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COVID-19 and next global leadership—USA vs China: Fact-fiction or political shenanigans? By ABBATI BAKO


Let me quote what Professor Chris Brown says in his book of (IR) International Relations “America possesses preponderant power, power which is increasingly regarded as illegitimate in many part of the world which is difficult to challenge (USA, 2005). Likewise Professor George Friedman argues in book “The Next 100 Years” 2009,USA that to take over the mantle global leadership from USA is not an easy task. He based his argument that “geopolitical location of China and the population density as well as unification of China as a United nation” will be the stumbling block of Chinese to lead this world politically, economically, militarily based technology and sciences as a leading light. USA has been a global leader 75 years a go after the second WW. They dominated the global political leadership and possesses 26% of global GDP (according to Friedman, 2009) with only 4% of global population and compared to 1/5 of global population by Chinese. This argument of Professor George Friedman was exactly ten years old.

But what bubbles in the mind of experts is the current ongoing of global political and economic restructuring will it bring the end of US dominance of global economy and military power?

And Prof. George Friedman admitted that the “world changes every 20 years”. This means that in the early 1980s the policy on globalism changed how world economy move and the multiculturalism and Democratic governance as a way or principles of global leadership. And by the year 2000 the history of 9/11 have changed how this world was governed based globalism with three principles or code; democratization, global economic integration and multiculturalism.

Here comes another year of change; the year 2020. Should and could the imbalanced of global economy between the Northern part of the world and Southern part of the world could change from in favor of the global South? Would the International Public Policy (IPP) could change for the benefit of the “You the People”?

But this writing argue that the US power of 26% of  global GDP may likely change based on fact that 30% of global economic interplay has now been in the possession of China. This writing said it several times that to challenge the dominance of global economy by USA is not difficult. But only no one single nation can challenge at the moment based on the fact that they have strong alliance with Europe. But another alliance of nations can challenge the US’s global economic monopoly; China, Russia and India could do that, especially in term of military power or even economic strength.

Hence, Professor Daniel Drezner says “If there is a recurring theme that runs through the literature on globalization and global governance, it is that economic globalization attenuates state power.” This means that if dominance of global economic policy could be balanced in (to reduce the size) favour of emerging global South; the world will be at peace at this time of globalism.

Although 98% of global territorial Waters are under the watch of USA (Friedman) and over 20,000 nuclear capacity (Fareed Zakria) compared to Russia and China with less than 3000 and about  80 or so war carriers and compared to only one owned by China (F. Zakaria GPS) still what that bubbles in the mind of experts has been that; should USA continue to be a global leader up till the end of the 21s century?

According to Professor John Groom of University of Kent, UK, “Portugal, Holland, France Britain and  Spain each spent 50-50 years as global leaders (UK two times 50–100 years) in the last 500 years during global colonization.

This writing is on the same page with some global intellectuals  that US did not fulfill all the necessary elements needed in global leadership; especially such requirements of diplomatic approaches (considering the current Donald Trump’s  leadership with the policy of America first) to tackle the world crises such as terrorism and eradications of poverty in the world especially Southern parts of the world. Above all the current management of global pandemic of Covid-19. Even this week the USA is expecting the arrival of 1000 pieces of ventilators from China. Also, Spain, Italy and other European nations seeks help from Chinese government. Nigeria is expecting the arrival of Chinese Doctors to assist and give guidance to Nigeria on how to tackle the pandemic (good idea) of coronavirus in the county.

Therefore, this writing is on the same page with former Malaysian Prime Minister Mukhattar Mohammad (94 years old elected last year by Malaysians and resigned this year 2020) who observed that “the world has to follow China.”

The inability of US to solve many problems and sub Saharan nations do not account up to 1% of global economy and the FDI has not being up to $60 in Africa (Singapore benefits 90% of FDI compared to 10% in 54 African nations according to Professor Tatah Mentan) although China will be investing up to $300B in Africa soon that will confront unemployment and suffering of  human family from wars, hunger, diseases, illiteracy, poverty, climate change, and human rights as well as nuclear threat especially in the Southern parts of the world (India vs Pakistan and S/Korea vs N/Korea and again in the Middle East- Israel vs Iran etc).

Because of the above mentioned reasons, USA could and should not be commended as global leader. Economic power alone (especially at this time of globalization era)will not qualify US for the requirements needed in global leadership. Even the US economic approaches are too egocentric and self-centered for America and Americans benefit only, not for universal benefit and general benefit for the global families world over. “Governance first and last is about the exercise of power to achieve political, social, and other objectives”. John Groom.

Every scheme to govern economy therefore, must confront the fundamental question (according to Professor John Groom of Kent, UK) “Governance for what?” This means take example of rampant poverty, wars, conflicts, trapped resources and land locked as well as unproductive population in Africa.

What concrete approach has the world leadership made to resolve those issues in Africa? According to Professor Albena Azmanova of Kent university “politics is between vision and practicality” this means that governance depend upon on what leaders have as a vision and put the vision into practical terms that will benefit the citizens. Professor Hans observed that “the job of the people is to elect a government and the work of the government is to do what the people want”. It is the responsibility of any leadership globally to solve the problems of the led—pure and simple.

The primary purpose to be served by the proposed mechanisms for governance of the global economy is the first issue that must be resolved”. The probable solution to global leadership at this crucial time is when the EU (BRIEXIT is another contentious issue discouraged this writing because of UK’S exit) becomes one nation and takes over the mantle of global leadership; Europeans had enough experience and know-how to tackle every problem through diplomatic means. On the other hand, Chinese (they are not arrogant and they are orderly) maybe considered for global leadership based on the fact that they are not war mongers and all they are after is take over the global leadership and take science and technology to the door of “You the People”.

Finally, this writing argue that, US did not fulfill the requirements for global leadership; the current aggressive behavior in approaching global issues will not qualify US to fulfill the requirements for global leadership up to the end of 21s century. The current Covid-19 may change the way the world is governed. And the change may positively IMPAC S/South nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Abbati Bako,psc,bsis, Kent, UK ( Researcher, political strategy and communication consultant, IPRC)


*Albena Azmanova, UK,UK, 2010

• Brown Chris , Understanding International Relations, (New York, Palgrave Macmillan 2005)

• Drezner Daniel W. , All Politics in Globe ( New Jersey, Princeton University Press)

• Friedman George , The Next 100 Years ( London, Allison &Busby Limited 2009

• ModelskiGeorge Documenting Global Leadership,( London, Macmillan Press Limited, 1988)

• Belis John , Globalization of World Politics, ( New York, Oxford University Press Inc. 2008)

• Gilpin Robert , Global Political Economy ( New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 2001)

• Paterson G.Thomas, American Foreign Relations, (New York, Palgrve Macmillan, 2005)

Tatah Mentan, USA, 2007

*Fareed Zakria

* Professor Hans—Expert in Political Communication, USA

*Georgia Friedman, USA, 2009

*Collier Paul, Oxford University, 2009

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