War and pandemic in Ukraine force nations to retreat from globalization

If Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin organized their own economic coalition, they could bring in other nations seeking protection from Western sanctions – a tool all recent US presidents have used.

“Your interdependence can be weaponized against you,” said Dani Rodrik, professor of international political economy at Harvard Kennedy School. “It’s a lesson that I imagine many countries are starting to internalize.”

The war in Ukraine, he added, has “probably put a nail in the coffin of hyperglobalization”.

China and, increasingly, Russia have taken steps to wall off their societies, including erecting strict censorship mechanisms on their Internet networks, which cut off their citizens from foreign perspectives and certain commerce. China is striving to make critical industries self-sufficient, including for technologies like semiconductors.

And China is in talks with Saudi Arabia to pay for some oil purchases in China’s currency, the renminbi, the Wall Street Journal reported; Russia was in similar talks with India. The efforts show these governments’ desire to move away from dollar-based transactions, a foundation of American global economic power.

For decades, prominent U.S. officials and strategists have argued that a globalized economy is a pillar of what they call the rules-based international order, and that trade and financial ties would keep major powers out. in war. The United States helped China enter the World Trade Organization in 2001 in an effort to bring its economic behavior — and, some officials hoped, its political system — in line with the West. Russia joined the organization in 2012.

But Mr. Putin’s war and China’s recent aggressive actions in Asia have challenged those notions.

“The very idea of ​​the liberal international order was that economic interdependence would prevent conflicts of this kind,” said Alina Polyakova, president of the Center for European Policy Analysis, a research group in Washington. “If you bond with each other, which was the European model after World War II, the disincentives would be so painful if you went to war that no one in their right mind would. Well, we have now seen that turned out to be wrong.

“Putin’s actions showed us that maybe this was the world we lived in, but it’s not the world he or China lived in,” she said.

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