World War III “has already begun”; US-China confrontation will happen within 10 years: economist

An economist said Monday World War III began in February when Russia launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, adding that the conflict has “further implications” that go well beyond the two countries.

Economist Nouriel Roubini made these remarks while working at Yahoo! Finance’s 2022 All Markets Summit ahead of the release of his book Megathreats: Ten Dangerous Threats that Imperil our Future and How to Survive Them. The New York University economics professor was once called “Dr. Dubbed Doom” after predicting the 2008 housing crisis that triggered the Great Recession.

“In a way, World War III has already begun,” Roubini said. “It started in Ukraine because this conflict has broader implications that go well beyond Russia and Ukraine. It’s the beginning of something else.”

The economist later suggested that the world might also see a conflict between the United States and China over Chinese President Xi Jinping’s goal of uniting the mainland with self-governing Taiwan.

“The cold war between the US and China in terms of overall political and geopolitical relations is getting worse,” Roubini explained. “I believe that the next five to ten years will be the time when there will be a confrontation between the US and China over the Taiwan issue. And that could be a trigger for this cold war to become a hot war.”

“This is how we get to World War III,” he added.

Roubini’s comments come as it is widely expected that President Xi will break with tradition and secure a third term as the country’s president. This will make Xi the only Chinese leader to serve a third term since Mao Zedong, the founder of the People’s Republic of China.

Roubini’s comments also follow Putin’s announcement to impose martial law in four Ukrainian regions it illegally annexed in mock referendums last month, in defiance of international law. The four regions include Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Luhansk.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry has slammed Putin’s martial law decree as a “new level of terror,” adding that it was an attempt by Russia to quell “resistance” by residents opposed to Moscow’s occupation.

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