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Právo: Czechs must adapt to West’s ending domination of world

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Prague, Jan 23 (CTK) – Prague must adapt its policy to the situation where the West-dominated “old world” is slowly but inevitably declining, Milos Balaban writes in daily Pravo yesterday, reacting to the latest steps taken by Britain and the USA.
Britain and the USA, the two big powers that have determined the development of the West for four centuries, are abandoning the global stream and switching each to pursuing its own national interests, Balaban writes, referring to the British and U.S. world strategy as outlined by Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump last week, respectively.
This is an unpleasant surprise for Europe, which was not accustomed to hear inauguration speeches of U.S. presidents similar to the one Trump delivered on Friday.
From now on, Washington will start following the “America First” vision, Trump said and vowed to make all crucial decisions in the interest of U.S. working people and families, Balaban writes.
Trump’s plan can hardly be a solution to the USA’s economic problems, including a soaring debt. Nevertheless, the envisaged isolationism will lead to the USA’s diminishing presence in the world, which will affect its allies, mainly Europe, Balaban writes.
Simultaneously, Britain, with its Brexit decision, is saying farewell to its European allies as well, he continues.
Europe’s delusion that Britain might reasonably opt for a position of an EU “associated member” has dissipated, he says.
True, there exist certain risks stemming for Britain’s absolute breakup with the EU. Nevertheless, Europe should not underestimate the analytic skills of the British, based on centuries of Britain’s policy as a big power.
The British may have come to the conclusion that the crisis of the EU is deeper than the rest of Europe believes and that the advantages of EU membership will not prevail over disadvantages in the future, Balaban writes.
The Greek and Italian crises continue smouldering. If they explode, Germany might be unable to cope with them any more, Balaban writes.
Additional problems may by further refugee waves, terrorist attacks and the rather passive EU institutions, which together make a prospect of the EU unstable in economic as well as security terms. The British will get outside the EU by the time, Balaban writes.
Last week, a position on the changing power relations was taken by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Davos Forum, Balaban continues.
Western politicians, faced with the British and U.S. political shocks, could hear Beijing indicate that China, which has not given up its planned economy, supports economic globalisation as an opportunity that may be beneficial, and that it rejects protectionism, Balaban writes.
This is another piece of evidence proving that “the old world” dominated by the West is ending, slowly but inevitably. The Czechs, too, must take this into account and adapt their policy accordingly, Balaban writes.
“It is not easy, but we cannot avoid it,” he concludes.

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