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‘Our prosperity was based on China and Russia’: EU foreign policy chief says the old world is gone and security is no longer a guarantee

beijingwalker

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‘Our prosperity was based on China and Russia’: EU foreign policy chief says the old world is gone and security is no longer a guarantee​

Tristan Bove
Thu, October 13, 2022 at 1:32 AM

e9fb71e598eceb43047e556a9234db95

Philipp von Ditfurth—picture alliance/Getty Images

Europe is becoming increasingly isolated from long-standing partners, and officials are now becoming painfully aware that the continent’s economic security and political unity are at stake.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February created a drastic shift in Europe’s foreign affairs. The war solidified relations between the European Union and the U.S., while relations between the West and Russia broke down. And while Chinese President Xi Jinping has reportedly voiced “concerns” over the war to Vladimir Putin, China has also stayed close to Russia throughout the war where economic interests are involved. The country’s strict COVID-19 containment protocols have also limited economic cooperation with Europe for nearly three years now.

In short, the war has exposed how dependent Europe’s prosperity has become on foreign actors: everything from Russian energy to unencumbered access to China’s large market. And senior officials say Europe needs to chart a new path forward to secure its own future.

“I think that we Europeans are facing a situation in which we suffer the consequences of a process that has been lasting for years in which we have decoupled the sources of our prosperity from the sources of our security,” Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said on Monday at a conference of EU ambassadors.

With China and Russia relations breaking down, Europe has been able to turn to the U.S. in its time of need, but Borrell cautioned that even this historical alliance is at risk in today’s world.
“You—the United States—take care of our security. You—China and Russia—provided the basis of our prosperity. This is a world that is no longer there,” he said.

Shifting dynamics

The war, and the pandemic before that, exposed how reliant Europe really was on China and Russia for its economic security.

Prior to the war, Russia had been Europe’s leading supplier of coal, gas, and oil products, a dependence Borrell admits in retrospect was shortsighted.

“Our prosperity has been based on cheap energy coming from Russia. Russian gas—cheap and supposedly affordable, secure, and stable. It has been proved not [to be] the case,” he said on Monday.
Since the war broke out, Russian state-owned energy companies have severely limited gas flows to Europe, while European nations are preparing for a partial ban on Russian oil imports coming up in December. But the consequences of these changes, at least in the short term, have been rapidly rising fuel prices and a mounting energy supply crisis across the continent.

Borrell said that the current crisis has helped Europe refocus on domestic energy production, but the transition away from Russian energy will not be easy and will require a “strong restructuring of our economy.”

And where China is concerned, the country’s isolation from the world throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has jeopardized Europe’s relationship with its biggest economic partner. Europe is the world’s largest exporter of manufactured goods and services, and in 2020, China surpassed the U.S. as the EU’s biggest trading partner.

Borrell lamented the loss of Europe’s “access to the big China market” in recent years. In 2020, European investment into China fell by 11.8% and has barely recovered, as travel restrictions and the threat of lockdowns have made doing business in the country more difficult for foreigners. Last month, the European Chamber of Commerce warned that China’s “inflexible and inconsistently implemented” COVID-19 policies had severely eroded European business confidence in the country.

“The access to China is becoming more and more difficult. The adjustment will be tough, and this will create political problems,” Borrell said.

Unpredictable relations

Borrell also discussed how right-wing political parties appear to be rising in power in Europe.

The far-right Brothers of Italy political party made strides when its candidate Giorgia Meloni was elected to be the country’s next prime minister in September, running on a platform that emphasized rising energy prices and cost of living.

“The radical right is increasing their grasp in European politics,” Borrell said. “So, we have a difficult cocktail—internal and external—and the old recipes do not work anymore. We have mounting security challenges, and our internal cohesion is under threat.”

Europe has been able to turn to the U.S. in its time of need, with its historical ally massively increasing shipments of liquefied natural gas to the continent and continuing to support Ukraine with armaments and financial assistance as the war rages on. But Borrell warned that even Europe’s historically stable relationship with the U.S. should not be taken for granted.

While Europe now enjoys a “fantastic relationship” with the U.S., Borrell expressed concern that the current status quo of U.S. support for Europe could change with the next presidential election in 2024, or even after next month’s midterm elections.

“Who knows what will happen two years from now, or even in November? What would have happened if, instead of Biden, it would have been Trump or someone like him in the White House?” Borrell said.
While the political winds might shift in the U.S., public support in the country seems to still be on Europe’s side. A survey from June found that nearly two-thirds of Americans supported expanding U.S. natural gas production and continuing to send liquefied natural gas to Europe as the continent weans itself off Russian supplies. And another survey from last week found that three-quarters of Americans say the U.S. should continue supporting Ukraine.

But regardless, Borrell pointed out that Europe has “delegated” its security to the U.S., and the continent will need to focus on regaining some of that power if it wants to survive in the current world configuration.

“These are some questions that we have to ask ourselves. And the answer for me is clear: we need to shoulder more responsibilities ourselves. We have to take a bigger part of our responsibility in securing security,” he said.

 

beijingwalker

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German Foreign Minister Urges More Caution Towards China


By AFP - Agence France Presse
October 12, 2022

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Wednesday called for more caution in trade with China, warning that Europe's biggest economy must learn from the breakdown of its relations with Russia.

"We must align our political, but above all economic relations with the China that exists today," Baerbock told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

The lesson from Germany's Russia policy must be "that we no longer make ourselves existentially dependent on any country that does not share our values", she said.
Germany is reeling from an energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine as Russia has withdrawn crucial gas supplies, sending prices soaring.

China is a key trading partner for Germany, especially for its flagship automotive industry.

But the relationship has been soured by China's strict zero-Covid policy, the escalation of tensions over Taiwan and concern over human rights issues in the Muslim-dominated Xinjiang region.

At a business summit on Tuesday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz had singled out China as an example of a country with which Germany should maintain business relations.

"We do not have to decouple ourselves from some countries, we must continue doing business with individual countries -- and I will say explicitly, also with China," he said.

German media have reported that Scholz is planning to visit China in November, in what would be the first trip by a G7 leader to the country since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Baerbock said she was not advocating for a "complete decoupling... but for the opening up of alternative markets, diversification and risk management".

Scholz, too, had called for "the rest of Asia to be taken into consideration".

But Baerbock took a sharper tone, citing the participation of Chinese shipping giant Cosco in a container terminal in Hamburg.

"With every investment in German critical infrastructure, we have to ask ourselves what it could mean if China were to turn against us as a democracy," she said.

 

beijingwalker

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Europe got fooled by US once, hopefully now they are awake and don't get fooled by US twice.
Europe owes their healthy development in the past decades to Russia and China, not US.
 

dbc

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Europe got fooled by US once, hopefully now they are awake and don't get fooled by US twice.
Europe owes their healthy development in the past decades to Russia and China, not US.
did you even bother to read your own source?
 

Menthol

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USA in the long plan is trying to reestablish Cold War 2.0.

It will force his allies to cut any relationship with Russia and China, just like in the old day.


For the common people, whether in USA, EU, Russia, China, and the rest of the world, we all just want peace, friendship, happiness, and prosperity together.

Who the hell are these people creating such conflict in the first place?

While these people are making a huge profit from the conflict, the common people are the one who is suffering.

Much much suffering.


You know your democracy is not functioning as you imagine and defend almost every day in this forum and elsewhere.

Naive and idiot!
 
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beijingwalker

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Viet

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I read his whole speech, without cheap energy and goods, with the amount of dollar printing, hyperinflation would have destroyed the West long ago.
It’s like a bad marriage. Time to divorce.

Europe files divorce, cutting ties to abusing husbands Russia/China and turns to the new partner ASEAN.
 

Chat SAMOSA

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Hmm. Let's see.
Europe colonized Asia and Africa, plundered all their wealth and deprived them off crucial industrial revolution.

Then started the world wars and made the entire world pay in life and treasure for their internal rivalries.

Then leached and surfed on US funds and military for their defense as NATO even while preaching to US about global policy


They have their cobblestone streets, gold dome churches, alabaster and gilded operas, museums and holier than though attitudes.


Here is to Asia Africa and America to squeeze those millennial leaches of Europe.
 

Beast

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It’s like a bad marriage. Time to divorce.

Europe files divorce, cutting ties to abusing husbands Russia/China and turns to the new partner ASEAN.
Go ahead, don't make me wait long. :enjoy:

German Foreign Minister Urges More Caution Towards China


By AFP - Agence France Presse
October 12, 2022

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Wednesday called for more caution in trade with China, warning that Europe's biggest economy must learn from the breakdown of its relations with Russia.

"We must align our political, but above all economic relations with the China that exists today," Baerbock told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

The lesson from Germany's Russia policy must be "that we no longer make ourselves existentially dependent on any country that does not share our values", she said.
Germany is reeling from an energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine as Russia has withdrawn crucial gas supplies, sending prices soaring.

China is a key trading partner for Germany, especially for its flagship automotive industry.

But the relationship has been soured by China's strict zero-Covid policy, the escalation of tensions over Taiwan and concern over human rights issues in the Muslim-dominated Xinjiang region.

At a business summit on Tuesday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz had singled out China as an example of a country with which Germany should maintain business relations.

"We do not have to decouple ourselves from some countries, we must continue doing business with individual countries -- and I will say explicitly, also with China," he said.

German media have reported that Scholz is planning to visit China in November, in what would be the first trip by a G7 leader to the country since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Baerbock said she was not advocating for a "complete decoupling... but for the opening up of alternative markets, diversification and risk management".

Scholz, too, had called for "the rest of Asia to be taken into consideration".

But Baerbock took a sharper tone, citing the participation of Chinese shipping giant Cosco in a container terminal in Hamburg.

"With every investment in German critical infrastructure, we have to ask ourselves what it could mean if China were to turn against us as a democracy," she said.

What stupid value these self righteous western white has? Tolerate murder of Kashmir Muslim by Indian Hindu fanatics or Palestine Muslim by Jews while come lecture China on human right?

That is no value and no righteous.
 
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