One year on from the illegal invasion of Ukraine perpetrated by the Russian Federation, the world order established after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet bloc has been altered, providing an impetus for what some are already calling the world’s “de-westernisation”. Polarisation between two great blocs was unimaginable thirty years ago, when the conviction prevailed that we were entering the era of globalisation, interdependences and common interests. The war in Ukraine has accelerated the rivalry between the United States and China, a process that has been in the offing since Xi-Jinping’s China pressed the accelerator and decided to compete with the United States and the Western bloc for global hegemony, with profound effects on the future of the world’s political organisation. China has gone from being the world’s cheap factory to competing for leadership in research, technology and weaponry. It is not yet at the forefront of everything, because in military terms the most important power in the world is held by the United States and NATO, but no one doubts that at the current rate, China will also be at the forefront in military matters.
In addition, the expansion of the Chinese influence around the world, not only in Asia and Africa, has increased Western governments’ fears over the global control the Chinese communist dictatorship might exercise; in this sense, the banning of the application Tik-tok from official devices by many European and American governments is a warning of what could await us. In the end, the discussion is about which model of society the world is headed towards: the evolution of liberal democracy, imperfectly represented by the United States and the European Union, or the proliferation of authoritarian regimes, with human rights at stake? Underlying all this is the huge risk that the capacity to meet global challenges such as climate change, world poverty and global health threats, could be badly damaged.