Although I usually appreciate West’s sanctions against Russia because of what seems to me like Putin’s unjustified invasion in Ukraine, it is something that I don’t agree with. This includes the sanctions that have been imposed by the government and those similar to sanctions that were imposed on large private companies like Visa, Mastercard and American Express. My guess is that there is a blurred line between public and private. I believe that an honest organization, particularly one that is heavily regulated, would consult important governments before taking any action. I also think that this organization would welcome suggestions from important governments.
Yet, it is not surprising that foreign leaders will be pondering this and asking themselves: Could this happen to me at any point? If my country does anything that alienates enough the West?
It could happen to an action that seems to me to be justified (e.g. invasion of neighbor who actually did something really bad for us or actions against people that my country considers terrorists or rebels). If those non-military actions are seen as too liberal or egalitarian in the West, might it be possible for us to take them? If the Sanctions are considered a huge success story that is a foundation of the New International Security Order then might they be used more often.
What can I and should you do to protect your economic system from such threats?
It is my guess that the Xi Jinpings have been thinking about this for a while, but I think they will be more aware of it now. My guess is most countries have thought about it at least in some way.
But I expect that other countries that are at least in some measure skeptical of Western attitudes, practices, and institutions—even ones who are friendly, but who might see themselves as at some point being at loggerheads with us if circumstances shift enough (I’m thinking, for instance, of India or perhaps even Israel)—are going to be thinking especially hard now. They won’t abandon globalization which is essential to their economies. But I think they will want to be able to identify any escape routes or protective measures that can be created in advance, regardless of the cost.
Regardless, I am not an expert in this field so I may be wrong. However, it intrigues me enough that I decided to ask the readers: What can countries do effectively to defend themselves from Western reactions (however justifiable)? What do you believe they will do?