When a major Swiss publication organ like the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” publishes four articles1 within a range of 8 days which put the case for at least a Cold War against China, not only one by the USA but by Europe as well, it does not mean filling the summer gap. Instead it is obviously about commanding allegiance by both big parties in the USA and their allies in Europe while those governments which are unassertive or even opposing – like neutral Switzerland – are to be pushed on to this doom-laden path.
Of course these articles are not written in a way conceding the USA and their allies are afraid to lose their decades-long hegemony, be it military, political, economic or cultural2 and that they see for the first time since 1990 a potential rival ie. ascending China. Instead they talk about “necessary defence against China that presents itself aggressive and imperial to the exterior – be it in the South-China Sea or with the project “One Belt one Road”, or with her comprehensive investments in many states of the world. This goes along with reproaching China of an exacerbating dictatorship , be it against the population in the interior, against minorities like the Uigurs in the province of Xinjiang, or against the political “opposition” or the protest movement in Hongkong, The Chinese are even said to be responsible for the Corona-Pandemic.
Cleaning up one’s own backyard
All these points could be discussed very well if there wasn‘t a book like the new one by Daniele Ganser “Imperium USA. Die Skrupellose Weltmacht” (Imperium USA. The Ruthless World Power)3 – and if we did not have a lot of further evidence pointing to the idea that the USA and their allies would be well-advised to clean their own backyard before pointing their fingers at others. Just imagine what would happen, if a large Chinese naval formation was crossing in the Mexican Gulf, just as the US Navy currently is in the the South China Sea. Quite obviously it is not honest policy on the basis of political ethics those loud plaintiffs against China have in mind, but most likely something completely different.
It would be worthwhile as well to consult an open-minded author like Kishore Mahbubani from Singapore and to take him seriously. In his books starting with “The New Asian Hemisphere – The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East” (2008) up to “Has China Won? The Chinese Challenge to American Primacy” (2020) – he pleads a realistic look at the Asian states. In particular at China and its position in the world, and demands to consider the historical development and show more respect towards the Asian governments’ and peoples‘ successes during the past decades, above all, however, he urges the return to the “West’s” own traditional values, which have been more and more abandoned.
War is a fatal error
We must by all means counter with an alternative this incessant bombardment with media products which picture the confrontation with China as unavoidable. The Chinese government has been pleading for the possibility of “win-win” opportunities. You may consider this talk as economistic but why would it be so difficult to shape life on this planet in a way that all people on all continents can flourish and nobody has to suffer hardship, if ony the political will exists. After 1945 the legislative framework was created and it is the desire of all humankind, as well. One should invest billions into the search for answers to the question of how to achieve a peaceful and just world – instead of rearming worldwide and inciting conflicts – as was done in the past years. Why should the Americans and Europeans not be able to live peacefully together with those 1,4 billion Chinese? Are there indeed some problems which would render confrontation inevitable? Certainly not! It would be much better to look for good solutions to real problems instead of playing with the fire time and again.
It is self evident that every voice counts here. But that will only happen if we deny allegiance to the Cold War against China as well as any other war against any other people and state. To strengthen the will for peace We must clarify our view of human nature: It is not irreconcilable interests, it is not human “drives and instincts” or fix “structures” that lead us into war, it is some sick human souls – even if they present themselves pompous and bombastic. This disease can be cured. War is a wrong path – it is in absolute opposition to the human social nature and has only “brought untold sorrows to mankind”. 4
1 “Das neue Gesicht der Arktis” (The new face of the arctis) in: “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” from 11 July 2020; “Der Zweite Kalte Krieg hat längst begonnen” (The second Cold War has long since begun) in “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” from 14 July 2020; “Showdown im Südchinesischen Meer” (Showdown in the South China Sea) in “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” from 15 July 2020; “Die Ära der grossen Rivalität” (The era of big rivalry) in “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” from 18 July 2020
2 Cf over and again Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard. American Primacy and its Geo-strategic Imperatives. 1997, a concept that was several times modified by the author himself, who died in 2017, which however defines US policies up to this day.
3 Cf the extensive book review in Current Concerns no 13, 16 June 2020
4 Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations of 26 June 1945
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