DEFCON Warning System – Readers should note that the author of the article injects quite lot of his own opinion into the writing. We draw attention to the subject matter despite the article not meeting journalistic standards.
If China and the U.S. are in the midst of a divorce, Europeans look increasingly like the children.
That was the impression given by a series of back-to-back appearances on Saturday, from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Chinese politburo member Yang Jiechi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The speeches put growing great power rivalries on display, but with Europe more the object of a custody battle than a participant.
He spent much of his speech extolling the virtues of cooperation, international organizations and free trade, popular in Europe, and attacked the dangers of “protectionism,” as well as “hegemony and power politics.” The U.S. wasn’t named, but the target was clear. Yang disputed Pence’s warnings that Chinese technology giant Huawei Technologies Co. would expose European 5G networks to the risk of espionage and suggested that Europeans deserve more respect from their traditional ally.
“I hope some Americans will have a bit more confidence in themselves and be a little more respectful to people, people in the so-called old world,’’ said Yang, a former Chinese ambassador to the U.S., using a common American euphemism for Europe. “People all know where their interests lie, so let there be fewer lecturers.”
Lavrov invited the EU to create an integrated economic space in Eurasia with Russia and echoed President Vladimir Putin’s recent public endorsement of French-led plans to build a European army.
“Whether the EU will be allowed to do that is another matter,’’ he added caustically.
There is no shortage of tension in the EU-U.S. alliance for potential rivals to exploit.
Pence repeated his demand for Europe to fall in line with more aggressive U.S. policies toward Iran and accused the EU of undermining its efforts to isolate the government in Tehran by creating a vehicle to help investors avoid U.S. sanctions. He also drew a comparison between Iran and Nazi Germany, following a trip to the Auschwitz death camp site on Friday.