Does the United States need Europe? That question is currently under much debate in Washington policy circles, with some arguing that the U.S. should redeploy forces, materiel and military planning away from Europe and reallocate them toward countering China. The argument has some validity, but it is ultimately unsustainable.
A rarely seen occurrence happened in Europe this week: a humbled China apologized to Europe, after the country’s ambassador to France questioned the sovereignty of post-Soviet countries. It has renewed the conversation about what could happen if Europe, armed with a unified China policy, went toe-to-toe with Beijing.
In a rare move, China’s Foreign Ministry has publicly distanced itself from statements made by a sitting ambassador after the PRC’s top envoy in Paris, Lu Shaye, suggested that none of the former Soviet republics are recognized under international law. His remarks sparked outrage in several European countries.
U.S. policy in Latin America is now strongly shaped by the question of China’s involvement and influence there. But while the U.S. will not convince countries to turn away from Beijing, it could help governments negotiate a better and more fair playing field, for China and other foreign powers operating in their countries.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial visit to China earlier this month sparked widespread criticism on both sides of the Atlantic. Now, as the clamor dies down, two important questions remain that cannot easily be explained away: When it comes to China, who speaks for Europe? And where is European policy on China heading?
Could a coalition of non-Western countries find a pathway to peace between Russia and Ukraine? Brazilian President Lula da Silva talked up this prospect on a visit last weekend to Beijing. Along with China’s own 12-point “position paper” on ending the war, that has focused attention on non-Western powers’ potential to broker peace.
As much as any other single development, China’s rise over the past two decades has remade the landscape of global politics. China rapidly transformed its economy from a low-cost “factory to the world” to a global leader in advanced technologies. Along the way, it has transformed global supply chains, but also international diplomacy.
French President Emmanuel Macron embarked on a three-day state visit to China last week, during which the war in Ukraine, Europe’s ties with Beijing and trade between France and China topped his agenda. But Macron’s messaging during the trip was confusing and raised questions about his vision of European strategic autonomy.
After decades of insufficient funding, misguided investments and poor strategic planning, the U.S. has allowed its position of maritime superiority in the Indo-Pacific to slip away. As a result, China has seized the initiative to threaten not only the United States’ military position in the region, but its economic status as well.