Why China shouldn’t become Biden’s scapegoat amidst the war in Ukraine

Joe Biden, on the left, and Ursula von der Leyen. European Union, 2022
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Source: EC – Audiovisual Service.

While the entire world is shocked by the “abrupt” end of peace and prosperity in Europe which was signaled by the recent war in Ukraine, it is interesting to also observe opportunistic campaigns from the West which might further hinder stability in our world.

Although sanctions are a powerful diplomacy tool and the EU and its allies have launched already a plethora to press Russia, the EU Summit of last weekend in Brussels showed us that one shouldn’t just overdo it. The reason is simply that in a fragile world economy, even more so after the war in Ukraine, one should be wary of shooting himself in the foot. This is why last weekend EU leaders were hesitant to impose more sanctions on Russia, acknowledging the new economic crisis that has hit their people, the second one in just about 15 years (well done by the way). Energy prices have grown exponentially, the supermarket shopping cart has become much more expensive and empty and consequently people in Europe have been impoverished in a blink of an eye. That in combination with what President Macron repeatedly shouts as an upcoming imminent hunger that is about to strike Europe in the coming year or so, sets the scene of an economically broken Europe that requires prudent political decisions and significant economic support.

At the same time the US President came to Brussels to join the EU Summit, the NATO summit and the G7 summit that magically all took place during this previous hectic weekend. And of course when the US President comes along, he brings with him small gifts in exchange for big big influence. So, this time he pledged for 15 billion cubic meters of LNG natural gas from the US in exchange for more and more American foreign affairs influence in Europe. To be noted that 15 billion cubic meters are simply peanuts compared to the EU’s annual energy needs. Nevertheless, Biden was welcomed as Europe’s energy saviour?

Moreover, Biden’s key message was clear and was aired by NATO’s Stoltenberg, cautioning China not to help Russia neither economically nor militarily or else face consequences. As expected, the Chinese side answered to those allegations in a direct way referring to NATO’s infamous bombings in the Balkans 20 years ago.

“There you go”, as they would say at the other side of the Atlantic. The fully Americanized Europe appears ready to echo Washington’s scope to hurt China, especially in view of the upcoming China-EU Summit on Arpil 1st. The US in fear of any economy and logic that is not in line with its do-follow linkage doctrine, intends to convince the world that China helps Russia in the war in Ukraine, although there is not a real proof about that. Sure, Russia and China are historic allies but hasn’t China already condemned the lack of peace in Ukraine and favored a peaceful resolution of the conflict?

Yes it did. But the real problem here is that for the US it is not enough to contain Russia and hurt its economy through severe sanctions. They see this as a grand opportunity for the world to undermine China too, the world’s second economy and main US competition, apart from Russia and the China-Russia trade, with the blind and erroneous hope to have more gains from this situation, and in support of a stronger West at the expense of the global economic prosperity?

Indeed, the zero sum game strategy seems to be the West’s favourite these days but how one can forget the fact that it is futile in a saturated global economy to block needed economic opportunities that the EU could explore with China (i.e. Comprehensive Investment Agreement) just for the sake of following an 80 year old’s pathway to expand the current turmoil to a West vs. East endless saga?

All in all, just like on the possibility of additional sanctions the EU leaders say No out of prudence, the same prudence needs to prevail when asked by the US to blindly oppose China for no tangible reason whatsoever. In a new global economic crisis the Comprehensive Agreement for investments between the EU and China has a lot to offer and boost our economies and the 1st of April venue should pave the road to this productive kind of discussion between EU and China.

The fact Russia made the mistake to choose a war conflict in 2022 to resolve its issues with Ukraine, doesn’t mean that global economic giants like China can become the West’s scapegoat. Instead, cherishing fruitful partnerships like the one between the EU and its biggest trading partner, China, is a sine qua non for the world to come soon to a trade and economic equilibrium amidst the war, the pandemic and so many other nuclear threats lurking around that could easily bring us back to ice age.

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