Archivi tag: Eurasia

THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE EU-CHINA MEETING IN LEIPZIG: 1.WHAT LIES BEHIND?

When, thirty years ago, I had started to write about Europe, the prevailing criticism I received was that no reader would ever have taken any interest in European questions, something which mattered just for a handful of specialists and/or idealists.

Now, in 2020, Europe is one of the top political and mediatic issues, either for extolling or for criticizing it. What are, if not European problems, economic crises, recovery from Coronavirus,  disputes among member States, with Russia, China and Turkey? What are, if not disputes about Europe, the “sovereignist” ideas of a “Europe of the Nations”, or the one of Atlanticists, of a “Euro-Atlantic Community”?

In the same way, when, twenty years ago, I started writing about the re-birth of Russia and China, everybody thought that it was mere phantasy, because the Eastern Bloc was just collapsing, and, with the fall of communism, even the modest previous influence of those countries would have ceased; then, we have had Crimea, Donbass, Syria, Libya, high speed trains, Confucius institutes, G5, New Silk Roads, mask diplomacy….Now,allkey protagonists of European politics feel obliged to take position every day about China and Russia. Presently, more often in a negative sense (dictatorship, expansionism, espionnage,  sanctions), but we do not doubt that, in a next future, we will necessarily listen to growing and growing positive voices (effectiveness, epistocracy, harmony). And, in fact, we have been favourably  surprised in listening to some of Europe’s top politicians, as Josep Borrell, inclined even towards a certain amount of equidistance between China and USA:”We are not in a tough position against one or against another. …… So no, I do not see anything comparable to what you remember of what happened many years ago between China, the United States and the Soviet Union. We are not on a confrontational line; we just want to have realistic relationships in order to defend our values and our interests.”

And, in fact, all new EU policies treat on a foot of equality all extra-European relationships.

When, in 2017, I wrote the book DA QIN, maintaining that China millennial history can represent a model for the rejuvenation of Europe, nobody took seriously that idea, which today is not only present in the works of important international scholars, such as Parag Khanna, Daniel D. Bell, Zheng Wei Wei and Zhao Tingyang, bet is even considered as an important danger for the European Union, which has created expressly the formula “Systemic rival” without specifying what it means.

The need to understand how China has become so strong, that the last report of the European Parliament, “EU-China trade and investment relations in challenging times “ is devoted to a multifaceted study of the question, in particular about the cultural, technological and commercial aspects. Notwithstanding the remarkable attention paid to this matter, we feel that very much has still to be studied. We anticipate here the concepts which we will express at length in the new edition of “L’Europa lungo la via della Seta”, about which we will debate on the 4th July,  of July, and which will focus on the attitude that pro-European movements should adopt, according to us, towards the new Treaty under discussion, starting precisely from the structure of the above Parliament’s study.

If, within 10 years, I will still be alive and write on these matters, I am afraid that I will again realize that my pages have foreseen the future, but have been written in vain again.

The many people who cannot do anything better than crying, on behalf of their employers, against  purported “dangers to our way of life” would do a much more useful thing if they would study what is happening in the world – in the Silicon Valley, in the United States, in Russia- for seeing how can we master the burning world of tomorrow.

In the same way, it would be useful to understand what is meant by “our way of life”, because Europe has always been a multi-faceted., or, as the Pope says, a “polyhedrical” countries, with wild, inhabited lands such as Greenland, the Balkans or Lappony; post-modern metropoles, like Paris and London, ancient shrines of culture like Freiburg, Prague, Venice, Florence, Rome, Dubrovnik, Istanbul, St. Petersburg; historical cities, like Granada, Turin, Siena, Palermo, Athens, Sarajevo, Krakow; small jewels of past times, like Guimaraes, Carcassonne, Noto, Modica, San Gimignano, Mantua, Bruges, Rothemburg ob der Tauber, Salzburg, Veliko Tarnovo, Zamosc; West and East….

Qin and Da Qin: the most ancient and continuous empires

1.A history of repressions

The dominating narrative about “the East” (inherited from Herodotus and Aeschilus) is that its societies were, and still are, characterised by   a culture of State repression of individuality (the Empires), whilst Western Europe (and still more the United States) would be the countries of freedom. Personally, I do not share this view, because, albeit having concretely fought in the past against the real forms of repression  then prevailing in the East (under ”real socialism”), I know better the ones of the West, an area where massification and conformism are not less heavy, and where people like Assange and a large part of the Catalan Government are still in jail for having exercised their civil rights, and/or duties. Moreover, the obsessive care for the so-called “fake news” and for opinion crimes shows that, under an falsely friendly image, Western European States are no less totalitarian than Eastern ones. The only difference is that the two areas prosecute different types of infringers: in the East, separatists or pro-Americans, in the West, pro-vita, muslim veil bearers and extreme right nostalgics.

As to an asserted primeval difference as to the respective concepts of the State, what Zhao Tingyang describes of the Chinese Empire (Tian Xia) is astonishingly similar to the Roman empire and still more to the Holy Roman empire, as described, e.g., by Dante in De Monarchia and by de Las Casas in De Regia Potestate. We will devote the third chapter of this post to a thorough analysis of Zhao Tingyang’s work, which is helpful also, and above all, for understanding Europe’s own cultural and political history, starting from pre-history, passing through Persians, Jews, Greeks, Germans, Romans and Modernity, very similar to pre-historical China, the different dynasties and ethnicities.  It is what we mean when we speak about Qin and Da Qin.

In reality, East and West have always influenced mutually one another, and often exchanged their respective roles. For instance, Herodotus explains that, while choosing for themselves monarchy, which they considered more effective, Persians imposed democracy to their subjects, the Greek Ionians, after defeating the latter, because, in this way, they thought that they could be more easily manipulated by the Empire. This preference of empires for having democracy in their satellites has continued up to now. Let’s recall, for instance, that the Soviet Union did not impose in most satellites a Soviet-style one-party system. In certain “socialist” countries, a “true” “communist” party with this name did not even exist, and/or, as in East Germany and Poland, had not even the majority of MPs. These “People’s Democracies” could easier be manipulated (e.g. by Yaruzelski’s  “Stan Wojenny” or the speech of Gorbačev in Berlin in 1989), than genuine dictatorships, like the ones of Tito, Hodzha and Ceausescu, where the leadership was composed of stark communist fighters, which for this reason resisted up to the last moment USSR influence. Useless to recall that Angela Merkel had started her political career as an official of the East German “Youth Front”.

The censorship of Western establishments on Eastern (and East European) cultures and values had been absolute since the XVI Century, at the times of von Herberstein, of  Condorcet, of Hegel, of de Coustine: the “Romano-Germanic Arrogance” of Trubeckoj. Extra-European (and East European) countries have always been vilified: only Western Europe, and eventually America, are valid civilisations, les “nations policées” (“the decent countries”).  The others are backward, are the equivalent of Europe’s Ancien Régime, they would have been substituted with modern, progressive, societies, which, without any doubt, would have imitated Europe, but, especially, America.

According to the Western establishment, the whole process of world history, from the Bible to Hegel and Marx (“from Plato to NATO”), revolved (and still revolves) around the West, where East was seen just as a far away root (Egypt, Israel), an accident (the Mongols) or a foe (Persia, Islam). It is really difficult to have somebody in the West, even the most cultivated and the most ”Third World friendly”, to conceive world history as  something really parallel, from the first hominids, up to the civilisations along the great rivers, ancient empires and cultures, their mutual relationships (e.g., the Silk Road), the succession of ideas spread between East and West (the sannyasin movement, mazdeist and  judaic messianisms, Hinayana and Mahayana buddhism,  christianism, islam, the steppes peoples, the search of Cathay, the chinoiseries, aryanism, the “white man’s burden”, Asiatic ideologies, the Soviet Union, the surge of China, multilateralism…).As Zhao Tingyang writes, “the different histories of the different places have been melt, by European History, into a complex ‘history of histories’. In so doing, they traced no world history, but, on the contrary, just  the history of the expansion of Europe’s influence.”

In the last 100 years, this relentless propaganda has further developed, being unchained against all kinds of non-American nations: imperial Japan; militarist Germany; “papist” Italy; totalitarian Russia; reactionary Poland; theocratic Arabs; nationalist Israelis; hierarchical Indians; imperialist Chinese…The evil does not consist in one or another characteristic: just in being “un-American”. America (and present days Europe) will not stop interfering into the other people’s life until they become exactly equal to USA and Europe. At that moment, there would have been “the End of History”, the “Perpetual Peace”. As Tacitus wrote: “They made the desert, and called it ‘peace’”.

The apparent openness of Americanism to diversity is just theoretical. In fact, if a country becomes equal under all aspects to America, except one thing (e.g, theocracy, monarchy, one party system, a castes system, socialism, polygamy…), it is considered automatically in breach of human rights and the West has the obligation of interfering. Only worldwide uniformity is accepted: against the others (British, Indians, Mexicans, Confederates, Spaniards, Philipinos, Germans, Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, Islamists), there is perpetual war.

In the background of “human rights exportation” there is the belief that the expansion of the “Western way of life” is a higher justification which overrides even the pretended “universality” of human rights. It is a translation into politics of the genocides of the Old Testament (starting from the worshippers of the Golden Calf)  justified by the first Commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me!” And, in fact, when US society or authorities breach roughly those “human rights” that they pretend to protect in other countries, no one has the right to interfere – not even to express a judgement-:the ”Double Standard of Morality”. The extreme case is constituted by the recent sanctions of Trump against the International Criminal Court, created precisely for defending American-style human rights, but responsible to prosecute American military.

2.The “Necessary Nation”

In fact, for America, this idea  to be a “Necessary Nation” is unavoidable: if the USA would not be the leader of the World, its very “raison d’etre” would cease, and every American would come back to be a Brit, a German, an Italian, a Jew, a Hispanic, an African…What we start to see now with the clash among white-Americans and black Americans, but is going on also with Sino-Americans and Islamo-Americans, de facto discriminated. At the end of the day, not differently from all other modern (“ideocratic”) empires, if America is deprived of its messianic objective, it would be seen simply as a purposeless, and even monstruous, conglomerate of power. Also Europe suffers a lack of mission, but its peoples, rooted in theirs histories, can, nevertheless, survive well or worse.

The real point is that the mission of America, as shown from Bacon to and Transhumanism,  is to achieve the domination of technique over Mankind, so that, as Marx wrote, if you cancel the US from the world map, you cancel also the progress. And, in fact, the  Singularity project of Ray Kurzweil is going on with Google just because of the protection of the US Digital-Military Complex. That fanatism in the defence of America’s mission is in reality the messianic enthusiasm for a negative theology aiming at the End of Man.

Paradoxically, whilst Western civilisation had been born from doubt (the Socratic dialectic, Tertullian’s “Credo quia absurdum”,  Descartes’ “Systemic doubt” and Pascal’s “Pari”, Nietzsche’s prospectivism and  De Finetti’s challenge to the principle of causality), the only thing of which the West never doubts is its own superiority on the others. Just a handful of European intellectuals (De las Casas, the Jesuits, Schopenhauer, Guénon, Evola, Panikkar) have been really immune from this presumption. Also the official Europe has pretended since ever to be different from the US because it purports not to “export democracy”, but, in reality, follows the same path, just in a less evident way and often being obliged by America.

This obsession for a theological, ethical, political, intellectual and social superiority (inherited from  ancient empires and monotheisms) is the driving  force around which the Western establishment has aggregated one seventh of Mankind, pretending that the others must become as they are ( but also without ceasing to criticize them because they are not succeeding to do so), has shaped one century and a half of world history, with the Algerian, Mexican, Indian, Spanish wars, with the repression of Sepoys, Taiping and Boxers, with Atlantic slave trade, the Crimean War, the Inequal Treaties, the Chinese Concessions, the Congo State, the Durbar. It remains still now the secret powerhouse of most conflicts.

This pretension has allowed America to minimise the memory of its evils (such as the extermination of native Americans, the Atlantic slave trade, the Opium Wars, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Vietnam War), emphasizing the ones of the others (totalitarianism, terrorism). This Double Standard of Morality has always found an allied in Western left, which has always been aware that this messianic arrogance of America is the driving force of economic progress, so triggering a continuous shift in power balance worldwide, what, at its turn, favours social mobility and class conflict. Typical the favour of Marx for the Confederates’ slavery, which, according to him, was unavoidable for preserving the avantgarde role of America in the ongoing worldwide progress march.

The present iconoclastic furore against the racist past of the whole anglosphere, arisen by the killing of George Floyd, is awakening once again those never healed old contradictions.

The statues of Christopher Columbus violated under the accusation of racism

3. The Fall of XX Century’s Myth

Happily, these pretentions of the West have started to  shrink over the years, with the birth of African, Indian, Chinese and Arab nationalisms,  and of the international movements of Developing Countries,  with decolonisation and  the wars of Korea and Vietnam, but especially with the strong resistance of intellectuals as different as Voltaire, Boas, Guénon, Pannwitz, Fenollosa, Père Foucault, Gandhi, Pound, Aurobindo,  Evola, Débray, Béjart, Panikkar, Jacques, Frankopan, who have extolled the merits of extra-European civilisations, affirmed their right to remain themselves, to participate on an equal footing  in the decisions about the future of the world and in the philosophical debate under way at world level. Taking this into account, a certain intellectual violence from Eurasian leaders is fully understandable as a reaction to this systematic repression.

The fact that the majority of European intellectuals (even when not sharing extreme positions on this point such as the ones of Guénon, Evola, Béjart or Panikkar) has not approved in any moment  those politics of defamation of other continents, has not reduced, but on the contrary, extended, the repression, not only against different cultures, but also against such Western intellectuals who do not share the arrogant attitudes of their politicians (the “political correctness”). It’s sufficient to see how were treated Blas Valera, Boas, Pound and Evola.

The ongoing digital revolution, creating the real bases for a possible worldwide technological empire, has reinforced everywhere all existing imperialistic trends in an exponential way, rendering a solution to the problem still more difficult. A world empire is possible, and America has been, in 2002, on the verge of implementing it. China, which had never accepted, since 1850, the idea of “America First”, seems today to shift towards the radical strategy to oppose the American technological empire with another technological empire,  based on Datong and Tianxia. The real miracle is that it is again in a position to raise such a question after one century and a half of foreign occupation and continuous wars. The real meaning of this new claim is unknown to most actors, because of the absence of an adequate culture,

The discussions about the new Treaty with China cannot be read in separation from this historical background and this unsolved problem.

White Man’s Burden By Rudyard Kipling (1899) Take up the White Man s burden– Send forth the best ye breed– Go bind your sons to exile To serve your captives need; To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild– Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child. Take up the White Man s burden– In patience to abide, To veil the threat of terror And check the show of pride; By open speech and simple, An hundred times made plain To seek another s profit, And work another s gain.

4.The advancement of Eurasia

Notwithstanding the Durbar, the repression of the Boxers and the Sykes-Picot Agreements, starting from the beginning of the XX Century, extra-European cultural traditions (African, Islamic, Hindu, Confucian), and even minority European cultures (like the Orthodox and the Euro-Islamic), had affirmed more strongly   their right to exist, and, subsequently, had  gained momentum in several countries.

All extra-European countries, and also the countries of Eastern Europe, share today a sense of pride for their ancient traditions, different from Western mainstream (“the Asia that dare say ‘no’”). For this reason they have, towards their history, a “continuity approach”, from the Yellow Emperor to  Confucius, from Qin Shi Huangdi to the Red Rescript, from Sun Yat Sen to Mao; or, respectively, from Rjurik to Alexander Nevskij, from Ivan the Terrible to Peter Ist, from Catherine II to Lenin, from Stalin to Putin (or from Arpad to Rakosi, from Kossuth to Nagy). Only Europe tries (happily, without success) to limit its own history to the last 80 years, minimizing the roles of Gilgamesh and Moses, Hippocrates and Socrates, Plato and Aristoteles, Alexander and Caesar, Augustus and Constantine, Justinian and Charles the Great, Dante and Frederick II, Napoleon  and Coudenhove Kalergi. If this effort of the mainstream would succeed, we would loose our main element of strength: the attractiveness of our old culture.

The most extreme avatar of present days  Eastern Renaissance is constituted by the Belt and Road Initiative, which, already by its definition, recalls to everybody that the peoples of Asia and Europe have been linked since the most remote antiquity by ethnic, religious, cultural and commercial links, so that China and Europe have conceived themselves as a mirror image of high civilisations (Qin and Da Qin). The idea of a Silk Road, invented by the German Earl von Richthofen,  creator of the Trans-Syberian railway project  developed eventually by the tsarist government, has been taken over now by China, which seems today to be the main beneficiary of a revamping of the Old Silk Roads. However, nobody hinders other subjects, such as the European Union, to develop  their own “Silk Roads”. This is precisely what the EU intends to do by its “Connectivity Initiative”.

In reality, in our century, the idea of a new Silk Road had already been developed by Hillary Clinton, but not followed-up. China,  being the largest country of the world, needs vitally for several reasons a continuous interchange with the rest of the world, which has already taken place, especially with the United States, but that the latter wants now to stop because, thanks to it, China is gaining always more momentum, so challenging the American “intellectual leadership” of the world.

And, in fact, there has been since a long time a wish to establish world peace based upon a harmony between East and West. This idea is deeply entrenched in Chinese culture since its beginning, being tightly linked with the idea of Tian Xia), and found its expression in the name of the Qin, Han and Tang Capital, Chang’An (permanent peace). In the short period between 332 and 340 a. C, there was even an ephemerous Pax Aeterna between Constantine and Khosraw of Persia, to which also China and the Huns should have adhered. The Epistle of Prester John in the twelfth Century asked for a contact between Byzance and India, Giovanni da Pian del Carpine and Marco Polo, tried to establish a stable relationship, which was consolidated by Jesuits.

What disturbs most Americans and European Atlanticists is that the Silk Road makes a direct  reference to the core of the Old World: the Roman Empire, the Catholic Church, Dar al-Islam, India, Central Asia and China, so putting into a corner the New World, which still pretends to be the heart of the ecumene. Actually, a full implementation of the New Silk Road (and/or of the Connectivity Initiative) would imply the marginalisation of the United States. Even the widespread idea of creating, by the Connectivity Initiative, uttered by the Institutions in an effort to balance the Chinese weight in the Belt and Road Initiative, will end up completing the latter, and consolidating the ongoing “Eurasian” trend.

The Coronavirus pandemic is just the last event in a long chain, where the effectiveness of Eastern countries has shown their superior capability to overcome the challenges of the Third Millennium (so confirming an intuition of Max Weber): traditions, technology, State-building, soft power. This superior capability has been recognized by Western public opinions, as shown by recent polls that have revealed that the majority of Europeans is more inclined towards Russia and China than towards the West, and especially is not available to participate in a Third World War on the side of America. It is not a case that the present US Defence Doctrine starts from the idea that USA must be independent from NATO, first of all by the refusal of existing agreements  with the stress on sea-land ballistic missiles, which do not require any consent from allied countries and by imposing home productions invoking war preparedness.

This implied conflict is at the roots of what European Institutions has labelled as “a Systemic Rivalry”, which we will criticize in the following posts, for its lack of an adequate cultural background, and even of a precise meaning.

The national Indian festival in New Delhi

5.China Bashing

For all the above reasons, US media and politicians attack China constantly with a series of stereotyped critics. Here is an example:

“ China’s thousand-year objective is to overthrow the democratic order through peaceful and divisive means. China is spreading its narrative through coercive diplomacy, OBOR, propaganda and disinformation campaigns legitimizing Chinese authoritarian governance shrouded in historical values and ideals. Its objective is to alter democratic governance, norms and the established rule-based world order and replace it with the Chinese version of an illiberal order and authoritarian rule. China is making inroads in democratic countries like Poland, Greece, the United Kingdom and Italy by buying or investing in companies and critical infrastructure like ports and bidding for 5G network contracts. Chinese companies doing business overseas have links to the communist party or the People’s Liberation Army. Through these companies and 5G technology, China will be able to collect and harvest intelligence for diplomatic and trade negotiations, launch cyber warfare against critical infrastructure and classified government networks, gather confidential information from companies, launch disinformation campaigns and understand warfare plans and military preparedness of host states.”

Taking into account their lack of cultural background, such attacks, by Western national and supranational institution, to Russia’s and China’s public diplomacy appear to be ridiculous, and the new so-called Chinese “Wolf warriors diplomacy”, not differently from the consolidated style of the Russian speaker Marija Zakarova,  by which it seems to be inspired, is just a reaction, mirror image of the American one (for instance, of Victoria Nuland).

In the same way, the very much criticized militarisation of Chinese society is a result of the everlasting imitation lust of Chinese:“China’s initiatives in military-civil fusion are informed by a close study of, and learning from, the U.S. defense industry and American defense innovation ecosystem to an extent that can be striking. In certain respects, military-civil fusion can be described as China’s attempt to imitate and replicate certain strengths from a U.S. model, but reflected through a glass darkly and implemented as a state-driven strategy.”

In reality, all of that was already anticipated in earlier stages of China’s history, by the idea of a fusion of Chinese and American cultures, hinted by the Taiping ideology and Kang Youwei’s Datong Shu, directly risen by the incumbent propaganda of  evangelic missionaries.

Sino-Italians welcome Chinese warships in the port of Taranto

6.The Treaty

Presently, the major ambit of dispute is the next Europe-China Investment Treaty, which last year the Commission had undertaken in writing to sign, and which was bound to be signed in September in Leipzig, but against which George Soros had launched a violent campaign, and which has been postponed for Coronavirus.

In the background, there is the struggle for technological dominance between USA and China, which is an updating, in the III Millennium, of Huntington’s “Clash of Civilisations” and the first Fukuyama’s “End of History”. According to this author, the world would have split alongside the borderlines of the Orthodox Faith , and would have gone towards WWIII, where China and Russia would have fought against the US. According to Huntington, notwithstanding the big differences that he objectively saw between Europe and the US, it was of utmost interest for the US that Europe remains together with them. Otherwise, the latter would have had good prospects of loosing WWIII, and, in the best case, the only remaining superpower would have been India. This is the explanation for the growing pressures, from the US and the European pro-American lobbies, to boycott the new Silk Roads, in which many European countries, such as UK, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Serbia and Greece, not to speak of Turkey and Russia, are already heavily engaged.

In reality, US, without Europe, should not remain the hegemon power of the world; on the contrary, Europe without Eurasia would remain forever a follower of the US and a country on the way towards underdevelopment.

The summary drafted on behalf of the European Parliament about the EU-China Treaty has made it clear that, notwithstanding Europe’s ongoing descent towards underdevelopment, we have now a lot of political opportunities which in the past had never existed.

The news is that, being the XXI century the one of Intelligent Machines, the power struggle is no more between States, but between technologies: not the DoD against the PLA, but the OTTs against Huawei.

However, the new Treaty would have first of all a symbolic, political and legal meaning, because it will simply supersede the existing “national” treaties: besides being an opportunity to profile itself as more independent from the USA, would also be a move to assert EU’s legal competences in the face of Member States. In fact, all member States are doing excellent business with China and have their own treaties, and it is questionable whether the competence for international investment treaties lies with the EU or with Member States, or both. A new “mixed” Treaty, alongside the model of the ACP-EU  Agreements, could be an appropriate basis for the whole Silk Road. By the way, my first work devoted to European law, written in 1980 when working in Luxemburg for the European Court of Justice, dealt precisely with the Lomé Agreement.

Eurasia is a complex of ancient civilisations

7.How to behave in the US-China dispute?

The campaign launched by Bannon and Trump some years ago, for “disrupting China’s supply chains”  has gained momentum in the States because of the ongoing American crisis and the even more evident growth of China. America feels that it is losing its clout on the world and reacts nervously. Ironically, also George Soros is sponsoring now an action formerly initiated by Bannon (which, unexpectedly, has obtained just now, by the Administrative Court of Latium, the right to utilize an ancient monastery for creating an American political school in Italy) and shared by Le Pen and Salvini, who have proposed a motion of the European Parliament under this heading. In this, America is wholly bi-partisan.

Such idea of “disrupting supply Chains” with China could make sense for the US, which, having seen that they cannot undermine China from inside, are preparing a war, so that nobody can expect them to purchase strategical goods form the enemy (nor to shell US property in China as they did not shell Opel and Ford in Nazi Germany during World War II).

Contrary to what has written ECFR, this idea does not  apply, on the contrary, to Europe. Seen from this part of the Atlantic, adhering to the US diktat to break-up relationships with China in this moment of deep crisis would be fatal for Europe’s economy. Unfortunately, European politicians are very attentive and reactive to US “suggestions”, which often change the Governments’ attitudes within a few minutes (as has happened with the infamous Italian MOU). This time, Europeans seem a bit tougher, because Europe, with China, risks to lose very much, as we will show in the following posts.

In fact, first of all, far from trying to reduce Chinese investments in Germany, Merkel  is speeding up German investments in China. On June 11, in spite of American pressures,  Angela Merkel and Li Keqiang had a teleconference, and  three agreements were signed by German and Chinese firms, including one between auto makers Volkswagen and JAC Motors. Merkel urged Li to open up the domestic market and provide more legal certainty for investment, but, in fact, in spite of accusations, more than 40% of the cars manufactured by the Volkswagen Group are sold in China. By these agreements, VW has even achieved the majority of the stock of the joint ventures which manufacture VW cars in China. What is in itself an evidence that there is no limitation on European investments in China.

At the end of the teleconference, Li has affirmed, in stark contrast with the requests of Americans and European “sovereignists” that China and Germany should make good use of the “fast track”  for personnel exchanges to facilitate business cooperation and resumption of production “and jointly maintain the safety and stability of the supply chain of the industrial chain.Li said China always respects Europe’s integration and is glad to see a unified and prosperous EU:”We are willing to maintain high-level exchanges with Europe, promote pragmatic cooperation and strive to complete the negotiation of the China-EU investment agreement at an early date to better achieve common development,” .

In fact, the most evident result of Trump’s policies has been a direct damage to European economy, heavy duties (for security concerns), by the interruption of trade fluxes, and, last but not least, the direct unfair competition with European goods, the ITA with China resulting in China being obliged to purchase for US§ 193.3 billion instead of 130.7. As a consequence, imports from the EU have declined by 10.8 billion, so reducing European export to China under the American one (always a consequence of the “America First” principle).

I remember that already under Reagan the US utilized the military legislation for curbing the commercial expansion of its allies. Now, pretending that the import of metals from Europe has to be reduced for the national security of the United States amounts to say that the two sides of the Atlantic might have a war between them. If this should be the case, there is a lot of Europe-US business relations which would constitute a danger for the security of Europe: first of all the storage of European data in the US.

EU steps up its strategy for connecting Europe and Asia, ASEM MEETING 2018, BRUSSELS

ASEM covers most parts of EURASIA

The 12th ASEM Summit (ASEM12) was successfully held on 18-19 October 2018 in Brussels, Belgium.

The ASEM summit brought together:

  • heads of state or government of 51 European and Asian countries
  • representatives of the European Union
  • the Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

The summit was chaired by the European Council President Donald TUSK. European Commission President Jean-Claude JUNCKER and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica MOGHERINI, also represented the EU at the summit.

Discussions focused on the themeEurope and Asia: Global Partners for Global Challenges.

Leaders sought to strengthen dialogue and cooperation between the two continents on a wide range of areas, including:

  • trade & investment
  • connectivity
  • sustainable development and climate
  • security challenges such as terrorism, non-proliferation, cyber-security, irregular migration

Under the theme “Global Partners for Global Challenges” Leaders are addressing key opportunities and challenges facing Europe and Asia in a world of accelerating change.

Alpina’s “Yellow Book Series” devoted to Eurasia

Press Release:

“Brussels, 19 September 2018

The European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy today adopted a Joint Communication that sets out the EU’s vision for a new and comprehensive strategy to better connect Europe and Asia.

The Joint Communication builds on the European Union’s own experience of enhancing connections between its Member States, with and in other regions. With sustainable, comprehensive and rules-based connectivity at its core, the Communication will help to guide the EU’s external action in this field and is a part of the implementation of its Global Strategy.

The Joint Communication on elements for an EU strategy on connecting Europe and Asia is available online.

“Connectivity is the way to the future. The more connected we are, the more opportunities we have – to find common political solutions and to bring economic prosperity to citizens”, said High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini. “Our approach is the European Union’s way: to establish stronger networks and strengthen partnerships for sustainable connectivity, across all sectors and based on a respect for common rules. This is the European way to tackle challenges and take opportunities, to the benefit of people in Europe and in Asia as well.”

Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen said: “We want to work with our Asian partners to improve connections between Europe and Asia, while bringing our values and approach in doing so. Infrastructure networks that will be built should be coherent, interoperable, as well as financially and environmentally sustainable. Calls for tender should be open and transparent to promote good governance and a level playing field. It is an approach that works, and one that we see a demand for among Asian countries, in our Eastern neighbourhood, the Western Balkans and beyond.”

The Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica added: “The EU and Asia are important partners on sustainable development and delivering the UN 2030 Agenda. Our development cooperation is an essential element of our broader engagement and partnership with Asia, not least in promoting sustainable connectivity. We want to further strengthen our partnership and focus even more on providing technical assistance, improving regulatory environments and creating incentives to drive forward and scale-up much needed investments.”

Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, said: “Transport infrastructure is the lifeblood of EU-Asia connections, carrying both people and goods between the continents, on the wings of digitalisation and decarbonisation. Europe is sharing and engaging through one of the most developed transport networks and infrastructure financing programmes in the world: the trans-European transport network. Connectivity matters!”

 

DA QIN, “Greater China”: the classical  denomination of Europe in Chinese

 Sustainable, comprehensive and rules-based: connectivity the EU’s way

The EU will combine a principled approach to connectivity and recognition that Asia encompasses different regions, which are home to very diverse countries in terms of economic models and level of development, with concrete action based on three strands:

  1. Creating transport links, energy and digital networks and human connections;
  2. Offering connectivity partnerships to countries in Asia and organisations;
  3. Promoting sustainable finance through utilising diverse financial tools.

 

Viacheslav Ivanovich Ivanov: the inventor of the expression “Europe’s two lungs”

Creating cross-border networks

Efficient infrastructure and connections create growth and jobs and enables people and goods to move. From transport links to energy networks, people-to-people contacts to digital webs, the EU will extend its own networks and to contribute to new ones beyond its borders.

The EU’s Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) are being extended to countries bordering Asia. The EU should now connect the TEN-T with networks in Asia. The EU’s digital single market provides a blueprint for enhancing trade in digital services, while its Digital4Development strategy fosters socio-economic development. We will share our experience of creating regional, liberalised energy markets with a focus on market-driven transformation towards clean energy. We will continue to promote human exchanges and mobility, for example in education, research, innovation, culture and tourism.

The New Silk Road

 Developing strong bilateral and global connectivity partnerships

Our world depends on smooth and secure flows of goods, services and people. With a track record of a rules-based, fair and transparent internal market, the European Union is engaging with partners beyond its borders in order to promote similar approaches to sustainable connectivity.

The EU will pursue bilateral connectivity partnerships. The EU-China Connectivity Platform, for example, will help both parties to create synergies and address differing points of view. At a regional level, the EU is able to draw on its experience of contributing to the enhanced connectivity and integration of various regional cooperation structures, for example in the Baltic and Black Seas, as well as with ASEAN and as part of the ASEM process. Fostering increased region-to-region cooperation in connectivity would enable the European Union to extend its sustainable and rules-based connectivity model. Finally, the EU will engage with international organisations in determining the legal frameworks and concrete forms of connectivity, for example to set international standards. The World Trade Organisation, the International Energy Agency, the International Maritime Organisation and United Nations bodies are just a few examples where the European Union is working and will continue to work for sustainable and fair global practices.

The ancient Silk Road created by the Persian Empire


Promoting sustainable financing of investment

With Asia requiring an estimated €1.3 trillion per year for infrastructure investment, there are significant opportunities for EU companies, provided that robust legal frameworks are in place. The EU will look to combine financial sources from international financial institutions, multilateral development banks and the private sector to ensure sustainable domestic and international finance for connectivity, while ensuring transparency and a level playing field for businesses. A comprehensive approach to investment financing, pioneered in Europe by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, as well as outside the EU through specific geographical investment facilities, has successfully leveraged investments for infrastructure and connectivity. Combined with the European Commission’s proposals for reinforced external action under the next EU Multi-annual Financial Framework (2021-2027), the potential for additional intelligent, innovative and multi-dimensional investment financing in and towards Asia is significant.

A better connected Europe and Asia through transport links, energy, human and digital networks will strengthen the resilience of societies and regions, facilitate trade, promote the rules-based international order, and create avenues for a more sustainable, low-carbon future. This Joint Communication will inform the EU’s engagement with its partners from the neighbourhood to the Pacific, bringing benefits for the people of Europe and those countries who see the value of our approach to connectivity.

 

 

Osservazioni a margine del vertice ASEM di Milano (16-17 ottobre)

Osservazioni a margine  del vertice ASEM di Milano  (16-17 ottobre)

(pubblicato su Articolo 3 Quotidiano online – clicca per leggere)

europa-eurasia

E’ senz’altro significativo che, proprio durante il “Vertice ASEM” di Milano, a cui hanno partecipato ben 58 Capi di Stato di tutta l’ Eurasia (ospiti del Presidente Napolitano), si siano verificati due fatti d’importanza fondamentale:

a)l’ennesima crisi finanziaria greca;

b)la firma di ben 20 accordi commerciali fra Italia e Cina, che fanno seguito a quelli (altrettanto numerosi) stipulati nei giorni precedenti da quest’ultima con Germania e Russia (costituendo, nel loro insieme, n vero e proprio “piano di salvataggio” dalla crisi in cui ci ha gettato la guerra commerciale con la Russia).

Essi hanno in comune il fatto di mettere, finalmente, in evidenza quanto l’Europa dipenda ormai dalle economie dell’Asia. A causa di un declino politico oramai secolare, i termini dello scambio si sono invertiti rispetto al secolo scorso: non è più l’Europa a dirigere l’ Asia, bensì è questa a condizionare e influenzare l’economia europea.

pechino

1.Tienjin, da Roma a Pechino

Basti vedere, ad esempio le mappe dell’ex dipendenza italiana di Tian-Jin di un secolo fa e oggi. Allora, ,vi erano le “Concessioni” degli Stati Europei, compresa l’ Italia, dove le vie si chiamavano “Corso Fiume”, “Corso Vittorio Emanuele III”, “Via Roma”, “Banchina d’Italia”, “Banchina Giapponese”, mentre oggi Tianjin è una città di 15 milioni di abitanti, parte integrante della conglomerazione metropolitana della nuova Pechino, e da sola più grande e ricca di qualunque città europea. La confinante Municipalità di Pechino ha 13 milioni di abitanti. In totale, 28 milioni.

tianjin

2. Le forze dell’Asia, le debolezze dell’ Europa

L’attuale forza dell’ Asia non ha costituito per noi una sorpresa. Non avendo noi mai sottovalutato lo studio delle culture orientali, sappiamo che, durante tutta la storia mondiale, la Cina e l’ India hanno costituito da sempre le aree più popolose e più ricche del pianeta. Marco Polo, Cristoforo Colombo, Matteo Ricci, Leibniz e Voltaire erano semplicemente abbagliati dalla grandezza, soprattutto culturale, della Cina. Jones, Schopenhauer, Steiner, Guénon, additavano, nell’ India, la fonte della salvezza dell’ Umanità.

In primo luogo, le radici culturali ed etniche degli attuali Stati asiatici si perdono nella storia di imperi millenari, come quelli cinese, giapponese e persiano. Questo rende ora meno faticoso, per loro, che non in Europa, la ricerca di forme di aggregazione per grandi aree omogenee, cosa oramai urgente per infiniti motivi, e di cui l’Unione Europea costituisce un non irrilevante esempio.

Infatti, sussistono ancora, in Asia, tradizioni culturali e sociali di grande continuità e compattezza, come quelle dei Popoli delle Steppe, del Mandarinato, dei Veda, del Sān Jiăo, dell’Islam. Questo fa sì che certe grandi aree, come le attuali Cina, India e Medio Oriente, che raggruppano ciascuna più di un miliardo di abitanti, avvertano, spontaneamente, un senso di intima unitarietà, che, da noi in Europa, è più difficile ottenere, fra piccoli Stati, come i nostri, che hanno pur essi, ciascuno, origini almeno millenarie. Qui, c’è, infatti, chi rivendica l’”eurasiatismo”, chi l’”atlantismo”, chi la “disciplina” germanica, chi la “flessibilità” latina.

Soprattutto, in Europa vige una fondamentale incertezza fra “Europa” e “Occidente”, due culture in realtà solo parzialmente sovrapponibili. Il pluralismo dei popoli europei possiede, certo, una sua interna logica dialettica, fondata sulla coesistenza storica fra Medio Oriente (ortodossia), Europa Centrale (Sacro Romano Impero)e Atlantico (protestantesimo). Purtroppo, invece, l’”Occidentalismo”, che vorrebbe sovrapporsi all’ Europa, non accetta questa pluralità. Esso rappresenta, come diceva Huntington, la “dissidenza del dissenso”. Come tale, esso pretenderebbe di imporre una sua forma di omologazione a un’Europa che esso non ha mai accettata. Tale progetto risente della duplicità del discorso pubblico puritano. Mentre questo è tutto fondato su una pretesa controfattuale di eguaglianza, di fatto esso ha costruito, e continua a costruire, il più formidabile sistema gerarchico.

Infine, a nostro avviso, ciò che, contrariamente a quanto vorrebbe fare credere la “vulgata” dominante, ha contribuito, e ancora sta contribuendo, allo spettacolare rilancio dei Popoli dell’ Asia, è proprio il carattere radicalmente conflittuale, non già mascherato da pretese affinità culturali, dei conflitti dei secoli passati. Le Guerre dell’ Oppio, le Rivolte dei Sepoys e dei Boxer, la dissoluzione dell’ Impero Ottomano, le bombe di Hiroshima e Nagasaki, la costituzione dello Stato d’Israele e la Guerra del Vietnam sono state ferite brucianti, che ancor oggi non sono state sanate. Queste ferite hanno contribuito però anche, di converso, all’incredibile volontarismo che è stato alla base tanto delle battaglie di Gandhi, quanto della ricostruzione giapponese, quanto, ancora, della rivoluzione iraniana, quanto, infine, delle riforme economiche cinesi.

Béjart, un incrollabile cantore dei “valori asiatici”, aveva dato una plastica rappresentazione di questa fase epica nel suo balletto “Asia”

moneta romana

3.La Pace Perpetua, un progetto eurasiatico.

L’idea della “Pace Perpetua” tanto citata dall’ establishment europeo, e assurdamente attribuita a Kant, risale in realtà alla tradizione persiana, ed era stata perpetuata dal Sacro Romano Impero e dagli Illuministi. Il primo trattato di “Pax Aeterna” era stato infatti già stipulato nel 532 fra Cosroe di Persia e Giustiniano, e faceva parte di un più ampio progetto di confederazione fra Persia, Impero Romano, Unni Eftaliti e Impero Cinese, di cui Cosroe stesso avrebbe dovuto essere il leader: una situazione non dissimile da quella che sarà poi ipotizzata nell’ idea islamica del Califfato. Si tratta di un primo accenno di organizzazione eurasiatica. Tant’è vero che Crucé, e, poi, Voltaire, in polemica con Rousseau, avevano insistito per l’inclusione di tutti gl’Imperi mondiali, e, in primis, della Cina, nei progetti per la Pace Perpetua.

In effetti, nonostante che fossero state tutt’altro che infrequenti le lotte fra Cinesi, Unni, Persiani e Romani, si era sempre mantenuto, fra di loro, un certo equilibrio, e anche i rapporti culturali e sociali non erano infrequenti, con matrimoni fra Unni e Cinesi, influssi manichei sul Cristianesimo, ecc…I grandi imperi dell’ antichità si riconoscevano reciprocamente una sostanziale omogeneità culturale e strutturale, e anche se qualcuno aveva già in testa di dover unificare il mondo intero sotto il proprio comando, ciascuno rispettava gli altri imperi.

I Cinesi sentivano quest’omogeneità con gli altri imperi a un punto tale che, fino all’ arrivo di Matteo Ricci, sulle loro carte geografiche, l’ Occidente (comprensivo di Impero Romano, Roma, Chiesa Cristiana e Europa) veniva designato collettivamente come “Da Qin”, la “Grande Cina”, perché “Assomiglia al popolo cinese“..”Il Regno di Da Qin si trova a Ovest del mare, e perciò viene chiamato anche Haixi (“Impero d’Occidente”). Esso si estende per molte migliaia di Li. Possiede più di 4000 città fortificate e decine di piccolo regni tributari. Le mura delle città sono di pietra. Hanno, a regolari distanze, stazioni di posta, su strade lastricate e ben manutenute”. C’è da chiedersi se, dopo tanti anni di “austerità”, l’Europa attuale possegga ancora tutti questi requisiti, e se non sfiguri nei confronti della “Nuova Cina”.

Sta di fatto che l’Imperatore Cinese non pretendeva l’omaggio dell’ Imperatore d’Occidente, come invece faceva con molti altri sovrani (compresoi l’Imperatore del Giappone e il re d’Inghilterra e ), e come quest’ultimo pretenderà dai Maharaja nei Durbar dell’ Impero Anglo-Indiano

Infine, Gengis Khan aveva realizzato, nei fatti, una sorta di unità eurasiatica, esaltata da Marco Polo e citata più tardi come modello dal movimento culturale “eurasiatistico”.

Quest’unità culturale dell’ Eurasia era stata messa in evidenza, in Occidente, dagli studi ottocenteschi sui popoli indoeuropei e sui popoli turanici , nonché, alla fine del secolo, dalle diverse mode teosofiche, che avevano avuto una spesso ignorata influenza, anche politica, su movimenti importanti come per esempio le lotte per l’indipendenza del Popolo indiano.

espansione popoli eurasiatici

4.Russia e Eurasia

Là dove l’idea dell’Eurasia è più viva è in Russia. Ciò deriva dal fatto che quel Paese raggruppa una gran parte dei “popoli delle Steppe”, che, nel corso dei millenni, hanno sempre percorso i grandi spazi eurasiatici senza radicarsi in alcuno di essi. La Russia e. poi, l’unione Sovietica, sotto la spinta delle idee moderne di nazionalità, avevano compiuto sforzi nella direzione del “radicamento” (“korenizacija”) di questi popoli, il cui risultato parziale) si può vedere nella costituzione delle “repubbliche”. Tuttavia, in molti casi, quelle nazionalità erano rimaste ”fluide”, come si vede ancor oggi all’ insorgere di conflitti “nazionali” in quell’ area, oltre cha dagl’imponenti flussi migratori nello “spazio post-sovietico”.

Perciò, l’ideologia “eurasiatistica” in Russia è destinata ad essere anch’essa fluida, andando dalle nostalgie monarchiche a quelle sovietiche, dall’idea, tipica della Restaurazione, di un ruolo intrinsecamente conservatore del regno del Nord, all’identificazione dell’Eurasia intera con l’ Impero Russo.

La nascita, nel 2000, di un’Unione Eurasiatica, che si colloca fra le cause indirette della crisi ucraina, ha favorito il consolidarsi di un’identità supercontinentale. A questa ha contribuito anche il trasferimento della capitale del Kazakhstan, da Alma Ata ad Akmola/Tselinograd (oggi, Astana), una città dove a suo tempo Stalin deportava i Tedeschi, ma oggi modernissima e multiculturale, parzialmente centroasiatica e parzialmente europea (russa)

astana

3.Il Vertice di Milano

vertice di milano

L’Asem (Asia Europe Meeting), pur essendo di origine recente, riunisce oramai 58 Stati. La sua costituzione e il suo sviluppo sono rivelatori dell’irrequietezza che serpeggia nel mondo delle Organizzazioni Internazionali in seguito all’ emergere dei Paesi dell’Asia. Ricordiamo, ad esempio, che, subito dopo la fondazione del WTO, era invalsa l’abitudine di riunire, ora, il G7, ora, il G8, ora, il G 20, ora, il G22…Intanto, tanto gli Stati Uniti, quanto la Cina, hanno lanciato l’idea di accordi “parziali”, che “by-passano” la tanto decantata WTO. Finalmente, i membri occidentali del G8 hanno escluso unilateralmente la Russia, creando, così, la confusione più totale.

Risulta ora chiaro che gli stati Uniti erano stati degli accaniti fautori di organizzazioni internazionali universali solo fintantoché essi potevano controllarle ideologicamente, logisticamente e politicamente, ma, una volta che queste organizzazioni hanno saputo garantire a tutti gli attori internazionali una presenza, una visibilità e un’influenza sempre più paritetiche, essi sono diventano meno interessanti per gli Stati Uniti stessi.

Di converso, la Cina favorisce anch’essa lo sviluppo di organizzazioni parziali, ma, questa volta, senza gli Stati Uniti. Ed è questa la lotta diplomatica dominante nei nostri tempi.

Soprattutto, è già aperta è la corsa alla firma di nuovi trattati internazionali in materia di commercio. Già dal 2007, gli Stati Uniti avevano lanciato l’idea del TTIP (“Transatlantic Treaty for Trade and Partnership”), con l’ Europa, e di un parallelo trattato nel Pacifico, escludendone la Russia e la Cina.

Tratteremo in altra sede il “merito” del TTIP.

Ciò che è qui rilevante è che la Cina sta negoziando la UE un altro trattato di protezione degl’investimenti, simile al TTIP, e, contemporaneamente, una raffica di accordi commerciali con singoli Stati membri, che prevedono una rete fittissim d’investimenti finanziari e industriali cinesi in Europa, tale da rendere il nostro sistema finanziario parzialmente dipendente da quello cinese. Quindi, l’obiettivo politico originario del TTIP, che sarebbe stato quello di “Isolare la Cina”, non sembra affatto conseguito.

Resta il fatto che, a nostro avviso, tanto il TTIP, quanto l’accordo con la Cina, “legheranno ulteriormente le mani” all’ Europa nella lotta ch’essa dovrà necessariamente condurre, in tutte le direzioni, per difendere la propria sopravvivenza come Paese avanzato. Ad esempio, c’è da chiedersi se, dopo avere firmato il TTIP e l’ accordo con la Cina, l’Europa potrebbe fare, nel settore di Internet, ciò che ha fatto l’America, cioè sviluppare le imprese ICT con fondi militari e in basi militari, per poi offrirle praticamente gratis ad investitori amici, come per esempio Brin, Page e Jobs, spacciando poi questi ultimi come eroi della piccola e media impresa e del libero mercato, così come brillantemente raccontato da Mariana Mazzucato nel suo ultimo libro, e come da noi ripreso nei già citati e.books.

L’ipotesi più probabile è, quindi, che finiremo, come al solito, “ come i vasi di coccio in mezzo ai vasi di ferro”.

stele