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Czech News in English » Opinion » Právo: Not Zeman but EU makes mistake by shunning Beijing event

Právo: Not Zeman but EU makes mistake by shunning Beijing event

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Prague, Aug 6 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman’s planned presence at the celebrations of the World War II end anniversary in China is no mistake, unlike the decision by other EU leaders to shun the event, Milos Balaban writes in daily Pravo yesterday.
Zeman’s acceptation of the Chinese invitation has unveiled the behind-the-scene manoeuvres by the European diplomacy that wanted European political leaders not to go to Beijing, Balaban, a security analyst, writes.
Czech Senate chairman Milan Stech (Social Democrats, CSSD) hit the nail on the head when he called the EU’s effort to coordinate its leaders’ absence from the celebrations hypocritical in a situation where a number of west European countries maintain agile trade cooperation with China, Balaban writes.
He refers to the steeply rising trade exchange and the data on Chinese investments in Europe that reach 46 billion euros now.
Germany, France and Britain try hard to strike business deals with China. The economic interests have even been put above ideology. This turned out in the case of the establishment of the China-initiated Asian Bank of Infrastructure Investment, which the above European countries entered as the founding members along with China, against the will of the USA and Japan, Balaban writes.
To outweigh this “bitter pill,” the EU might have decided to manifest the West’s unity by boycotting the WWII end 70th anniversary in Beijing, Balaban says.
To say the truth, this will not harm either China or the West’s trade with it. But still such “games” may spoil bilateral atmosphere. They are also worth being assessed from a broader perspective, Balaban writes.
Of course, trade is an important instrument that softens mutual disputes. However, it cannot be relied on blindly, as the experience with the outburst of World War One showed, which no one expected in the then economically interconnected world, Balaban points out.
As far as the present situation is concerned, the Ufa summit of the BRICS group and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation at the beginning of July clearly showed the key Western powers’ interest in a closer political, economic and military cooperation involving concrete projects and money, Balaban writes.
He writes about the emerging prospect of the world’s deep geopolitical split into two strong blocs: one led by the USA and the other led by China and Russia.
Will the two blocs get on well with each other or will they fight against each other? This may become a crucial question in the future, Balaban writes.
Those who may find this scenario unrealistic should remember the words of influential U.S. security expert Charles Kupchan, who commented on the world order in the 21st century within his London lecture last year.
Kupchan said the probability of a war between the USA and China would have been very high, in view of the ongoing power changes, if it had not been for nuclear weapons. China is coming up with its own “Monroe Doctrine” and defining its close vicinity where the U.S. Navy operates and the U.S. Air Force monitors the Chinese coast.
If they did the same to the USA, Washington would apply nuclear arms. That is why the time of the settling of accounts has come. Let’s hope it will not produce a war conflict, Kupchan said, cited by Balaban.
Let’s hope the developments will be peaceful, Balaban says.
That is also why it is meaningful to boost the confidence between the West and China, also by remembering the past, when China and the USA jointly defeated the Nazi Germany and militarist Japan, Balaban writes.
Furthermore, it would be useful to remember the Europe’s experience with its post-war reconciliation with Germany, which could be an inspiration to Japan, he writes.
The USA and the EU, except for Czech President Zeman, will be absent from the Beijing Victory anniversary celebrations. However, a mistake is not being made by Zeman, but by the other western politicians, unfortunately, Balaban concludes.

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