Song Luzheng: Biden's first visit, Europe is the winner
2021-06-20: [Original Article Link].
Biden chose Europe for his first overseas visit, which not only embodies the tradition of Atlanticism, but also shows the world his diplomatic strategy: the resistance to China.
From the communique issued by the G7, Biden has somehow achieved his purpose. This communique not only named China in many places, but also mentioned Taiwan for the first time in history. This can be regarded as a diplomatic gain for Biden, and the compact schedule has also successfully sent a signal to the outside world: Despite the age of nearly eighty years, but his physical strength and intelligence are still competent for the presidency.
But Biden's hard trip, the real winner is Europe.
U.S. President Biden, British Prime Minister Johnson, European Council President Charles Michel, japan's Prime Minister Kan predefined Wei and the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi to 2021 Years 6 to November 11 in Cornwall, England, of G7 summit photo (bitmap source: Reuters)
First, this visit has greatly enhanced Europe's position in the Sino-US-European triangle. Europe, which would have lost Britain, was the weakest of the triangle: a persistent internal split, a weak economy, a backward Internet industry, a rising populism, and the worst neo-Covid pandemic. However, in the case of the strategic game between China and the United States, the EU has become the object of all parties, and the EU can be described as a matter of right and left. Its dominant position is higher than China during the Cold War. After all, it was only the United States that wooed China, and the Soviet Union was still opposed to China.
Second, the EU, which is in a dominant strategic position, has successfully allowed the United States to make substantial concessions: the 17-year tariff war between Boeing and Airbus has ended, the 25% tariff that the United States has threatened to impose on wine has also been shelved. Of course, the US tariffs on European steel and aluminum, respectively 25% and 10%, have not been canceled. In addition to Biden's supporters, the United States cannot play all the cards at once.
Not only that, compared with the Trump period, the United States has completely let go of two major issues: First, the EU's military spending, which the United States has been dissatisfied in the past, is too low and completely ignored. For at least the next few years, the EU will continue to ride the US on security issues.
The second is the huge trade surplus between the EU and the United States. 2020, EU United States surplus of up to 150.5 billion billion euros, equivalent to 180 billion dollars. It is for this reason that Trump has fought a trade war with the EU, and he believes that "the EU is as bad as China, or even worse".
Previously, the Steam pipeline project connecting Germany and Russia, which the United States had been strongly opposed, has now resisted the lifting of sanctions on German companies. The reason why the United States did this is also to focus on more important issues with China during this trip to Europe.
Third, after the increase in value, the EU has more chips in the face of China. In order to balance the power of the United States, China has to give more conceding to the EU. The previous China-EU investment agreement was clearly a huge positive for the EU, but the EU still uses freezing parliamentary approval as a means to threaten China. The reason why the EU is cheap and can sell well is because of the background of the strategic game between China and the United States.
However, China is not the loser of this round. Because the EU's signal of no action is also very clear: it wants both sides to profit. China is not worried or angry about such an EU, because China is worried that the EU is "selflessly" on the side of the United States.
The G7 summit is not over yet, and the two most important EU countries, France and Germany, have made public their positions on China.
French President Macron emphasized that "NATO is a military organization, and our relationship with China is not just a military relationship. NATO, as its name shows, involves the North Atlantic, while China has little to do with the North Atlantic ". "Our relationship with China is far broader than military relations, involving economy, strategy, values, and technology". "I think we need to embrace our relationship with China and embrace our relationship with China in a broader way".
Macron also clarified that "our approach to the Indo-China strategy is not to ally with anyone. On this issue, the policy I advocate for France and for Europe is not to become a vassal of China or to be consistent with the United States." For NATO, his view is that "NATO needs to develop a strategy on Russia, and China should not be a priority of the alliance".
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "China is a competitor on many issues, but China is also a partner on many issues. We said so yesterday at the G7 summit. I think this is very important, similar to our posture towards Russia, that is to always give a way of political consultation to find a solution to the problem."
British Prime Minister Johnson, who closely follows the United States and because of the confrontation between Hong Kong and China, also said: "When it comes to China, I don't think anyone here today wants to fall into a new Cold War with China."
Even the European Media, which has always been unfriendly to China, also advocates not being able to stand on the side of the United States. For example, the German "Der Spiegel" published an article entitled "Germany is in the Biden trap", which announced that Biden would pull Europe into an alliance against China. But Germany should resist, because it is not in Germany's interest to follow Biden. Compared with China, the economic development of the United States has many defects, while Europe and Germany are developing well. German companies still have greater prospects in the Chinese market.
Note: This is an auto-translated version of the article meant for Chinese audience. A mature and nuanced reading is suggested.