EDITORIAL

“The world is becoming less Western!” This observation was featured in the 2020 Munich
Security Report, issued by one of the most prominent forums of the Atlantic System. This forum
conveys the most recent and critical changes to the global security environment in the presence
of world leaders.

A superficial concept named “Westlessness” is introduced in the report, and the report states
that Western liberal values are no longer valid. Similarly, the 2019 report had portrayed the main
challenge to international security as consisting of “a reshuffling of core pieces of the international
order “. The problem was associated with a “leadership vacuum in what has become known as the
liberal international order “. The bottom line is that these developments caused a great deal of
ambiguity in the global security environment.

European states have been discussing options to pursue an independent policy from the
impositions of the United States (US), ambiguously revising their approach to Russia, China, Iran
and Turkey in particular, and the relations with Asia and Latin America in general. In parallel with
the advancement of multipolarity in the world, it appears that a power shift has been occurring
from the Atlantic to Asia. After September 11, 2001, the doctrine of the “global war against terrorism”
and the attempts to actualize the war can well be interpreted as an effort to prevent the
emergence of multipolarity. In the geography extending from Africa to China, virtually all developing
countries have increasingly suffered terrorism that exploits ethnic separatism and religion since
the beginning of the 2000s. Moreover, governments in several countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq,
Libya, Syria have been overthrown by US or NATO-led foreign interventions. The countries subjected
to foreign interventions have either been fragmented or driven into chaos.

This situation leads to the strengthening of a new tendency of cooperation among developing
countries in both economic and security affairs. One could observe that the effort to jointly
respond to common threats has improved among developing countries that were in rival camps
before 1991. Countries that are targeted by the Atlantic Front are able to protect and to strengthen
their national states to the extent that they succeed in solving problems among themselves.
A strong case in point is the Astana partnership formed by Turkey, Russia, and Iran during the
Syria crisis, which marks perhaps the most successful and fruitful example of such cooperation
attempts.

In order for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to turn into a success story, it is imperative to
provide security along the routes that form the New Silk Road, i.e. the backbone of BRI.

Therefore, cooperation in the field of security has inevitably an important place in the agenda
of BRI. The realization of such cooperation –as is envisaged in the Belt and Road Initiative– will
not only create a safe environment for individual countries taking part in this cooperation, but will
also provide international security as a global common good.

While security concerns are also growing in developed countries, BRI stands out with the
greatest potential to ensure trust among nations.

FİKRET AKFIRAT
Editor-in-Chief

Contents

Abstract

This article explains China’s response to the conflict in Sudan and South Sudan through its cautious involvement to protect its practical interests in this region. Beijing has made great efforts to improve conflict resolution in Darfur and South Sudan and has attempted to adopt a new paradigm for constructive engagement and creative mediation. Its response to the conflict in Sudan and South Sudan is driven by the dilemma of protecting national interests and shaping its great power identity, along with adhering to the principle of non-interference. This article also analyzes China’s national interests in the region and its relevance to China’s response to conflict and participation tools. It puts forward a new concept of ‘creative mediation’ to explain China’s participation in multilateral security affairs and engagement in conflict resolution. Moreover, the article explores how such a creative mediation is compatible with China’s principle of non-interference.

Keywords: China, conflict resolution, mediation diplomacy, South Sudan, Sudan

Abstract

The 21st century is witnessing the shattering of unipolar politics in the international system. The notion of a multi-polar world order and the idea of generating a more equitable system thus gain greater acceptance in international and regional cooperation platforms. A strong case in point is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). This article uses content analysis and process tracing by focusing on the SCO’s treaties, declarations and other documents. The research aim is to reveal how the SCO reframes international security away from traditional understandings. Despite being widely depicted as a security-based organization, the SCO offers a much more comprehensive perspective into international cooperation by addressing its economic, cultural and energy-related aspects. This perspective defies traditional understandings of security constrained to military concerns. The SCO showcases non-traditional approaches to international security predicated on the complementarity of security and economy. This can be deduced from the fact that the insecurity of strategic trade routes arrests international development and renders the regions situated near strategic routes vulnerable to terrorist, separatist and extremist activities. Not surprisingly, these activities are part of the SCO’s main agenda of struggle. In this respect, one could argue that the SCO has strong potential to advance the global struggle against terrorism, while enabling international development via economic cooperation. My analysis also suggests that the SCO’s non-traditional approach to international security is strongly predicated on the notion of multipolarity, which is portrayed as the sine qua non of global peace and prosperity.

Keywords: Economic security, multi-polarity, mutuality, SCO, security

Abstract

World peace cannot be attained without ensuring Middle Eastern security. This being so, the present article focuses on current security issues in this region, with special attention to the following questions: What is the current security situation in the Middle East? What are the causes of the security dilemma in the Middle East? What kind of negative impact may the Middle East security have on China’s Belt and Road Initiative? And what does China propose to resolve the security dilemma in the Middle East?

Abstract

Historically, the struggle for global hegemony has seen geographical power centers move from one region to another. In the 15th and 16th centuries, maritime trade and sea power shifted the world’s center of weight to the West. At that time Asia entered a period of stagnation. It has been observed that the transition of power is directly associated with the change of control of global production networks and trade routes. In the last quarter of the 20th century, the dynamism in the world economy at long last shifted back towards Asia. It is noteworthy that Western-based powers are now trying to block this development. The intensive efforts by Western powers to prevent the power center from shifting to Asia have turned into fierce competition in the Eurasian region. The forces that are parties to this competition have backed subversive activities as an effort to intervene in the internal affairs of countries with high potential to stand out, to protect their positions and defeat opponents. The forces that can resist similar destructive activities will take an active place in the new international system. Today, the instability created by separatist movements, which we currently observe as one of the most salient destructive activities, is a tool used by the prevailing hegemonic forces to exclude potential rivals in the race for hegemony.

Keywords: Destructive activities, Eurasia, geopolitics, hegemony struggle, international system.

Abstract

The so-called Arab “Spring” may be considered as the most significant geopolitical event and the largest social mobilization that have shaped Greater Middle Eastern politics in the post-Cold War era. The present article examines how this process turned into an Arab “Winter”, having led to the world’s largest humanitarian crises since World War II. Using a geopolitical-economy framework guided by narrative analysis and incorporated comparison, this article focuses on the countries where the Arab Spring process led to gravest consequences: Syria and Libya. The research aim is to develop a comprehensive and multi-dimensional framework that gives due attention to the dialectics of internal and external factors underlying armed conflicts. I argue that the failure of Syria’s Baathist development project constitutes an important root cause for Syria’s tragic destabilization, since it created a favorable environment for foreign intervention and the exploitation of ethno-religious differences by foreign powers. The same can be said of Libya’s domestic policy failures inscribed in its extractivism, liberalization and nepotism, which are coupled with its cultural and socio-demographic vulnerabilities. As far as the external factors of the Syrian conflict are concerned, the evidence suggests that the transformation of ethno-religious tensions into a proxy war is strongly mediated by the foreign policy imperatives of key countries involved in the Syrian conflict. In both cases, geopolitical factors – including energy and human security, military alliances, and foreign-policy commitments – seem to have served as strong incentives for the emergence and diffusion of conflicts.

Keywords: Arab Spring; human security; international development; international security; political ecology; political economy

Abstract

After July 16, 2016, a turning point in our recent history, Turkey was compelled to turn back to the geopolitics once adopted by Mustafa Kemal. Thus, Turkey changed its route from Atlantic to Eurasia.  This is in fact not an outcome of daily politics, but rather a result of a geopolitical reflex of daily awakening and the urge to survive. Turkish-Russian cooperation should expand from the Levant Coast to the region covering Maghreb Coast as well. Turkish-Chinese rapprochement and, in particular, the development of economic, political and military cooperation between the two countries should be added to this axis of cooperation. Within the framework of the said tripartite cooperation, many creative options can be formulated with regard to the issues of Crimea, Xinqiang Uighur Autonomous Region and the future of the TRNC, within the scope of the future of relations among the three countries.

Abstract

This article focuses on the social and economic effects of a deadly epidemic that abruptly emerged in Wuhan, China and then spread to other regions of China as well as other countries in a short period of time. The “New Corona Virus” (NCV) caused deep worries, not only in China, but also the entire world. The present article addresses the outbreak, the way China responded to the epidemic, and the negligence that may have occurred during this intervention process. Succesful measures taken by the central government and administrative disposals to eliminate negligence are also tackled herein. The article discusses the attitudes adopted by central and local governments throughout the epidemic process and their relations with the public and the outside world as well as the possible socio-economic effects of the epidemic on China. Overall, this Chinese NPC battle can also be considered to be a world anti-epidemic war, and China’s success will bring nothing but security to the entire world. The NCV’s case reveals the extreme importance and urgency of the world’s need to “build a human community with a shared future”.