Only one country has a global strategy right now -- and that should 'unnerve' the US

In our increasingly volatile and multi-polar world, there’s one state with a true plan, according to Eurasia Group president Ian Bremmer.

“The only country in the world with a global strategy right now is China — and I think that that should unnerve us,” Bremmer told Business Insider in a sit-down interview.

Bremmer argues that while Washington hasn’t had a defined foreign policy strategy for the last quarter-century, China has decided both an economic and a military strategy for itself in the medium to long-term.

“The Chinese do want to compete with us economically globally. They want to compete with our standards, they want to compete with our influence, they want to compete with our architecture that we’ve created, and they’re doing that through the BRICS Bank, and the AIIB, and through the Silk Road Initiatives — you name it,” he said.

“Over a trillion dollars being spent. No one else comes close. And it’s a real strategy. It will certainly be overreach in some places, but overall, I suspect it will work.”

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank aiibReutersMap highlighting members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

However, having a foreign policy strategy is
not
the same thing as dominating every country in every single arena.

As Bremmer points out, “China has decided that militarily they cannot compete with the United States over the medium term, maybe even in the long term. Outside of Asia they can’t.”

Interestingly, China’s medium-term economic and military strategies could lead to an “asymmetric world” over the next decade in which Beijing has the economic upper-hand, while the US remains the military powerhouse, according to former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, in his summary report on “The Future of US-China Relations Under Xi Jinping.

Consequently, it’s that much more important that the Washington clearly define its foreign policy agenda in world where the US isn’t far and away the only major power (as was the case in the years immediately following the collapse of the Soviet Union).

Check out Ian Bremmer’s new book “Superpower” on Amazon here.

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