Ukraine war: the birth of a new world order?
Respect for borders, the sovereignty of states and the taboo of wars of aggression: all these principles have been radically called into question with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Europe's press asks how the world order is changing and what the new rules will look like.
US vs. China
A good three months into the invasion the positions of the world's two major superpowers seem clearly defined, La Repubblica comments:
“The US in the role of leader of the political-military coalition in support of Ukraine's resistance, and China in the role of Moscow's main economic-political partner - no doubt keen to avoid any direct involvement in the war. As the weeks go by, however, it is becoming increasingly clear that this opposition is taking place within a much wider framework: the strategic duel between Washington and Beijing over global leadership. The two are playing the 'Ukrainian card' in a much more articulate, sophisticated way in order to strengthen their respective positions.”
Washington wants to remain top dog
The US in particular has ulterior motives in the debate about the changing world order, Birgün suspects:
“When the US speaks of the rules-based order, it is not referring to international law. It wants everyone to abide by the norms it itself has established, which exist to ensure the functioning of the global capitalist system. China and Russia do not adhere to these norms. ... The US, which until now has received the lion's share of global profits, wants to maintain its position in the face of a rising China. ... China, meanwhile, is gathering strength. It looks very much like the day will come when it hands everyone the bill. And they are all watching Ukraine to draw conclusions for their own future.”
Two big losers
Both the US and the EU will suffer heavy economic losses as a result of the war, predicts security policy expert Georg Spöttle in Magyar Nemzet:
“Because of the sanctions Moscow has been able to sell the extra gas and oil to energy-hungry countries like China, India and Pakistan at a better price for them. ... At the same time, China is also gaining huge advantages: Russia's market is now dominated by Chinese giants instead of American tech companies. There can be no doubt that Beijing will deliver grain to the starving regions of Africa in exchange for fishing rights and precious metals needed for the production of computers and mobile phones. ... In conclusion: there are two big losers in this conflict, the US and the EU.”
A world in war fever
A new global arms buildup is well underway, La Vanguardia observes:
“One of the most negative consequences of the invasion of Ukraine is the revival of the arms race around the world. ... China has multiplied its defence investments. ... North Korea is constantly provoking its neighbours. ... And the EU has taken a decisive step towards militarisation with the recent adoption of its Strategic Compass. ... And one can imagine which sectors are seeing their stock market prices explode right now. The world is becoming increasingly militarised almost without any debate about this trend. Shaken by the war in Ukraine, it is caught up in a new passion for war.”