While the tone in Washington and Berlin is becoming more and more aggressive, and interventions are being made on the other side of the Atlantic with punitive tariffs and export bans, China is less and less dependent on the West.
Relations between the US, its allies in the Pacific and the EU on the one hand and China on the other are becoming more and more strained. This is nothing new for the US, but now Germany also believes that it needs to send fighter jets and naval ships off the coast of the People’s Republic to “counter Chinese claims to power in the region”.
Washington, meanwhile, is reportedly provoking Beijing (Peking) with high-level visits to the “Republic of China” – the official name of Taiwan, which the mainland interprets as a breakaway republic.
Relations on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are complicated, but for the West that is no reason for cautious, conflict-avoiding diplomacy. One believes so much in one’s own stories that the criticism of the escalation in the Western societies, whose green and left-liberal milieus are staggering through the landscape of international relations in the delirium of a new cohesion, can at best be found in homeopathic doses.
How to deal with the superpower?
China is responding to activity off its shores with defensive rearmament, but under the policies of Xi Jinping ( 自看内), increasingly rivaling US aggressiveness, it is also beginning to reach for the stars of a superpower with submarines, aircraft carriers and other naval armaments.
Not surprising given the size of its population, its geographical extent and its economic strength. Diplomacy aimed at stability and peace would seek ways to deal with this without military confrontation.
Among other things, comprehensive disarmament negotiations, the closure of a large part of the numerous American bases distributed around the world, the expansion of dispute settlement mechanisms for which the United States should recognize the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and last but not least China’s equal participation in so important, would be conceivable institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, where the West, which dominates them, has blocked the significant expansion of Chinese voting rights for more than two decades.
But there can be no question of such approaches at the moment. On the contrary, the West seems to be looking not only for confrontation with Russia, but also with China, but does not seem to notice that it is beginning to isolate itself.
Europe and North America: no longer the center of the world
This is not only evident in the sanctions against Russia, which are not very popular outside NATO and its closer allies. The economic relations between developing and emerging countries also show that Europe and North America – contrary to local perception – are no longer the center of the world.
This becomes particularly evident in the past few years of Chinese foreign trade statistics, on which the Internet magazine Asia Times Online reported these days. Therefore, growth in Chinese exports to the largest sales markets in the countries of the south has accelerated sharply.
Compared to 2019, this is almost a doubling. In June 2022 alone, Chinese companies exported nearly 70 billion US dollars worth of goods to Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
“The most important event in the development of the world economy”
China’s exports to countries in the Global South, including South Korea and Taiwan, are now as large as its exports to Europe and the United States combined. This is the most important event in the development of the world economy since the beginning of China’s rise, he writes Asia Times-Author.
The Middle Kingdom does not primarily supply textiles, toys and other cheap goods, as it did 20 years ago. But on the contrary. The business mainly takes place with machinery, railways, solar systems, vehicles and digital infrastructure.
While the United States tries to prevent China from catching up technologically with import tariffs and export bans on high-tech products, China is in the process of providing Asia, Africa and Latin America with the telecommunications and Internet infrastructure for the 21st century.
Incidentally, all this is increasingly no longer paid in US dollars, as has been the norm in world trade for many decades, but in the currencies of the countries involved. China now has foreign exchange agreements with various countries, which together have a volume equivalent to 500 billion US dollars.
If developments continue like this, sooner or later it will appear that NATO’s military dominance has feet of clay. Let’s hope this insight doesn’t lead to knee-jerk reactions in Washington, Brussels or Berlin.