I. Analysis Of Last Thirty Years
II. Geopolitical Scenario, 2008-30
III. Science And Technology, 2008 - 30
IV. The Lot Of Liberalism And Market Economy
V. The New And The Old
VI. Forecast For The Years 2008-30 In Kazakhstan
VII. Special Issue: The Presidential Race Of The Year 2008 In Russia
VIII. Rate Of The Economy Growth In Russia In 2008-10
IX. General Conclusions (2008-30)
X. Russia And Kazakhstan In The 2010s
XI. Outlook Of The Stock Markets, Russia And Kazakhstan, 2008-05
XII. Conclusions, Or How To Look Upon This Prognosis
PROGNOSIS OF THE WORLD DEVELOPMENT
What great events will most probably happen from 2008 till 2030?
It is almost obvious that principal battle for power and global influence, fought for the possibility to translate one’s cultural codes and national strong points into reality, is to be staged between the Atlantic and Pacific civilizations, i.e., between the U.S. and China. By 2015 or 2020 economic potentials of the two will be almost equal. By 2030 the Chinese economy will exceed that of the U.S. by 30 – 35 percent and that of Europe (both Western and Eastern) by 5 – 15 percent. It will be an unaffected and genuine realization of a Soviet dream, that of “catching up with and surpassing” the West. By 2010 China will have already extended its political and (to a certain degree) economic influence on all of the Indo-China, with few exceptions maybe. Its dominance will be strongly felt in Indonesia, which could benefit from Chinese rationalism and turn into a new industrial power. However, there is still a chance that Indonesia is not able to maintain its territorial integrity and splits into several “insular states”.
Confrontation and competition between India and China will be steadily tightening during the 2010s-2030s. Between 2015 and 2030 India will be receiving large amounts of IV feeding from the Atlantists that will help her stand up successfully against China’s influence in the region. I believe that by 2020-2030 we’ll be able to see a new old face of the ancient Indian civilization. Indian capitalism will owe much to China: it’s the “Chinese threat” that will make India develop her own, healthy and fast growing type of capitalism. Economic growth will allow India take a strong grip of the peninsula, and, perhaps, of some neighbor states of the Indo-China too.
By 2030, the levels of economic development and standards of living of China and India will differ strikingly, being approximately 2.5 to 3 times higher in China. By that time China will have left India far behind and be struggling for the world hegemony. India will be isolated within a circle of Chinese allies.
Chinese influence will be felt also in Russia. However, in the second decade of the twenty-first century, the latter will already develop a system of economic barriers to prevent Chinese workers, Chinese money and Chinese influence from leaking into the country from outside. Already by the year 2020 those barriers will not be making any sense, as the number of Chinese living in Russia will then reach several million. The Chinese will be controlling 7 to 10 percent of the economy of Russia. The stand of the Russian government in this issue would be varying in times from moderately pro-Chinese (it’s then that Chinese influence will be strengthening quickly) to aggressively anti-Chinese propaganda (which will, however, end in only a minor decrease of Chinese domination).
This state of things will continue until 2025, when Russia reaches the boundary, after which its foreign policy in Asia depends entirely on China. This dependence will be felt strongly in the Far East and Siberia, less in the Ural region and the Caucasus and only partially - in the Volga region and Central Russia, which will experience strong European influence instead. Such a “difference of potentials” could pose not a trifling threat for Russia’s integrity, ending in the breaking away of Siberia and the Far East or in a new Caucasus war.
Chinese sphere of influence will be expanded further, engulfing Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. This influence will be felt there even stronger than in the Russian Far East or Siberia, making those states a zone controlled directly by China. In that case the enhancing factor will be ethnic and cultural affinity, which exists to a certain degree between those nations and some of the ethnic groups living in China. Economic and political confrontation between Russia and Central Asian states, especially in times of anti-Chinese reaction in Russia in 2010-20, will be only bringing oil to the fire. As a result, all the nations of Central Asia, plus Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran (to a certain degree) and, perhaps, Turkey will finally be wooed into the orbit of Chinese impact and interests.
During the first decade of the twenty-first century the U.S. will be continuing their arrogant imperial policy, which will be greatly to blame for their failure in the East. The feeling that they are the only superpower in the world will make them push too far, coasting through a useless now anti-Russian policy. An enfeebled and “Atlantist”–besieged Russia will make an easy prey for the Chinese in their advance to the West along her southern borders. Sometimes Russia may even support them, confronting the ill-disposed West.
In that period the U.S. will be assuring their hegemony in Europe by opposing Russia and taking advantage of Turkey’s rise, by working up European nations against Germany and trying to undermine Russia in order to strip her of her military potential. They will be manipulating Turkey and Egypt in order to maintain the balance of forces in the Middle East and to control oil trade, at the same time protecting the security of Israel. Beginning from 2010 or 2015, American activities abroad will be mostly anti-Chinese. The U.S. will first look at Russia, India and Turkey as pillars of their new anti-Chinese policy. They will also be making offers to Pakistan and Iran, liberated from its severe Islamist regime. This perestroika will take almost all of the 2010s to be completed, but will never hit its target, as China’s influence will be already bulwark-strong in Central Asia and, possibly, in Pakistan and Iran too. American par for the course allies – India and Russia – will also prove not very willing to pursue the policy dictated by the U.S.
By that time the fast developing Mexico and Brazil will grow into another rivals of the U.S. To limit the US dominance in Latin America, they may even enter into an alliance, while the U.S. will be making their best to destabilize the situation in both countries. Beginning from 2020, as pro-Chinese feelings get stronger in Latin America, the U.S. will begin gradually shifting towards a more reasonable and balanced attitude, in order to keep core Latin American nations within the sphere of their influence.
In the next century the words “Battle of Europe” will be used in a new sense, as well as “battle of South America”. That latter continent, with a civilization resembling that of Southern Europe, will be given special importance.
A new national state likely to unify all the black people may possibly emerge in Africa. The unification may begin from the South or from Central Africa, with South Africa, or Nigeria or Zaire playing the leading role. At the end Africa will make another stage for struggle between China and the U.S., in which Arab nations are also most likely to be involved. But, as for the Arabs, it’s hard to predict which part they will take.
What interest could China be possibly taking in Africa? In 2030 the U.S. and Japan will be still pursuing the «diplomacy of deterrence» in the case of China. It is highly improbable that Japan would ever revoke its alliance with the U.S., except if some most unpredictable things happen. E.g., a pro-Chinese dictator could seize power on the tide of an economic crisis in Japan, or China and Japan could come to an impossible arrangement for dividing their spheres of influence in the Russian Far East, etc. That’s why China will have almost no chance to extend its influence beyond Philippines and Indonesia. It will have to go north and west, instead of going south and east. The north means, quite obviously, Siberia and Russia. However, involvement there, whatever poor the region be, could result in a war (even a nuclear one) with allied European nations. Thus only way left for China will lead through Central Asia, Pakistan, Iran, Arab countries and Turkey into Southern Europe. In this way India could be completely isolated, the Muslim world successfully controlled and the global hegemony just at hand. Moreover, in that case processes going on in Xinjiang could be working on China’s “friendship” with Muslim countries.
I don’t mean here anything like a military expansion, similar to that of Germany of 1930s and 1940s. The nuclear age has made such schemes by far too dangerous. So, the twenty-first century Chinese expansion has to be performed by economic or political means. Probably, it will be first carefully prepared by diplomats and secret agents, then followed with migrations and backed by the Chinese underground (“Chinese triads”) or by local separatist movements, or enforced by threats, or camouflaged for peace-keeping operations in times of Chinese-inspired local conflicts, etc. All those methods are sure to be even more popular in the twenty-first century, than they were in our times.
Still, what interest could China possibly be taking in Africa in the nearest future? Even strong China of the 2020s and 2030s doesn’t seem very likely to take any. The nations the most embroiled in African affairs will obviously be the U.S. and Europe. That’s why an all-African movement for unification will certainly be anti-American and anti-European - take only remembrances of colonial period or the centuries-long history of slavery. China will need the conflict to sap the “Atlantists”’ forces. She will take measures for the “Black Continent’s black revolution” to win.
Arab nations are not likely to be interested in this new civilization, culturally different from their own, when it appears in their closest neighborhood. That’s why black Muslims of Sudan, Madagascar, etc. will probably oppose the idea of an “African Empire”. However, Arabs have never been able to unite whatever happened during their history, so their hostility towards the new African union would hardly make any difference.
By 2020 or 2030, a new ideology will be created, to explain why the Black Continent, rich in mineral resources and all, has been suffering so much humiliation and poverty during its history. This ideology, developed in the U.S., Brazil, or Africa, will certainly be anti-American and, perhaps, anti-European. In short, the 2020s will bring not minor difficulties in Africa to the “Atlantists”, while China will be making treaties with its new allies at the same time.
As for Europe, the 2010s will be filled with attempts at real unification. Actually, by that time Germans will begin feeling more Teutonic than ever, Frenchmen will grow to be ultra-French, and the British will realize that Britain is above all. Despite nationalist sentiments, consolidating trends will grow stronger and making more for Europe’s economic unification than at the beginning of the century. It’s only by the end of the decade that financial resources in different European states will finally merge into a pan-European capital. The euro will gain a firm foothold only by the end of the decade, after getting through a long hard period. Europe will undergo a new period of rapid development, expanding its economic influence eastwards and southwards – to Russia, Arab countries and Africa. A period of conflicts between national governments will follow, with small anti-unification, anti-German, anti-French, anti-Muslim, anti-Slav parties popping up everywhere. Those parties will make perfect ground for all sorts of maneuvering by the U.S. (in the 2008s) and China (between 2010 and 2020), which will be aiming to shatter the European Union.
It’s only in the 2020s and 2030s that United Europe will finally reap the harvest of unification, absorbing Eastern Europe, including Belarus and Ukraine, Turkey and, perhaps, northern Africa into the orbit of her economy. Some of those nations will enter the European Union as full-fledged members. As for Russia, from 2020 on she will also be driven into the sphere of European influence. However, European nations will be looking down on her, making her play a part of a mere buffer between Europe and China. Their policy will spur processes of disintegration in Russia, making her split into a European (this side of Ural Mountains) and an Asian part. Still seen as a rival by France and Germany and as a threat by East European nations, Russia will be finally allowed to drift towards China and will eventually make a part of China’s sphere of interest.
Despite the changes occurring in the world politics, many among the European policymakers are almost sure to maintain their narrow-minded and provincial attitude in the coming century. It is the reason why they will always be afraid of a strong Russia, whether enemy or friend of China, preferring her to be small and deeply entangled in the recovering her own territories from the Chinese. It’s only much later than in the U.S., that the Chinese threat will be felt in Europe. By that time attitude towards it will change, giving place to serious concern, especially if China manages to have already torn Turkey away from the European Union, and activated the “Africa factor” by that time.
It’s only by the end of the 2030s that United Europe will be able to see the world how it is seen with China’s – one of the world’s greatest powers - eyes. Only then China’s hegemony will become evident for everybody. It will be also the time, when Arab nations are first brought within the Chinese orbit. Only then Europe will feel that Russia should declare her joining the European Union as quickly as possible.
As for the Arabs, which have been “renters of the whole world” between 1975 and 2008, they will still be prospering in 2010. However, by that time they will have fallen far behind the rest of the world in technical progress and headhunting. By the end of the 2010s, those nations will have also felt the perils of China’s pushing westwards. In addition, by that time scientific revolution and ecological movement will have made mere possession of oil resources less important than high technologies or developed economy. During 2010-2015 the danger for Arabs will be growing, as China extends her influence and purchases ever increasing amounts of crude oil and industrial goods in the Middle East. With Chinese goods sold in great quantities to the Arab countries, Chinese labor force migration, together with Arab investments in China, will do the rest. In short time China will be already backing separatist and opposition movements in Arab countries, forcing them to let her military forces carry on “peace-keeping” operations during armed conflicts she will herself be igniting. Thus, in no time, all the Arab nations, one after another, will be skillfully turned into Chinese protectorates.
Chinese policies will be the main source of instability in Arab and other Muslim countries between 2010 and 2030. China will be skillfully using every trifle contradiction between them to worsen economic woes of the 2010s, caused by the steady loss of oil revenues. One of maneuvers could be charging the West with using price-rigging tactics in oil business. Several Arab regimes will fall as a result of civil disorders, their elites, perverted by the Western-style luxury, immigrating to Europe. Needless to say, they’ll take all their money along. New pro-Chinese governments of those countries, supported by Russia, will try to get the money back, but fail.
The things will then go from bad to worse. A part of the Muslim world being already included in the Chinese sphere of interest, only Iran and some other regimes will retain their independence. However, deep misgivings about the future, as well as common sense in politics, will make them recognize China’s hegemony. The West tortured with contradictions between the U.S. and Europe, the U.S. and Russia, Russia and Europe, and so on will have to take an ambiguous stand.
From all the nations of Europe and Middle East, it’s only Turkey, Jordan, Israel and Egypt that will prove able to confront the expansion. Instability in the Arab world will call forth a strong national and religious movement aiming at all-Arab consolidation on the grounds of Islamic fundamentalism, Asian solidarity and anti-Atlantic feelings. Egypt and Turkey, both economically independent and integrated into global economic system, will remain immune to it. So will do Iran that has been “vaccinated” in the twentieth century. However, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, and United Arab Emirates, maybe together with Sudan, Algeria, and Libya, will unite to proclaim a new United Arab Republic - a furiously anti-American union. It may happen by 2025. This China-supported UAR, as its first large-scale military and ideological action, will probably attack Israel, triggering war with the U.S. and Europe. In this war Russia (Europe’s prodigal daughter that finally has come back by that time), Turkey, Egypt, and possibly Iran will join the anti-Arab/anti-Chinese coalition. The uneven contest will end in prompt restoration of independence of Israel, moderate regimes coming to power in Algeria and Libya. The belligerent and hostile towards the Atlantists ally of China will entrench in the very heart of the region, controlling oil routes of worldwide importance and being an incessant threat for Europe, India and moderate Arab governments.
After the war, relations between China and Russia will take a turn for the worse, giving China a pretext to meddle in the Far Eastern and Siberian affairs. It could be also a chance for China to poke her nose into Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. This period of Chinese expansion will not end in a war, resulting in a mere several years worsening of trade relations between China and Russia.
The course of global development between 2008 and 2030 will make the world bipolar again. Without bringing things to a real war, China would be doing all the best to destabilize the situation, while sounding strong points of the enemy and establishing her hegemony in Asia and (from 2020 on) in the whole world. Between 2008 and 2020 Europe will be implementing her new pro-American policy, trying to expand east- and southwards at the same time. Until 2025 there will be no chance of strong feelings of a pan-European unity emerging, which would allow Europe to dominate in the economy of the U.S. and Latin America. And during the 2020s Europe will finally grow into the world’s third center of power, able to demand the hegemony in Eurasia from China.
At that time Russia will see through a period of zigzagging between China and Europe, finally choosing Europe. But she will never really enter Europe, feeling herself rather like a bridge closing the gap between the West and China. Having made her choice, Russia will bitterly miss economic relationship with her southern neighbors, which will be torn away from her by the general instability in the south.
In the Americas it’s Brazil that will make a new local center of power and challenge the U.S. domination. Local contenders for the nomination of superpower will also surge in Africa and the Middle East. In Asia, incessant Chinese threat will give India an impulse to develop, making her ready to claim regional hegemony from the Chinese by 2030.
As a result of those processes, by 2030 two stable zones of influence will have formed: the Americano-European one, which will include Europe and North America, Russia, Australia, India, Turkey, Japan and a part of Africa; and the Chinese zone, comprising China, Indo-China, Indonesia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia, several Caucasian states, and the new Arab state (formed by united Iraq, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and a large, yet unknown state in Africa).
The year 2030 will divide the world in accordance with the interest in globalization and the stand on human and capital migration. In both centers of power main resources will be concentrated in the core state, so that the “psychology of a plunderer” will not play any role in their relations with satellite nations. The fear of a nuclear war will limit the means of re-dividing the world to several local wars in Africa and the Middle East. Large-scale armed conflicts in Central Asia or in places, where interests of China and India collide (e.g., in Bangladesh), are not likely, and a military confrontation in Latin America, between the U.S. and Brazil, is even less probable.
Let’s take a look at major projected scientific and industrial achievements of the next century. Among what has been happening in this sphere between 1970 and 1999, the first place belongs to the “resource-saving” revolution, which allowed reducing energy and resources consumption 1.7 to 2 times in developed countries. The era of the Internet, which began in 1995, followed that of personal computers (1975-1999). In the 1960s it was engineering, chemistry, electronics and automobile industries that were basics for any economic superpower. Nowadays it’s IT, biotechnology and telecommunications that matter. The management revolution got rid of cumbersome hierarchical schemes, to replace them with flexible market economy structures.
What trends would be characteristic of the years between 2008 and 2030? Are there new great inventions to be expected, such as thermonuclear power plants, or mass production of environment-friendly high technology cars, or self-teaching robots, or cure for AIDS, and so on?
Scientific revolution of the past twenty years contributed greatly to the democratization of the society. Home videos did more to tear off the Iron Curtain than the Golos Ameriki (lit. America’s Voice, a radio station broadcasting anti-Soviet propaganda, which was very popular with East European dissidents in the 1970s and 1980s) ever did. Personal computers allowed small businesses to tap information resources, which earlier had been accessible only to major companies. The mass-produced, low-priced “economy car” expanded independence and mobility of individuals. Adaptive management won over hierarchical structures, making the market economy prevail over the administrating style.
Some 100 years earlier, due to the invention of railroads, which allowed centralized administrating, importance of the state in social life increased. The invention of radio and TV made governments play key role in forming public opinion and distributing information. The era of central water supply and public utilities made the population even more dependent on the state. The latest epoch-making discovery – the Internet – makes citizens of the “global village” of information independent of the state’s information monopoly. However, due to the Internet everybody on Earth gets into a new dependence, that of knowledge of English, which is now an impelling need everywhere in the world.
The inventions made between 2008 and 2030 may lead to further centralization of the world or, on the contrary, make societies more personalized. Colossal costs that will be needed to accomplish them will probably make nations unite. At the same time, re-division of the world into spheres of influence may easily launch a new arms race and make security services ultra-important.
In this world of the future, the Internet’s communicating role, in all likelihood, will become so important that even a trifling error may cause a catastrophe. This could be used as a pretext for national governments to take control of all Internet-dependent technologies. Ultra-expensive, super-powerful and possibly dangerous thermonuclear power plants will also require state investments, and later state control. In such a way innovations are likely to lead to actual restraint of liberties and cause increased pressure of the state machine on individuals, along with the fact that global financial and stock trade instability would probably also require effective means of governmental regulation. The amount of investments needed to implement necessary projects will sometimes reach figures that are out-of-bounds for either privately owned companies (industrial groups) or for national governments. Thus the role played by the two super-powers will be made exceedingly important.
As for the superpowers, between 2010 and 2030 the “Atlantist” bloc will be ahead of the “Chinese” one in capital-intensive industries, such as space flights, national SOI-type TMD systems, use of thermonuclear energy for peaceful purposes, development of weapons of new generation, etc. However, Chinese intelligence services will be able to make up lost ground in short terms, making use of “triads”, personalization and the Internet to spy out commercial and military information. The Chinese authoritarian system of state will be strengthened during this new arms and technologies’ race, shifting during 2008-2020 towards its old dominating policy. After that time, the China of 2020s will grow to be, quite the contrary, a multiparty, moderately nationalist, liberal democracy, with developed local government, while its modernized version of communist ideology will give way to new ideas.
From the year 2020 on, the global need for transnational organizations, which would be responsible of environmental, nuclear and information control, will constantly be growing. At the same time, superpowers will need new mechanisms to maintain their influence and stabilize the world. At this stage an international organization of a new kind must appear; it could be the reanimation of the UN, which have lost all their influence by 2008. The process of reanimating the UN will begin between 2015 and 2025, their importance rapidly increasing after 2025, when new blocs of countries will have already formed. Somewhere near 2050 or 2060 first mentions of a “global government” will be heard. However, the balance of powers in the world will remain unstable because of high level of confrontation between India, on one side, and China, Bangladesh and Pakistan, on the other. Instability zones will remain in Africa and the Middle East, as well as in Siberia and the Far East, where China will be competing with Russia for influence. In the “Atlantist” bloc, roles may be reversed too, because Europe, which will have taken in Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and North Africa, will pretend it’s her turn to play the Big Brother.
By 2030, China may have already stopped her expansion, realizing that it’s her claims to be a superpower that are the chief reason of the “Atlantists”’ being so obstinate. After the pressure is diminished, the latent contradictions between the U.S. and Europe will start working their way out. It will take some 10 or 20 years for an open confrontation to begin. In the contest for leadership in the alliance, the U.S. will have better chances, for national autonomies, which will be still existing, and their conflicts will be undermining Europe’s entity.
By that time the Chinese will be making about 2 percent of the U.S. population. Their influence in North America will rise rapidly after 2025, when China adopts a more peaceful stand in her foreign relations. One must remember that democracy of the American style is only arrogant towards those nations, whose ethnic minorities in the U.S. are weak or silent. Quite the contrary, it is influenced greatly by active communities, such as Jews, Italians, or Armenians. Until 2025, the Chinese will be subject to various kinds of discrimination in the U.S. However, after the relations between two countries are normalized, they will resume their political activity and gain the lost ground in incredibly short terms, making use of everything, beginning from money and subterranean diplomacy to the elections and transpacific trade.
By 2010 or 2020, the “great friendship” between China and Russia will have already breathed its last gasp. Hordes of the Chinese will be swarming across the Russian border, after people riots shake several Chinese provinces. The U.S. and Russia will receive about one million refugees each. Europe will give shelter to 500 thousand. However, by 2020, the authoritarian Chinese regime will have expelled another 5 million of its citizens out of China. This time, 90 percent of expats will settle down in Southeast Asia, in order to go back to China in a few years. Their forced expulsion from the homeland will in reality turn out to have been a Trojan horse, meaning a mere migration and “occupying” new territories.
At first democratic governments will be suspecting nothing of those cynical deeds. They will, willy-nilly, take in the first wave of refugees. However, the second one will be met with a different welcome, while in China a storm of public indignation over cruel treatment of fellow-countrymen will overthrow the regime, giving place to a new policy of pragmatism. New Chinese elite will be quite satisfied with China’s place in the world. The slogan of “Eurasian hegemony through stable development” will become a general feeling. Within the plans of the Chinese government, both Americas will be “conceded” to the U.S., while Africa should be given to the black race. By 2030, the ruling elite of China will be in sum quite ready for an alliance with the USA.
By 2010, scientists will have already invented cures for cancer and heart diseases, as well as means to prolong human life. New ecological standards will be also contributing to the prolongation of life. As a result, by 2010, 50 percent of Western industries will be working to meet exquisite individual requirements, rather than to satisfy essential needs of people or provide for economic security of their countries. Living in the West will become more than ever attractive for people everywhere in the world. It will make China double her efforts in the fields of the military, energy and engineering, for a sound reason that the West could be beaten out only due to those non-humanitarian basic industries (the USSR had been already using similar tactics in the twentieth century).
It’s in the 2008s that China will be multiplying her war potential at the quickest pace, purchasing military technologies from Russia. The military spending of the Western nations will run low at that time. That’s why they will need 10 years, and a series of effective campaigns of the Chinese army in North Korea and Philippines, plus intelligence data of China’s developing national BMD and “star wars” systems, to realize that the West’s technical advantage could be lost in the next 10 or 15 years. This fact will call forth a real hysteria in Europe and Japan, making them swell their military budgets 60 to 80 percent up (in real terms) during the 2010s.
The Western attitude towards Russia will also change in spite of Western nations being induced to encourage isolation of Russia by the inertia of old “Russian Threat” myth. Japan, who has been the most ardent follower of the principle of deterrence being applied to Russia (in order to get Kamchatka and Sakhalin from her), will also renounce anti-Russian policy. In Russia herself, fundamental changes will be going on slowly during all of the 2010s, resulting in the end of anti-Americanism and readiness for an alliance.
After first thermonuclear power plants are built between 2010 and 2020, a new stage of technological competition will begin. Western allies, as well as China, will eventually develop their own nuclear umbrellas and create lunar beam complexes and distant space stations. The industries of the countries of the West will be regimented in favor of key branches. Increased taxation will help finally deploy the BMD over North America, Japan, Australia and Europe by 2020. By that time China will also finish “inventorying” her own missile defense capabilities and be learning how to make holes in her neighbors’ nuclear umbrellas. So when the West, embroiled in another Middle East war, will imply that China might be made target to a nuclear strike, the Chinese will in return reveal their own capacity to dismantle Western BMD systems. The allusions to submarine nuclear mines off the North American coast, as well as other little presents from the Chinese scattered all over North America, will make the U.S. government easier to bargain, with American security services hysterically searching for the mines and actually finding some 50 km off New York.
The “ecology drive” of the 2020s will be playing a much more important role in the society than the arms race fifty years earlier. The explosive growth in the 2010s, when environment-damaging technologies prevail, and the armaments race in the 2020s, when morale imperatives pale into insignificance compared with the needs of military rush, will make the danger of global warming imminent and requiring efforts of both the world superpowers to fight. Both China and the U.S. will unite in implementing environmental-friendly projects. Catastrophic volcanic explosions will only add to already high dust and smoke content in the atmosphere. As a result, existing models of environmental-friendly cars, which have been too slow to gain foothold in the market, will be finally given large tax and tariff privileges. Pollution control will become the primary concern for the world community. The governments of the U.S., Europe, China, Russia, India, Mexico, Brazil, and another 30 countries will finance an unprecedented $1bn joint anti-pollution and ozone layer regeneration program.
By 2025 or 2030, most of the core nations will introduce special ecology taxes to finance a united global ecological foundation, specially established for this purpose. Thus a trend will be set for creating large international purpose foundations, e.g., a foundation for building the first thermonuclear power plant (with 50 national governments, and private investors from more than 100 countries taking part), or “anti-meteorite” foundation, or “antiviral/anti-protein” one, etc. The latter will remind of a wave of epidemic diseases, caused by viral and protein mutations, which will take lives of hundreds of thousands people in the 2020s. The epidemics will make for a sharp turnabout in financing medical research. As a result, by 2035 computer systems will be developed, able to detect and kill specific viruses within the human organism. In addition, for the first time artificial computer-controlled organs (heart, liver, kidney, etc) will be created, which will perfectly substitute natural ones.
As a result of the world’s technological development, of the economic competition between core nations and their concerted efforts in solving ecological problems, global cooperation will live through the strain of years 2008-2025 and get stronger. By the end of the 2030s this cooperation will have gained enough momentum to make a prototype of a global government and global elite and, moreover, to be looked at as such in America, Europe, Russia, even in China.
The personalization will be growing stronger both in Russia and in the West as the level of education and individual independence grows. The development of services industry and rise in the number of small businesses will spare businessmen the trouble of keeping accounts, maintaining marketing and sales departments of their own, and so on. It will allow them to concentrate on the sphere they are expert in, making specialization of labor and smoothly working market a dominant model of capitalism. This type of capitalism has formed in the U.S. between the 1980s and 2010s and in Europe somewhat later. Actually, this scheme is not devoid of risks, such as monotechnics and the “blind” market. However, the second tier of this structure, that of “brain pools” and headquarters of large corporations, balances the whole, by carrying out long-term projects neutralizing the evils of specialization.
In fact, by 2010, the U.S. will have grown to be a single integrated corporation nation-wide, whose functioning is maintained by economic or political, rather than administrative, mechanisms. Europe will develop into such kind of a corporation by 2025. However, the European model will be more complex and collectivist, as well as more state-oriented and ready to compromise with national governments. By 2030, core branches of European industry will be divided between different countries and different regions inside them. The center of automobile industry will move to Germany, while aircraft and computer industries’ – to France. Shipbuilding will be centered in Spain, machine-tool industry - in Switzerland, and tractor-producing factories – in Italy. Pharmaceutical industry will be developing mainly in Switzerland, Germany and Sweden, while ferrous metallurgy and cement industry – in Ukraine. Even emerging economies, such as Moldavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, or Macedonia, will play their part in the United Europe’s symphony by supplying food and commodities to their First World neighbors. By 2030, developers from Turkey will monopolize the construction market of Europe, and German and Hungarian engineering companies will be setting standards of competitiveness for the rest of the continent.
Trade regulation in the Europe of the 2020s will be more complex than in the U.S. and the markets – almost as perfect. London, left beyond the boundaries of the United Europe, will become financial and stock-trading center of Europe, with total volume of corporate issues sales 4 times that of Frankfurt, skimming the cream off the corporations’ trend to transfer money abroad for safety, the same way as Switzerland will have made itself the third in range financial center of Europe. France will feel bitterly its being forced out of the European financial community, in spite of compensation coming in form of leadership in pan-European aircraft, space and tourist industries, and in form of the independent nuclear power status.
Personalization will not win everywhere in the world. In particular, Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam and Thailand will develop complex hierarchical collectivist systems instead, with personal and group interests ingeniously harmonized inside of them. In such a way, large and medium-sized companies or groups of companies will be competing within the limits of concerted interests. Sure, competition in itself will never make a locomotive of the economy here, but the tradition to coordinate individual and group interests, rooted in specifically “Oriental”, communal and economy-centered psychology, will in return prove super-efficient and beyond the understanding of individualist-thinking Europeans and Americans.
Immense role that politics play in the economic behavior of Eastern nations and those nations’ cooperation-oriented way of thinking will help them adapt to democratic values. After the fever of the 2010s and 2020s is behind, strong democratic regimes will be established there. Imperfect, almost feudal markets of those countries, with their large “companies-states” fostering self-devotion and dependence spirit in their employees, and with industrial giants strictly controlling their suppliers and distributors will be forming a special kind of economic system - an impenetrable from outside, but quickly expanding one.
This system will give Eastern “young tigers” advantage over Western nations, at the same time making them strictly dependent on personal characteristics of their ruling elites and on the principles of their selection. China, which will have almost reached a 2 milliard population by 2030 (exactly 1.75 milliard), will suffer from uneven development of different regions and from resulting non-uniformity of their elite. The most serious conflict between the elites of developing and advanced regions of China will be settled before 2010. However, by 2030, new conflicting groups will have emerged, dividing into the West-, South-, or East-oriented expansionists, on the one hand, and the anti-expansionists wishing to concentrate on the interior problems and advocating gradual integration into the world community, on the other.
As a result of peaceful development between 2008 and 2030, core values of the liberal democracy will dominate everywhere in the world. However, it’s only in the Americas, Europe, Russia, India, Turkey and North Africa that they will lay real foundation for political life. In China, Korea and most other East Asian countries, liberal values will only make the form, rather than the substance, for social relationship of hierarchy and cooperation. While members of the “Atlantist” elites could illustrate the principle of “the survival of the fittest”, those of the “Pacific” nations will be rising from obscurity due to complicated schemes and controversies in the inner circles. Those schemes and intrigues will be responsible for both personalities of the elites and the policies they will be adopting.
The parallel existence of different centers of influence in the society will allow Eastern governments to be shifting quickly from democracy to authoritarian rule under a “national idea” and vice versa. Thence a certain degree of pliability in politics and even famous Chinese “cunning”, as well as danger of psychedelic ideas and psychotic people getting into power. However, the coming of more quiet times and advantages flowing from good education received by the members of ruling elites will guarantee Eastern societies against sharp changes in policy or rapid successions of governments.
For all the above reasons, a “universal triumph” of a Western type liberal democracy will be limited between 2008 and 2020 to Europe, Russia and both Americas. In Africa and Asia two extremist regimes will come to power, while democracies of the Far East will remain such only by name. In fact, democracy there will be just another form of eastern ceremonies, an appearance of worshipping scary Western deities. In future, this state of things may lead to international conflicts breaking out “suddenly” and till the end of the century be making one of the greatest obstacles for unification of the world under a global government.
Now it’s time to compare processes that will go on during next thirty years with those that have been developing between 1970 and 1999. The main distinctive feature of the past three decades has been confrontation between the USSR and the United States. In next thirty years the world will probably see through a new series of confrontations. Still, what will be making the difference?
During all of its Soviet-time history, the USSR has been an empire. As such, it had to suffer permanent instability, being forced by the way of things to repress entire ethnic groups. The Soviet economic system has been imperfect, and this left the Soviet Union no choice but geographical expansion. It’s only in moving outwards and expanding that it could be at peace with itself. The perestroika led to a catastrophe – the tempo of expansion was slowing down until the empire finally moldered away.
The United States and China have been neither empires, nor federations. American economic system has always been stable enough and developing in accordance with natural laws. The Chinese one is still on its way to self-regulation. If Radical Lefts in China rise to power again (by an unlucky train of events) between 2008 and 2010, it could make grim and miserable the fate of many nations besides the Chinese. The imminent communist revanche would mean repeated socialization of industries, partial mancipation of peasants, total ban on stock exchange operations, closing of the free trade areas, tightening the ideological control, and so on. However, this turn of events is not very likely. On the contrary, communist ideas, debased into innocuous formulas during the twentieth century, are sure to lose their savor entirely as reforms in the public sector triumph, and be changed into dreams of an empire. Worldwide, autonomous metropolises will evolve into a stable bipolar system by 2030. This system will be both dividing and uniting the world, and, in all likelihood, will mark a start of a new long peaceful period in history.
What could be the place of Kazakhstan in the above confrontation?
Until the present day it’s Russia that has been believed to pose the principal threat for Kazakhstan’s independence. I mean, of course, not that “democratic” and weak, USA-influenced Russia of nowadays, but rather a Russia of the nearest future, in case she wins back the battle for her own consolidation. If this happens, Russia could unite all of the ex-USSR space and change it into an empire already at the beginning of the twenty-first century (perhaps, shortly after the presidential elections of the year 2008).
Could Russia become a really serious threat for Kazakhstan’s independence? Between 2008 and 2010, she will be offered the “friendship” of China and have to accept it, weakened as she will be by ruinous policy of her another “friends” from the USA. The China of the 2008s will be concentrating not just on the reform of her inefficient state policy, but also on “conquering” Indo-China, Indonesia and Philippines. As a result, her relations with India and the United States will grow naturally colder, tempting the moderately anti-American regime in Russia turn to the Chinese for support against the U.S. This alliance, if formed, could relieve Kazakhstan’s anxiety, for, even if Russia still remembers her imperial past, the new ally wouldn’t let her start translating those ambitions into reality.
In the 2010s, the breaking of the friendship with China will heighten the insecurity in Russia. Now even her territorial integrity could be in danger, if it were not for China herself that will choose that very moment to openly confront India, making the terrified West promptly revise its Russian policy. In the West, it will be considered sensible to help Russia, instead of debilitating her economy and sacking her industrial resources (she has been using for cooperation with China) once and for all. Now the West will look at Russia as its new ally, a “firing line” in an undeclared war with the Chinese. By that time Russia will also be quite ready to accept Western help, at the expense of her “friendship” with China. From that moment, she will be gradually alienating from her southern neighbor.
By 2010, the sphere of Chinese vital interests will be including the Far East, Siberia and even the Ural region, as well as Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Kazakhstan may easily become a zone of dispute. However, by that time it will be ready to side with China, all the while pretending to be neutral. China will be moving through to Central Asia, in order to expand into the Middle East and the Caucasus afterwards, making Russia behave herself in view of Chinese presence in some 1000 km from Moscow.
By 2010, Kazakhstan will be already linked to China by hundreds of strong economic ties, such as heavy investing or joint economic programs. Till 2020, this close cooperation will be only helping Kazakhstan accelerate its economic reform. During that decade 70 percent of the value of raw materials and metals produced in Kazakhstan will be siphoned off into China. By 2020, the number of the Chinese working in Kazakhstan will increase from 300,000 to 700,000, in spite of strict immigration laws preventing them from settling for good. The Chinese in Kazakhstan will be employed mainly in the roadwork and industry, gradually forcing local ethnic Germans and Slavs out. The law will restrict their activities in trade and finances; however, by 2020, they will be already dominating in this field. China will also insist on deploying her military bases in Kazakhstan, but the government, supported by the U.S., will stand up to the pressure.
By 2030, Kazakhstan will have already realized that its position between two superpowers allows him to strengthen its sovereignty, but threatens its economic and diplomatic independence. It will try to improve the matter by swinging back to Russia’s alliance and opening the doors for European capital. These measures will encounter strong Chinese opposition. As a result, Kazakhstan will have to choose between splitting up into two parts – the North and the South – or going back to pro-Chinese policy.
The government will be wise enough to choose the second. Some years later, it will successfully use the help of Russia, Turkey and “Atlantist” nations to make China loosen its grip. After 2028, several multinational treaties will be signed, fixing alliances and stabilizing relations between China, on one part, and Russia, the U.S. and Europe, on the another. New political environment will call forth a constantly increasing flow of loads, people and information across the territory of Kazakhstan. This kind of a revived “Great Silk Road” will be bringing more income and investments into Kazakhstan by 2035 than all the oil-, gas- and ore-extracting industries put together.
However, conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, as well as a dispute over Siberia and the Far East, may intensify tensions between Europe (including Russia) and China to the degree, when a war inspired by the Chinese breaks out in Central Asia. All the neighboring nations - Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and probably, China and Russia – may be driven into this conflict, the war menacing both independence and integrity of Kazakhstan. However, it was made clear from the previous chapter that a war at this stage could only play at China’s disadvantage. That’s why I don’t think the possibility of what I described above is very high.
At any rate, if Kazakhstan manages not to get itself enmeshed into a civil or military conflict between 2008 and 2030, it may easily become an advanced Asian-European nation by 2030, contrasting with the Eurasian character of Russia. Kazakhstan will fully reap benefits from its geopolitical and geographical setting, its per capita GDP $9,000 – 10,000 (in terms of 1999) matching those of Russia and China. By 2030, it will get out of Russia’s hand and within the reach of China, deliberately agreeing to be dependent from the latter. Afterwards, it will never use any possibility to win back its status of a neutral nation, or counterbalance China’s grip with an equally strong influence of Russia, the U.S., Japan, or Europe. It will not benefit from tensions between Russia and China during the 2010s, liking better dependence from China than latent “Russian threat”. Anything that comes from China will become a vogue in Kazakhstan, a kind of second ideology for the Kazakh elite. In return, China will put high stakes on ideological alliance with the Muslim world and Turkic nations against the “Atlantists”.
However, already in the 2020s Kazakhstan will feel bitterly the restraints coming from so profitable a cooperation with China, and try to improve its relations with quickly europeanizing Russia. It will succeed only in part, being by that time too important a part of the China’s sphere of interest to be let go easily. Russia, for the sake of her eastern boundaries’ security, would rather not confront China in this matter. Therefore, it’s only the policy carried on by the Kazakhstan’s government in the 2020s that will be braking the growth of Chinese influence in the region and strengthening positions of the West.
Between 2008 and 2020, democracy in Kazakhstan will evolve into an authoritarian regime that will limit the role of parliament to giving advisory opinions. At the same time the judiciary will be necessary strengthened and made quite efficient due to further evolution of capitalism, between 2010 and 2020. In another ten years a “breakthrough in democracy” will revive the parliament and political parties.
In the next century the ethnic composition of Kazakhstan’s society will be changing, the percentage of ethnic Kazakhs rising from 50 to 67 percent. Legal Chinese immigrants will make about 4 percent of the population. Between 2020 and 2030 Kazakhstan will find its unique own as an urbanized country, with inimitable architectural style, excellent roads, beautiful leisure zones famous through neighboring countries and especially popular with the Russian and Chinese, with strong offshore businesses and so on. Astana, the capital, will develop at a speedy pace, turning finally into a multilingual, modern, splendid Babylon with the population reaching one million people.
Do you wonder who is the most probable winner of the 2008 elections? I do. Yeltsin? Or Ziuganov? Yavlinsky? Lebed? Maybe Luzhkov? Or Zhyrinovsky? Or somebody else? It makes no sense trying to guess the name, for one should rather think what ideology has the best chances to win. Will it be the communists, or the center-lefts? Or maybe the center-rights, or even a purely right-wing party?
The so-called “Communists” in the Russia of nowadays have not much to do with the communism in the former meaning of this word. They are rather a populist party that tries to look and sound statesman-like. Their coming to power would trigger violent actions, and, as a result, quick shift to the right-wing policies. In foreign affairs they will give preference to China. At home, they will favor engineering, defense industry and natural monopolies, confront the caste of governors and win over them between 2009 and 2011.
The center-left politicians (Luzhkov) in Russia are mainly officials, with statesmanlike cast of mind, standing for state capitalism, mostly able administrators, or directors of large public enterprises (in contrast to the Communists - a banded together cast of old CPSU cadres, ideologists and demagogues). Their electorate embraces the middle age population (while the pro-Communist one – that of retirees), and their coming to power is unlikely to be as violent and full with collisions, as the Communists’ will probably be. They will quietly put both governors and bankers in their proper places, all the time left being busy strengthening their power, until it becomes perfectly authoritarian. In foreign policy they will be backing China, but without so much strident anti-Americanism, as the Communists. Strangely enough, they may be far more radical in their pro-Chinese policy than Communists ever could imagine themselves being. During their cooperation with China they will be mainly lobbying for the interests of large defense and engineering companies striving to make Chinese markets open for their goods.
As for the center-rights, they will probably develop a rigid and authoritarian vertical power relationship, restraining the oligarchy and governors’ influence. In foreign affairs they will not be half as willing to make friends with the East. However, with Europe and the U.S. never dropping out their policy of undermining Russia’s economy and military, and China “holding out the hand of comradeship”, they will have to agree. Under their rule, the state share in heavy industries will increase, as it would under the center-lefts. The only difference will lie within total privatization of all the medium and small-sized companies, trade and non-manufacturing businesses, which will be implemented under the center-rights. The center-lefts would resort to partial re-nationalization instead, or leave things as they are, opening a large stage for bribe-extortion or payola to the authorities.
In case of the center-rights rising to power, there will be more justice and less arbitrariness, than under the center-lefts. The rightists will declare war on organized crime, while the center-lefts will be themselves too much integrated into the underworld to do something more than episodic surgical strikes. The leftists will try to find their power base among workers or minor government officials, while the center-rights will be working mainly with the lower middle class and the authorities. In point of ethnic autonomies in Russia, the center-lefts will adopt a cautious and tolerating approach, while the center-rights will be openly hostile. This hostility will become manifested after the consolidation of their power, between 2008 and 2011, and afterwards may lead to open ethnic conflicts in the regions of the Volga and the Caucasus.
The Right (“Yabloko”) will have long odds against them in the 2008 elections. However, if a centrist politician is elected president, he or she may actually swing to the right shortly afterwards. The Rights will stand for more capitalism and less government, for a stable legal environment, which should be protecting property, market economy, medium and small-sized businesses, for moderately protectionist policy by means of tax and tariff regulations, for progressive cutbacks in the government machine, and for the ruble being supported by the State Bank interventions. However, the Russian currency must be kept low enough to make Russian engineering goods still competitive in the Third World. It’s the Rights that may be able to talk the West into relaxing its anti-Russian policy in 2009-03. They will never fully succeed in this, and readily accept the Chinese friendship in the meanwhile. Under their rule Russia will make strategic partners with most of the European and developing nations besides China.
In domestic issues, the governors’ opposition, together with big businesses or national governments of the autonomies, will confront the Rights, trying to counter them with a populist ideology. Because of the Rights’ point of being “doers, not talkers” and a stress put on fair play against the interests of influential groups, they will be much exposed to criticism and prejudice. It’s the attacks that will ultimately make them relax the policy of reforms and correct their views to please the centrists. Strangely enough, an actual right-wing policy carried on in the years 2008-02 may result in reaction and strong anti-Western tendencies within the Right themselves.
On the whole, regardless of which party comes to power in 2008, the most probable course of events will be as follows:
By 2010, Russia will have finally adapted herself to the capitalism, which had come there twenty years earlier. In 2010, many industries and companies, which have undergone extreme hardships to keep their heads above water during the 1990s, will be prospering again. After the havoc of the 1990s, the old will be gradually merging with the new during all of the 2008s. The key issue of the decade will be territorial integrity of Russia. The central authorities will succeed in subordinating the governors, but national autonomies will retain their special privileges, the Far East and Siberia reaching a dangerous level of independence.
Will Russia be likely to menace security or independence of the CIS nations at that stage? It is highly improbable. The Communists, in a blaze of anti-Western feelings, would make themselves contracted in to a close cooperation with the East and Central Asia. Moreover, if they make any dangerous steps that threaten the independence of Kazakhstan, it may lead to a heavy strife between Russia and Ukraine, the latter feeling herself at risk. The Centrists will be pursuing their purposes by means of underground intrigues and pressure, but will never venture on hazardous steps, considering Russia’s weakness and the West’s not going to help her whatever happens. The Right will be too rational and isolationist to have designs on neighboring territories. In short, if only a non-extremist regime (no matter, which one) comes to power in Russia at the beginning of the century, the independence of the CIS nations is out of danger.
Rate Of The Economy Growth In Russia In 2008-10 The rate of the growth of economy of Russia will reach an average of 3 to 5 percent a year between 2008 and 2010, and 7-9 percent between 2011 and 2006, due to the expansion of Russian engineering and other basic industries into the markets of developing countries (China, India, etc.). Problems accumulated during the years 2007-10 will slow the rates down to 5-6 percent.
The GDP will grow 1.8 times between 2008 and 2010. In 2008-05 the changes will be mostly made to replace the capacities or provide for their organic growth. It will lead to a slowdown in economy after a short time, due to bad competitive abilities of “recovered” technologies. In 2006-10 the growth will become purely organic. Competitive small and medium-sized businesses (mainly, those of consumable goods and food processing, construction, automobile industry, metalworking, chemistry and services industry) will be dominating the economy, their rate of growth determining that of the economy as a whole, their modernization making Russia able to compete in the world market.
High rates of growth (1.8 times during the 2010s) will depend on what political forces come to power. In case it were the Communists (even if they keep up for five years only), Russia may slow down her rate of growth considerably. Under those circumstances she will be back at square one by the end of the decade, with only 50 to 60 percent growth and a lag of some two or three years. The centrist-lefts would also create a highly inefficient and parasitical system of administrating the economy, which will go through several stages of reform, beginning from 2005. Nevertheless, the tempo of growth will remain slower than the “normal” one, making only 50 or 60 percent in ten years. The center-rights, if not induced to wage local wars with smaller nations, will be able to provide for “normal” growth rates and double increase in production, on condition that they will not be too idealistic to let opposition win the field. If they follow thoroughgoing reforms in 2008-02, then slow the tempo in order to consolidate the society, and then push forward again, beginning from 2005, the economy growth may exceed 100 percent by 2010, and solid foundations may be laid for quick economic development in the second decade of the century.
The picture drafted in this research may seem one-dimensional; except the geopolitical aspect of the world development, no other side of life (political, economic, ecological, cultural, or technological) is made an object of close scrutiny. Nevertheless, the struggle between superpowers will remain the linchpin of international relations and the thread of intrigue in the twenty-first century as well. The “end of history”, in this sense, is not to be expected even by the year 2050. In the first half of the century, it’s global superpowers, rather than international organizations, ideologies, multinational corporations, classes, or political parties that will be main protagonists on the world scene. In 2008-30, the U.S. and China will play a deep game between themselves, with, perhaps, 2 or 3 more nations coming onto the stage. Democratic institutions (parliament, multi-party system, independent judiciary, etc.) will gain a strong foothold in practically all the core states of both international blocs. However, the democracy in Russia and in the Pacific bloc will remain restrained by authoritarianism for some twenty years after the beginning of the century.
In the 2008s and the 2010s, environmental problems will reach the level of a global catastrophe. The world will experience a “Flood” and the results of depletion of the ozone layer, as well as global epidemics caused by mutant viruses and proteins, which will resemble a recurrence of Middle Ages plagues. The chain of disasters will make advanced countries redirect their foreign policy from opposition to cooperation; yet changes will take all of the 2020s to be completed.
Russia will preserve her territorial integrity, whatever dependent as it will be on the goodwill of the U.S. and Japan, on the one part, and China, on the other. In the 2010s, Russia will quickly reanimate her heavy industry and sell China $ 60-80bn worth of defense technologies and licenses, as well as $20-30bn worth of engineering goods. More than a half of new military technologies, developed in Russia from the year 2008 on, will be delivered to the southern neighbor. The ‘friendship” will end after 2010, but not forever, to be continued after a short period of alienation. This kind of a situation will continue in turns, Russia being episodically reminded she depends on China on many points, including the territorial issue. After last effects of the conflict between two superpowers in Asia and Africa are get rid of in 2028, Russia will make its choice in favor of Europe, and try to make a “bridge between civilizations” out of herself. She will have to put up with economic dominance of China, Korea and Japan on the Far East, Siberia, Central Asia and the Caucasus markets.
Kazakhstan will be following in Russia’s footsteps – from the “Great Friendship” with China in the 2008s, through active economic cooperation with the same in the 2010s, to balancing between Russia, China and Europe at the end. By 2030 Kazakhstan will finally feel all the advantages of its geographical setting and become at once an agent of Chinese influence in Asia and Russia, and a bridge to China, a bridge between the East and the West.
In spite of both countries staking high on China in their foreign policy, they will still be looking like two Russian kniazi (feudal lords) from the times of Mongol occupation, when they used to go to the Mongol khan’s headquarters to squeal on their rivals. This “mutual love” will divide Russia and Kazakhstan off successfully, thus playing the game of the Chinese bogdykhan.
In the early 2008s, the construction of oil and gas pipelines from Western Kazakhstan to China will begin. During the work, the Chinese team will be heading on towards the Kazakh one, stringing electric power lines and highways along. Russia will support the cooperation, out of a quite reasonable - as well as naive - hope to share the benefits. The Russian government, as well as businessmen, will be even eager to contribute to the stock, so that Russian oil and gas could be piped through the network to China. Similar projects will be pursued in Siberia. Kazakhstan will try in vain to get itself invited to join the military cooperation between Russia and China, failing to endure the competition with Russia, rich in defense capacities. Finally, by the agency of the ever-perspicacious Chinese, Russia will be made to participate in several trilateral projects on the base of Kazakhstan’s defense industry.
The Chinese will get possession of several Kazakhstan’s large enterprises, thus receiving a springboard for reaching the Russian defense industry “from inside”. Kazakhstan will begin construction of a large nuclear power plant. Russian and Kazakhstan universities will be packed with Chinese students. In contrast to Russia, in Kazakhstan there will be several higher educational establishments founded jointly by China and Kazakhstan or by China, Turkey and Kazakhstan, or even by China, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan.
The development of food processing industry in Kazakhstan will be hampered by quantities of cheap products flowing in from Russia and China. The redistribution of property and land will be still going on in Kazakhstan in 2005, impeding the industrial development, while the government will be engaged in large-scale programs of various kinds, leaving small and medium-sized businesses to the discretion of local authorities or merchants from abroad. A lot of Kazakhstan citizens will be working again on mines, metallurgical or chemical plants, at the roadwork, etc. Those basic industries will be the only ones to develop in Kazakhstan, meeting the needs of ravenous Chinese economy, as well as of local defense industry and Russian engineering.
Between 2008 and 2010, Kazakhstan will grow to be an “oil republic”, an annex to both Russia and China. However, it will allow him take a major step forward in goods and oil transporting facilities. They will make the only developing branches of Kazakhstan industry, its agriculture remaining on a low level, processing industries gradually decaying, and the mainstream of investments - mostly state or state-guaranteed, rather than private, money - going into primary industries, or to metallurgical, chemical and nuclear power plants.
Similar to Kazakhstan, Russia will also be increasing her exports to China. However, it’s weapons, military technologies and engineering goods that will make most of her export, rather than raw materials or food. In Russia, small and medium-sized businesses will develop faster than those of Kazakhstan will, and in some years her goods will begin their triumphant progress over Eastern Europe, Turkey, China, and Central Asia.
Yet the triumph in Europe will result in trade barriers on the way to Central Asia and Kazakhstan. Russia will have to take this medicine, as by that time she will be too deeply engaged in joint projects of her oil, gas and energy being transported via Kazakhstan on to China. In reality this deadlock will be nothing else but another one of Chinese mousetraps, or rather Chinese puzzles that local lords, aspiring after favors of the Chinese bogdykhans, once had to find their way through.
So it will be only natural for relations between Russia and Kazakhstan to become gradually colder from the year 2005 on. However, it will not harm various transit projects, which will be finished, for the most part, by the end of the decade.
By that time Kazakhstan’s system of compulsory education will be for a great deal adapted to fit the Chinese model. Thousands of the Chinese will be coming to study in Kazakhstan, and thousands of Kazakhs will enter Chinese universities. In Northern Kazakhstan, many companies founded solely by the Chinese will appear. The Chinese will start growing crops in Kazakhstan, and by the end of the decade there will be several dozens of thousands (100-150 thousand) of mixed Chinese-Kazakh families in Kazakhstan. Kazakh youths will strive to be assimilated into the prestige Chinese culture. The Chinese government will do much to make Kazakhs and nations close to them feel themselves a part of the Chinese world, investing vast amounts of money into the construction of the “friendship centers”, restoration of ancient monuments of Kazakhstan and development of the “Great Silk Road” tourist route. A great deal of Chinese Kazakhs will be working in Kazakhstan, as well as lots of citizens of Kazakhstan will be coming to work in China. At the same time much will be done to prevent Kazakhs from associating with the Uigurs.
Quick expansion of mining, metallurgy, and chemistry, intensive development of road network, investments into pipelines and rail transport will instantly call forth the development of correspondent engineering branches, such as factories producing spare parts, repair shops etc. Kazakhstan will be attracting investments from Russia, China, Turkey, Japan, Germany, and Eastern Europe, encouraging domestic companies to invest as well. However, beginning from 2010, economic conditions will be worsening, with inefficient courts, corruption and monopolies driving investors out of the country.
As for Russia, it’s the Volga region, Orenburg and Chelyabinsk oblasts that will be developing at the quickest pace at the beginning of the century, preserving balance between the “organic” and replacement growth. Their progress will trigger the economic revival of neighboring oblasts of Kazakhstan, making new efficient small and medium-sized companies appear in the transportation, engineering, metalworking, construction, and trade industries. Quick development of neighboring Russian regions will stimulate mining industry, but have negative effect on large metallurgical factories, as well as on local consumables and food-processing industries, which Russians will drive out of the market. The progress of the Volga region will stimulate active migration to Russia.
In all, the competition with Russia will deepen the general decline of the frontier oblasts of Kazakhstan. To stop the process, after 2005 strict tariff and non-tariff regulations and trade barriers will be introduced; however, they will prove ineffective and even harmful, bankrupting the competitive abilities of the few Kazakh companies still able to compete. Productive forces of Western and Northern Kazakhstan will migrate into central regions, thus reputedly contributing to the consolidation of Kazakhstan. China will support the closing of the border between Kazakhstan and Russia, as it will help her stabilize her own zone of influence and make Kazakhstan export its cheap minerals to China instead of Russia.
By 2010, this goal will be achieved and central regions of Kazakhstan made stronger at the expense of the North and the West. By that time a strong domestic industry of consumer goods will develop in Kazakhstan. By that time advantages of transporting the Russian oil will be too evident to keep on with strict border regulations. Thus Kazakhstan will be moved to open its borders again. However, it will grow none the richer by this, as Russia will shortly reduce the volume of her cooperation with China, so that it’s only by 2030 that the amount of oil transported will reach figures, once estimated for 2015.
The implications of the above for Kazakhstan’s engineering companies are far from being bright. On present showing, they cannot be expecting even a kind of a “fairly-favored-industry” treatment. Relations between Russia and Kazakhstan will be confused and gradually worsening during all of the 2008s. Kazakhstan will develop its own oligarchic capitalism, oriented towards primary industries using mostly low technologies. The development of its northern and western parts will be too uneven, with mining and chemistry predominant. In contrast to the fast development rate of large companies, small and medium-sized businesses will probably be degrading, especially if they are engaged in farming or production of consumables. The only possibilities for them to get through could be winning favors of some of the large oil or gas companies or reaping benefits from Russia’s business boom. The inflow of foreign investments to Kazakhstan will probably cease or be limited by that time. As a poor compensation, flocks of hustlers seeking fortune will rush in instead. The outflow of population from Kazakhstan will remain considerable throughout the decade.
Could transactions with industrial property or stock exchange operations be something of promising in Kazakhstan in 2008–10? I see it as highly improbable, for the oligarchic capitalism and disrespect for rights of private property, as well as Soviet-time habit of expropriating “ownerless” wealth, together with the attempts to self-isolate from Russia, is not likely to create favorable climate for stock market. Despite high rates of growth, Kazakhstan will be still having too little of private funds for export, while state-owned capital, which will be dominant, cannot lay foundation for the stock market. Private funds, which will be flowing in from Hong Kong and Shanghai by 2015, as well as Korean or Japanese, will hardly make any difference, as they will be of negligible volume, “uncivilized”, and coming too late.
In Russia, where a boom in corporate bonds market has already begun in 1999, blue chips index will have almost trebled by the end of 1999. In 2008, it will double, reaching its maximum numbers of 1997. During the year 2009, the index will rise almost 30 percent, to fall down at the end of year because of aggravating relations with the West. During 2010-05, the stock exchange index will rise in sum 50 to 80 percent and make 1.5 times as much as in 1997, despite the instability of governmental policies regulating various kinds of investment. Considering generally steady development of the economy of Russia in 2004-05, one may be safe to assume that previous collapses, with stock prices falling down 3 to 4 times and catastrophic strains on liquidity, will become a thing of the past. By 2010, the stock exchange index in Russia will rise another 150 percent, provided that the government pursues a rightist or center-right policy all the while.
In 2009-02 bonds of defense and engineering companies will go up considerably – however, only on condition that the lefts will not promptly nationalize those industries.
As for Kazakhstan, the market for the blue chips will emerge in 2008, only to be taken over immediately by several privileged banks and brokerage houses. This state of things can not last long, and in 2010 Kazakhstan’s securities market will be democratized under the influence of both stock market in Russia and the pressure of foreign investors and pension funds. Also the essentiality of supporting private portfolio investments will play its role, their inflow, whatever little (about $200mn in 2010, $400mn in 2011, and $500mn in 2004), being crucial for Kazakhstan’s development. In 2009, the stock exchange index will rise 1.5 – 1.8 times, during 2010 – 1.5 times and beyond. However, in contrast to Russia, the continuing rise of the blue chips will be nearly limited, in 2005, to the stocks of giant resource-extracting companies.
I would like you not to take it too seriously, or to believe it to be a kind of a plan. History, especially that of shorter periods of time, is made by personalities together with coincidences. If it were not for Lenin, the Communist experiment couldn’t last long, and Bolsheviks would have broken their backs already at the time of the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty.
Accordingly, there is a possibility of history going its own way, with, say, extremists coming to power in Russia in 2008, or an unexpected nuclear war breaking out between India and Pakistan, a huge meteorite falling down on Earth, or an unknown disease taking thousands of lives, etc. Or, on the contrary, thermonuclear power plants may be constructed already at the beginning of the 2010s, or a sage may come to power in China and made it give up all kinds of expansion, except commercial one, to lead the world towards global disarmament by 2030.
The above sketch of the world development in 2008-30 is only one of the possible scenarios, one of the most feasible models. I’m far from idealizing the world-to-be, but I believe this future of mine is quite a reasonable one, good to live in and giving possibilities to achieve what you hope for.
The main purpose of my research has been to create a kind of concept, a vision of the future, rather than accurate prognosis. My scheme may be changed or widened, as the time goes on, according to the facts and events of real history. I have based it on the trends in global development I believe to be the most probable and sure ones. I have been assuming that the ruling elites of different nations would behave in a reasonable way, that no extraordinarily devastating cataclysms would happen on Earth or, if there will be any, their effect would be shortly neutralized. For such an optimistic hope, I’ve got solid grounds, concealed in the history of 1945–99.