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Yearender: Multiple crises-ridden West faces uncertainties

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-27 16:52

Yearender: Multiple crises-ridden West faces uncertainties

US President-elect Donald Trump talks to members of the media at Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, US, December 21, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

BEIJING - From Brexit and Donald Trump's win in US presidential race to Matteo Renzi's defeat in Italian referendum, the year 2016 witnessed a cluster of "black swans" events in the Western world featured by evident social cleavage and institutional defects.

Rooted deep in the Western democratic systems, such flaws as reassessment-needed election systems were fueled by social media, a revolutionary phenomenon, and triggered unexpected changes, said observers both inside China and abroad.

They believed that these are just a beginning and predicted increasing instability into 2017 against the backdrop of fragile economic recovery, potential terrorist attacks, the worst refugee crisis facing Europe since World War II, among other challenges.

It is also worried that Trump's foreign policy stances and military posture, coupled with the sweeping of populism in Europe, sow uncertainties in global political domain and may hinder the trend of globalization.

IMMANENT CAUSES

The Western society has long showed disintegration between the establishment and non-establishment, political elite and grassroots, native citizens and immigrants.

Tony Blair, former British prime minister, told USA Today earlier this month that there is immense amount of anger at the established ways of doing things, and more anger in politics. He said a whole group of people feel ignored by those in power.

Jim O'Neill, a famous economist who has created the BRIC nations acronym, said "the policy elite of the past 25 to 30 years have lost the ability to connect with normal people."

Fabrizio Francisi, Italian geopolitical analyst, said referendum as a direct democratic tool has come into problems, and its disadvantage and role need to be reassessed.

"Direct democracy is dangerous sometimes," he said, adding that the concept of so-called popular sovereignty usually distorted the notion of representative democracy.

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