The Russian mass media paid very little attention to the past on the eve of the Munich conference. No, of course, everyone wrote about the speech of our Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and laughed at the empty hall during Poroshenko's speech. But much more important things were announced at this conference, indicating a fundamental shift in international politics.
You probably know that the PRC is now realizing its new strategy "One belt - one way". The essence of the strategy is very simple: in its foreign trade, China must abandon the priority of the US market for its goods and reorient trade flows to the European Union. The very name of the strategy is a reference to the Great Silk Road that stretched from the Middle Kingdom through Central Asia and the Middle East to Europe and determined the trade balance for many centuries. And so China decided to revive the two branches of this path, the ground, passing through the territories of Russia and Kazakhstan and the Sea, going through the Indian Ocean or the Northern Sea Route, as a result, these branches should form a single trade belt.
The European Union was optimistic about the proposal of the Chinese side, as he himself planned to revive his old national economies with the help of creating a fast transit with Asia. And everything seemed to go well, the Europeans drowned in embraces with the Chinese, exchanging joint investments. But then something abruptly went wrong.
So at the Munich Conference, European politicians suddenly criticized China mercilessly. Okay, when else they say about the observance of freedom and democracy, for Europeans these are just general political words. But this time the idea of creating a New Silk Road was criticized and even calls were voiced for abandoning this project altogether. Now we quote the speech of German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel:
"The initiative of the new Silk Road is not, as some in Germany believe - a sentimental reminder of Marco Polo. Rather, it means trying to create a comprehensive system for shaping the world in the interests of China. China is developing an alternative system to the West, which, unlike our model, is not based on freedom, democracy and individual human rights. "
Do you feel this alarmist tone in the words of the europolitik, which calls for fear of China? At the same conference, Gabriel's position was also supported by the head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who stated that the EU would not support all the ideas and proposals of China including the One-Way-One Way initiative. Although half a year ago he was ready to hug himself in public with Xing Jinping.
The rhetoric of the EU towards China has gradually changed during the entire 2017 year. And it all began with the election of Donald Trump. Initially, the European Union took a joint position with China on criticizing the isolationist sentiments of Donald Trump, well, you agree that the introduction of additional barrage duties on the import of goods to the States will not be beneficial for either Europe or China.
But apparently Donald Trump still managed to set up european officials against China. But how? Trump refused the policy of single duties for all and introduces them point-to-point against specific countries. A couple of days ago, for example, it was specifically against Russian and Chinese steel that it was proposed to introduce an 53% duty.
Against a number of non-European countries, the same measure is introduced for, for example, aluminum. It is worth adding here the introduction of 30% of duties on Chinese solar panels, and 50% on household appliances assembled in the heavenly.
And while the products from the European Union do not fall under this patronage of the American market. I think this has become a kind of exchange. In return for the lack of economic pressure on Europe, European countries should abandon joint trade projects with China and eventually join Trump's protectionist policy. Otherwise, you can also get significant restrictions for European Exporters. The situation is very similar to the continental blockade of Britain in the Napoleonic era.
It is clear that the European elites have not made a decision for themselves, and the rhetoric of the Europolitics is only the work of pro-American lobbyists who should set up public opinion against Russia and China. But the economic elite of Europe still wants to cooperate with China. For example, the chairman of the board of the German concern Siemens Joe Kezer, said that, quote:
"The project" One Belt, One Way "will become a new WTO, whether it is like someone or not."
It seems that the world is now in a period of fragmentation into economic-military blocs, which in the future will enter into direct confrontation with each other. And it is very similar to the fact that the last allies are now determined.