The modern world is changing rapidly. It is not only about a large-scale technological revolution, the analogue of which was not known to mankind. On a global scale, new "centers of power" are gaining political and economic weight. Thus, over the past decade, the economic power of many Asian states has seriously increased. There is nothing unnatural in this - their economies are developing rapidly and dynamically, and the high population size implies the absence of a shortage of labor of the most diverse quality.
The current situation reminds us of the period between the First and Second World Wars. Then, after the defeat of Germany and Austria-Hungary, weakened by the First World War, Great Britain and France gradually lost their former power. They have a new strong competitor - the United States of America, which especially strengthened its influence after the Second World War, becoming the strongest power of the bipolar world.
Then, in the first half of the twentieth century, the West managed to completely stop Japan’s attempts to become a full-fledged great power and spread its influence over the entire Asia-Pacific region. Then, the entire second half of the twentieth century, the world lived in the confrontation of two ideological and political systems. The Soviet Union eventually collapsed, the communist ideology suffered a fiasco in all the countries of Eastern Europe and in most of the countries of Asia and Africa that were previously oriented toward the Soviet bloc.
In 1990-ies, the United States felt like the only full-fledged "master of the world", "world gendarme". The European Union is often called the second “center of power” after the United States, but the “old Europe” weakens and loses its position. But China is booming. The United States will not soon be able to be a worthy opponent for China either - and this is not only the difference in population size (there are several times more people in China than in the USA), but also in the specifics of the economy. In addition, India is gaining strength - a country with a billion-dollar population and also a growing economy, which rightly claims a more significant role in world politics.
The modern world can no longer live by the rules that were formed after the Second World War. Why does the same India with a billion people and a dynamic economy not belong to the "world powers", and France or Germany are small compared to it? Naturally, such a model of organization of relations is already outdated, moreover, it is unfair and causes understandable irritation.
Now there are three main "centers of power" in the world. The first is the United States of America, which, despite serious internal problems, maintains world leadership in politics and economics. The United States provides more than 24% of world GDP, and the dollar remains the main global currency, whose competitors are still unable to even come close to its influence. The United States has a strong army, and most importantly, unlimited financial resources that allow it to dictate its position to most countries of the world. Where the US is not sure of its position, they actively use the “fifth columns”, organize coups, uprisings, revolutions and civil wars (Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, etc.).
The United States is trying to neutralize or weaken its real and potential rivals and opponents with the help of various technologies, while at the same time surrounding itself with numerous satellites. For example, in modern Europe, a number of states, being members of the European Union, can rather be considered among the “junior partners” of the United States. Among them - Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, outside the EU - Ukraine. By actively using the ideology of "democracy", the United States is ready to cooperate with all who benefit, regardless of the true nature of these regimes. We see how Gaddafi or Milosevic viewed the United States as dictators, while in every way supporting feudal monarchs of the countries of the Persian Gulf, who retain archaic medieval regimes with a clear violation of human rights.
The European Union is considered by many as the second “center of power”, but in fact the positions of this supranational association are very shaky. Although the euro is more expensive than the dollar, it has less circulation and influence. There are numerous contradictions between the countries of Europe, including on issues of migration policy, economic development of Europe, relations with Russia and the United States. However, EU countries continue to provide 25% of global GDP - even more than the United States. But if Europe has a good economic position, the “power bloc” is inferior to both the American and the Russian.
China is the most real competitor of the USA in the modern world. In global GDP, the share of China is 14,9%. This is a lot, especially considering that the Chinese economy is developing at a rapid pace and has all the chances to outrun the American one in the very near future. Chinese leaders themselves are talking about their leadership ambitions, not hesitating at all. The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party hopes to turn China into a world leader. In order to win a standoff with the United States, China seeks to extend its influence to as many countries as possible.
In particular, China is very actively taking root in the economies of many African countries, ranging from traditional allies like Zimbabwe and ending with Ghana. For example, China is ready to allocate $ 10 billion for the development of the bauxite deposits in Ghana. China intends to invest another $ 40 billion in the Nigerian economy, despite the fact that Beijing had already invested 22 billion dollars in Nigerian projects. Ghana and Nigeria are just a few examples of China’s cooperation with African countries, which tends to grow rapidly. In addition to the African continent, where China competes with the United States, the Celestial Empire seeks to expand its influence on the European Union. At some point, cooperation with China may be just necessary for Europe, especially against the backdrop of competition with the United States. China has a special relationship with Russia. Moscow today has no choice but to focus on the further development of Russian-Chinese relations. Although everyone understands that the resources of the Russian Far East and Siberia, not only raw materials, but also territorial ones, are of great interest to China, which needs somewhere to expand its political and economic space.
It is the growth of China’s political and economic influence that can be the main cause of the third world war. The United States really does not want to lose the world out of its own hands, as in its time the UK was not going to share its influence with Germany. It is not by chance that all five points of potential danger that Swedish conflictologists are talking about are located in close proximity to the Chinese border and, in one way or another, affect the interests of China. Consider these points in more detail.
1. Korean Peninsula.
History the confrontation between the DPRK and the Republic of Korea is rooted in the end of the 1940s — the beginning of the 1950s — in the bipolar world. But communism has long been no threat to the United States. Therefore, it is obvious that now the “Korean question” is being pumped up by Washington not from ideological, but from practical goals - to weaken China, and at the same time to weaken such economic competitors as the Republic of Korea and Japan (they will have to be hit by the DPRK in the event of a war). China will not be able to stay away from the conflict unfolding right on its border. For the ideological justification, the United States will again exploit the myth of fighting the brutal dictator Kim Jong-un, and in the case of cannon fodder, they can use the armed forces of numerous allies, such as the Republic of Korea and Japan.
2. South China Sea.
As you know, in recent years (and this has become especially noticeable with the leadership of Xi Jinping), China is increasingly seeking to establish complete hegemony in the South China Sea, emphasizing its exclusive historical rights. Expanding influence on the South China Sea is a strategic goal of China, which perfectly fits Beijing’s plans for further advancement to the East - to the American possessions in the Pacific Ocean and to the West - to the east coast of Africa. China claims control in the zone where 40% of world sea freight flows. Naturally, this circumstance cannot but disturb the nearest neighbors of China. Japan, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam - these are the states that are most likely to suffer from the hegemonic plans of the PRC. Interestingly, Vietnam is even ready to enlist the support of the United States, who brought so much evil to the Vietnamese people, just to avoid hindering the development of its economy.
3. Spratly Archipelago.
The Spratly Archipelago and the Paracel Islands in Southeast Asia are another “headache” of the modern world. China also claims to these islands, considering them its territory. The tiny Spratly archipelago is of great strategic importance, which explains the territorial claims of six states at once - Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei. On the 45 islands there are small military contingents of Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines, while Brunei, obviously realizing the futility of their claims, is limited to fishing on the southern reef. In 1988, the ships of the Navy of China and Vietnam had already fought off the Spratly Islands, but then the conflict was “extinguished”. Now it will flare up again - and not without interest on the part of Washington, which hopes to weaken China and other Asian states.
4. Indo-Chinese border.
Relations between China and India have always been tense. The presence of a direct border between the two powers only complicates the situation. India has traditionally stood up for Tibetan Buddhists, sought to keep China out of Nepal and Bhutan, and the PRC supported the traditional sworn enemy of India, Pakistan. Not without the participation of Beijing, the Maoist armed rebel groups have operated for decades in a number of Indian states, primarily in the north and north-east of India. China, of course, controls the Nepalese Maoists as well. India has its own claims to China, and most importantly - the desire to also seriously change its position in world politics. This circumstance will be used by the United States, which already demonstrate full support for Delhi. India is ideally suited for a collision with China - it has practically comparable human resources, but for the time being, India cannot make up the competition for the USA economically. The conflict may begin because of Siliguri - "Chicken neck", a narrow layer of land at the junction of the borders of India, China and Bhutan. In June, the 2017 of China began to build a road to the Doklam Plateau through the disputed territory claimed by both China and Bhutan. Naturally, Bhutan appealed to India for protection.
5. The border of India and Pakistan.
Pakistan is a country with a huge population and a strong army, but with a weak economy. Since the end of 1940's. Pakistan is in a situation of permanent conflict with India, which has already turned into Indo-Pakistani wars several times. At the same time, Pakistan remained an important and reliable ally of the United States in South Asia for a long time. However, Sino-Pakistani ties are also traditionally developed. The provocation of the conflict between India and Pakistan can also be beneficial to the United States in order to weaken neighboring China. China will not be able to ignore the war between the two largest neighboring countries, especially since beyond the Indo-Pakistan border the United States will try to kindle a fire in the unstable Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China, where a large Muslim population ethnically and culturally associated not with China, but with Central Asian region.