Meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

New Allies for a New World

May 14, 2017
Stephen Kinzer
This is a summary of an article originally published by The Boston Globe. 

The author writes that the reign of Atlantic nations is drawing to a close and East Asian nations are returning to a position of dominance. The author argues that China will achieve with diplomacy and economic power what the U.S. has failed to do through guns and bombs. While the emerging world may be one of less personal freedom, it will be one of more peace. The U.S. will need allies in this world, and gun-shy Europeans make an unfavorable strategic partner. As such, the U.S. is likely to set its sights on Russia. In a world of three great powers, “numbers two and three instinctively unite against number one.” As such, a future partnership between the U.S. and Russian against “the specter of Chinese power” is possible. U.S. actions such as demonizing Russia run the risk of pushing Russia and China together, creating alarming new security problems for the U.S. The idea that all countries are equally independent will fade, and the sovereignty of small countries will depend on whether or not their governments are able to resist foreign power. “American-style democracy” will also give way to “the undemocratic but relentlessly meritocratic system that gives China its future-oriented leadership.” The author argues that while history ordains America’s decline, Americans set the pace of that decline.

Read the full article at The Boston Globe. 


Stephen Kinzer

Stephen Kinzer is a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.