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EU Not on China’s Chessboard
The Diplomat ^
| John Lee
Posted on 06/08/2012 5:27:49 AM PDT by PieterCasparzen
European nations are making a mistake courting China, says John Lee. To maintain relevance they need to align with the US.
At the height of the George W. Bush presidency, in 2004, Chinese state-owned media enthusiastically pushed the prospect of China and states within the European Union such as France working together in strategic unison to promote a more peaceful and stable multi-polar world.
Yet fast forward six years, and its clear the visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy (and EU President Jose Manuel Barroso) to China late last month was only the latest attempt to revive Europes relevance as a major centre of power alongside Beijing and Washington. Indeed, counter-intuitive as it seems, seeking a comprehensive strategic partnership with Beijing is only playing to Chinese strengths and European weaknessesaccelerating the European Unions strategic irrelevance. Instead, working with Washington to help manage Chinas rise ought to be the EUs strategic endgame.
Despite the enormous size of the collective EU economy, Chinese thinkers frequently use a dismissive phrase to characterize its default strategy for managing Europe: let the barbarians divide and rule the barbarians. China sees Europe as an increasingly irrelevant strategic actor where the sum of the whole is less than the sum of its partswith the additional problem that no individual European state is powerful enough to exercise any leverage over China. Therefore, European hopes that a future G2 (the US and China) can still be transformed into a G3 (the United States, China and Europe) will not find meaningful support in China.
(Excerpt) Read more at the-diplomat.com ...
TOPICS: Business/Economy; Politics
KEYWORDS: china; europe
The European Union and the Euro Currency were born out of "U.S.-envy" on the part of European politicians and intelligentsia, and big business in Europe eagerly signed on in the interest of profit through perceived facilitation of exports. The nations that economically lead Europe are now overly dependent on exports and thus will feel economic pain if (when) they return to national currencies, since theirs will then rise in value relative to the less industrious European neighbors.
In the following recent C-Span video Q&A session with the ex-CEO of Deutschebank, Josef Ackermann, he clearly describes this.
What's also evident in this video is that the driving factor in the minds of European elite leaders of politics and business is that they very much - themselves - want to be on "eye level" as he says, with the U.S. Of course, Ackermann describes this as "Europeans" wanting this, meaning the general European public. To much applause at the end of the video, as well. IMHO, a "rallying cry" if there ever was one - supposedly Europeans need to not be organized in small individual countries but as one big European Union - or else they will lose their "self-determination" on the international scene, mere footnotes in international negotiations. So the elites wish to lead the peoples of sovereign nations to give up their sovereignty.
Clearly, it's the European political leaders who want to be "eye-level" with other leaders around the world. I would hazard a guess that the "Joe-six-packs" of Europe already consider themselves at this "eye-level".
Of course, productivity and culture will remain locally unique, so, much like America, if Europe were to be a single united nation, there would still be the same map layout of productive areas that would be financially carrying laggard areas.
And would a unified, single European "nation" suddenly have the geopolitical heft that it's politicians dream of ? Au contraire: since they are such big-spenders on domestic social programs and have structurally limited their military to a fraction of that of the United States, they would be unable to wield any more military might than they currently do. And since they are not an entrepreneurial society, they would still find themselves constantly playing the same economic "me-too" game that they do now.
Does anyone actually think that a single unified European sovereign government, where the current nations all give up their sovereignty, would operate effectively ? Really, that's a idea that elicits something between a facepalm and a chuckle.
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