Source: Global Times
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT
The US has not achieved what it wished in its attempts to rope in the European Union against China. Germany’s Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Berlin objects to sanctioning and isolating China on so-called human rights affairs.
“It has always been the policy of the Western international community, including the EU, that international trade relations cannot be based solely on how democratic a country is,” Altmaier said, noting Germany is “not the world’s headteacher of morality.” His attitude is representative among Germans.
Germany took on the EU’s rotating six-month presidency from July 1. It is committed to promoting a unified foreign policy within the bloc, especially its China policy. Berlin has reacted differently from Washington in regard to 5G and other China affairs, reflecting a deepening transatlantic split in strategies.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently drew the attention of US media by saying, “As we are experiencing firsthand, you cannot fight the pandemic with lies and disinformation any more than you can fight it with hate or incitement to hatred.”
The US and the EU are allies with solid bonds. Anyone who believes Europe will help China confront the US will be utterly wrong. But can the US woo Europe to confront China like it confronted the former Soviet Union? Washington has shown such a will, but it is just fantasy.
The world has changed. Now, economic security is most vital for Europe. Military security is still important, but Europe is rarely threatened militarily – it is more than absurd to call China a security threat to Europe. Europe needs to strengthen itself if it wants to avoid decline. The US has openly claimed that its own interests come first. Europeans have been repeatedly reminded that they have to increase their own strength and autonomy.
Decoupling from China goes completely against Europe’s interests. Despite competition between the two sides, China provides irreplaceable market resources for Europe to keep being powerful. To consolidate its hegemony, the US has partially decoupled from China. But why should Europe follow suit if it cannot afford a similar loss? To cozy up to the White House?
In fact, the US not only suppresses China, but also squeezes Germany’s room for economic development. Washington does not allow a single force to pose any actual competition to it. It is puffed up with arrogance. The conflicts between the US and Germany are unavoidable. The more arbitrary Washington becomes to bring Berlin to its knees, the more public their conflicts may turn.
China poses no threat to Europe. China adopts mild foreign policies and has become a super market. This is the fundamental reason that Europe refuses to follow the US lead to contain China. As long as China sticks to its strategy of cooperating with the world and seeking win-win results, US attempts to woo other countries to deal with China are bound to fall flat. Some countries play flip-flop as they are pressed by Washington.
Ideological incitement is the frequently used anti-China tactic of Washington and its allies. They relentlessly promote that China is an “authoritarian regime” that goes against the values of a “free world,” which has deluded many Westerners and has become a source of the opinion pressure in these countries to confront China.
China must stick to its own development path and governance style. This is the right of the Chinese people. Based on this, China faces the difficult task of easing the clashes of values with some Western countries and reducing the chance of clashes. If we explore from this direction, we could weaken the US’ ability to drive a wedge between China and Europe and strip Washington’s opportunities of anti-China propaganda.
The US has walked on the evil path of containing China as its competitiveness is declining while China does not challenge world order. As long as China keeps steady strategies, the extreme China policy of the US can hardly enlist the entire world. Washington will be propelled to make adjustments some day.