500-year dominance of the West is coming to an end, Russian FM warns
12/15/2023 // Cassie B. // Views

The foreign minister of Russia recently expressed a sentiment that has been weighing on the minds of many in Western nations in recent years: the West’s 500-year dominance on the world stage is drawing to an abrupt close.

Speaking to the Doha Forum in a video address, Sergey Lavrov explained that he was unable to attend the event in person and hear its discussions, “But I assume that you were discussing the multipolar world, which is emerging after 500 years of domination of what we call the ‘collective West.'”

Lavrov said that BRICS, ASEAN, African Union and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, among others, will form the building blocks of “the new polycentric world.”

He also took Western nations to task for how they gained their dominance, saying that it was “based on a diverse history, including ruthless exploitation of peoples and territories of other countries.”

According to Lavrov, the West’s enemies have used its same tactics to chip away at its dominance.

“However, other countries, using exactly the principles and instruments of the Western globalization, managed to beat the West on its own turf, building the economies on the basis of national sovereignty, on the basis of balance of interests with other countries,” he said.

He added that the emergence of new areas of political influence and financial growth have been transforming the world’s balance of power.

Lavrov believes that America and its allies have been attempting to stop this type of development by shifting their focus from globalization to a “rules-based world order” that has been used to help the West further its aims.

This, he says, can be seen “in various conflicts, which the West ignites all over the world," citing Ukraine as an example. “Everything goes to keep the hegemony. Intervention in domestic affairs, sanctions against all the principles of competition, regime change, and of course, direct military interventions, like we have seen in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and elsewhere.”

Lavrov then took another shot at the U.S., asking: “Is there a single place where the U.S. intervened with military force, where life has become better? I think you know the answer.”

Ukraine war is evidence of the West’s dominance fading

This is not just the opinion of someone who perceives themselves to be on the winning side of a global shift in power; former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has also cited the Ukraine war as evidence of the West’s dominance fading. He said that the world was entering a turning point in which the West is on the losing side as China approaches superpower status in collaboration with Russia.

In a lecture he gave in London last year, he remarked: "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 added. "The biggest geo-political change of this century will come from China, not Russia."

With the Chinese economy predicted to take over that of the U.S. within a decade and its world-leading efforts in realms such as regenerative medicine and artificial intelligence, the country has emerged as a bona fide contender for the world’s top superpower, in Blair’s estimation.

"China’s place as a superpower is natural and justified. It is not the Soviet Union," he said.

However, Blair warned that the West needs to take steps to prevent China from overtaking it in terms of military power. He said: "We should increase defense spending and maintain military superiority," adding that America and its allies "should be superior enough to cater for any eventuality or type of conflict and in all areas."

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