The Fifth annual Vladivostok Economic Forum is over. This initiative started 5 years ago and became the platform where the greatest Far Eastern powers sit down to discuss their vision of the future of Pacific region.
This year Vladivostok Economic Forum had as VIP guests Indian Prime-Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, Malayasian PM Mahathir Mohammed and Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga. Shinzo Abe was invited as the representative of the Pro-Western block, while Mahathir Mohammed and Khaltmaagiin Battulga are rather in favour of the new rise of Asia. But the biggest geopolitical intrigue was certainly India.
Last year, the main figure at the Vladivostok Economic Forum was Chinese leader Xi Jianping, but this time it was the turn of Indian Prime-Minister Narendra Modi. This is not casual because the sequence may reflect President Putin’s vision of the importance of leading figures in the construction of Greater Eurasia.
Without any doubt, the main pillar of the multipolar world order promoted by Russia, is China. The more China is involved in a trade war and growing competition with the US, the clearer its mission becomes to be the pole of attraction to all neighbouring countries in the region regarding the BRI project.
Together with Russia, China forms the structure of accomplished multipolarity and if they both manage to continue to stay firm on the main focus, the multipolar world order will soon enough reach the point of no return. It may be that this point is already behind us. The recent recognition by Emmanuel Macron of the end of Western hegemony evoked by Putin, precisely during present Vladivostok Economic Forum, is very eloquent.
Logically India is next essential partner of the multipolar club. Hence the role of Narendra Modi in the Vladivostok Economic Forum in 2019. India is a regional superpower and is quickly attaining the status of an independent pole beside China and Russia. So the Vladivostok Economic Forum was intended as the opportunity to address Modi clearly in that way suggesting a G10 project that represents a symbolic shift away from G7 (the vanishing trace of Western hegemony – unipolar/multilateral club) to multipolarity.
So the intrigue was whether Modi – after recent agreements with Russia on some joint project in ship construction, weapon supply and Putin’s support for New Deli’s Kashmir politics – will accept such multipolarity openly or if he would prefer to avoid a declaration of an Indian stand in this regard.
The Russian question was asked by Russian journalist Sergey Brilev who directly addressed Modi during press-conference on the topic of the G10. Modi answered verbatim as follows: “It is true that in principle we support a multipolar world and countries with similar and like-minded views come together at various international fora. And they talk about various global issues. So each of these forums has its own importance.”
At that point interpretations diverged. Some experts thought that Modi had declined to move too quickly in that direction, and was trying to continue to hesitate between the West and the Rest (as author Samuel Huntington formulated the main geopolitical issue of the future world order in his famous book “Clash of civilizations”).
Others however stressed the formal support of Modi for multipolarity principles. In that case the words pronounced by Modi were directed at G7 leaders.
In my opinion the very use of concept “multipolar world” is decisive. We should not underestimate the importance of concepts. Multipolarity is a formal and clear opposition, the anti-thesis of unipolarity.
Here we have a whether/or logical construction. Whether there is one pole setting the rules for humanity in main spheres – political, economic, technological, ethical, cultural, informational and so on (it is called globalism and Western hegemony), or are there at least a few groups of different countries and cultures sharing some similar approach based on the civilizational values and setting special rules and standards in all these spheres corresponding to their special philosophy, tradition and historical experience? That is multipolarity.
The West usually strenuously avoids the second option – the use of the multipolarity is a prohibited concept. Accepting it, is equivalent to agreeing with the legitimacy of anything other than the modern liberal West with its own truth that can be and is different from what globalists pretend are “universal values” (but what is in the reality simply Modern/Post-Modern liberal Western values).
In that case, I agree that Modi’s answer, which can not be regarded as wholly conscious and decisive support for multipolarity, is nevertheless crucial. His words “in principle we support a multipolar world” are of the utmost importance.
It means India is on the side of the multipolar world order, but does not want to accelerate it preferring to obtain a peaceful accord with the declining Western hegemony. Instead, they appear to want to avoid direct confrontation as in the case of Putin’s Russia or the more and more clear case of China immersed in trade war and obliged to deal with Hong Kong riots which are almost openly supported by the USA.
So Modi accepts the direction “in principle” but remains rather evasive on the question of speed or timing.
Thus everything is clear. The key words have been uttered. The essential message has been transmitted, received and deciphered: We are going ahead with the multispeed strategy.