Asian Arbitration

Don't Sell China Short

Chinese dragon Imago_effect
Time to bring China onto the world stage as a mediator?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    • Nations such as India and especially China no longer feel they must passively back the geopolitical decisions of the U.S. and Europe. New global powers could open the door to new ways of mediating disputes in the future.
  • Facts


    • The Minsk agreement on a ceasefire in Ukraine was made on February 12 between Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia.
    • The BRIC countries, Brazil, China, Russia and India, have been feted since 2001 as the new economic powers.
    • Chinese investment abroad has grown and the majority has been in developing countries.
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Realpolitik can be disappointing when it is built on unrealistic expectations, which is why the West should not get too excited about its power position in the world today. This goes for the time before, as well as after, the Minsk negotiations.

Taking the realpolitik route means acknowledging that the sanctions against Russia are not working in the way the West envisioned. This is because great powers such as India and especially China no longer feel like they have to play along with Western politics.

This is true for all the BRIC countries and many other states, as was made clear when President Vladimir Putin visited Egypt recently. The trip simply showed that Mr. Putin’s back is not to the wall.

The practical conclusions the West should draw from this are uncomfortable ones. And the same goes for the roles that Angela Merkel and François Hollande are playing in the negotiations. Both would like to be mediators between the United States and Russia. But neither of them can really fill the role.

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