In a globalised world, all the economies, great and small, are connected. Just as rising cooperative trade promotes mutual prosperity, so escalating conflicts will impoverish everyone. Many countries that are bystanders to the war in Ukraine now find themselves on the economic brink. The looming economic collapse in Sri Lanka is the first but will not be the last of a domino effect from the economic fallout of the war. Dozens of low and middle-income countries are now at risk of economic and social breakdown from rising inflation, astronomical food and energy prices, and unsustainable sovereign debts. At a meeting this week between European and Chinese leaders, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “This is not a conflict. This is a war. This is not a European affair. This is a global affair”, adding the two sides held “clearly opposing views” on the conflict. Actually, it was a European affair, but the Europeans and Americans make sure the rest of the world is now dragged into it. However, she is, in a sense, right. The Western alliance has launched an unprecedented economic war against Russia. Its collateral damage is now felt across the globe. So how can it not be “a global affair”? Violent protests and riots have hit the streets in Sri Lanka as massive food and fuel shortages worsen. The country is saddled with huge debts, a junk credit rating and depleted foreign exchange reserves. The World Bank estimates at least 40 countries are in a similar predicament, which will set back millions of people economically for years to come. Are they not also innocent like ordinary Ukrainians? China need not pick a side in Ukraine war, but it should mediate for peace The Americans, Europeans and Russians have failed to come to a security understanding for more than two decades over central Europe. Now the whole world is paying the price. And yet, the self-righteousness that is coming out of Washington and Brussels is beyond belief! China’s position, as related to the EU, may be self-serving, but it is not wrong. By “internationalising” the war, the West is forcing others to take sides. This “with me or against me” mentality will only prolong the conflict and worsen the global order, both economically and politically. Contain and localise the conflict; then mediate the conflict between the two sides. That’s what China advocates. Instead, it’s been told it must either denounce Russia or suffer the consequences. For the West to win, the rest of the world will surely lose.