Cold peace dominates despite power of increasing globalization

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-10-21 23:08:01

Editor's Note:

Russia and the US are increasingly at odds in both Europe and the Middle East, and tensions over the South China Sea are growing amid the US rebalance to Asia. Are we returning to an era of "cold peace?" What is the future of global conflict? Global Times (GT) reporter Chen Chenchen interviewed Vyacheslav Trubnikov (Trubnikov), former first deputy foreign minister of Russia and a member of the board of directors of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

GT: You once used "cold peace" to describe the global order. Do you think the cold peace is also applicable to Asian situation now?

I use this term, "cold peace," in the global dimensions. Because unlike the Cold War, which was the war without the use of nuclear bombs or arm forces, it was an ideological clash between two contradictory philosophies, communism and capitalism. During the Cold War, two systems were fighting, sometimes without using any guns or any shots. But it was a fight of two ideologies. Two camps were fighting against each other.

The cold peace started with the disappearance of the Soviet Union and the socialist camp. For the time being, there is no ideological footing for such kind of clashes. Nevertheless, the world did not become safer. The security of every nation did not become stable. Sometimes, specifically in Asia, there are military conflicts. But after some time, this becomes a place for international involvement. I can't say that  Asia became safer in the cold peace. We have seen wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. And we should not forget about such phenomena in Europe, where we see now the absolutely unstable civil war in Ukraine. So, from this point of view, cold peace has a lot to do with the global dimension.

GT: People say Asia still lacks a common security architecture. Do you think a common security mechanism would be a solution to the stalemate?

It's extremely difficult to even prepare a blue print for this kind of architecture that would unite each and everyone in this huge region. Because there are two different trends going at the same time - competition and cooperation.

Sometimes it sounds strange, but we compete in this or that area, and at the same time we cooperate in different areas of economy or politics.

The borders are very complicated now. For example, no one can deny the process of globalization. It is going on, further and further ahead. And at the same time, regionalism as such is on the rise. So, these two probably should be officially very different features of today's world. But they are supportive of each other. And regionalism is something as part of the whole process of globalization. But globalization is not under the influence of one country or one force. It is proof or projection in the reality of a polycentric world, where different centers of powers have been created and are adding to the process of globalization, assisting each other, and complementing each other.

GT: How do you evaluate the US rebalancing to Asia?

Right now, it is difficult to give a final assessment of American rebalancing in this area. Because the area has become such an important part of the world, which will determine many developments. The center of international life, politically, economically and financially, has shifted to the Asia-Pacific region.

Many countries in this area are developing at a high pace. Some US experts use the term "Indo-Pacific" area, thus including the Indian Ocean, because the sea routes go that way. From the US point of view, the scope of security is bigger. 

GT: How do you see Russia's role in US rebalancing in Asia?

It's only natural that Russia has to reestablish its proper position in the area so that the situation here doesn't become imbalanced again, which might give a chance to one state to dictate its will to other countries.

GT: Some experts think that the US has already failed in striking against the Islamic State (IS), while Russia recently claims to have been more successful. But others think that Russia is not mainly going after the IS but actually helping the Assad regime. How do you see the issue?

The task, as President Putin put it, is definitely a fight against the IS. We should drop the name of Islamic. This is a terrorist phenomenon, which has the features of a state, or strives for being one. Russia is striking those areas where these terrorist groups, their communication links, their military deployment, and their arms and ammunition are concentrated. 

One of our US colleagues approached us and said that Russia was bombing the opposition to Assad. 

So we asked them to show us where the IS and opposition groups were, so we could bomb the IS. But they didn't give a positive response.

Posted in: Dialogue, Viewpoint

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