Europe takes China's side in new 'Cold War': The Telegraph
As if China is at war with anyone, for a start.
On Sunday, The Telegraph published an op-ed titled 'Europe has picked a side in the new Cold War – China', first suggesting that China is waging a cold war with anyone, and second making it seem as if Europe betrayed the US by joining the "bad side" of geopolitical rivalry.
It starts by saying that in the 'new Cold War economy', countries will begin to raise protectionist barriers and further invest in national industries as trade with foreign partners is beginning to appear less reliable than self-sufficiency.
In the context of this 'new Cold War economy', the EU is choosing to betray the US, adding that siding with China would facilitate the transitionary process to achieving self-sufficiency.
It is nonetheless true that the country, which the EU has so strongly condemned for years over alleged violations of human rights, has in recent months begun to deepen ties with Beijing amid the US recent provocative moves that aim to disrupt China's civil order.
For instance, Renault is joining forces with Geely, a Chinese multinational automotive company, Chinese investors are purchasing a part of the strategic Hamburg port, and Chinese companies have announced three major new battery factories in Europe.
"Add it all up, and we can forget about the rhetoric of siding with the US. With its investment decisions, Europe has chosen the East instead," the newspaper wrote.
But the idea of there being a Cold war for a start is in itself problematic because China has never threatened to defy the sovereignty and the integrity of any state in the past.
In some way, it is adequate to say that China is the victim of its own success, as it merely played 'by the rules' and propelled itself via fair and open trade practices.
Countries whose largest trading partner is China or the USA. #geoeconomics pic.twitter.com/bwz4stm23I— Velina Tchakarova (@vtchakarova) November 8, 2022
It proceeds by stating that the conflict in Ukraine was the beginning point of this 'Cold War' between China and the West, suggesting that Russia and China constitute one bloc apart in this supposed war.
But both Russia and China are distinct countries, with distinct policies, and distinct interests. It is true that both countries entertain strong diplomatic, commercial, and industrial ties, but this, in no way, means that one's decisions will determine the other's.
Indeed, if Russia and China were that close, Xi wouldn't have agreed to meet with Biden at the G20 summit, according to the paper.
Further, the author hints that Xi's re-election for a third term is hinting toward an "authoritarian turn."
But here's a quick reminder: China is a communist country, meaning that leaders - no matter who they may be - will never outweigh state ideology.
Unlike in the US, where the nature of the electoral process births the illusion of political diversity, the Chinese people were never led astray by divisive politics due to principles upheld by the One China Policy.
Just by looking at the chaotic situation in the US midterms alone speaks volumes about the disintegrating state of US democracy.
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The article further associates China's Zero Covid policy as an oppressive means of controlling its own population, whereas, in reality, such a policy is a luxury that many countries cannot afford to implement due to the heavy toll such a measure would have on the GDP.
It further states that China has openly expressed its support for Russia in its conflict with Ukraine, which is absolutely not true.
The article goes further to state, "It is still possible that as it grows wealthier, China will follow South Korea and gradually turn into a liberal, democratic state. But there is very little sign of that right now."
That is ironic because China has recently declared it achieved "total victory" over poverty as it lifted almost 800 million people out of poverty by the end of 2020, whereas in the US, the poverty percentage of the US population was at 11.6 %, totaling a number of 37.9 million people in poverty.
The article states that the US has been preparing "to defend itself" against a resurgent and powerful China by boosting support for Taiwan and the recent approval of a $1.1 billion potential arms deal which Taipei intends to use to increase its security budget.
The US has also waged a massive campaign aimed at undermining China's tech dominance by tightening "export controls" vis-à-vis Beijing and barring the sale of Chinese-made memory chips on the US market.
Although the article states that this was the result of preventive measures aimed at weakening China, it did not deny that American investors took a massive jab over this decision.
But relations between the EU and the US are not as smooth. Earlier this month, the EU condemned the subsidies offered to American companies in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, giving them unfair leverage over their European rivals.
French President Emmanuel Macron has recently expressed that such subsidies on electric vehicles discriminate against the EU and other trade partners.
Macron also slammed the US for practicing double standards as it offers EU gas prices 3 to 4 times higher than the prices in the American domestic market.
"American gas is 3-4 times cheaper on the domestic market than the price at which they offer it to Europeans. These are double standards," Macron stated, adding that "it concerns sincerity in transatlantic trade" and that this issue should be addressed.
Even though the article states that the EU relies on the US for security, it is clear that the bloc is starting to wake up from the spell of the "China threat", especially since the dragging of the EU into the whole Ukraine situation has drained the bloc financially, militarily, and politically.
In short, no one is to blame but the US itself over its deteriorating relations with the EU, and as it scrambles to find alternatives to overpriced gas the US shamefully wants to sell, it is undergoing an important transformation that is set to mark the start of a new phase in international relations.
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