Given the tremendous changes that have taken place in the international economic system and the dramatic changes that have occurred in the new international order, and the rise of some countries as emerging economic powers, many scholars believe that the 21st century is the century of Asia. It is also predicted that two very important Asian powers, namely China in East Asia and India in South Asia in the 21st century and from 2025 onwards, according to many indicators will become the first and third largest economic power in the world. This makes them look more positively at Asia as the hub of the global economy.
Experts agree that China will become the world’s largest economic power in the next few years; this is realized in the light of several economic, geographical and demographic realities. China is one of the largest countries in the world in terms of size and currently has the largest population in the world. Most importantly, China has rapidly become the world’s largest market and one of the largest producers of various goods due to the economic development it has achieved in recent decades. Therefore, different countries and economic blocs in the world are expected to pay more attention to China. The European Union, for example, which was once America’s largest trading and economic partner is gradually turning to China, and this trend has intensified, especially after the escalation of trade tensions between Washington and Brussels. Recently, we witnessed a meeting between the leaders of China and the leaders of the European Union with the aim of explaining and creating the necessary perspectives for the development of bilateral relations.
Meanwhile, India is gradually improving its role in the global economy due to its size, population and resources, and forecasts suggest that India will become the third largest economic power in the world in the next few years. This issue plays an important role in explaining the future of India and its position in the global economy. At the same time, Japan, which for a long time was the world’s second largest economy (although today its position has shrunk), is still one of the most important countries in the world in terms of economy, trade and industry, as well as in the field of new technologies. South Korea, despite not being considered in terms of population and size, but due to its industrial power and production and advanced technology, is one of the leading economies in the world.
Russia, as a Eurasian power, should not be overlooked; a country that has one foot in Europe and one foot in Asia. For this reason, Russia can be considered a semi-Asian country. Although Russia is the world’s largest energy producer and has considerable economic power, its economy still relies heavily on oil and gas exports and some industrial items. However, Russia has great potential for expanding relations with other countries.
Given these facts, we see that the United States is working hard to prevent China from increasing its economic power, and in this way, the Donald Trump administration is using all the tools at its disposal, including a trade war and the imposition of new tariffs on Beijing. The Washington administration and its armed forces, under the auspices of the US Department of Defense, have focused on concentrating US troops in the Asia-Pacific region, where 60 percent of the US Navy is stationed. All of this is because the United States is terrified of China becoming the world’s number one economic power and strengthens its growing military role and influence in this area. Meantime it claims that US allies and partners in East Asia have some worries in this respect and concerns and want the US military presence in the region to continue and increase. Specifically, countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are mentioned.
Given these facts, the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is now under increasing pressure from the West in general and the United States in particular in the form of policy or campaign of maximum pressure, and unfortunately Washington has achieved success in reducing Iran’s oil exports, Foreign and the need to reduce US pressure on the country, has turned significantly to the east. In this regard, we are witnessing negotiations on a 25-year agreement between Iran and China, which covers six main areas, from trade, economic and oil issues to new Internet technologies and investment in security and defense areas.
Naturally, this has caused concern in the United States, and they have already voiced their opposition. Washington officials claim that the agreement will pose a greater threat from Iran to US regional allies such as Saudi Arabia, the Zionist regime, and others. Therefore, Washington has repeatedly stated its strong opposition to the Iran-China strategic document.
But the fact is that not only Iran but many other countries are now redefining their previous relations with the Western bloc and in this regard they are paying much more attention to countries in the East such as China, India, Japan, South Korea and even Russia. Why? They know that in the 21st century, world economic development revolves around the great Asian powers.