The Tripolar World
China, India, and the USA
17th November 2023
Xi Jinping’s visit to California on the 16th November 2023 has established a new world order divided and controlled by three powers: China, India, and the United States.
During the Cold war, the USA and USSR contended for supremacy. Since 1991, it has been unclear what the new world order might look like. Several local proxy conflicts showed tensions between the United States and countries in the sphere of influence of Russia. This is now over. Putin in October has formally declared Russia a vassal state. China will now decide Russia’s place in the world.
Xi Jinping has declared on the 16th November 2023 a lack of interest in a cold or hot wars with the United States. He has stated the obvious. Chinese philosophy has often preferred diplomacy over war. India also prefers diplomatic solutions.
The vehicle and instrument of this tripolar world could be a revitalised United Nations. If this were the case, the three countries would work towards enforcing the borders recognised and established by the United Nations. This may explain the rather extraordinary events in Azerbaijan and Armenia in September 2023. The United Nations recognised Nagorno Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan. If indeed it were an experiment to align local reality with the status quo recognized by the UN, it would seem inevitable that the three powers, China, India, and the USA, may push for UN solutions for several conflict zones.
India will continue to demand a permanent security council seat at the UN. The traditional opposition of countries such as Italy may now fade away with the pro-Indian politics of the new Italian government of Giorgia Meloni.
The three powers could use the UN as a place of discussion of their concerns and to let smaller countries express their opinions. They would divide the world in spheres of influence. USA would seek leadership in the Americas according to the Monroe doctrine. China would dominate Eurasia with the Belt and Road initiative. India be preeminent with The Global South Initiative. India’s agreements with countries such as Portugal and Venezuela demonstrate that India is interested in Atlantic trade as well as Indian Ocean. It also means that next year’s South African Election is crucial for India.
The novelty is that China, India, and the USA are not looking to create three separate zones of influence, the mistake of the cold war. They seem to wish to interlock their interests in each of these areas. Prosperity and peace rather than poverty and war.
The losers are Europe and the Middle East. They both appear beyond repair since 1914. Driven by conflict, they have preferred foreign interference in their local economy and politics to gain the upper hand in local disputes.
The three powers consider Africa as a continent with a positive future narrative: a growing population and economy full of opportunities not of exploitation but collaboration. A narrative diametrically opposite the colonial one. China, India, and the USA have in common a deep distrust of the old colonial powers.
Will the three powers work together? China and India are remarkably old cultures which look down at every European country as representing something newer than them. They do not despise the US since they see it, not as a cultural competitor, as Europe or even the Middle East presents themselves (for example in art and religion) but as an example of successful economic progress which brings innovation and prosperity. The USA appreciates the enthusiasm and growth which China and India are promoting and spreading.
Xi Jinping’s smiles in California are not fake news. They seal the collaboration between China, India, and the USA. The collaboration defines the preeminent role of the UN as their instrument of power (which will not become a League of Nations 2.0). It also puts an end to any other possible rival power emerging.
The world is now ruled by China, India, and the USA. It is a new tripolar world.