TE digital: The alternative world order

Each day brings new horrors to Ukraine, where Russian artillery fire echoes like thunder across cities and towns.

The metropolis of Kharkiv lies in ruins, victim of two weeks of bombardment. Mariupol, on the coast, has been destroyed.

It is too soon to know if a winner will emerge from the fighting. But, on the other side of the planet, the world’s emerging superpower is weighing its options.

Some argue that China will build on a pre-war friendship with Russia that knows “no limits”, to create an axis of autocracy. Others counter that America can shame China into breaking with Russia, isolating Vladimir Putin, its president. Our reporting suggests that neither scenario is likely. The deepening of ties with Russia will be guided by cautious self-interest, as China exploits the war in Ukraine to hasten what it sees as America’s inevitable decline.

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Credit: @theeconomist

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