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'In the Cold War Between the USA and the USSR, China Won'

© AP Photo / Ng Han GuanChinese soldiers march during a military parade to mark the 60th anniversary of China in Beijing Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009.
Chinese soldiers march during a military parade to mark the 60th anniversary of China in Beijing Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009. - Sputnik International
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Thursday marked the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Belavezha Accords, where the leaders of three of the USSR's republics announced the country's dissolution. Speaking to Sputnik about the implications of the historical date, geopolitical analyst Antonio Gelis said that in the conflict between the US and the USSR, China emerged the winner.

On December 8 1991, the leaders of the Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian republics met in a state dacha in Belavezha, Belarus to sign the Belavezha Accords, formally announcing the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The USSR was formally dissolved two weeks later on December 26, 1991.

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A quarter century has since passed, and recent polling by Sputnik has shown growing skepticism among Europeans about the USA's role as the world's sole superpower. Polling found that a majority of Germans (69%), French (55%) and Italians (51%) thought that the US had failed to cope with their role as world leader following the Soviet collapse.

© SputnikHas the US coped with being a world leader since the collapse of the USSR?
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Speaking to Sputnik Brazil about the causes behind the USSR's collapse, and that significant event's lasting implications for the contemporary world, Brazilian geopolitical analyst and Russia specialist Antonio Gelis explained that the reasons for the collapse were numerous.

"I think that the Soviet Union collapsed for a million reasons," Gelis noted. "A whole series of problems emerged, but the main thing, in my view, was that the country and its allies proved unable, due to central planning, to create a viable consumer market. This is something that is very difficult to achieve with central planning."

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Moreover, "of course there was also the so-called Cold War, which made trade between the Soviet and Western Blocs extremely difficult. In order to create a consumer market, it's necessary to have a very highly developed domestic market. That did not happen."

At the same time, the expert noted that "this was a lesson that China managed to grasp; the country allowed many forms of [business] activity and was able to create a huge consumer market. This was a fundamental achievement."

Ultimately, as far as the 20th century superpower competition between the US and the USSR is concerned, Gelis suggested that it would be a dramatic oversimplification to say the USSR lost and the West won. "In my opinion, it is a myth that the USSR was defeated in the Cold War and the West won. I always say the following: that the Cold War was a fight between the West and the Soviet Union, and China won."

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Gelis is known for skepticism of the US's ability to maintain its position as the sole global hegemon. In fact, last year he published a sensational article suggesting the unthinkable – that compounding geopolitical, economic and social problems may lead to a dramatic Soviet-style collapse of the United States.

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