Manlio Dinucci (Il Manifesto, 9 March 2021)
The EU-China Agreement on investments, signed on 30 December by the European Commission, it may not be ratified by MEPs on the allegation that Beijing violates human rights. It is the screen behind which the real reason is hidden: the growing pressure exerted by the United States on Europe to create a coalition against China. Washington's strategy - from Obama to Trump and now to Biden - is that of "containment" of China, whose growth calls into question the world economic order so far dominated by the United States and the major Western powers.
It is the multinationals and other US and European companies that have relocated much of their production to China for decades, making huge profits. However, China has not remained simply the "factory of the world" where people go to produce because labor costs less. It has carried out its own production and technological development e, on that basis, projects such as the New Silk Road. At an advanced stage of construction, it consists of a road and rail network between China and Europe through Central Asia, the Middle East and Russia, combined with a sea route through the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. For road infrastructures, railway and port in addition 60 countries are expected to invest for over 1000 billions of dollars.
In this framework, China has become Russia's largest trading partner. Economic relations between the two countries have strengthened, especially after the sanctions imposed by the United States and the EU on Russia, with an interchange that has passed i 100 billions of dollars annually and is growing.
Trade between the United States and China remains six times greater. Ma, since many products on the US market are manufactured in China by US multinationals or supplied by Chinese companies, the United States has a deficit of over in bilateral trade 300 billions of dollars annually. There was also a collapse of Chinese investments in the US for production purposes, dropped of 90% in three years (from 46,5 to 4,8 billions of dollars), while those in the United States in China remained at around 13 billions.
At the same time the share of the US debt of over 27.000 billions of dollars, owned by China, has declined since 14% in 2011 al 5% in 2020. Even more serious for Washington is the fact that the dollar share of China's foreign exchange reserves has fallen in the four years since 79% al 59% and that China is looking for alternative currencies to the dollar to use in international trade.
Not being able to stop this process that can put an end to the economic dominance of the United States, Washington throws the sword on the scales. Economic "containment" becomes military "containment".
Admiral Phil Davidson, who is head of the Indo-Pacific Command of the United States (whose area of responsibility covers China and others 35 countries), requested Congress over 27 billions of dollars over five years to build a curtain of missile bases and satellite systems around China, including a constellation of radars on space platforms. "We must start facing China from a position of strength", Antony Blinken told the Senate, state secretary of the Biden administration.
At the Munich Security Conference, the 19 February, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg reiterated: "Europe and North America must defend the international order, that China and Russia challenge by trying to rewrite its rules for the benefit of their own interests ". After accusing Russia of "destabilizing behavior", declared that "the rise of China is a crucial issue for the transatlantic community". He then announced an upcoming "update of NATO's strategic concept" because "we need to strengthen ourselves militarily" together with "close partners such as Australia and Japan".
Call to arms therefore for US allies, not only against Russia in Europe but against China in Asia. With the result that Russia and China strengthen their alliance also on the military level.
(Il Manifesto, 9 March 2021)