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Changes in global power relations and Nepal

Khadga KC

Khadga KC

Changes in global power relations and Nepal

The country needs to make decisions, inspire confidence, keep the promises, and propose a course of action

To quote Francis Fukuyama, “It has never been more divisive to be a liberal, the more moderate sibling of the more violent factions of nationalism and socialism.”

It has succeeded and failed under identity politics, authoritarianism, social media, and a restrained free press, from Putin’s populism to the Trump administration and autocratic regimes around the globe. Liberalism has been assailed from its origin following the post-reformation fights by both conservatives and progressives, and it is today largely viewed as an out-of-date doctrine. Both sides have pushed their ideologies to the limit: communists exclusively emphasize identification over human universality, while liberals have created a cult of economic freedom.

Russia’s obvious challenge to the Western-led international order has demonstrated the malleable character of world politics, despite not going as intended.

In the new national security policy, US President Joe Biden admits that China and Russia each provide a distinct set of security threats. While Russia poses an urgent threat to the free and open international system… With its vicious war of aggression, China is the only US opponent with the intention and, increasingly, the economic, political, military, and technological capabilities to achieve that aim. As a result, China is referred to as the Pentagon’s pacing challenge. Looking back at how the United States and China interacted is crucial.

The 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was used by Chinese President Xi Jinping to bolster his position of power and advance his ideological and nationalist objectives, which has altered policy. Some US critics argue that the current state of events is proof that Presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush were unwise to pursue an engagement strategy that includes allowing China membership in the World Trade Organization. But even though attitudes regarding China 20 years ago were clearly too optimistic, they weren’t necessarily dumb.

After a year marked by big shocks highlighted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the global increase in inflation rates, and the failure of cryptocurrency enterprises, what type of year will 2023 turn out to be? Short-run concerns like this are difficult to answer since effects of actions spread so quickly and unexpectedly throughout our globalized society. Changes in global power relations can be stated that the end-of-the war fear that had been so vivid in the Cold War imagination had started to dissipate when the Cold War ended a little more than 30 years ago.

Fifty years after Henry Kissinger’s historic visit, the US and China are currently engaged in a trade war that has turned into a New Cold War. Four decades of working relations between the two countries gave the US hope that Beijing would adopt a new political stance and join the US-led liberal economic and political order, but China instead developed militarily. China’s geo-economic containment may begin with the US’ wish for China to “decouple” economically. It takes place at a time when China, along with regional powerhouses Japan and India, is expanding militarily and economically and poses a significant threat to its neighbors.

In China, where nationalism is at its height as the country celebrates the 100th anniversary of the CPC, the New Cold War has just started. Also, how can Japan handle China that is fast becoming aggressive and assertive? How does it address greater concerns about the future of the Indo-Pacific region? The pandemic that followed brought America’s problems, such as its unreliable government, patchy healthcare system, and terrible polarization pathology, into stark relief. In April 2020, the Irish Commentator Fin Tan O’Toole remarked, “Over more than two centuries, the United States has provoked a very wide variety of feelings in the rest of the globe; love and hatred, fear and hope, envy and disdain, awe and rage.” Fareed Zakaria diagnoses this.

In the fiscal year 2021, the US Patent and Trademark Office received roughly 595,700 patent applications, a slight decrease from the 597,000 applications received the year before. However, the United States ranked first in terms of military spending in 2021, spending $801 billion, or more than 38 percent of all military spending globally. America has been the country with the largest military spending since SIPRI began keeping track in 1949, accounting for more than 30 percent of global military spending over the past 20 years. With an increase of $22.3 billion from the previous year, the United States spent more on its military in 2021 than all of the other top 10 nations combined.

On the other hand, China has permitted nearly 2.53 million patents in the last five years, expanding at an average annual rate of 13.4 percent; in 2021, the country will have authorized about 695,400 patents. The number of invention patents per 10,000 persons in China has increased by over twofold since the end of 2017. According to its 15-year plan, China has set a clear objective for the value of patent-intensive and creative businesses to contribute 13% of the country’s GDP by 2025. (2021-2035) Plan for developing IPR. With $293.4 billion in military spending in 2021, or around 14 percent of total military spending globally, China came in second. Though its budget is still less than half that of the United States, China has increased its military spending for 27 years in a row.

Nepal has not been able to start any of the nine prioritized projects despite joining China’s BRI in 2017. However, during a trip to Nepal in 2019, Chinese President Xi claimed that bilateral relations had reached a “strategic level.” Similar to this, the US has referred to Nepal as a “vital” partner of the US since the Trump Administration, and Nepal was thrust into a geopolitical quagmire after the parliament authorized the $500 MCC project in 2021.

The USA also seems to be eyeing Nepal as one of the potential key partners to her global security networks because of Nepal’s strategic location. As China is Nepal’s immediate neighbor and a possible rival of the United States, Nepal may expand her strategic engagements there. Nepal already had security commitments under the 1950 Peace and Friendship Treaty between India and Nepal, and it would have faced more difficult circumstances if it had embraced the State Partnership Program (SPP) of the United States and shown support for China’s GSI and GDI-like security frameworks. Nepal should refrain from joining any security coalitions that could worsen current conditions. Nepal needs to make decisions, inspire confidence, keep the promises, and propose a course of action. Visionary leadership is the only kind of management that is capable of thinking and acting at the intersection of two axes: the first between the present and the future, and the second between the enduring values and aspirations of the people they lead. Leaders must assume the role of educators, putting an end to rumors, assuring people, and securing assistance in order for strategies, policies, and programs to inspire the society. However, there aren’t many people who fit these descriptions in our community.

The author is Professor at the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy, Tribhuvan University

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