The era of Western dominance is ending, says former UK PM Tony Blair. In order for the West to remain relevant in the new environment, it must come up with a shared strategy that is pursued with coordination, commitment and competence.
According to former British prime minister Tony Blair, the US and its allies’ control of the world is ending, and for the first time in modern history, the East and the West can coexist on equal footing.
Blair stated in his yearly talk at the Ditchley Foundation on Saturday that “for a large part of the Western population, living standards are stagnating” as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the situation in Ukraine.
With reference to both internal and foreign matters, Blair claimed that “Western politics is in turmoil – more partisan, ugly, unproductive; and fueled by social media,” and that Russia’s military action in Ukraine “should become a pivot point reviving our [Western] sense of mission.”
The 69-year-old, who served as prime minister of the UK from 1997 to 2007, asserts that “the biggest geopolitical change of this century will come from China not Russia.”
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“We are coming to the end of Western political and economic dominance. The world is going to be at least bi-polar and possibly multi-polar,” he predicted.
The Labour member warned that China, which is “already the world’s second superpower,” will struggle with the West “not just for power but against our system, our way of governing and living.” Beijing “will not be alone. It will have allies. Russia now for sure. Possibly Iran.”
“It is the first time in modern history that the East can be on equal terms with the West,” he added.
The former prime minister claimed that due to the developments in Ukraine, it is obvious that the West “cannot rely on the Chinese leadership to behave in the way we would consider rational. Don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying in the near term that China would attempt to take [the self-governed island of] Taiwan by force. But we can’t base our policy on the certainty that it wouldn’t.”
In order for the West to remain relevant in the new environment, it must come up with a shared strategy that is “pursued with coordination, commitment and competence,” with increased defense spending to “maintain military superiority,” while broadening so-called “soft power” by forging alliances with developing nations, Blair said.