Bloomberg: The West is paying the price for its mistakes in the global influence war with China and Russia


The world stands on the cusp of a new round of struggle for influence, with the intensification of efforts by China, Russia, and the United States and its allies in order to gain the support of governments and the hearts and minds of people in other countries of strategic importance.

It’s expected that the features of the multipolar world system, which includes competing powers, will emerge through a series of high-level summits during the coming months, starting with the annual summit of the G7 major industrialized countries on May 19, in Japan.

Bloomberg, quoted informed sources and documents it reviewed as saying that the leaders of the G7 major countries and the European Union intend to launch plans to attract a select group of countries, in what they called a global battle of offers with both Russia and China.

The strategy of Western countries includes working with the so-called central countries such as Brazil, Vietnam, South Africa and Kazakhstan.

Among the objectives of this program are the promotion of high-level contacts, better coordination of existing infrastructure projects, and detailed action plans for each country considered as a key partner.

According to Western sources, this step represents an acknowledgment that Chinese friendly diplomacy and its investments in infrastructure in developing countries, in addition to Russian arms supplies and the provision of nuclear energy technology and fertilizers, have outperformed Western countries’ calls to those countries to align themselves with it in the face of both Beijing and Moscow.

At the same time, the new move of the G7 will move away from the approach governed by Western values ​​and adopt a new approach that relies on providing tangible advantages to those countries in areas such as trade and security.

“It’s important that we give countries in our hemisphere and the world multiple options,” said Brian Nicholas, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

“Washington needs a clear vision of what these countries can do to have successful economies, while some of the promises made by countries like China aren’t being fulfilled”.

But the G7 countries that share Western sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and share US national security officials’ concerns about growing Chinese influence are not the only bidders on the global diplomacy market.

While US President Joe Biden meets his counterparts from the G7 leaders in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, Russian President Xi Jinping will hold a two-day China-Central Asia Summit in the Chinese city of Xi’an.

Next July, Russian President Vladimir Putin will host in St. Petersburg the leaders of African countries, as part of Russia’s efforts to convince the world that Western sanctions, not the Russian invasion of Ukraine, were the reason behind the inflation of energy prices and the shortage of grain supplies in the global market, which severely affected poor African countries.

In the following month, the South African city of Johannesburg will host the BRICS summit, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, with the idea of ​​expanding the scope of the gathering to include 19 potential countries, and the possibility of launching a common currency for the bloc countries on the agenda.

The two issues are among the ideas of China, which was the first to propose the idea of ​​finding an alternative currency to the US dollar in trade dealings between the BRICS countries.

In its analysis, Bloomberg quoted government officials from two of the central region countries as saying that work has changed dramatically in recent years, and Western countries have lost influence that they used at one time to put pressure on developing countries politically and economically.

“Western powers need us now more than we need them,” one of those officials said bluntly.

These sensitivities were evident last week when the US ambassador to South Africa accused Pretoria of selling arms to Russia, which prompted the South African currency to drop to its lowest level against the dollar, before Washington and Pretoria moved quickly to contain this dispute.

While South Africa was a semi-permanent guest at the G7 summits, Japan invited this time the African Union, whose rotating presidency is Cameroon, to attend the Hiroshima summit.

A week before the recent dispute erupted between the United States and South Africa, South African Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor said, “At the beginning of his presidential term, President Biden talked about the policy of principles and values, and I think he had a lot of credibility and attracted a great deal of attention… but I think the situation is the current situation in which they (the Americans) find themselves a major part of this conflict makes it difficult to convince them”.

Attempts by the G7 coalition to counter China’s influence and respond to its initiatives achieved mixed results, but the Russian war against Ukraine came to renew the developing world’s feeling that Western aid was not for principles but rather had its purposes, especially with Moscow’s increasing success in misinformation and influencing public opinion.

Exploiting anti-Western sentiments in Africa, Latin America and the countries of the South in general.

Therefore, the primary objective of the group summit, as announced by Japan on the official website of the summit, is to reach the global south and maintain the international order based on the rule of law.

However, reaching this goal faces the enormous challenge of the mistrust and perhaps resentment that prevails in the Global South towards the West.

Acknowledging this difficult reality, Biden administration officials say that they don’t ask the countries of the south to choose between the United States and China, but rather seek to promote an international environment in which the governments of countries are free from any external coercion.

However, Chinese President Xi Jinping still accuses Washington of practicing a “containment policy” against his country, and pressuring its allies to abide by its restrictions on exports with the aim of denying China access to advanced Western technology on the grounds that it can be used for military purposes.

Finally, it can be said that between the G7 summit in Hiroshima, the China-Central Asia summit in Xi’an, and the Russian-African summit in St. Petersburg, the world is facing an increasing tripartite struggle for influence between China and Russia, the West, which seems to be paying the price for decades of neglect and wrong policies towards the countries of the south.

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