Dialogue with Vladimir Yakunin: An insight into global (dis)order
Dialogue with Yang Rui
Themed "Global (dis)order," the 2019 Rhodes Forum was held this year from October 11-12. At the event, CGTN's Dialogue spoke exclusively with Vladimir Yakunin, the forum's organizer and chairman of the Dialogue of Civilization Research Institute - an independent platform that aims to bring together diverse perspectives from the developed and developing worlds.
"The end of Western hegemony"
During the G7 Summit this year in France, French President Emmanuel Macron pointed out that "we are living at the end of the Western hegemony," and that requires a second look at the relations between the West and nations like Russia and China.
In this context, Vladimir Yakunin believes that if the president of France, one of the leading nations in the EU says so, it does hint a decline of Western power in some sense. Meanwhile, in a wider context, China's frequent appearance on each global stage also echoes his idea.
"The two-polar world or the bi-polar world has ended. We are seeking a new description of the rising political system," he said, pointing to "multilateralism" as the answer.
"We are living in a world where the United States is a leading country, not the leading country," he said.
Russia's views on rising China
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was the first country that recognized the People's Republic of China (PRC) under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and later contributed massively to China's construction in early stage. The word "brotherhood" was often used to describe the relationship between the two countries and the USSR claimed to be the elder brother.
However, the bilateral ties then went through turbulence and the two sides were almost brought to the brink of a war. In the new century, China and Russia, which is the main heritage of the USSR, soon got closer on a series of major global issues.
While reviewing the relations between the two major powers in Eastern Asia, if not the world, Yakunin thinks a gap may exist between generations in Russia towards China.
He believes the elder part of political elites in Russia tend to describe Sino-Russian relations in a rhetoric of "elder and young brothers." But younger generations, including that of Russian President Vladimir Putin, hold different views on this rapidly rising neighbor.
"It is absolutely a clear message — we consider China as a partner, as a closest neighbor through history, and despite some kind of frictions, sometimes even damaging frictions, we still are neighbors."
Clouds over the Middle East
Although the ISIL leader al-Baghdadi has been taken down, the withdrawal of U.S. troop seems to be failing to put an end to the eight-year-long warfare and leaving a vacuum that could be filled with great uncertainties in the future.
"What we observe there is the reflection of an old cold war mentality, directed not against Russia, but against Middle East people - 'If you are not following us, you are the enemy.'"
Yakunin sees the stability in the region is way beyond the interests of the countries involved.
"It is my strong feeling that when we are talking about the settlement of the issues there, it is the interest of global peace," he said.
"I don't trust that any terrorist organization could sustain itself without the support of some very powerful political forces."
He believes that the Middle East puzzle could only be solved when all sides are working in the same direction.
"I don't think that Russia, China, Iran or anybody can put an end to the war in Syria without collaborations with the United States of America, without the provision to the people in Syria or Iraq."
"It is a great appeal for communication and collaboration to reach peace in Syria."
Dialogue With Yang Rui is a prime time daily English talk show on CGTN. The 30-minute talk show covers a wide range of domestic and international topics, providing a balanced and critical perspective on current affairs and analysis within the framework of cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary comparisons.
Schedule: Monday-Sunday Time (GMT): 0330, 1130, 1930
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