The world was once divided along the lines of right-wing and left-wing ideologies. Right-wing ideologies revolved around the assumption that the pursuit of social welfare and equality could be achieved and sustained with a free enterprise market system that places entrepreneurs and capitalists at the center of the economic universe.
Leftist ideologies revolved around the assumption that prosperity and equality could be better pursued and served by a socialist or communist system, which places government bureaucrats and party bosses at the center of the economy.
This ‘old’ global divide was illustrated during the Cold War era of the 1950s and 1960s, with America and Western Europe on the one hand, and the Soviet Union and its satellite socialist countries of Eastern Europe on the other. side.
The old divide was also repeated in the Asia-Pacific region with the free enterprise systems of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia on the one hand and the communist systems of China and North Korea on the other.
Yet the dividing lines between the two systems were not clear, both between countries and within countries, fueling regional conflicts over the spread or defense of one system of each system. And endless debates about the merits of each system, resulting in the emergence of mixed systems and ultimately the end of the old global divide.
Today, the ‘new’ global divide is not running along the lines of left-wing and right-wing ideologies. Rather, it runs along the lines of democracy versus authoritarianism, with authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China on the one hand, and democratic regimes such as the US and its European and Asia-Pacific allies on the other. Moreover, the new global divide is about a rules-based international order of multilateralism versus a harassment and coercion-based order of regionalism and localism.
This new divide is visible in the Russo-Ukraine war, where Russia is trying to change the borders between the two countries, defying international agreements and institutions. It is also evident in the Asia-Pacific region where China is trying to turn southern China into its sea, defying international tribunals and freedom of navigation rules, intimidating its neighbors and their allies. And in China’s efforts to change the status quo in Taiwan.
“Right now, looking for something akin to ‘democracy’ in Russia and China is akin to looking for Bigfoot, Uriel Epshtein of The Renew Democracy Initiative,” the Renew Democracy Initiative said. International Business Times† “In recent years I think it is clear that the actions of Russia and China, both towards their citizens and the world as a whole, have debunked the myth of the ‘benevolent dictatorship’ and shown that international treaties mean little to dictators. . Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine was not only an attack on a neighboring country, but also an opportunity for Putin to strengthen control over the Russian people; today, Russia is well on its way to becoming like North Korea. Not to be outdone, China has violated its treaty with the UK to destroy Hong Kong’s democracy and now it continues to rattle on Taiwan.”
And the global economy, as Taiwan is at the heart of the global supply chain for high-tech products.