【全球新秩序初露端倪】FT专栏作家斯蒂芬斯:全球地缘政治平衡如今正重新调整:中国在东亚地区树立自己的权威,印度在建设一支蓝水海军;欧洲尽力避免自己被边缘化;美国则受困于日益增长的预算赤字和政治僵局。
2010年12月24日 07:14 AM

On the way to a new global balance

背景
中文 评论 打印 电邮 收藏
 

We are living through one of history’s swerves. A multipolar world has been long predicted, but has always seemed to be perched safely on the horizon. Now it has rushed quite suddenly into the present. Two centuries of western hegemony are coming to a close rather earlier than many had imagined.

The story is unfolding in dry economic statistics. Next year, just as this year, the economies of the rising states – China, India, Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia and the rest – are likely to grow by 8 per cent or more. Debt-burdened advanced nations will mostly struggle to expand by more than 2 per cent. The pattern is well-established. The global divide is between slow- and fast-growing nations as much as between the rich and the rising.

The geopolitical balance is adjusting accordingly. China is asserting itself in east Asia. India is building a blue-water navy. Turkey and Brazil are seeking to translate regional power into international kudos. Indonesia is hedging between Washington and Beijing. Europe battles against irrelevance; America with a burgeoning budget deficit and political gridlock.

Predictions of the passing of US primacy are premature. For all its troubles, America remains the sole superpower – the only nation able to project power in every corner of the earth. One of the under-noticed stories of 2010 has been the return of the US to Asia. Unnerved by Beijing and the lethal unpredictability of North Korea, China’s neighbours have clamoured for protection from Uncle Sam.

The picture of US power painted by secret diplomatic cables is essentially flattering. America’s pursuit of its national interest coincides most of the time with the provision of public goods for the rest of us. Washington worries in private as much as it does in public about the impact on global security of nuclear proliferation, failing states, terrorism and regional conflicts.

The other side of the WikiLeaks coin is that the US is an inadequate superpower. The diplomatic exchanges show how its unrivalled power has left the US unable to impose its solutions in the world’s troublespots. Only this month we saw Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu wreck Barack Obama’s efforts to promote peace in the Middle East.

The world’s rising states are at a stage where they want to enjoy power without responsibility. Putting a kind interpretation on its latest muscle-flexing, China is the adolescent who has just discovered he has the physical strength of an adult. In ignoring Deng Xiaoping’s admonition to bide its time, Beijing is squandering soft power accumulated over a decade.

India wants the respect conferred by great power status, but is reluctant to give up the street credibility conferred by its old non-aligned leadership role. Delhi is also strangely incapable of confronting enmities in its own neighbourhood. Turkey wants to look east as well as west, but has yet to balance its new ambitions for Muslim leadership with its old attachment to Euro-Atlantic integration.

Europe is in bad shape. What started out as a private sector banking crisis has become a public sector debt crisis. The eurozone is under siege from the markets. The real threat is political. The economic shock of the continent’s relative decline against a rising Asia has merged with the continuing political aftershocks from the fall of the Berlin Wall two decades ago.

A united, more unapologetically nationalist Germany, has upended the European Union’s political equilibrium. The Union worked when leadership was shared by France and Germany. But Berlin now wants to call the tune. The single currency may be rescued, but I am not sure there is great enthusiasm for a German Europe. As for Britain, its fresh-faced prime minister has shown no interest in, nor aptitude for, crafting anything resembling a foreign policy.

相关文章

未来20年两大权力转移 2012-12-17
西方如何扭转颓势? 2010-12-15
霸权轮回:该轮到中国了? 2010-12-03
西方必须自强 2010-08-09
观测地缘政治风向 2010-02-24
西方说教可以休矣 2010-01-05

菲利普•斯蒂芬斯上一篇文章

中国的“维稳”外交 2010-12-20
本文涉及话题地缘政治 全球

分享本文

排序: 评论总数
[查看评论]
未经英国《金融时报》书面许可,对于英国《金融时报》拥有版权和/或其他知识产权的任何内容,任何人不得复制、转载、摘编或在非FT中文网(或:英国《金融时报》中文网)所属的服务器上做镜像或以其他任何方式进行使用。已经英国《金融时报》授权使用作品的,应在授权范围内使用。

栏目简介

菲利普•斯蒂芬斯(Philip Stephens)目前担任英国《金融时报》的副主编。作为FT的首席政治评论员,他的专栏每两周更新一次,评论全球和英国的事务。他著述甚丰,曾经为英国前首相托尼-布莱尔写传记。斯蒂芬斯毕业于牛津大学,目前和家人住在伦敦。

1/2

十大热门文章

一天
一周
一月
视频
更多排行榜