China, India, Other Rising Powers Won’t Accept West-Imposed Status of Obedient Mutes, Lavrov Says
10:23 GMT 17.05.2022 (Updated: 10:42 GMT 17.05.2022)
Economists expect the People’s Republic to overtake the United States by GDP later in the decade. However, in some areas, including industrial output and the debt-to-GDP ratio, China is already ahead of its main global economic competitor, with a national debt of just $3.7 trillion, compared with nearly $30.5 trillion for the US.
China has “beaten” the United States and the collective West using the West’s own economic rules of the game, and along with other rising powers, won’t accept the status of an “obedient mute” in the new multipolar world order, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.
“The West says directly that it’s time to reform economic institutions, created by the West on the basis of mechanisms which the Americans forced the rest of the world to accept. It is on the basis of these mechanisms in global trade and finance and following their rules that China beat the West and the United States and came out on top”, Lavrov said, speaking at an educational forum on Tuesday.
The Russian top diplomat recalled that Western powers had worked to replace multipolarity with a system of hegemony under which all other countries were forced to work according to their rules, enforced by institutions like the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. Today, the West does not want to come to terms with the emergence of new centres of power, particularly when they outcompete the old metropole countries, he suggested.
“As soon as countries began to appear which function better in these areas, according to Western rules of the game, the very centres that will form a multipolar world – China, India and other major powers, the West immediately decided to rewrite the rules”, Lavrov said.
The foreign minister assured that Beijing, Delhi, and other rising powers won’t simply come to terms with the role in the global system assigned to them by the West.
“The trend is toward strengthening multipolarity, since new centres of economic growth and financial power are objectively appearing and have already appeared. And with this, of course, comes political influence. China, India, Brazil, South Africa, these are the BRICS countries, and this is a format where the West is forced to talk to the new centres of world growth”, Lavrov said.
The foreign minister stressed that “large, self-respecting countries will not put up with the role the West wants them to play, the role of obedient mutes”.
Commenting on the crisis in Ukraine, Lavrov suggested that unfortunately, the Eastern European country has been ascribed the role of “expendable material in a hybrid war with Russia. Now no one has any doubts in this. It has been stated publicly. Josep Borrell, the European Union’s top diplomat, says publicly that ‘this war will be won on the battlefield’. The British, the Americans, presidents, premiers and ministers declare that ‘we have no right to allow Russia to win, Russia must be defeated”.
Lavrov said that the disaster in Ukraine is not a conflict between Moscow and Kiev, but between the West and Russia. “And Ukraine has already become – you know there is a common expression that ‘the West is ready to fight to the last Ukrainian’ – this is very accurately put”, he noted.
At the same time, the top Russian diplomat stressed that the US and Britain do not want Moscow and Kiev to come to a negotiated settlement. Instead, he said, “they want to drag the conflict on – with the hope that the longer it takes place, the more damage will be inflicted on Russian servicemen, on Russia itself, to exhaust, fatigue it, etc.”
The US and its allies have committed tens of billions of dollars-worth of military assistance to Ukraine in recent weeks, including heavy weapons systems. On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto that Kiev had “basically suspended” negotiations with Moscow on ending the conflagration.