Original link: http://middleeastobserver.net/today-asia-feels-it-can-regain-its-civilizational-weight-lost-for-500-years-lebanese-academic/
During a political talk on Al-Manar TV, Lebanese academic Dr. Hossam Matar said that the world was today at a historical turning point, in which Asian powers such as China, Russia, and Iran, feel that they can regain their “civilizational weight and influence” that had been absent for the last 500 years due to Western hegemony.
Source: “Kalam Siyasi” (YouTube Channel), interview from Al-Manar TV
Date: July 21, 2022
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Let’s start with the political summit that took place in Iran, a summit that brought together Iran, Russia and Turkey. This summit carries messages in both its form and content.
Let’s read into the form first. The summit took place under the direct patronage of Imam Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and he made a direct speech in front of everyone he met there.
Dr. Hossam Matar, Lebanese academic and political analyst:
First, I think that this visit (summit) falls within a course that has been developing for years. All Asian powers in general feel that the world is going through a very important period of development, and the international system is going through a moment of transformation. This transformation is occurring in favor of the Asian powers in general, i.e., China first and foremost, and the main Asian states such as Russia, India, Iran and Turkey. These forces feel that they are witnessing a historical turning point in which they are regaining their civilizational weight and influence on the world which had been lost during the past 500 years.
These (Asian) states are still witnessing disparities, rivalries, and disagreements among them, the frameworks of cooperation between them are still developing and have not yet been crystalized, and part of these main (Asian) forces still have partnerships with the West and we know that. However, all of these states share a feeling that this world is becoming more pluralistic and balanced, and that they are facing a very great historical moment that they can seize to take away from the West a part of its domination and hegemony over them, whose (consequences) were at expense of them and their people.
Therefore, these forces are creating this form of partnership to try to seize this historical moment. This economic, demographic and political transition from West to East is considered by these states a historical opportunity that must be grasped. All of that was evident in the recent war with Ukraine. (For example,) India, despite its close relations with the United States, did not go into conflict with Russia as requested (by the US). Turkey kept its options open, even on the Ukrainian issue. Why? Because these states, as I told you, see that the Asian powers, that Asia, is back at the heart of the international system.
The marginalization of Asia was at the expense of the powers (in this continent) and its people. Therefore, this course is not new, and (its players) have taken advantage of the crisis of the West, the decline of American hegemony, and the rise of Asian powers; and this is still ongoing. As for speed of this path, its transformations may occur faster or may slow down depending on certain events. For example, we are waiting for the results of the war in Ukraine. We are waiting for the prospect of the US-Chinese confrontation, which I believe is the most important event from now until the year 2050. The next 20 or 30 years will determine the fate of the world through a confrontation that will escalate quickly between America and China. This competition and conflict and its consequences will shape the world for decades and centuries to come.
The United States announced in June or at the end of May, in a speech made by Blinken (, the US Secretary of State,), the American approach to confronting China. (Blinken) said four times in his speech “this decisive decade”, which is from 2020 to 2030. All American literature today uses the term: “the decisive decade”. (The US) says that it has the next 10 years (until the end of 2030) to resolve the conflict with China. If it can reverse the trajectories in this time period… In other words, if (the US) can transform the rise of China into a decline, and the decline of the United States into a rise, it has a chance of reclaiming or maintaining its leadership (over the world). However, if it does not succeed to accomplish its goal before 2030, and China continues to rise at the current level and pattern, and America is not able to regain the initiative, (the US) will reach the point of no return and China will become the strongest in the international system. Consequently, all American thinking (today) looks at the world, including the Middle East, with its conflicts and forces, from a Chinese perspective, at the first, second, third and fourth stage, before it gets into any other issues.
Well, if the United States is looking from a Chinese perspective, how do you see (their opinion) on this tripartite summit?
The United States sees (this summit) very negatively. This was mentioned) in one of the assessments issued over the past two days. If (the US) sees that the main threat is the Chinese threat – but there is a division on this issue. There are those who believe that the main enemy is China, so before targeting China or in the context of targeting China, we must fight a single battle that includes Russia and Iran. Therefore, they see one alliance that should not be separated (into parts), so they want to fight one battle against these three states. This opinion exists, but it is unpopular. It also believes that the confrontation with Russia in Ukraine is also a confrontation with China, and that (Americans) must consider that confrontation with Russia as a detour to attack China. This opinion exists, but again, it is not strong.
The other (more popular) opinion says that if we (Americans) target these (Asian) forces all at once, they will team up against us. Just yesterday, someone (in the US) said that “the evidence is before you”, talking about the summit in Tehran. He added, we (the United States) have put pressure on the Russians and we are fighting them in a military battle to the bitter end in Ukraine; we were not able to build ties nor repair relations with Turkey and Erdogan; and we still insist on following the same approach with Iran and have not offered any alternative options. We are pushing these forces to unite against us. As a result, instead of directing our resources only against China, China is benefiting and we are scattered in all these arenas. Thus, from the Chinese perspective, which is the main concern (for the US), the Tehran summit is very bad for the US approach, which is based on isolating China as much as possible from the Asian powers to drive it into a corner. The Asian powers, including Iran and Russia, can see that. They see this historical opportunity. Therefore, they are exchanging benefits within some limits and consensus, and they are resolving their disagreements. These disagreements exist – we do not want to look at the issue with a romantic view. However, they are being resolved to be settled over time.
(To conclude,) the scene in Tehran, from the point of view of the United States, is very negative, especially in terms of the major confrontation with China because the idea of ‘Asia’ in relation to ‘the West’ is growing stronger and stronger.
We no longer have unipolarity (in world politics)?…
Today, we are witnessing an “ideological struggle”. The United States is also trying to present (the current situation) under this title with the aim of mobilizing (the world) against China, so they speak of Asia as the “authoritarian, repressive, backward, barbaric” (power) against the “civilized West, protector of international stability and the like.”
Today, every scene where Asian powers meet is a scene that challenges the core of the American approach (to confront China), especially since the United States is running short of time, as we said. Time, in the American mind, is not in America’s favor, for every day the United States wastes not confronting China is equivalent to years (lost) in America’s books.
Don’t be afraid, little United States. Calm your bleating heart. For China is not like you, and does not want to rule the world. For Russia employs its military power for peace. Asia has nukes, but to defend itself against the mad and aggressive USUKisrael.
The formula for US success is an old one: Go home yanqui, and have a nice day.
“For China is not like you, and does not want to rule the world.”
Don’t fool yourself. China is a totalitarian wolf. The closest parallel to Hitler’s Germany in existence today. Of course the West is collapsing into woke build back better fantasy under the leadership of the WEF. Does not bode well for civilization. The odds of massive world depopulation does seems high over the next decade.
You can only make a statement about something if you add evidence from which the conclusion is taken. Can you provide evidence that China is a totalitarian wolf, or [t]he closest parallel to Hitler’s Germany in existence today.?
Kilo Tango cannot provide evidence, as that evidence doesn’t exist. China is not expansionary. China does not want to conquer East Asian nations such as Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, etc. China wants to TRADE with all of these nations. Of course China does insist that it will reunite Taiwan with the Mainland, but everyone in the world agrees that there is One China.
Very concise and subtle summation by the guest.
The US is in strategic quandary, whereas the picture of the emerging world is also to the advantage of a United America. That is if the US did not disintegrate after the loss of her hegemonic position, then it would remain one of the most important country on the international arena.
A good bews for the nationalist Americans who just want their country to be a normal nation, but bad for the parasitic AngloZionist empire America who will lose their means of exploiting and inflicting death and destruction on the rest of the planet.
This is not an ideological struggle. This is a struggle by a single power to continue its dominance over the world. Ideology has nothing to do with it: it is all about power. The power of the hegemon to pillage and plunder.
The only country that can claim and hope to regain its ‘civilisational weight’ is China. Russia never had such weight in the world. Iran is but a small fragment of the Persian Empire. China territory since 500 yrs ago has shrunk, but what remains has weight now and will be increasing with each year. The traitor, Chang Kai Chek gave away Mongolia for nothing in return, then stole the gold and wealth from China, supported by the USA.
The west uses the term ‘Imperial China’ to distinguish from ‘Modern China’. Imperial is a false descriptor. China never sent its navy and army abroad to subjugate foreign lands. Chinese stayed home. China did have the world’s largest trade region in history. Example: China traded for 1000 years with the people of today’s Singapore and Indonesia. Not once did China attempt to invade or subjugate.
In my opinion it’s Russia that will lead into the new Eurasian world civilization. China will be a major economic force but the Chinese culture and civilization is too pacifist always minding own business. Nothing wrong with that but Russia has had deep civilization contacts as well as physical borders with so many countries in Asia and Europe. Most importantly, as you mentioned, Russia never had such a weight in history, is about to change dramatically. The recent strategic cooperation with Iran and establishment of North-South corridor, from St. Petersburg – Mumbai through Iran will make Russia the main standard bearer throughout the region as well as the world, starting from establishing the daily prices of oil/gas from Moscow.
Historically, Russia finds itself at the center of wars and at the periphery of trade. I think by the end of the century it’ll be the exact opposite. Center of trade, peripheral to wars.
I think China is going to get itself into trouble. It is indecisive, pretending to be patient. It makes rash threats it cannot back up. It has poor relations with many of its neighbors. It’s easily provoked into exaggerated responses. It lacks internal stability. It’s got tanks guarding its banks from depositors who want to withdraw money, and the US is flying drunken, batty old Pelosi into their airspace to humiliate them, a game which China can only win by not playing. Yet it plays, like an internet poster who can’t help feeding the trolls.
Can I stop at three?
That’s Asia’s problem
In my opinion I think USA should have quit Korea, drop a H-Bomb at Seoul as a parting gift, and be done with Asia once for all.
China has fought many aggressive wars, for the mastery of the Silk Road, to break up nomadic coalitions forming in the steppe, to push non-Han peoples further and further south and west, the same way the U.S. did the American Indians.
Heck, China very briefly invaded Vietnam, in 1979.
China has certainly battled less foreign wars, than say, Britain, but that’s because the greatest burden on the Chinese state, is how to keep the interior from revolting. A huge civilization-state like China has historically required a great deal of resources just to maintain territorial integrity. There have always been regional “separatists,” eager to break off, in the hopes of later taking the whole for themselves. When the Chinese state has had solid control over a stable empire, they certainly have engaged in Imperialism. Very effectively. The term “Imperial” fits perfectly, for many reasons, not least of which that they themselves were cognizant of the Emperor’s role over “all the kings and countries” that comprised Chinese civilization.
At the height or their power, each dynasty that has ruled all of China, with the exception maybe of the Song, has engaged in some form of military expansionism, e.g. Wu-Di’s wars during the Western Han, or Ming Yongle’s invasion of Vietnam. This is for native dynasties. Dynasties ruled by foreign populations, like the Yuan and Qing, were even more aggressive militarily. The Yuan Dynasty even attempted to invade Japan, twice.
The oppression of Palestine, with its monstrous record of 70 years, will also end.
From a religious perspective, the curse of God is on the United States Government. So that’s that.
Both of your comments are well-taken. The so-called god of the so-called chosen people — which has driven so much of the horror of the west for at least two centuries — is unnatural.
A great western philosopher once wrote “Deus sive Natura”. The unnatural forces of these people and their allies will meet their test — and be found wanting. An individual may not live to see the restoration of a natural world, but at least we can watch with awe the powerful trend.
Good analysis. The United States might wish to continue faking as a force to reckon with. In reality it’s a dog that barks but never bites. One of America and so-called allies’ big predicament is their non-existent support of their own populations. This war is about a 1% dying oligarchic class with access to money, media and some nukes and nothing else. In reality they are gonna have a bigger enemy at home just waiting around the corner which they must have to deal with, soon. Every student of history understands in order to have a say as a world power, there must be grass root and popular support of people in the land. Hiring thugs like the Daesh and the Ukrainian Neonazis by the Zionist-run Western powers and applying terrorist warfare tactics doesn’t represent a civilization-making grand strategy. Washington’s counterfeit plan of action isn’t going to help it stay around longer. By the way who says there’s 10 year window of opportunity from 2020 to 2030 for the US revisit as a global power? More precisely, from 1990-2020 the US had this window of opportunity to lead as a global power, but missed it. There’s no way it can reverse the course of history.
I think the dog still bites but there is more gums than teeth left in its mouth. Furthermore the dog’s Zionist master that controls its leash seems to be losing appropriate strategic judgement when using it’s attack dog.
“Today Asia feels it can regain its civilizational weight lost for 500 years'” [sic]
Who is Asia kidding? If civilization was so important, why is it always this 500-years of darkness. And the next 500-years of darkness. And the next after that.
If civilization was so important, then why does Ireland cry and weep and beg for its freedom. Only to give it away as soon as it gets it back. Declaring bankruptcy and becoming enslaved again? This kind of thing must be part of civilization’s DNA.
Look at what is going on in the West. If civilization is so important, then why is the West committing suicide? Again.
The Asian weight was quite high even in mid 1700s and even as late as in 1820 around 33% of global GDP was produced by China. The western hegemony has been reality just during last 200 years but since 1990s relatively fast declining.
Perhaps, but Qing stagnation occurred in the mid-1600s. Perhaps even earlier as the late-Ming failed to emphasize a navy.
By 1820, Qing decline was written in the stars, even if the economic output was significant. It was bereft of ideas, and the dynastic system full of labor contradictions.
China’s biggest issue is it’s enclosed to the North, West, and South. It seeks a coast based outlet, but with the US controlling Taiwan, it fears being choked off from the world. Late Ming decline was triggered by isolationism, this is why having strategic control over the SCS is an existential imperative for China. Decline for China will be triggered by being encircled. If China can avoid that, the country will continue to rise.
It’s pretty obvious that European and North American economic weight will in future be much nearer the percentage of their share of global population. In Europe (without Russia) likely around 10% and in North America not much bigger. In 2050 the global real economy is likely 75% (perhaps even 80%) produced outside so called west. On average only 4% of most critical strategic resources (raw materials) are in current EU countries.
“[. . .] civilizational weight and influence” that had been absent for the last 500 years due to Western hegemony.”
I have a problem with the word “Hegemony.” Hegemony has a circular definition. You are using the same word to define the same word. In this case we are not using “hegemony” as a tautology. Still, the destruction of what hegemony is calling itself contains its own destruction in the word itself.
Most uses of the word hegemony are local, containing elements of their own destruction to define itself. Synonyms: leadership · dominance · dominion · supremacy · ascendancy · predominance · primacy · authority · mastery · control · power · sway · rule · sovereignty · predomination · paramountcy · prepotence · prepotency · prepollency . . . .
If there is a “prepotency” can “post-potency” be far behind?
“Germany was united under Prussian hegemony after 1871.” And where is Prussia now? Where is Germany?
Hegemony in this article is being used to describe something that has been achieved globally, during a period of time where things like “sovereignty” are being destroyed.
A global hegemony. I don’t think we are there, yet. I think it is going to take another world war. And I think another world war will finally exhaust whatever natural resources needed — natural gas, oil, coal, minerals, and rare earths — to achieve things like total world domination. In this way we use hegemony as a euphemism.
I agree. Careless definitions result in confusion and even policy paralysis, the word “liberal” being a case in point.
The US never enjoyed global hegemony in the sense described by Gramsci – it enjoyed, for a brief period, domination only.
Gramsci’s explanation of hegemony (from memory) involves a dominated people accepting the values and priorities of the dominant class as being valid and legitimate, even worth fighting and dying for, even when those values and priorities are detrimental to the dominated class.
So the US enjoys Gramscian hegemony with regard to a handful or two of countries, but the memories of those not so influenced are now being acted upon.
The conflict today only exists because the US only sees itself ruling the entire world since the end of WWII! Which is to say, the US only sees itself robbing the whole world. Since they wiped out the rest of the British Empire and the pound sterling! But it’s not worth talking about former settlers who perished in WWII. How this Chinese infographic couldn’t be clearer! The biggest threat to world peace since WWII
With over 200 military conflicts worldwide, 50 coups d’état and grossly interfered in 30 more democratic elections. The champions of the Free World who never tire of preaching freedom! At the beginning of this century alone, at the cost of 1 MM human lives and 20 MM refugees! This is also why a much more balanced multipolar world with several centers of power is essential!
The US which even today militarily can no longer deal with Russia in Europe – hence the need to take the EU hostage – with Iran in the Middle East – at the risk of losing all the oil exploration in the region – and much least with china in asia! We will see whether or not they retreat in Taiwan as they will in Ukraine!
The US now only attacks in the Media – with lies like the PR war of its proxy in Ukraine – and with screams and threats in the diplomatic corridors. Either way, beware of a desperate nuclear empire in absolute disintegration every day!
And to get to the heart of the matter, it’s not really about the US anymore, but about Wall Street that has controlled the White House for decades! And the first victims were precisely Americans with wages frozen for 40 years. It’s called neoliberalism! And globalization. Because from the romantic idea of the global village, what really globalized was just capital and greed that led to the relocation of most of the production behind the labor exploitation, often even of minors for an even faster profit! And goodbye to any social responsibility of former US majors like GM.
Western Financial Markets are often virtual which draw every year from real savings into the pockets of the few rentiers millions and millions of dollars. With ordinary people getting poorer even in the West. And what happens when many Asian stock exchanges have already begun to completely despise the petrodollars on which the entire US power center is based? It is the end of the American Empire in the area of the globe with the most economic growth. And that is to say, it is the end of the American Empire in the medium term. And about the latest democracies versus autocracies spin, even Americans don’t agree with this Wishful Thinking much as far as I know. In a country where half of the people no longer believe in the electoral results, after the economy we will still see where the great American “democracy” is heading. That rules for all the big rentiers except the American people! Where more than 50% already believe in a Civil War!
Welcome to a New World Order that was never possible in the past because failed attempts like the “non-aligned” countries – for those who still remember – never managed to gather wealth, critical mass and above all strong and credible institutions like those that already exist today. that will be able to substantiate this NWM that is already felt!
With the geopolitical geniuses leading the US …., God help us.
” The fall of the Soviet Union was a disaster.”
To an increasing sum of co-operators it was and remains through diminishing half-lives, a necessary part/moment/momentum of an ongoing lateral process of transcendence of social relations based upon coercion with the complicity of these coercive social relations, by social relations based upon co-operation.
“It opened the way for capitalism to start eating whole countries alive.”
Catalysing through multi-vectors and velocities, lateral processes of familiarity-breeds-contemptness and resolve to transcend social relations based on coercion..
“We who have studied history know the endgame of hubris and it does not bode well for our future on this world.”
To paraphrase Mr. Marx.
Philosophers here to fore have merely described the world (ineptly), whilst the problem is to change it, (since they tend to be immersed in “copybooks/precedent” as do those immersed in social relations based on coercion, as does your sentence quoted above, and as is implicit in Mr. Prashad’s assumption of “Cold War blocs” being anything other than a “part/moment/momentum of an ongoing lateral process.”
Some scribes in ignorance hold that “history” is written by “victors” and accepted by the others since it is “her/his story”,in hoped obfuscation that lateral processes are facilitated by all in participatory inter-action.
“We who have studied history know the endgame of hubris and it does not bode well for our future on this world.” and then there are “journalists”.
Headline predicated on absolutes :
The World Does Not Want a Global NATO
July 29, 2002
Sub headline in contradiction:
Most of the world rejects NATO’s policies and global aspirations and does not wish to divide the international community into outdated Cold War blocs, writes Vijay Prashad.
“Corrected” headline :
Some in the world do not want a global NATO, whilst some do.
Further analysis based there-on:
(including some of NATO’s opponents in facilitation of a global NATO being rendered as “part/moment/momentum of an ongoing lateral process of transcendence”.)
“it does not bode well for our future on this world.”
Not necessarily, given that:
Most of the world rejects NATO’s policies and global aspirations and does not wish to divide the international community into outdated Cold War blocs, writes Vijay Prashad.