Europe Call to Arms Against China and Russia

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The EU-China Investment Agreement, signed on December 30 by the European Commission, may not be ratified by MEPs on the grounds that Beijing violated human rights. It is the screen behind which the real reason is hidden: the growing pressure exerted on Europe by the United States to create a coalition against China. Washington’s strategy – from Obama to Trump and now Biden – is that of the “containment” of China, whose growth calls into question the world economic order, so far dominated by the United States and the major Western powers.

The multinationals and other US and European companies have relocated much of their production to China for decades, making huge profits. However, China did not remain simply the “factory of the world” where people go and produce because labor costs less. It has implemented its own production and technological development and, on this basis, projects such as the New Silk Road. At an advanced stage of construction, it consists of a road and rail network between China and Europe through Central Asia, the Middle East, and Russia, combined with a sea route through the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean. Investments of over $ 1 trillion are planned for road, rail, and port infrastructures in over 60 countries. 

In this context, China has become Russia’s main trading partner. Economic relations between the two countries have strengthened with an exchange that has exceeded 100 billion dollars a year and is growing, especially after the sanctions imposed by the United States and the EU on Russia.

Trade between the United States and China is six times greater. But, given that many products on the US market are manufactured in China by the US multinationals or supplied by Chinese companies, the US has a deficit of over $ 300 billion annually in bilateral trade. There was also a collapse in Chinese investments in the US for production purposes, which fell by 90% in three years (from 46.5 to 4.8 billion dollars), while US investments in China remained at around 13 billion. 

At the same time, China’s share of US debt $ 27 trillion or more  fell from 14% in 2011 to 5% in 2020. Even more serious for Washington is the fact that the dollar share of Chinese foreign exchange reserves has dropped from 79% to 59% in four years and that China is looking for alternative currencies to the dollar to be used in international trade. 

Unable to stop this process that can put an end to the economic dominance of the United States, Washington forced the situation. Economic “containment” becomes military “containment.”

Admiral Phil Davidson, who heads the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (its area of responsibility covers China and 35 other countries), has requested of Congress over $ 27 billion in five years to build a curtain of missile bases and satellite systems around China, including a space-platform radar constellation. “We have to start facing China from a position of strength,” Antony Blinken, the Biden Administration Secretary of State, told the Senate.

At the Munich Security Conference, on February 19, NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg reiterated:

“Europe and North America must defend the international order that China and Russia challenge by trying to rewrite its rules for the benefit of their own interests. ” After accusing Russia of “destabilizing behavior,” he declared that “the rise of China is a crucial issue for the transatlantic community.” He then announced an upcoming “update of NATO’s strategic concept” because “we need to strengthen ourselves militarily” together with “close partners like Australia and Japan.”

Therefore: a call to arms for US allies, not only against Russia in Europe but against China in Asia. As a result, Russia and China are also strengthening their alliance on the military level.


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This article was originally published in Italian on Il Manifesto.

Manlio Dinucci is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

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Articles by: Manlio Dinucci

About the author:

Manlio Dinucci est géographe et journaliste. Il a une chronique hebdomadaire “L’art de la guerre” au quotidien italien il manifesto. Parmi ses derniers livres: Geocommunity (en trois tomes) Ed. Zanichelli 2013; Geolaboratorio, Ed. Zanichelli 2014;Se dici guerra…, Ed. Kappa Vu 2014.

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