The U.S. wants to counter China’s growing economic and political standing in the world.
The Obama administration had attempted a ‘pivot to Asia’ by building a low tariff economic zone via the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). It would have excluded China. The Trump administration rejected the TPP and withdrew from it.
It launched an economic war against China by increasing tariffs on Chinese products, prohibiting high tech supplies to Chinese manufacturers, and by denying Chinese companies access to its market.
It has also tried to build a military coalition that would help it to threaten China. It revived the 2007-2008 Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and rebranded it as the U.S.-Australia-India-Japan Consultations Quad. The aim was to turn it into an Asian NATO under U.S. command:
The U.S. State Department’s No. 2 diplomat said Monday that Washington was aiming to “formalize” growing strategic ties with India, Japan and Australia in a forum known as “the Quad” — a move experts say is implicitly designed to counter China in the Indo-Pacific region.“It is a reality that the Indo-Pacific region is actually lacking in strong multilateral structures. They don’t have anything of the fortitude of NATO, or the European Union,” U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said in an online seminar on the sidelines of the annual U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum.
“There is certainly an invitation there at some point to formalize a structure like this,” he added.
But it turns out that neither Australia nor Japan nor India have any interest in a hard stand towards China. All look to China as an important trade partner. They know that any conflict with it would cost them dearly.
On October 6 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Tokyo for a meeting with the other foreign ministers of the Quad. He soon found that no one would join him in his militant talk:
China has overtaken the U.S. as the EU’s biggest trading partner:
In the first seven months of 2020, China surpassed the United States to become the biggest trading partner of the European Union (EU), said Eurostat, the EU’s statistics organisation.
The EU’s imports from China increased by 4.9 per cent year-on-year in the January-July period, noted Eurostat.According to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, the largest economy in the EU, China, Germany’s biggest trading partner since 2016, surpassed the United States for the first time in the second quarter of this year to become Germany’s largest export market, and Germany’s exports to China in July have rebounded almost to last year’s level.
It is time for the U.S. to look into a mirror and to awake to reality. It is highly indebted country with a way too expensive but ineffective military. Over the last decades its economic role in the world has continuously declined. The constant militant positions and ‘do as we say’ attitude has alienated its allies.
Without allies the U.S. has no chance to defeat China in any potential conflict.
What the U.S. still could do is to honestly compete with China. But that would require humility, a strong industrial policy and a well paid and competitive work force.
Neither of that is in sight.
Published by Moon of Alabama
Republished by The 21st Century
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of 21cir.