(Editor’s note: We highlight two recent articles, one published at New Eastern Outlook by James O’Neill and the other at Information Clearing House by Mohamad Shaaf, which reveal the unprecedented challenges now facing people around the Earth. What follows is the full article by James O’Neill – on this year’s Davos speeches by Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping, then this writer’s response to Mohamad Shaaf’s powerful article “Why China Surpassed the United States” … We’ve long admired legal expert Mr. O’Neill’s clear-headed and sober writing skills, mainly focused on sharing his (seemingly always accurate) perceptions regarding major world conditions and events. The excellent article by economics Professor Mohamad Shaaf is the first we’ve read by the academic.)
“Davos 2021 Speeches by Putin and Xi Point to a Different Future”
By James O’Neill
he Davos Group of nations recently held its annual meeting electronically, the coronavirus preventing attendance in person for the first time. The United States was represented by John Kerry, one of many Democrats recycled from the Obama years. Russia was represented by its president, Vladimir Putin, and China, for the first time since 2017, by its president Xi Jinping. The western media largely ignored the contribution of the latter two but what they had to say was significant and worthy of closer examination.
Putin had received a copy of a book in 2019 from one of the main conference organisers, a personal friend Klaus Schwab. The book was entitled The Fourth Industrial Revolution and was written by Schwab. Putin used the contents of the book as one of the main themes of his address.
The theme of the book had obviously been overtaken by the events of 2020’s coronavirus, but it still provided several important talking points that Putin used to structure his speech. He noted that the Covid 19 illness had accelerated numerous pre-existing structural problems in the world economy, particularly what he referred to as the cumulative effects of sub-economic problems that he identified as being the fundamental reason for unstable growth.
That unstable growth has led to a growing exacerbation of many international problems. Referring to the growing inequality in the world’s economy, he laid the blame squarely at the door of the richest 1% who dominated income and profits. This led in turn to a growing exacerbation of many international problems.
Expecting these problems to be identified, much less addressed, was unlikely, not least because the mainstream media is unlikely to identify the source of the problem, given that their owners are overwhelmingly from the same 1%. The degree of foreign policy propaganda rhetoric was growing. Although he did not say so directly, it is obvious that Russia has long been a victim of mass disinformation from the western media.