Bertrand Russell, most probably, predicted for the first time about “Rising of the East” in an essay of the same title. Watching intently, the sea-saw ups and downs of historical change, contemporary analysts like Hartwell and Wallerstein appear to be suggesting that China is on the rise while the US is on the decline!

Following the conquest of Istanbul on May 29, 1453, by Sultan Muhammad II, the Conqueror, Muslim scholars along with their books and manuscripts in the shape of scrolls ran to European Continent which caused Renaissance – an intellectual movement aimed at disseminating knowledge and research, both spiritual and worldly, mainly techno-scientific. Gradually, Italians, French, Dutch and British traders and naval forces started dominating the East by exploiting societies with divide and rule policy. Thus, the West became the center of knowledge, enlightenment, and civilization.

In these times, realities change very fast. An International Monetary Fund (IMF) report, published as recently as 2014, highlights the fact based on purchasing power parity that China has gained the status of largest economy of the world. Certainly, the achievement owes directly to Deng Xiaoping’s reforms and Xi Jinping’s shrewd handling of internal and external affairs. Thus, China is progressing day in and day out.

On the contrary, the non-stop series of wars, from WWII to Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, has taken a heavy toll on US economy. It had suffered setbacks during Great Recession of 1953 and Economic Crunch of 2008 forcing the US to borrow money to support banks with liquidity crunch such as Lehman Brothers who were once high fiscal achievers. To hide face, Barak Obama coined the term of Neo-Capitalism for the support provided by the state – an economic and fiscal phenomenon associated with socialism.

At present, there is hardly any country who likes the US international role. The North Korean President, Kim Jong Un does not listen to President Donald Trump’s warnings. President Rodrigo Duterte of Philippines abused President Obama as “son of a whore.” US influence is at its lowest as far as Iran and Iraq are concerned. Arabian Spring has turned out to be an Arabian Autumn. There are apparent changes after the abortive coup against Tayyab Erdogan of Turkey. Russia and China who joined hands in constituting Shanghai Organization Corporation (SCO) are chief rivals of the US. Since long, CIA and Pentagon have earned disrespect for their involvement in the strategy of creating chaos within South American and Asian countries and then taking advantage of the disrupted situation not only by selling weapons to both war mongers but also by acting as self-appointed arbiter between them whose territories, by then, have been bombarded with tonnes of explosives and whose populations have been made to shed tonnes of blood, profusely and mercilessly.

It has been observed time and again from the world history that when one party loses the trade war, the focus changes to physical combat to achieve supremacy. This could have been possible if nukes had not been present on both sides. The possibility of war is, therefore, a far-fetched proposition. However, the possibility of a proxy war is greater. It is on this account that Colonel Thomas X. Hammes in “The Sling and the Stone” introduced the concept of Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW). Whereas First Generation Warfare was a war about the movement of forces to trap the enemy as Alexander did with the forces of Darius III; the 2nd GW focused on artillery which brings Genghis Khan into mind. The 3rdGW aimed at fast and speedy attack which Prussian General Clausewitz labeled as Blitzkrieg model to point three dimensions of war of “Violent emotion, chance, rational calculations,” in the 4thGW of today, one of the participants must be a non-state actor who is hidden and decentralized. This type of warfare depends more upon staging riots, using guerrilla tactics and indulging in terrorist activities. As the tactics are those of insurgency, the warfare is exceptionally long, psychologically teasing and nerve-shattering test of the will to fight. In such a tough situation, conquest is not easy to achieve. Resistance of this sort can cause inertia to the will to fight which has been noted by students of US foreign policy since Obama’s first term.

The personality of Trump, reported by many journalists, is not only eccentric but volatile. He has aggravated the mistrust of many Asian states. What he promised during election debates is opposite to what he is doing in his capacity as President of US. An optimist such as Paul Krugman of “The New York Times” has recently remarked: “Donald Trump has been every bit as horrible as one might have expected…. day after day he proves himself utterly unfit for office morally and intellectually.” Far Eastern allies – South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines – do not rely on the US in the presence of Trump in the White House if once the war breaks out either with North Korea or China. Trump’s disfavor of ‘globalization’ is another case in point of his uncertain behavior. In his first day in office, he announced that he would renounce Trans-Pacific Partnership (PPP) which is outrightly against Japanese interest.

Another Trump’s idiosyncratic uncertainty moves around Muslims in general whom he insultingly criticised during election days. In his visit to Saudi Arabia where representatives from Muslim countries have gathered to listen to his lecture, Donald Trump’s words, facial expressions, and body gestures were polite and gentle: he ignored only the then head of Pakistan Government. But again hardly a few months later he dropped the bombshell by declaring Jerusalem as Capital city of Israel. A huge majority of UN member countries recorded their protest. US image and influence have significantly reduced in the world owing to the whimsical and undependable personality of President Trump.

The idea that capitalism is a diseased economic system has a lot of validity which is particularly relevant to US situation where shocks keep coming in short intervals. The reason is a conflict between unpredictable invisible hands working behind the market and visible targets of the state. In his famous book titled “The End of Laizzez-Faire,” John Maynard Keynes observes: “…... the essential characteristic of capitalism {is} the dependence upon an intense appeal to the money-making and money-loving instincts of the individual.” In other words, selfishness is the force that works in capitalism while the state runs with collective interests of its citizens. The US economy recurrently suffers from this “structural weakness.” The malady of Great Repression in early 20th century when money supply was insufficient owing to stock market crash which was “followed by deflation in asset and commodity prices,” between Black Tuesday , October 24, 1929 and the Bank Holiday in 1933 or the ailment of Economic Disorder of 2008 which began in mortgage market in the US and swelled into International Banking Crisis, bringing collapse of many banks. Not to talk of Marx or Engels, even Keynes and Schumpeter were expecting an early breakdown of capitalism.

In addition to realities mentioned above, a political development but having economic preferences has strongly come up in the form of SCO. It is a joint effort for achieving welfare status in the region. The re-emergence of Silk Route, One Belt One Road, and China Pakistan Economic Corridor are game-changing developments with far-reaching benefits. The gist of the argument is that China is inviting other countries towards welfare while Us resorts to threats and warfare.

In this state of welfare against warfare, although the US and India have converged their interests, geopolitical compulsions are not giving any space to bring one world order. Let us therefore wait and see whether the sun sets in the West!