I can predict that the new geoeconomic and geopolitical Mecca of the world in the post-pandemic and post-Ukraine War period will be Beijing, and it’s already begun.
Let’s take a look t the procession of visits from the West to China and President Xi Jinping: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited President Xi in the first week of November with one of the largest delegations of top German business groups representing the overwhelming interest of the nation’s corporate elite to re-couple with China and its market. U.S. displeasure over the trip was unheeded indicating prospective US-Germany discord in times to come.
China’s market for Germany’s products is just to good and juicy to pass up, for many past years now the top selling car in China is the German Volkswagen but due to recent disruptions it had been overtaken in November 2022 by domestic car giant BYD giving the German company more reason to make a strong comeback by reinvigorating its relations with China – as the other German companies seek to do despite U.S. pushback on these German efforts.
Following German chancellor Scholz was European Union Council President Charles Michel who arrived in Beijing at the onset of December for the meeting with President Xi Jinping. The significance of the European Council is that it brings together EU leaders to set the EU’s political agenda, representing the highest level of political cooperation between EU countries. These journeys to the East, so to speak, hold deeper meaning coming as they do during these post-pandemic and late Ukraine War times.
As we know over the past year the U.S. has been making every effort to force a decoupling of the EU from its very beneficial economic links with China and used the excuse of the Ukraine War and China’s neutrality as an issue against China while the U.S. exploited the dilemma of the E.U. caught in the violent crosscurrents of strategic security interests of Russia versus US-NATO envelopment and encroachment of the Russia security buffer zones.
The E.U.’s prosperity has been based on cheap energy from Russia which the US-NATO war brought onto Russia has severely disrupted causing immense economic catastrophe to E.U. countries, hundreds of thousands of E.U. citizens have been protesting the self-destructive imposition E.U. has accepted to impose on itself from U.S. to support the war of attrition against Russia – but the backlash against the U.S. pressure may have begun and this is a sign.
As the conclusive portion of President Charles Michel’s message to the media and the world at the end the meeting with President Xi said, “Today I conveyed key messages on geopolitical, economic, and global issues. We need to make sure that communication channels remain open and that they are used effectively. With China, engaging openly on all aspects of our relationship is the only way forward. We agreed to continue our exchanges in light of the next EU-China Summit in 2023.”
The unified Western “decoupling” from China seems to be a remote possibility now and the U.S. would be let more isolated than in command of the relations of the West with China. This turnout for the relations between the West and China is the positive dividend from China’s patient, constructive, positive although firm diplomacy with the E.U. and the rest of the world in general – an attribute of China due to it mature Civilization, vision for Mankind, diplomatic wisdom and foresight.
Of course, a long list of world leaders have already met with President Xi Jinping in Bali, such as French President Emmanuel Macron, but the French leaders has also announced a New Year 2023 visit to China being schedule. Macron’s purpose includes what he said, “I am convinced China can play, on our side, a more important mediating role in the coming months, to prevent in particular a stronger return of ground offensives…” as China has maintained its peace on all sides.
While the positive signals are beaming towards China, the relations of the E.U. with its post-WWII dominating transatlantic partner the U.S. is showing signs of fraying. While the E.U. has dutifully followed the script the U.S. wrote out for it to resist with all its might Russia’s defensive response to US-NATO’s creeping “regime change” operation against Russia that started in the 2014 Maidan coup and peaked when Zelensky broached NATO membership, the U.S. has been profiting all the time.
In the early December trip of French President Macron for consultations with President Joe Biden in the U.S. and voicing to the media and the world the dilemma the U.S. puts Europe in, “With Russian natural gas drastically cut, Europe is buying more from the U.S., but at a price as much as six times what Americans pay. This, at a time when inflation and unemployment in France are hovering around 7%,” hence, Macron speaks of EU-US relations facing “De-Synchronization”.
On December 4 the international media reported such headlines as “EU Looks for Ways to Avoid Trade War With US” (Bloomberg) and “ EU chief says bloc must act over US subsidies plan” (DW) over the $430 billion (€408 billion) US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) offering massive subsidies and generous tax breaks for purchasing US-made products triggering EU concerns it may disadvantage European firms — from car companies to makers of green technology.
There is a creeping suspicion in Europe that the U.S. is deliberately drawing E.U. industries with attractive incentives to set up or more precisely, transfer industries from Europe to the U.S. too revive U.S. economic vitality to remain competitive in the face-off with China while leaving Europe to be stripped of its industrial foundations in the wake of the energy stand off from Russia cheap gas and oil while the Ukraine conflict continues without end.
While the US-EU relations are unraveling China’s relations with the EU is on the mend and by 2023 when China’s Zero Covid policy begins its major easing and ushering in a roaring return of the Chinese economy to vigorous, full-bodied growth with Chinese consumer purchases leaping back, Chinese tourism that used to see 110-million again roaming the high end shops of the cities of the World, Europe is already anticipating this.
The more Western visitors will be knocking on President Xi’s door come 2023, but of course, Asia has priority as the Philippine president will likely be the first 2023 official state visitor to President Xi Jinping in the first week of January. The timing of the visit is significant as it antedates many other important visitors, including that of U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken assigned by his president post-G20 Xi-Biden meet to ease normalization of US-China relations again. All road lead to Beijing, China again in 2023 as China prepares to led the global economy out of the post-pandemic and post-Ukraine War crisis and into a new era of Win-Win international relations and global economic development and cooperation. It is and will be again the millennial Mecca of geoeconomic and geopolitical harmony, peace and prosperity for the “Community of Shared Future for Mankind.”