Globally, we are witnessing four trends. First, through the diplomatic intercession of the United States, the United Arab Emirates has established diplomatic relations with Israel, Serbia and Kosovo have agreed upon economic cooperation, and under heavy American pressure, Germany has become tougher in its approach to the alleged poisoning of the Russian opposition leader and the crisis in Belarus, even indicating the possibility that it may abandon the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. All these show that the United States has launched a comprehensive offensive in some key areas of Eurasia. This is intended not only to influence the results of US elections, but also to drive a wedge into a possible rapprochement between China, Russia and Europe. This trend suggests that its marine geopolitics are intended to tear apart cooperation within the landmass, while actors in Eurasia are attempting to pursue cooperation. The confrontation between these two types of geopolitics is further intensifying.
Second, just as Putin pointed out at the SCO Foreign Ministers’ meeting, Eurasia is facing security risks. In addition to multilateral organisations such as the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union facing threats of division, the SCO and RCEP are encountering difficulties. Conflicts in areas neighbouring China and Russia are also being stirred up. The Indo-Pacific Union, based on the so-called “liberal world”, is accelerating its construction. Only China-Russia cooperation remains robust. This phenomenon alone is worth pondering. Amid a wave of chaos which has challenged almost all multilateral organisations and major countries, how could China and Russia remain pillars of stability?
Third, although the US has launched a new round of global offensives, the reversal of its decline in the medium and long-term remains a difficult task. The division between the two parties, which has broadened to encompass ethnic groups and ideologies in the country, has profoundly hindered its hegemonic strategy. Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as revealed in journalist Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book, is bound to seriously damage its prestige. In particular, the US dollar will decline, and economic weakness amid the downturn of the US dollar will continue, while the emerging market environment will be relatively stable; the panic outflow of capital will stop. The exchange rates of non-reserve currencies will be relatively stable, and the gradual recovery of the Asian economy will push commodity prices up. Although the ruble has fluctuated temporarily due to threats of another round of sanctions, judging from the long-term trajectory of the Asian economy, Russia’s “pivot” to the East remains a wise choice.
Fourth, a series of changes have taken place in Russia in the first half of 2020, indicating its future orientation. First, following a constitutional amendment, the construction of a “long-lasting state” has entered the implementation phase. Second, the long-term goal of the Russian economy in the July Decree is pragmatic, open and creative. Third, the Sino-US relationship continues to deteriorate, but Putin’s clear stance of insisting on Sino-Russian cooperation and never being a tool for the US to suppress China has won the respect and appreciation of both the Chinese people and the international community.