An economist on Monday said World War III began in February when Russia launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, adding that the conflict carried with it “broader implications” that go well beyond the two countries.
Economist Nouriel Roubini made the remarks while speaking 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 business professor was once dubbed “Dr. Doom” after he predicted the 2008 housing crisis that sparked the Great Recession.
“In some sense, World War III has already started,” Roubini said. “It started in Ukraine, because this conflict has broader implications that are going well beyond Russia and Ukraine. It’s the beginning of something else.”
The economist later suggested that the world could also see a conflict between the United States and China on the issue of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s aim of uniting the mainland with self-governed Taiwan.
“The Cold War between the U.S. and China in terms of overall political and geopolitical relations is becoming worse,” Roubini explained. “I believe the next five to 10 years is going to be the time where there’s going to be a confrontation between the U.S. and China on the issue of Taiwan. And that could be a trigger of this cold war becoming a hot war.”
“That’s how we get to World War III,” he added.
Roubini’s comments come as President Xi is widely expected to break tradition and secure a third term as the country’s president. By doing so, Xi will be the only Chinese leader to have a third term since Mao Zedong, the founder of the People’s Republic of China.
Roubini’s remarks also follow Putin’s announcement imposing martial law in four Ukrainian regions it illegally annexed in sham referendums last month in defiance of international law. The four regions include Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk.
Ukraine’s foreign ministry slammed Putin’s martial law decree as a “new stage of terror,” adding that it was an attempt for Russia to “suppress the resistance” of residents opposed to Moscow’s occupation.