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World events throughout the year 2021, in our opinion, were marked by four major issues: the COVID-19 pandemic; the humiliation of the USA after its deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan; the aggressive escalation of China against India and Taiwan; and finally the strong frictions experienced by Russia and the European Union.
As far as the first point is concerned, there are many aspects to analyze, starting with Bill Gates, Dr. Anthony Fauci, nefarious WHO director Dr. Tedros Adhanom, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, and of course, the spokespersons of the different laboratories manufacturing COVID vaccines, promised since 2019 that after their production and universal application, the transmission would be cut, the cases would notably decrease and the crisis would gradually dissipate.
Paradoxically, in 2020, the great fiasco of all vaccines became evident, regardless of their origin, i.e. the Chinese (Sinopharm, Sinovac and CanSino Biologics), the American (Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna), the English (AstraZeneca), the Russian (Sputnik V), the Cuban (Abdala and Soberana), among others. They simply failed to prevent contagion and, even worse, transmissibility, so that the world experienced wave after wave of outbreaks of the virus, which in turn implied the implementation of more restrictive measures to the mobility of people.
Not to mention the absurd measures such as the so-called “boosters” (or third and even fourth doses) in chaotic vaccination programs that have gone to the extreme of mixing different types of vaccines for people, closures of international flights and of what bureaucrats call “non-essential activities” and even the highly questionable “green pass” or “COVID passport.”
Despite all this, the result has been the same, the Chinese virus opens 2022 in almost the same way as it burst in 2019, with the great difference that our freedom has been greatly plundered by the different governments, the States have spent huge amounts of money in an unsuccessful vaccination, but that did raise significantly the profits of the laboratories involved in the production and sale of the aforementioned vaccines. Therefore, we have the factual basis to maintain that this story will continue without major variation throughout 2022.
Deadly Afghan withdrawal
The second topic in our 2021 balance sheet, it is almost obligatory to briefly review the self-inflicted humiliation by President Biden himself to the military and political power of the U.S., who stubbornly disregarded his advisors and ordered a hasty withdrawal, which led to disorder. This disorder dangerously opened the way for the rapid collapse of the constituted government of Ashraf Ghani, the takeover by the Taliban, not to mention several terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of civilians and even American Armed Forces personnel. This fact demonstrated the enormous weakness of the U.S. in the international arena and, at the same time, showed the total confusion prevailing in the White House with regard to the sensitive issue of foreign policy and security.
This obvious and accurate geopolitical reading was quickly taken up by the enemies of the United States, namely Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian power, and Xi Jinping, leader of the Chinese communist giant. Judging in terms of international politics, they acted as logically and historically corresponds, that is to say, the vacuum self-generated by the administration of Democrat Biden, is quickly occupied by other States, that is to say, its rival powers.
Russia and China
This brings us to our third and fourth point: the expressions of power on a regional scale. Although with a clear tinge of global influence, we refer, on the one hand, to the aggressive escalation of Russia against Ukraine. The weak reaction of the European Union was limited to diplomacy, but Europe is technically on its knees, since the largest supplier of gas to the region is precisely Russia, a situation that worsens when the region suffers a deficit of at least 13,000 million cubic meters of this product in the middle of winter and in a context of market limitation for supplying this product to the region.
Although it is true that Norway and Algeria have already increased their gas production, it will not be until 12 months from now that they will be able to supply the region, so Putin has the wind in his sails in the management of these crises in which Europe will not expose its gas supply to risk in the middle of winter.
Finally, China, like Russia, increased its hostile presence in the region, first against Taiwan and then against India. With regard to the Asian island, there have been many episodes of tension due to the overflight of Chinese fighter planes approaching Taiwanese airspace, while against India, the tension is centered on the Himalayan mountain range, where there has been a historical border dispute since 1914. In any case, China has permanently stationed troops on its side of the mountain range, so India’s response will be reciprocal.
While it is true that there have been some attempts at dialogue, they failed after mutual accusations of lack of cooperation and stalemate. This led Japan, Taiwan and India to form a sort of strategic and military cooperation bloc in the face of eventual aggression by China, to which, once again, the weak Biden-Harris administration hinted at the possibility of cooperation in this sense, although there remains the enormous doubt whether it will comply.
Nahem Reyes is a PhD in history from the Andrés Bello Catholix University and associate member of the American Studies Center of the Central University of Venezuela. // Nahem Reyes es doctor en Historia de la Universidad Católica Andrés Bello y miembro asociado del Centro de Estudios de América de la Universidad Central de Venezuela.