Europe should avoid being dragged into US-China Cold War

The Chinese national flag (center) flies next to the flags of the European Union in Brussels, Belgium, April 9, 2019. / Getty

The Chinese national flag (center) flies next to the flags of the European Union in Brussels, Belgium, April 9, 2019. / Getty

Editor’s Note: Fiona Edwards is a member of the organizing committee of the No Cold War campaign and a signatory of the open letter protesting Britain’s ban on CGTN. The article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of CGTN.

The US administration is trying to drag Europe into its Cold War policy against China, in which the European Union, in particular, has so far refused to participate. This makes the region a focal point of world politics today.

This threatening American agenda, which is totally contrary to the interests of the peoples of Europe, China and the United States, is unfortunately and constantly put forward by the American administration. But significant opposition to this dangerous approach to the Cold War is also growing across the world, including in Europe.

The conflicting interest of the American partisans of the new cold war and the interests of the peoples of Europe is particularly clear. This new cold war against China was started by former US President Donald Trump. The explicit goal of the United States is to block economic development in China, which current US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken continues to describe as the “greatest geopolitical test” the United States faces in the 21st century. century.

US President Joe Biden’s approach to attacking China differs from Trump’s in that the new US administration is trying to build a larger international front of US allies to engage in a cold war with China. Europe is seen as a key area for this.

However, this approach comes up against the obstacle of public opinion in Europe. In January 2021, a poll conducted by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) found that a majority of Europeans believe China will be “more powerful than the United States within a decade” and would like their country “remain neutral in a conflict”. between the two superpowers.

As Mark Leonard, an ECFR director recently said: “The European public thinks there is a new cold war but they don’t want anything to do with it.

“Our poll reveals that a ‘cold war’ framing risks alienating European voters,” he explained.

Despite this European opposition, at the last G7 and NATO summits in June 2021, Biden’s goal was to try to recruit new European allies to support the Cold War. Under American pressure, the NATO summit statement went so far as to identify China’s rise to power as a “systemic challenge” and “a security threat to the Western military alliance”. According to the polls, this is quite clearly contrary to the majority of public opinion in Europe.

It is clearly absurd to suggest that China poses a threat to NATO countries. In fact, the exact opposite is happening. Europe and the United States are both thousands of miles from China, and China has no military strength, even remotely near Europe or the United States.

But the US militarization of the Pacific region has been a growing trend over the past decade. The United States currently has 400 military bases around China, and the United States’ military budget request for 2022 proposes spending hundreds of billions of dollars to enhance the capabilities of the United States military for the express purpose, although unrealistic to control China.

A US Air Forces cargo plane takes off from the runway at Incirlik Base in Adana, Turkey, August 12, 2015. / Getty

A US Air Forces cargo plane takes off from the runway at Incirlik Base in Adana, Turkey, August 12, 2015. / Getty

Sadly, Britain, France and Germany have all sent warships to the South China Sea this year in politically provocative, albeit militarily insignificant, gestures of support for this US-led military build-up. in the Pacific. China did not send warships to sail the coasts of the United States or Europe.

A further escalation of the new cold war against China took place in September, with the announcement that Britain, Australia and the United States had formed an alliance known as AUKUS. This will see Britain and the United States providing Australia with the technology to deploy nuclear-powered submarines.

The reality is that any European country that decides to follow the United States’ Cold War approach against China will suffer economic damage and loss of jobs, trade, investment and access to key advanced technologies. .

China is already a major trading partner of most European countries, and the trend for further economic cooperation is increasing. Therefore, the United States’ attempts to disrupt economic cooperation between China and European countries, including Washington’s efforts to prevent the signing of the EU-China Comprehensive Investment Agreement, are completely against the interests of the United States. European peoples.

Instead of accepting this American cold war program, Europe should cooperate with China and the rest of the world to tackle the real threats and problems facing humanity. The pursuit of a new cold war against China is both a distraction and a serious obstacle to the genuine global cooperation urgently needed to end the pandemic, boost economic recovery and halt climate change.

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