The EconomistThe Economist

How to survive a superpower split

11 Apr 2023 · 12 min read

Instead of siding with America, China or Russia, many countries are sitting on the fence and making deals across divides. This transactional approach can pay dividends, as The Economist reports.

Curated by informed

Caught between America, China and Russia, many countries are determined not to pick sides. As the American-led order in place since 1945 fragments and economic decoupling accelerates, they aim to make discerning deals across divides. This transactional approach is reshaping geopolitics.

One way of capturing the sheer scale and heft of these non-aligned powers is through a Russian lens. Our sister organisation, eiu, has analysed countries based on their economic and military ties to Moscow, their diplomatic stances including votes at the un and whether they support and implement sanctions. Although 52 countries comprising 15% of the global population—the West and its friends—lambast and punish Russia’s actions, and just 12 countries laud Russia, some 127 states are categorised as being firmly in neither camp (see map).

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