Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Yekaterinburg Summit and the Failure of the Clintonian Attempt to Tame Russia and China


Watch the above video broadcasted by a new TV network founded in Russia in the post Soviet era (Mega-deals and security to link China and Russia”; Russia Today; June 17, 2009). This company, named Russia Today, provides Russian viewpoints in English for the global public, just as Al Jazeera presents Arab standpoints.

At the BRICs Summit at Yekaterinburg, Russia and China praised unprecedentedly good bilateral relations these days, and signed trade deals to expand economic cooperation. Quite importantly, they insisted that their dependence on the dollar be lowered, and more national currencies be used in international business. Clearly, Russia and China expressed their solid determination to confront the West in the economy.

The joint press conference by President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia and President Hu Jing Tao of China illustrates that Clintonian attempt to incorporate both new capitalist nations has ended in failure. Instead of becoming good citizens of Western-led liberal framework of global political economy, Russia and China decided to challenge us and establish their own order in their economic zone.

The dollar standard is founded on the trust to political and military power of the United States, and this is beyond economic rationalism. Both Russia and China are building up their armed forces rapidly to rival against the West, and expand their influence in their neighborhood. Such dangerous opponents are posing another challenge to us. What’s next?

At this stage, Russia and China cannot afford to make their currencies alternatives to US dollar. According to US Department of Treasury, both giants are dependent on the fortunes of US dollar debt (“Alternatives to the Dollar? Not So Fast”; Reuters Blog Commentaries; June 15, 2009).

Also, BRICs nations have mutual disagreements from the economy to security (“BRIC plotters stage a farce”; Asia Times; June 20, 2009). Apparently, Brazil and India are not interested in defying our regime, and they do not build up their military power so rapidly as Russia and China do.

Powerful enough or not, Russia and China declared their desire to dissemble an Anglo-American liberal order of the Bretton Woods System, and transform the global economy into a regime that reflects their authoritarian statist ideology. Economists are liable to talk of their emergence solely in terms of the market economy, and dismiss political threats posed by their ambition. But any economic policy is politically designed. Therefore, I regard their will to challenge us critical to global security.

The Yekaterinburg Summit is a landmark to show that the Clintonian attempt to incorporate Russia and China into our global economy was shattered. How can we deal with their ambition to challenge our preeminence in the world? What happens if we appease them? They may not be strong enough at this stage, but it is their will to overturn our preeminence that matters. History has not ended, but it has started again.