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VIDEO-KOLUMNE

War against China

There is a reflex in Europe that is detrimental to China. It is the downside of the respectful awe at China's vastness, its size, its culture, and statehood. By comparison, Europe appears tiny. The comparison mitigates the error of being incomparable. China is greater.

The Business Foundation of German Industry (II)

The geostrategic competition between the USA and China could lead to a decoupling of German companies from the Chinese or the US market, a recent analysis predicts.

BERLIN/GÜTERSLOH |

BERLIN/GÜTERSLOH (Own report) - In case of further escalation of the power struggle between the USA and China, German business circles go so far as to consider breaking up companies into different regional units or taking even more drastic steps, according to a comprehensive analysis elaborated by the Bertelsmann Foundation in cooperation with the Federation of German Industries (BDI). The analysis outlines five scenarios for the development of this US American-Chinese conflict, two of which - more cooperative ones - are deemed unlikely. A third scenario envisions the continuation of the status quo, while another two anticipate a further escalation of tensions. This would lead to clearly delineated blocs, a dramatic military buildup and an eventual erosion of the EU between the USA and China, its disintegration and possibly even its economic collapse. Some companies could feel compelled to completely decouple from the Chinese market and not ruling out withdrawal from the US, or even from the "European home market." Initial signs of a new orientation can already be discerned in current corporate decisions. more…

The Business Foundation of German Industry (I)

German Think Tank outlines scenarios for possible developments in the geostrategic competition between the USA and China and their respective impact on the German economy.

BERLIN/GÜTERSLOH |

BERLIN/GÜTERSLOH (Own report) - Germany's influential Bertelsmann Foundation has published a comprehensive analysis of the impact the geostrategic competition between the USA and China has on Germany's economy. German companies are essentially dependent on profitable business relations with both countries to avoid jeopardizing their position in the global economy. At the same time, German businessmen fear that they may have to choose sides due to the escalating rivalry between Washington and Beijing. The Bertelsmann Foundation outlines five scenarios for the development of this conflict and presents possible responses from the side of German businesses. The analysis has been elaborated over a longer period of time in cooperation with the Federation of German Industries (BDI), drawing on assessments and strategic considerations of various segments of the German economy. The authors conclude that more cooperative scenarios of the US-Chinese conflict do not "currently seem to align with the internal logic of the systems involved." German companies could be forced to take drastic steps. more…

A 'Toxic Cocktail' for the EU's Natural Gas Supply

Transatlantic circles again speculate on applying sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. US LNG producers reduce their supplies to Europe.

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/MOSCOW | | russische-foederationusa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Own report) - Statements by US officials and a trip to Europe by a US special envoy renew speculations on possible sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Russia has been accused of deliberately driving up the gas price in Europe and of exploiting the current supply difficulties within the EU for political ends. Experts largely disagree: Whereas natural gas prices have skyrocketed, due to the rapidly rising demand in East Asia and the EU Commission's pricing policy, Moscow has fully honored all contractual supply obligations. Gazprom has even increased its exports to Germany by 33 percent, compared to the same period last year, while US supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe have decreased by 15 percent. US energy companies can get higher prices in Asia. According to the US ambassador to Ukraine, Russia might have "geopolitical considerations" for delaying the expansion of gas exports to Europe. In that case new sanctions are envisaged. more…

"This is Our Backyard!"

At its Western Balkans Summit the EU woos the non-member nations of Southeastern Europe with lip service. Russia and also China, the major vaccine supplier, are gaining influence in the region.

BERLIN/BRUSSELS |

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) - Paying lip service to alleged enlargement plans, the EU is seeking to shield the six non-member countries in Southeast Europe from Russian, Chinese and Turkish influence. The EU reconfirms its commitment to the "enlargement process" - i.e. the admission of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo, which had seceded from Serbia in violation of international law, into the EU - according to a declaration adopted yesterday by the EU leaders in Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia. Experts are not taking this statement seriously. To promote closer ties to the EU, the leaders also announced billions of euros in support of infrastructure projects and to provide the region with larger amounts of Covid-19 vaccines. So far, China has supplied more vaccine than the EU and is even building a vaccine plant in Serbia. Latvia's prime minister more blatantly calls for eliminating the influence of such countries as Russia and China in Southeast Europe "This is our backyard." more…

Russia in Military Format

Bundeswehr placed orders for high-resolution maps of Russia. EU calls for more sanctions. German think tank promotes "change in Russia", YouTube deletes RT DE.

BERLIN/MOSCOW | | russische-foederation

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Own report) - The German Bundeswehr has commissioned the "fabrication and delivery" of high-resolution maps of Russia - vector maps in military format, according to a report. Germany is part of a cooperation network, wherein 32 countries - grouped around a NATO core - "share photos and maps with one another." This procurement of militarily applicable maps comes at a time when tensions between the West and Russia continue to escalate. Most recently, the EU threatened new sanctions. According to the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), new investments must be made, not only "in the defense capacities within the NATO and the EU frameworks." "Change in Russia" must also be promoted through Intensive contacts within the Russian society. At the same time, the US company, Google, and its video platform YouTube has deleted RT DE - the German language edition of the Russian international broadcaster "Russia Today." This move is akin to measures the DGAP had proposed to accompany a more aggressive German foreign policy. more…

Strategy Recommendations for the Next German Government (II)

German think tank specifies demands for Germany's foreign policy: creation of a sort of national security council, radical change of course in relations with China, the EU's inner alignment.

BERLIN | | china

BERLIN (Own report) - The German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) submitted concrete proposals for Germany's and the EU's alignment in view of the upcoming global power struggles. The proposals, which were drawn up by a group of experts coordinated by the DGAP, are addressed to the next German government, which is expected to immediately begin with their implementation. The group of experts takes up demands that have been repeatedly raised since some time, including the creation of a sort of national security council and the establishment of a European intervention force, a "European Joint Force." Special attention is being paid to digital technologies, considered to be a "decisive factor" for economic clout. The DGAP paper is calling for a radical change of the policy towards China. Plans for a comprehensive propagandistic alignment of civil society play an important role. A "rating agency" should be created to "rate" the media on its alleged "factual accuracy in its reporting." more…

Strategy Recommendations for the Next German Government (I)

German think tank demands a more offensive foreign policy, willing to take greater risks: "Blurring the boundaries between war and peace."

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - The next government should initiate a shift to a more offensive foreign policy, willing to take greater risks, and seek the necessary "public approval." This demand has been raised by a group of experts in their newly-published strategy paper. The group had been coordinated over a ten-month period by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). For the foreseeable future, international politics will be dominated by the "great power competition between the USA and China," the paper notes. "Vulnerability" has become the "normal state of affairs," the "boundaries between war and peace are becoming blurred." Over the past few years, Germany has been losing influence in this development and must, therefore, seek to "prevent further strategic déclassement." The DGAP paper lists conflicts within the EU and the escalating crises beyond the EU's external borders as examples for this loss of influence. Berlin must be prepared "to take decisions even amid great uncertainty." The paper received an important input from ministries and politicians of the CDU/CSU, SPD and the Greens. more…

Russian Flags in Bamako

The debate on the future of the German Bundeswehr mission in Mali is taking place as Russia and Turkey noticeably increase their influence in the Sahel.

BERLIN/PARIS/BAMAKO/MOSCOW | | malirussische-foederation

BERLIN/PARIS/BAMAKO/MOSCOW (Own report) - The West's significant loss of influence in Mali is affecting the debate on the future of the Bundeswehr mission in the Sahel. While Berlin - in light f the defeat in Afghanistan - is suggesting that the intervention in the Sahel should not become "the next 20-year mission," the transitional government in Bamako is contemplating recruiting mercenaries from Russia's Wagner Group, as Plan B, in case there is a partial or complete western withdrawal. Plan B is linked to the expansion of military cooperation between Mali and Russia launched in June 2019, with the signing of an agreement. The prospect of closer cooperation with Moscow is met with growing sympathy within the Malian population. At the same time, Turkey is also consolidating its position in the Sahel by expanding its economic and cultural influence and training Malian officers. Following Syria and Libya, Mali is, therefore, the next country, where the Western powers are losing their influence while Russia and Turkey are enhancing theirs. more…