a New World Order in Eurasia: The 21st Centurys Great Game By James
By James M. Dorsey,
Senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
The 21st centurys Great Game is about the creation of a new Eurasia-centred
world. It locks China, Russia, India, Japan and Europe into what is
an epic battle. Yet, they are not the only players. While US President
Donald J. Trumps policies are still largely shrouded in mystery,
early indications suggest a closer alliance with India in a bid to counter
potential Chinese dominance.
Middle Eastern rivals, Saudi Arabia and Iran, are key players too. As
they vie for big power favour, they compete to secure the ability to
shape the future architecture of Eurasias energy landscape, enhance
leverage by increasing energy and oil product market share, and position
themselves as the key nodes in infrastructure networks.
With China and a US-backed India as the heavy weights, the Great Game
is unlikely to produce an undisputed winner. Nor do key players perceive
it as a zero-sum-game. The stakes in the game are about ensuring that
China despite its vast resources, economic leverage, and first starter
advantage in infrastructure linkage, does not emerge as the sole dominant
power in Eurasias future architecture.
For players, such as Europe, Russia and Japan, the game is about ensuring
that they remain influential stakeholders. Efforts to restrain Chinas
rise are enhanced by growing anti-China resentment in key nodes of the
Middle Kingdoms 65-nation, $3 trillion One Belt, One Road initiative
and increased questioning of Chinas business practices.
Some of the alliances in the shaping of Eurasias future are opportunistic
rather than strategic. This is particularly true for Russian ties to
China and Iran. The contours of potential conflicts of interest are
already evident and likely to impact the degree to which China will
have a free reign.
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