E Trade War Coming

There is a trade war coming between Germany and the USA because of rivalry on stimulus for the COVID epidemic. Germany, using European Union cover, hastened to clinch deals with Russia and China in the waning Trump days to overcome the risks of the new Administration continuing the boycott of the two countries. The Nord Stream 2 (Gazprom) pipeline across the Baltic to Germany was prioritized, although it is really a part of the Russian suppression of Ukraine, site of the former pipeline which is no longer safe from the natives. Germany paid no attention to the impact of its own treatment of Alexei Navalny who was treated there for a Putin plot to poison him with a military-grade nerve agent poured onto his underwear, Novichok.

Germany also conveniently forgot its special obligation to protect religious minorities in the post-Hitler era, in the case of Muslims in western China, the Uighurs. So Germany took the lead in “rapprochement” by the EU with China, helped by fellow-German EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. Both of these moves were ultimately made to get more export business for Germany.

The rest of the EU was more or less ignored but now Poland, which has memories of the Russian dictatorship, is questioning the way that Germany forced the rest of the EU to accept its aims.

In a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black, Asia Times today ran an article by Daniel Williams about how Merkel deliberately ignored requests by the Biden team to work together to handle China. Instead, it rushed to close on the long-negotiated China deal at the bidding of Xi Jinping.

The argument was that Trump was playing an “America first” card but the real trick was to ignore EU advocates of sanctions. Now China is not only continuing to harass Uighurs, but it has twice sent military planes to fly over Taiwan and is brutally suppressing pro-democracy moves and jailing dissidents in Hong Kong despite the terms of the transfer from Britain to China in 1997.

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