The growing contradictions between China and the West, which received an ideological coloring after the speech of Mike Pompeo in 2020, who called the confrontation between Beijing and Washington a struggle between the Free World and the Marxist-Leninist Regime, is increasingly acquiring the character of a complex conflict between the parties.
Washington and its Western allies are willing to take any action necessary to make matters worse in the Indo-Pacific Region (IPR) by taking provocative steps, primarily concerning Taiwan. A review of the global doctrine of the US military department on confronting China, prepared by the Secretary of Defense on behalf of President Biden, about the compilation of which CNN reports, the Pentagon is ordered to strengthen the infrastructure in Guam and Australia, to give priority attention to military construction in the Pacific islands, and strive to expand access for military partnerships in the regions. This partnership includes, among other things, the stationing of new rotary fighters and bombers in Australia, training of ground forces, and increased cooperation in the field of logistics, as well as many infrastructure improvements in Guam and throughout the Indo-European region.
In developing this global doctrine of confronting China, the United States is creating more and more alliances, the military field included, as illustrated, in particular, by the recent formation of the AUKUS for the Pacific region. Trying to drag other countries into a confrontation with Tianxia (“under Heaven”), Washington expects to unleash a war with China with the help of its allies. The alliance between the USA, Great Britain, and Australia, AUKUS, and the security dialogue between the USA, Japan, India, and Australia, Quad, erode long-term universal cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region and undermine regional stability.
Not only that, the United States has stepped up a sinophobic information campaign, influencing its own American population and, through the involvement of various controlled foreign media outlets, in many countries of the world. Where this information and propaganda activity leads was reported by the Fox News Channel, emphasizing that more than half of US residents (52%) are scared of China today. And this is confirmed by a poll released by the Ronald Reagan Institute. It is worth noting that 21% of the Americans surveyed feared China only three years ago. Yet, due to the sinophobic information campaign, the White House succeeded in turning a significant part of the country’s population into a camp of opponents to China. In this regard, analysts of the Ronald Reagan Institute reported that perhaps for the first time in the entire period of research of this kind, the Americans united in the vision of their main enemy and named one country, China.
It is worth considering that the number of Europeans who have a negative attitude towards China has increased lately due to Washington’s propagandistic sinophobic policy. According to Das Erste, 26% of German citizens consider China a significant threat, and 55% of those surveyed perceive the growing influence of the PRC as a negative phenomenon.
Having realized the loss in the confrontation with China of the dominant position in politics, economy, and lately the military industry, the United States are taking desperate steps to stop the development of the PRC and Chinese society by isolating China from the rest of the world (or rather what little of it Washington still controls). Among the numerous instruments used by the White House in this global doctrine of confronting China, the sanctions policy has recently begun to be used more and more actively. In addition to introducing sanctions against individuals and legal entities of the PRC, Washington is increasingly engaging the European Union and its other partners in this policy. The rapprochement of such positions of Western countries has already been launched. In partnership with the United States, Great Britain, and Canada, the EU states introduced sanctions against China in March, even though only in December 2020 the parties reached a breakthrough in relations by ending negotiations on the Comprehensive Investment Agreement. Hence, the EU imposed sanctions on China for the first time since the Chinese students protested at Tiananmen Square in 1989. Twenty-seven countries of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels approved this step without discussion, and ministers will finally approve it in December. These sanctions target Chinese officials responsible for alleged human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
In addition, the European Parliament adopted new rules for the export of dual-use goods to China, which will complicate the development of China-Europe cooperation not only, for example, in the chemical industry but also in the development of high-performance computers and software. Therefore, Western countries have openly demonstrated the coordination with the United States on sanctions and their political will to join forces in countering the growth of China.
Beijing did not leave these EU actions unanswered, announcing symmetric measures and introducing personal sanctions against representatives of the EU and the UK, and refusing to ratify the investment deal with Europe until the sanctions are lifted. According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the EU’s actions are based on “lies and misinformation,” serious interference in China’s internal affairs, violations of international law and fundamental standards of international relations, and a significant undermining of relations between China and the EU.
It can hardly be considered accidental that, at the same time as the Europeans decided to renew sanctions, Washington added more than a dozen Chinese companies to its trade blacklist, indicating that these firms are helping Chinese military specialists master quantum computing. In addition, Chinese enterprises and scientific institutions in China and those located in Japan, Pakistan, and Russia fell into the US sanctions fishing net. As the US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo stated on this issue, “the new listings will help prevent US technology from supporting the development of Chinese and Russian military advancement.” As for Pakistan, it fell into displeasure with the White House, obviously because of Islamabad’s transition from the clan of outright vassals of Washington to the cohort of Beijing’s allies, as a result of which the United States added to its blacklist Pakistani structures involved in the production of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
Immersed in hypocrisy, the Europeans have already proved a thousand times over that human rights are a diplomatic stick for them, which they use or do not use to the extent of their political profitability, turning a blind eye to the absence, for example, of human rights and discrimination against the Russian-speaking population in the Baltic countries, ignoring other common human values in their legal field.
The exchange of sanctions that has now taken place between the EU and the PRC will probably not be an isolated case. The United States seeks to create a comprehensive system of deterring China through the sanctions mechanisms introduced jointly with the European Union to prevent Beijing from using its partners in Europe as a balance in relations with Washington. At the same time, in expanding the anti-Chinese march of the “United West”, Washington can use some of its European vassals to carry out blatant provocations against Beijing’s policies, which, in particular, was shown by Lithuania’s recent provocative attempt to “prove itself to Washington” in the situation with Taiwan.
Vladimir Odintsov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.