[…] The 2021 United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) focused on predictions that climate change is likely to push billions of people into unlivable conditions. Yet it largely avoided the fact that, before such a disastrous scenario, humanity may have another existential struggle on its hands—war by nation-states fighting one another over increasingly-scarce resources. […]
In case you forgot, NATO was a military alliance designed to defend a societal system—democracy and market economy—against the Soviet Union’s authoritarianism and central planning. China has no intention whatsoever of exporting its societal system. While not a threat to NATO members, Beijing is a threat to the view that the West has the right to control global wealth, use resources as they desire, disregard others’ needs, and continue to pollute with impunity.
China is being targeted now because it has articulated a demand for a larger share of the global pie and because Beijing refuses to slide gracefully into the role allocated to it by the West. In reality, the net is cast much wider. The United States fears that EMDEs (Emerging Markets Developing Economies) may align with China in the fight for resources. America’s weakness is that these countries are closer to China on the curve of economic development and welcome China’s embrace of non-interference in their internal affairs—contrary to U.S. and EU preaching on human rights. China’s weakness is that while its wolf warrior diplomacy looks good in a domestic context, it is not conducive to winning friends. Becoming a satellite in the Chinese sphere of interest is as unappealing as colonialism was or dependence on the United States is. China is heavy-handed, but the United States mostly ignores the EMDEs.
Not surprisingly, these countries have chosen a third way: sitting on the fence and biding their time. Russia is tilting towards China; Japan towards the United States. Korea is somewhere in between. The EU is undecided. Läs artikel