Global politics continues to be highly competitive. Fortunately for us, this competition is shifting from the military arena to one of economic rivalry and information warfare. However, the general laws of world politics remain the same. In a chaotic environment, the leading powers seek to secure themselves a privileged position in the international system and limit the opportunities for their key competitors.
From the point of view of aggregate military-political and economic potential, there are four leading powers in the world: China, the United States, India and Russia. These four countries ranked first, second, third and sixth in terms of GDP (PPP) in 2016, respectively. According to PwC's calculations, by the middle of this century, these countries will occupy the same positions with one difference: the United States will drop from second to third place, and the first two lines will be occupied by China and India.
These four countries have the most advanced nuclear arsenals. Among them there is the only country at the moment that has experience using them in combat - the United States. The combined military, political, economic and technological potential of the four countries reliably determines their international leadership in terms of using their combined power to achieve politically significant goals.
Moreover, all four countries are closely linked by conflict nodes in different regions of the world. Russia and the United States confront each other in Eastern Europe, where the United States supports the NATO presence and is helping to expand the bloc to Russia's borders. The United States is in sharp competition with China in the Pacific, and is increasing pressure over Taiwan and shipping in the East and South China Seas. China and India confront with each other in South Asia and have an unresolved border conflict that has pushed both countries to view each other as opponents. The United States is keeping this strategic conflict in mind, as it is seeking to lure India into its camp by inviting it to participate in the Quadrilateral Maritime Security Dialogue, which, in addition to the United States and India, also includes Australia and Japan.
However, these memories of the past do not guarantee the progressive development of relations in the future. Unprovoked crises or spontaneous episodes of conflict in relations within the Big Four nuclear powers can disrupt progressive global economic processes. In this regard, these four powers should be mutually attentive and prudent, channelling their rivalry into a non-military area.
In the situation, amid the formation of a new global equilibrium between countries, only mutual restraint works.