Valdai Paper #86: Great Power Competition in 21st Century


With the end of transition period, great power competition comes back to shape the international system. China and Russia have posed a challenge to the US hegemony. What is behind this challenge? Which strategy each power is going to pursue?

Great power politics is back again. The United States, which exerts a dominant influence in the international system, is inherently wary of change, having much to lose and new powers to reckon with. China, a rapidly rising global challenger, undoubtedly sees the current period as one of opportunity – a power whose time has come. Meanwhile Russia remains an unsatisfied, legacy great power, perpetually concerned  with  its  own  weakness,  while  seeking  to  contend  with  various  forces  shaping  the international environment.

The changing balance of power has been eroding the current international order being a collective byproduct of self-interested decisions made by the leading powers. Besides, every great power has had its own competitive advantage and a toolkit to use.

What strategy does each great power have? How will the great power competition look like in the decades to come? What future is destined for other powers in the international system?

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