The unseen but extremely significant battle going on today between the West and the East is a conceptual and moral battle. The West continues to flex its muscles and send more money and weaponry to zones of conflict, while the East is addressing hearts and minds in a serious effort to chart a better and safer path for future humanity.
This can be detected if we follow carefully and intelligently what President Xi Jinping and President Putin are saying and doing at every juncture and compare it with what Western leaders are saying and doing. What is notable is that what American and European officials are stating runs most of the time against the interests and the natural feelings of most people all over the world. It is obvious that Western leaders are intent on slowing down the scientific and technological progress of China, besides prolonging a war of attrition against Russia in Ukraine, and in the meantime leading efforts to create regional blocs in the Pacific and solidify the existing ones in the West.
But despite all these efforts and what may seem to be as important battles being won here and there with huge glorification in the Western press, the West is drowning in its own ocean while the world is sailing away from it, creating its own hemisphere, its own vision and its own values derived mostly from the natural path that humanity has been treading for thousands of years away from genocide, racism, occupation, and terrorism. The more battles the West loses, the more red lines they cross thinking that these unprecedented steps will save them, and the more they will be edging closer to their fall off the precipice.
What is taking place at the UN, particularly at the General Assembly, where there is no VETO, can be considered as a mirror to where true international will and conscience are. By a recorded vote of 185 in favor to 2 against (“Israel”, United States), with 2 abstentions (Brazil, Ukraine), the Assembly adopted the resolution titled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”. This is not the first year that this resolution gets an absolute majority, yet the US continues to challenge the will of humanity and impose its illegal measures on countries and peoples. By contrast, President Vladimir Putin unveiled a statue of the late Cuban President Fidel Castro, who became an icon of resilience against Western hegemony and a symbol of leaders of National Liberation.
Also recently, the third committee at the UN (social, humanitarian, and cultural) has approved a draft resolution on combating the glorification of Nazism and Neo-Nazism, with recommendations for countries to take appropriate measures in educational curricula, official institutions, and in legislations to prevent the distortion of history and the results of the second world war and to deny the crimes perpetrated during the second world war. The shocking result of the voting was that this is the first time in history that countries such as Italy, Austria, and Germany voted against the resolution, although these very countries swore in 2011 that they would never be able to vote against a document that condemns Nazism.
Although the resolution was adopted, still, for countries whose people suffered from Nazism and were killed by the millions, to vote against a resolution that condemns the glorification of Nazism, is an extremely dangerous and alarming development, because it sounds the alarm that everything is possible and that we are witnessing the deliberate destruction of all humane and logical criteria for the mere fact of stating their disagreement with their adversary. What is alarming here is that the rules and principles reached after the second world war, which were called international legitimacy, are being strongly shaken, which presses the need for reaching an acceptable and credible world order that deserves the respect of all countries: big and small, rich and poor. This is precisely the historical juncture at which the world is today.
From this very perspective, we should understand the statements of President Putin about wheat and the fact that the West did not allow wheat and fertilizers to reach poor countries. It also from this perspective that we should understand the call of Zhang Ming, the Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, for all member states to consolidate their cooperation and encourage development factors in their countries in order to hasten the birth of a multipolar world. It is from this perspective that we should understand the posture of Chinese President Xi Jinping, not only as the head of state of a rising giant, but also as a moral leader who chides the Prime Minister of Canada over ill political judgment, and who gives Joe Biden a lesson about leadership when he said to him: “Leaders should think about and know how to get along with other countries and the wider world.”
Xi joined the Russian President earlier this year in proclaiming plans to create a “new world order”. since then President Xi and President Putin have chided “ideological division”, “bloc policies”, “cold war mentality” and “attempts to weaponize economic and trade relations”. The East is slowly but steadily crafting the new concepts of the new world order, while the West is drowning itself in its imperial and colonial measures, which may prolong the battle slightly but would not be able to change the results aspired to by the majority of human beings on this planet: a multi-polar world, credible, fair, safe and prosperous for all and not for some or few.