Singapore and the EU warn USA: "don't give us ultimatums"
The meaning of the two stocks at a high level that occurred in the opposite points of the Eurasian continent, is surprisingly the same: don't put us before a choice "or the United States or China" — will communicate with both parties. I want to believe that this position will determine the main axis of international relations in the years ahead.
We are talking about the article Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Moon in the American journal Foreign Affairs last week. And on the outcome of the just concluded tenth round of Sino-European strategic dialogue. In both cases, we're not talking about some formal documents: the dialogue was, for the present time fashion, using video and article — it is an article, a personal opinion of one person.
Although this man, and his country, well known as the most Pro-American figure in Southeast Asia. The region has a lot of slopes in China, some of it, but Singapore had the "little West" in the East as in the East at all possible.
And now Singapore acts as the foreign representative of the region — given the blatant weakness of the governments of Thailand and Malaysia, the extravagance of the behavior of the Philippines and of permanent diplomatic lethargy Indonesia.
And that is the position of Lee Hsien Moon: we sincerely hope that the US and China (and generally any powers that have weight in Asia) will not be forced to make unacceptable choices between them. From about 1945 to 1970-ies the source of the prosperity of Asia was the United States. Then prosperity has become unthinkable without China, but the US "remain the most important party" of regional life. We need both.
The most interesting thing in the article is how diplomatically the Prime Minister exhorts each of the two superpowers are in quarrel, trying not to turn his speech into an indictment only against America. China, for example, in his opinion, should take into account that you will never be able to fully capture the role of the US in the region. For two reasons: first, he with many of its neighbors have territorial disputes, and secondly, the Chinese community is present almost everywhere. This will always cause suspicion, so that both sides better to acknowledge that the Pacific and Asia are large enough for two, and learn to solve their disputes so that it did not deprive the world of the benefits from the onset of the Asian century.
However, only one side requires the rest of the world to choose, threatening sanctions and other issues for cooperation with China. Beijing does not similarly engaged. Yes, and the fact that Lee Hsien Loong addresses the foreign policy elite of the United States, speaking in the pages of American, not Chinese magazine, are also important.
The Prime Minister LUN does not explain how Asia will respond to those who another ultimatum still present. And this is the question on many billions of dollars that will determine the configuration of the entire world diplomacy in the years ahead. The fact that, in addition to Asia, in the world there are still many regions, and there appears the same picture: a tug-of-war under the American slogan "no deals with Beijing". Where and how to resist it, the issue is complex. Sometimes — no, just ignoring possible American ultimatums.
European countries like Southeast Asia that there too close friends of China, and there is not very much — and they argue among themselves. Is there in Europe its Lee Hsien Loong (that is the main spokesman of the common position)? Yes, it is the head of the EU diplomacy Josep Borrell.
According to the results of the aforementioned round of Sino-European dialogue, he announced the agreement with Beijing to expand cooperation in China and Europe for several strategic (i.e., important for the European political correctness) directions — on the part of the green economy, epidemics and many others. Beijing's cooperation with individual countries will follow its course, but these are untouchable "sacred cows" will be a pan-European symbols of positive ties with China.
And where is the conversation about the United States and that there did not put ultimatums? Anywhere. USA in this and other cases, you can simply politely ignored, not even muttering aloud "don't put us before a choice."
The General direction of Europe, to China obviously. For example, Borrell was involved at a press conference in a discussion about what China to Europe in the philosophical sense. In the beginning of last year the European Commission adopted a document, where China is called "systematic opponents" of the EU promoting "alternative models of governance". And now the diplomat has answered a journalist's question as follows: I understand that calling China a rival system — it was somewhat doubtful, but in any case, he's not a strategic threat. And we have a lot in common.
Now this General has become more clearly. Assess how much it will cost Europe anti-epidemic quarantine, only began to come. The figures relate only until 2020: expect decline between eight and ten percent — it has not happened since the Second world war. Assessment for the U.S. is even worse: minus nine percent or more. And from China — the first economy in the world we all expect an increase, albeit small. From whom in this case to wait for goods and investments? And that rail freight artery for China — Europe sets new records...
American diplomacy around the world trying to disrupt any past or new deals on local governments, Beijing. Somewhere it succeeds, somewhere on the contrary: it is possible to open a kind of the standings. But there are expectations that the overall economic backdrop will bow to China the scales in Latin America, where reduced U.S. influence. And there's Africa and the middle East, where nobody doubts that the Chinese presence in General will be strengthened.
The outcome of this battle for influence difficult to imagine, but is that any governments say or at least think: it is not necessary to offer us a choice "either we or China". Put — wait for the consequences: at least you remember it later.