Six global issues to solve in 2022
– In 2022, whether the international community can unite and cooperate in the fight against the pandemic, and whether the United States and other countries can shoulder their responsibilities, will to a large extent determine whether humanity can overcome the pandemic on the as quickly as possible.
– The EU’s path to strategic autonomy remains strewn with uncertainties due to internal differences and its dependence on the United States for security.
– Seven previous rounds of indirect talks, conducted via European mediators last year, have failed to break the deadlock between the United States and Iran. By 2022, the risks to the world posed by the United States could intensify.
The year 2021, marked by the endemic COVID-19 pandemic with several types of variants, leaves behind a number of unresolved global issues.
In 2021, the recovery of the global economy encountered serious challenges, including inflation, the deterioration of relations between Russia and the West and the deadlock in Iranian nuclear talks.
However, by 2022, solutions remain in sight for these seemingly intractable problems.
COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
According to data from the World Health Organization, the cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths worldwide has exceeded 280 million and 5.41 million, respectively, and the Omicron strain has spread to more than 110 countries and regions of the world.
Speeding up immunization around the world is key to ending the pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccination program implementation plan distribution group recently called for a 70% vaccination coverage rate in all countries around the world by mid-2022. So far, China has supplied nearly 2 billion doses of vaccine to more than 120 countries and international organizations, accounting for one-third of total global vaccine use outside of China.
While China provides the most vaccines to the outside world, developed countries, including the United States, have excess stocks of vaccines, posing serious challenges to the equitable distribution of vaccines around the world.
Immune deficiency is currently the biggest obstacle in the fight against the pandemic, with only 5% of the population in low-income countries fully vaccinated.
In 2022, whether the international community can unite and cooperate in the fight against the pandemic, and whether the United States and other countries can shoulder their responsibilities, will to a large extent determine whether humanity can weather the pandemic the most. quickly possible.
The Center for Economics and Business Research, one of Britain’s leading economic consultancies, predicts the global economy will surpass $ 100,000 billion for the first time in 2022, two years ahead of its previous forecast.
However, challenges such as resurgent pandemics, supply chain bottlenecks, rising inflation and differentiating the recovery are expected to continue to affect the global economy in 2022. The effect The drive of tightening monetary policies in the United States and other advanced economies may also entail more risk. to the global economy.
Due to high inflation, the Fed has further reduced its asset purchases and is expected to end bond purchases in March 2022.
Additionally, the Fed will likely raise interest rates three times in 2022, which is expected to have a significant impact on global cross-border capital flows, asset prices and exchange rate stability. Some emerging markets and developing countries may therefore be faced with risks such as capital outflows and currency depreciation which may hamper economic recovery.
What is encouraging is that the Chinese economy has maintained steady progress despite the uncertainties and continues to inject confidence and momentum into the global recovery.
FUTURE OF RUSSIA-WEST & FRANCO-GERMAN “ENGINE” LINKS
Relations between Russia and Western countries entered “the ice age” in 2021 as they embarked on a fierce showdown over Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently said that Russia has no opportunity to retreat into a stalemate with the United States over Ukraine and that it will be forced into a harsh response unless the West does not abandon its “aggressive line”.
The United States recently exaggerated the risk of war between Russia and Ukraine, intending to further undermine Russian-European relations and strengthen American influence in Europe.
As a result, Russia-Europe relations have become more complicated. If the European Union (EU) cooperates with the United States in the future and imposes sanctions on the Russian-German Nord Stream 2 pipeline project or on the Russian financial system, the energy security and financial stability of the EU in will certainly be affected. .
Recently, the frequent actions of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the Baltic and Black Seas have given rise to strong objections from Russia. If NATO continues to test Russia’s “end result”, this could have serious consequences that could affect global strategic stability.
While Russia and the United States plan to hold a security dialogue in January 2022, it remains to be seen whether the dialogue can stop the deterioration of bilateral relations as there has long been a lack of mutual trust between the two sides. and structural contradictions at the geopolitical level.
A new German government was sworn in at the end of 2021. France is due to hold legislative elections in 2022. Germany and France, considered to be the “twin engines” of the EU, are going through a period of transition.
Beaten by the resurgence of the pandemic, the EU is experiencing a difficult economic recovery, with the low-carbon strategy and digital economy plans affected to varying degrees.
In the meantime, disputes remain between Britain and France over fishing and refugees, and the divisions between old and new European countries after Brexit will continue to grow. In the face of these risks and challenges, the fact that the two ‘engines’ of the EU can work closely together will affect the direction and pace of the EU’s progress.
Europe has started to take more initiative and reduce its dependence on the United States, finding the latter unreliable following a number of incidents such as eavesdropping on its customers. European allies, a haphazard withdrawal from Afghanistan and the end of the agreement to export submarines from France to Australia.
According to French President Emmanuel Macron, France, which will assume the rotating presidency of the EU from January 2022, aims “to advance towards a powerful Europe in the world, fully sovereign, free of its choices and mistress of his destiny. “
However, the EU’s path to strategic autonomy remains fraught with uncertainties due to internal differences and its dependence on the United States for security.
FUTURE OF THE IRANIAN QUESTION AND AMERICAN RISKS
Seven previous rounds of indirect talks, conducted via European mediators last year, have failed to break the deadlock between the United States and Iran.
Iran wants all sanctions imposed by the United States and the EU to be lifted in a verifiable process.
The United States calls on Iran to stick to the implementation of the provisions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and to restrict or freeze related nuclear activities, while threatening to adopt “d ‘other options’, including military force.
The United States has expressed its willingness to revert to the Iran nuclear deal while continuing to impose additional sanctions on Iran at the same time. Such arbitrariness puts both sides in a rigid position that does not bode well for negotiations in 2022.
Many analysts believe the United States remains the main source of uncertainty as the world enters a new year.
As the midterm elections in the United States approach, partisanship is sure to escalate, which is sure to intensify racial strife and anti-immigrant sentiments. To maintain its hegemony, the United States is likely to continue to conduct “little clique” diplomacy, interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, and impose more sanctions that may further hamper peace and development in the United States. the world.
The Eurasia Group, the world leader in political risk research and advice, has ranked the divided United States at the top of “Top Risks to the World in 2021”.
By 2022, the risks to the world posed by the United States could intensify.
Source: China Economic Net