow, Xi and Putin bury Pax Americana by Pepe Escobar for The Cradle.

How the USSR’s Fall Unleashed a Neocon Goldrush to the Heartland by Simplicius the Thinker. and Association for Human Rights in Central Asia.  Reports on tensions within the Eurasian heartland.

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4 Responses to “The rise of the East and decline of the West”

  1. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    I have my doubts about China’s ascendancy and America’s decline. We are hitting a rough patch. They are about to fall off a demographic cliff.

    Most of China is still poor. Don’t confuse the lucky 2-300 million living in the industrialized east with the poverty everywhere else. China is also extremely vulnerable to blockade. This could possibly change, but it will take many decades.

    Militarily, they are a near-peer rival in SE Asia. Anywhere else in the world, they don’t matter.

    As for respecting other countries… ask China’s neighbors how respected they feel. Here’s an interesting survey by Pew:


    • philebersole Says:

      Yes, the majority of Chinese are poor, compared to Americans, even though life is improving for the Chinese overall. I most certainly would not wish to live under China’s form of government, even if I could maintain my present income. But I was writing about geopolitical and economic power, not quality of life.

      No, the Chinese cannot match the USA in terms of military outreach. But they don’t need to. All they need to do is to be strong enough in their own region to defend their vital interests, and continue to grow stronger industrially and economically.

      Yes, China could be vulnerable to a blockade by sea. That is the significance of their drive to improve communication and transport by land into the interior of Eurasia. If and when their Belt and Roads (New Silk Roads) project is completed, blockade by sea won’t matter.

      Yes, there are a lot of issues between China and its small neighboring nations. But China is their main trading partner even so. Right now China’s diplomacy, which is based on offering benefits, is manifestly more effective than U.S. diplomacy, which is based on making threats. It would be interesting to see the results if the 2018 poll were taken again five years later.

      Overall China is growing stronger and the USA is growing weaker. We Americans can’t prevent China from growing stronger, but we can stop doing the things that make ourselves weaker.

      Liked by 1 person

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