by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with Consortium News) by special agreement with the author)
Let’s start with the essential background for the meeting in Paris on Tuesday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and three EU heavyweights – French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of the European Commission (EC) Jean-Claude Juncker.
As imperfect as these figures may be, economic growth for the past 10 years after the 2008 financial crisis – which was a made in the West phenomenon – do tell an enlightening story.
China’s growth: 139%. India’s growth: 96%. the US’ growth: 34%. EU growth: a negative 2%.
French mainstream media, controlled by a rarified group of oligarchs, spun a risible narrative that Macron “imposed” this four-way meeting on Xi to press on him the new EC strategy aiming to “clarify” Chinese ambiguity in relation to the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
As I previously reported, the EC now brands China a “systemic rival,” and seems to have realized that Beijing is an “economic competitor in search of technological leadership.” And that may translate as a threat to European values and norms.
Xi had just come from Rome – where the populist, eurosceptic Lega, Five Stars coalition government became the first G7 nation to sign a partnership with the BRI, igniting massive sparks of Atlanticist fear.
So in the end, what did we get from Chancellor Angela Merkel as the EU faced a process French elites describe as Sino-globalization?
We had realpolitik. Merkel stressed the BRI was an “important” project: “We, as Europeans, want to play an active part and that must lead to certain reciprocity and we are still wrangling over that a bit.” She added: “We are seeing the project as a good visualization of interaction, interrelation and interdependence.”
Merkel was essentially relaying the position of German business elites – as a trade powerhouse, the future of Germany lies in turbo-charging business with Asia, especially China.
So, instead of demonizing Rome, in practice Berlin will eventually embark on the same path. After all, Duisburg, in the Ruhr valley, is already the de facto top BRI terminal in northern Europe.
Xi and his EU partners did not fail to emphasize multilateralism. There could not be a more glaring contrast to the Trump administration’s narrative that China is a threat and the BRI is all about Chinese “vanity.” Juncker even tried to defuse the “systemic” tension: “We understand that China does not like the expression ‘rivals,’ but it is a compliment describing our shared ambitions.”
Add to it that Xi also felt the need to remind the EU leadership of the obvious. China will continue to “open up,” as it managed in only 40 years to accomplish what Europe did over the course of the entire industrial revolution.
New Silk Air, anyone?
On the – embattled – Macron front, more than New Silk Roads a de facto New Silk Air seems to be in effect.
No one – apart from Boeing – argues about a 30 billion euro-plus Chinese order to buy 300 Airbuses. And that’s only the beginning. The fact that Beijing will use Airbus technology to enhance its aviation prowess under the framework of Made in China 2025 is another matter entirely.
So Paris may not have turned, like Rome, into an official partner to the New Silk Roads – at least not yet. But the promises are quite telling – on three fronts.
1) The emphasis on multilateralism – “strong and efficient.” That’s not exactly Trumpian rhetoric.
2) Common action with Beijing on climate change and biodiversity.
3) An economic-trade partnership that respects mutual interests. That is, in fact, New Silk Roads-BRI official policy since the beginning, in 2013.
So when we compare the different strategies by Rome and Paris, Xi has, in fact, come out with a win-win.
Merkel, predictably, was careful to hedge to the hilt: “The triangle between EU, China and US is very important. Without the US, we will not be able to have multilateralism.”
At the same time, she stressed, the US-China trade war was “hitting our German economy.”
As for Team Macron, with the leader obsessed with posing as the savior of the EU ahead of the European Parliament elections in May, they could not help but go after the administration in Rome.
According to a Macron acolyte: “There is this bad European habit to have 28 different policies, with countries competing against each other to attract investment. We need to speak with a common voice if we want to exist. We have the same approach on the 5G issue: avoiding 28 different decisions.”
The 5G Monaco Grand Prix
Which brings us to the case of Monaco, not exactly a shabby prize – and duly visited by Xi, who was received, literally, as royalty.
The principality is absolutely avid to gobble up the fast-growing Chinese luxury tourism market. And that explains why Monaco has already signed a deal with Huawei to be the first country to be entirely covered by 5G before the end of 2019.
Paris, by the way, has not ruled out using Huawei equipment. And as a cherry on the cake, guess which city Huawei chose to globally unveil its spectacular new P30 series of smartphones? Paris.
Make no mistake, for Beijing, in terms of trade and economic relations, Berlin is way more relevant than Paris. But these big three – Berlin, Paris and Rome – all have major roles to play.
The New Silk Roads being re-connected to Italy after half a millennium will accelerate Euro-Asia integration, and even, in the long run, more influence for both the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
EU businesses, if not political Eurocrats, are starting to realize that Europe cannot afford to become a battlefield in Cold War 2.0 between the US and Russia, cannot afford to become a hostage of Washington tearing up international law – see, for instance, the destruction of the Iran nuclear deal and recognizing the occupied Golan Heights as part of Israel – and cannot afford to become a victim of Washington’s trade whims.
It’s no wonder that slowly but surely, the EU is shifting its priorities to the East – including to its “systemic rival.”
Paris? That reminds me of something I read years ago, written by the great French poet Paul Valery “the most definitive European poet of the 20th century”. Valery warned “the West” — in an essay written sometime around WW2, either shortly before or shortly after — that our only advantage over “the East” was our technology; and by outsourcing that technology [in search of a cheaper workforce] to “the more numerous, the more industrious and more socially cohesive half of mankind” we were undermining our only advantage.
In Chinese President Xi’s visit to French President Micron in Paris I seem to see a big chicken flying slowly home to roost.
“The more industrious and socially cohesive” – yes – China / Japan / Korea – dont allow black immigration – same apartheid policies as Israel
they will remain socially cohesive and HIGH IQ – while the US is taken over by black low IQ useless eaters.
The apocalypse of the empire brought by Washington DC in 1965 is now speeding like a train on a sharp curve, the escape from Illinois to the south will eventually consume the entire country as well.
David, in Unz review you may find an interesting update to the old racist game of “Black” vs “White” IQ. Some “Black” African immigrants to England score equal to or higher than “White” English natives. The author is puzzled why “Blacks” in the U$A do not score high; perhaps they were the first victims of the recent plague of “dumbing down” which seems to be afflicting that unfortunate country?
African Immigrant Bantu IQ test scores >= Native UK
Doc, the ‘blacks are low IQ’ racists, for that is what they are, demonstrate a very low level of intelligence themselves, a piteous irony, (or would ‘pitiable’ be better, I wonder?)not to forget the xenophobic hatred and contempt that is driving humanity into the abyss.
Haven’t heard about China Japan Korea slaughtering black women and children, must have missed that news.
All countries are selective on who they ‘leagly’ let in, try immigrating somewhere.
David, is your source the writings of Adolf Hitler, or the local Ku Klux Klan?
Here is an article that looks at China’s response to America’s imposition of trade penalties:
Washington is definitely promoting its “win-lose” philosophy when it comes international trade, showing signs of desperation
The Huawei P30 and P30 Pro have advanced Leica camera. Huawei knows how to play the game. Huawei ‘capturing’ Monaco will snowball across the EU. Glam offensive. Germans are tired of the being the top subject of uber-surveillance, Germany wants to stop the theft of industrial secrets by all the ‘backdoors’. Huawei is a natural in the EU.
Clarification please re. “Germany wants to stop the theft of industrial secrets by all the ‘backdoors’. Huawei is a natural in the EU”. Is this sarcasm? If not please clarify the purported strategy. Thanks.
Germany is one of the top two targets of spying in the world. (Guess the other country in the top two….)
And the spying on Germany has a prime target of collecting industrial secrets. Huawei’s Guo Ping recently said that huawei was being demonized because it does not allow the backdoor spying. (the number two target is not about industrial secrets.)
Huawei is a natural in EU because they, in the EU, are feed-up with the spying. Or is that not known??? How the leap to idea of sarcasm?
Pepe mentions the ‘no backdoors’ in his articles. There are several sources
“Huawei has not and will never plant backdoors. And we will never allow anyone else to do so in our equipment.”
The sarcasm because of a cynical kneejerk response that, ‘oh, but the Chinese will simply be the new spymasters!… Ho ho ho!… Is that what it is??? Perhaps Guo Ping will tell us about that, as questions about security will naturally fall on the Chinese also.
In any case, China is now a tech leader, and since they have the edge in 5G, they are already experimenting with next wave.
I think it was somewhere revealed in the Snowden documents, but the USA runs a cyber-spying operation in Germany dedicated to industrial espionage against its German puppet. And as Snowden made clear, the USA outdoes all other countries in nefarious cyber activities, something that the Western fakestream presstitutes durst never mention, good paying jobs being so rare in the glorious West these days.
Yes, the EU is indeed shifting it’s priorities to the East. By East we mean both Russia and China, as the Chinese and Russians have an economic partnership, which the US hoped to break up. This goes back to the days of Nixon, who sent Kissinger to China, hoping to bring China to the West at the expense of Russia. Well, the Chinese did not fall for this divide and conquer tactic. Yes, they came to the West all right, but also turned to Russia, something that Washington did not expect.
As for Merkel, she was being diplomatic when she stated that “The triangle between EU, China and US is very important” for multilateralism. Not really. The true triangle will be Europe, Russia and China. Even Italy dared say ‘no’ to the US, signing up to the Silk Road. Things are changing rather quickly. I wonder if Washington is fully able to grasp this point.
Most commentators seem to totally miss the point…..try what they may, try what west may……their time is over, its a historical process, blaming the blacks, Asians, Muslims, etc will neither reverse the rapidly falling western civilisation; nor stop the social, cultural, industrial, wealth erosion process. The reasons behind west’s fall are many and complex but suffice it to say the primary reason is their blood lust, greed, and stealing resources and wealth of other lands by carrying out wide industrial scale murder and crimes against humanity for their greed and material possessions. now has come the inevitable. This continued decline of the west will create a vacuum and the decline will be interspersed with bouts of great violence, but such is what happens when the world goes through geopolitical power shift,
“their blood lust, greed, and stealing resources and wealth of other lands by carrying out wide industrial scale murder and crimes against humanity for their greed and material possessions.”
The only thing that has been different in the last few centuries is that the Europeans were doing this to the rest of the world instead of only to other Europeans like they had been for a millennium or longer previously. You’ve basically just supplied the chapter titles to a book on European History.
In the West, the business people tell the politicians what to do. Merkel is a good example. But its true across the West. In the West, government is a corporate-government partnership masquerading as a democracy. There might be at times a competition as to which industries or corporations have the most control over the government, but never make the mistake of believing politicians to be independent actors.
“And that may translate as a threat to European values and norms.”
What norms? Increasing censorship; burgeoning bankster power; mass immigration; destruction of gender, family, culture and religion; and the backing of every single Zionist war. It is a turbo-liberalism on steroids that can only lead to societal collapse and…the rise of a saviour — bankster chosen — who will lead us all into a Silky Future of social credit scores and eternal political correctness, and all praise to the Leaders.
The dogs on the street are laughing at the childishness of the manipulative script. Yet here we are falling for it. Wiemar 2.0 — this time its global!