The West against the Rest (II)
In her State of the Union Address, EU-Commission President Ursula von der Leyen orients the West toward the formation of blocks. Non-Western alliances (BRICS, SCO) are gaining support.
BRUSSELS/SAMARKAND (Own report) – In its power struggle against Russia and China, the EU is aiming at the formation of a global bloc, seeking to comprehensively expand the Western bloc and to move against foreign powers’ “Trojan horses” at home, according to yesterday’s State of the Union Address by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The transatlantic bloc, which includes some Asia-Pacific nations, will thus be given the positively connotated label of “democracies.” It is to include as many African and Latin American nations as possible and juxtaposed with a non-western bloc, which will be given the negatively connotated label “autocracies.” While the EU is fostering the formation of a bloc, in the non-Western “rest” of the world – i.e., three quarters of all nations – new alliances are forming, seeking a multipolar international order. Besides Russia and China, these include India Brazil and South Africa. Diverse countries such as Argentina, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia are seeking to join BRICS or SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization).
In her State of the Union Address yesterday, EU-Commission President Ursula von der Leyen openly oriented toward the formation of a global block. Now is the time “to rethink our foreign policy agenda,” von der Leyen declared, and “to invest in the power of democracies.” The transatlantic alliance – including Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea – is apparently its core, as the Commission President's not always precise allocations seem to indicate. While ignoring the, at times, quite considerable differences within the West, von der Leyen claims that the Western “democracies” of this “core” are “friends,” who “see the world with the same eyes.” Besides the G7 and NATO member states, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and “the opposition in Belarus” are also “friends”, which – in a first step – have to be drawn closer to the “core of democracies.” Emphasizing the valorization of the allies (“democracies”) and the deliberate degradation of rivals and foes (factual or alleged “autocracies”) already formed the basis of US President Joe Biden’s “Democracy Summit” held in December 2021 in Washington.
As von der Leyen also explained, “our future” also depends “on our ability to engage beyond the core of our democratic partners.” The President of the Commission specifically referred to African nations, whom she wants to woo also using the “Global Gateway,” a large-scale investment program, which has already been pompously announced twice, but has yet to show any real success. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.) Von der Leyen now wants to replicate “this approach” across Latin America. In its external self-portrayal, EU propaganda enjoys using the expression “Team Europe.” While seeking to win numerous allies from around the world for the bloc of “democracies”, von der Leyen announced that it will not be tolerated that “foreign autocrats” and “foreign institutes” within the EU “undermine our values.” “We will not allow any autocracy's Trojan horses to attack our democracies from within.” In the future, a “Defense of Democracy package” will uncover “foreign influence” in the EU.
“No Block Confrontation”
Whereas the EU is internally relying on isolation and externally on bloc formation and expansion, non-western alliances working toward a multipolar order, with no interest in dividing the world into bi-polar blocs are advancing. One of these alliances on the rise is the BRICS Alliance (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). Originally founded to represent the specific interests of those five emerging economies, cooperation with them is now becoming more attractive to other countries, which have either been sidelined by the West and under attack with its sanctions or who have other reasons for seeing few opportunities for themselves in a world dominated by the West. Iran and Argentina are determined to become BRICS members. Alongside Indonesia and Thailand, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Nigeria, as well as Senegal attended a “BRICS +” meeting in May, dedicated to the question of closer cooperation. At the most recent summit meeting in late June, China’s President Xi Jinping, stressed that the members of the alliance were not interested in forging an anti-Western bloc, but rather “to reject the Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation.“
Alliance with Fractures
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which is holding its summit meeting today in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, is also gaining traction. The SCO was founded in 2001 by China, Russia and four Central Asian countries, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan. India and Pakistan joined in 2017. Cooperation within the SCO format is broad-based. It covers a wide range of areas – from economics to Culture, from the fight against terrorism and organized crime to military activities. In the West, the SCO is often under or overestimated, either ridiculed as a hardly capable colossus or erroneously described as an anti-Western (“anti-NATO”) military alliance. In reality, the SCO has provided the framework for a modicum of cooperation among its members, particularly in fields of economics and warding off terrorist activities. Serious tensions between some of its members are among its weaknesses – the relations between India and Pakistan have always been considered miserable, India sees China as its greatest Asian rival.
On the Verge of Expansion
And yet the SCO is currently on the upswing. At today’s summit meeting, the decision concerning Iran’s admission is on the agenda. According to reports, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is also flirting with membership in SCO – in spite of Iran’s membership, one of its traditional rivals in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Qatar are seeking “Dialog Partner” status, which Turkey, Sri Lanka and Nepal, Cambodia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan already have. Should the SCO accord “Dialog Partner” status to the Arab Gulf states, it would prove for Riyadh and Abu Dhabi to be another step away from their exclusive ties to the USA and/or Western powers and toward cooperation with several poles of power – a step in the direction of a multi-polar world. With its emergence, the West’s previous global dominance would come to an end.
 2022 State of the Union Address by President von der Leyen. ec.europa.eu 14.09.2022
 2022 State of the Union Address by President von der Leyen. ec.europa.eu 14.09.2022.
 See also The West against the Rest.
 Chinese President Xi Jinping asks BRICS to jointly safeguard world peace; attacks US, EU military alliances. economictimes.indiatimes.com 23.06.2022.
 Thomas Seibert: Treffpunkt des Anti-Westens. tagesspiegel.de 14.09.2022.