In the Transpacific Cold War

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits Berlin. USA intensifies economic sanctions and military provocations.

BERLIN/BEIJING | | chinausa

BERLIN/BEIJING (Own report) - US aggression against China, increasing almost on a daily basis, has accompanied Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to Europe, which ends today. Wang is holding talks today in Berlin. He is seeking to prevent a transatlantic concerted front against Beijing and has warned during his trip against "a new Cold War." The Trump administration has significantly expanded its sanctions against Huawei and threatened Chinese Internet companies with a ban on their business activities in the USA. It has recently also imposed sanctions on subsidiaries of the state owned CCCC construction company, nicknamed the "Huawei of infrastructure" by US politicians. CCCC is playing an important role in construction projects within the framework of the New Silk Road. The USA is also increasing its military provocations. Berlin has just reaffirmed its rejection of the "decoupling" from Beijing, demanded by Washington. Wang's visit in Europe has also been accompanied by systematic orchestrated protests intended to hamper cooperation, with German Greens playing a key role. This can only favor US aggression.

"Complicated" Relations with China

Efforts to prevent a comprehensive transatlantic concerted front against the People's Republic of China have been at the focus of Chinese Foreign Minister Wan Yi's visit to Europe, which ends today. In late July in London, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had called for the creation of a "broad alliance" against Beijing and declared that all democracies must build "a coalition" to jointly counter the People's Republic.[1] In mid-August, Pompeo, the former CIA director, visited Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Austria to promote his anti-Chinese "alliance", that Berlin seeks to avoid. In early August, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Michael Roth declared in an op-ed, "EU relations with China" are "complicated", Beijing is not only a "systemic rival," but also an "important partner" - particularly in the economic field. "Our economies are interconnected, and cooperating with one another is in our mutual interest."[2] Roth declared in particular, that "decoupling as far as possible from China, as the U.S. has in mind, is not an option for the EU."

The "Law of the Jungle"

Wang is now seeking to counter US pressure. Already on Tuesday, during the first stop of his European tour in Rome, he warned that "a new Cold War" would "kidnap the whole world." China firmly rejects this and offers "to join hands to oppose anyone who is trying to drag us back into that 'law of the jungle'."[3] His statement was clearly aimed at Washington and its growing number of unilateral aggressions around the globe. With his visit to Europe, Wang also sought to prepare the EU video conference with China's President Xi Jinping, announced for September 14. At a meeting on Sunday in Paris, Wang spoke of the prospect of concluding the planned investment agreement between the EU and China before the end of this year.[4] Following his visit to Italy, France, the Netherlands and Norway, Wang arrived for talks in the German capital today. As part of Beijing's efforts to stabilize relations with Europe, China's top diplomat and politburo member, Yang Jiechi, is awaited this week in Greece and Spain.

Escalating Sanctions

This is taking place at a time when the United States is intensifying its anti-China aggression almost on a daily basis. For example, the Trump administration recently intensified its sanctions against Huawei, so that now any chip manufacturer in the world, who uses even a small amount of US products, is not allowed to supply any semiconductors to that Chinese telecommunications group. Given the dominance of US tools in certain segments of chipmaking, the new rule amounted to a blanket ban on any chip sales and possibly the collapse of the enterprise, once its inventories run out, which experts estimate could be early next year.[5] The Trump administration is additionally threatening to ban Chinese apps, such as TikTok or WeChat - and combining this, mafia-like, with the offer that TikTok be sold to a US company at a far-undervalued price, due to the threat of the ban. Last week, Washington applied supplementary sanctions against 24 Chinese companies active in the South China Sea - including five China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) subsidiaries. It remains unclear what effect this will have. If the sanctions are limited to a boycott of supplies, they would have little effect. CCCC hardly buys US products.[6] However, it is unclear if this will deter the group's cooperation partners. CCCC, which US politicians are already referring to as "the Huawei of infrastructure," is carrying out nearly 1,000 projects in more than 150 countries and plays a prominent role in construction projects within the framework of the New Silk Road.

Military Provocations

The United States is also expanding its military provocations, particularly those in the South China Sea. That is where the US Pacific Fleet has reinforced its maneuvers and carried out combat exercises with the participation of Australia's naval vessels, some maneuvers even in close proximity to Chinese vessels. In mid-August, US Air Force B-1 and B-2 bombers were on maneuvers in connection with a US aircraft carrier battle group close to Japan and over the Indian Ocean. Last week, the US guided missile destroyer ostentatiously cruised through an area near the Paracel Islands claimed by China as territorial waters. Shortly prior, a U-2 spy plane, attached to the US Pacific Air Force, made an unauthorized entry into China's northeastern no-fly zone, during Chinese military drills - a risky operation, that nourished existing concerns, even within western military circles that with a - deliberate - accident, the USA may be trying to provoke a military conflict with China. Over the past few days, by carrying out simultaneous maneuvers - among other things, in the South and East China Seas, in the Yellow Sea as well as in the Gulf of Bohai - Beijing has made it clear that it is prepared to defend itself against an eventual US aggression. During training exercises, the Chinese military also launched several DF-21D and DF-26B missiles into the South China Sea. The DF-21D is considered a highly efficient anti-ship missile and is therefore nicknamed the "carrier killer"; while the DF-26B can even reach the US Guam military base in the Pacific.

Campaign against Beijing

In this situation, an anti-Chinese alliance of parliamentarians, where right-wing US hardliners and German Green politicians are playing leading roles, have launched PR actions during the visit of China's Minister of Foreign Affairs, which were clearly aimed at further heightening tensions. This is the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), a network, co-initiated by the Green European Parliamentarian Reinhard Bütikofer, with US Senator Marco Rubio among its prominent members. A specialist of the CIA is active on IPAC's advisory board. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[7]) The IPAC had organized protest actions with Hong Kong activists on the margins of Wang's visit, protest letters, and, in the Netherlands, an alleged round of discussions concerning the situation in Xinjiang.[8] In Germany, the three IPAC members, Michael Brand, (CDU), Gyde Jensen (FDP) and Margarete Bause (Green Party) called on the government to refrain from using "diplomatic language" and to "speak frankly" during the talks with the Chinese foreign minister.[9] The IPAC members use the human rights issue as a pretext, which do not raise against western powers (such as illegal wars of aggression against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, violations of human rights during the "war on terror," and while warding off refugees). These harassments, in fact, facilitate the Trump administration's aspired transatlantic concerted front against Beijing.

 

[1] See also Teures "decoupling".

[2] See also The "Coalition of the Determined".

[3] Starting a "new Cold War" is to reverse course of history, kidnap world: Chinese FM. xinhuanet.com 26.08.2020.

[4] Frédéric Schaeffer, Virginie Robert: Chine-UE : un accord sur les investissements possible avant fin décembre. lesechos.fr 30.08.2020.

[5] Kathrin Hille, Edward White, Kana Inagaki: Chip and phone supply chain shaken as Huawei faces mortal threat. ft.com 18.08.2020.

[6] Kate O'Keeffe, Chun Han Wong: U.S. Sanctions Chinese Firms and Executives Active in Contested South China Sea. wsj.com 26.08.2020.

[7] See also The Green Cold War.

[8] Patrick Wintour: China's European charm offensive disrupted by activists. theguardian.com 28.08.2020.

[9] Maas soll bei Besuch von Chinas Außenminister Klartext reden. spiegel.de 29.08.2020.