[As] the U.S. reorients itself toward Asia, what is the best response to the strengthening China? Is the Cold War the model? Europe will feel this change.
"Let the dragon sleep. If he wakes, he will shake the world," as Napoleon is supposed to have warned. He was talking about China. Now the time has come. "Pivot," a turn, is the shortened name for America’s strategic realignment in view of the unstoppable rise of China as a world power. The shifting main emphasis from the Atlantic to the Pacific was long expected. Now it will take place. But the consequences for the global balance, Europe's interests and the security structure of the North Atlantic are far from understood, let alone [able to be] prevented.
"Containment" is another word which the Europeans must again learn. But this time it comes, unlike seven decades ago, not as the unhappy memory of the Soviet Union, but rather the People's Republic of China. For insiders, a report from the Council on Foreign Relations is the voice of the establishment. Only "the Council" formulates a new consensus between New York and Washington, politics and big business.
The introductory core statement reads: "China is today, and for many decades, the most important force opposite the United States. Therefore a systematic [and] calculated answer to China's growing power is imperative."
Neither Integration nor Confrontation
What the Council advises, and what the elite in American foreign policy stand for, is not new confrontations and a cold war, but rather "a more coherent response." As a guide to action, the United States should lay less stress on the strategic integration of China into the American led international system, [but] rather more on “center[ing] on balancing the rise of Chinese power.” That means a new grand strategy with the focal point of the Far East, [and] the continuation of Nixon-Kissinger politics.
The Council does not belong to one of those powers, which is common knowledge. Here the guidelines would be designed in the future. This means that new demands are in store for Europeans: no longer [for] consumer safety, but rather individual efforts [for] producer security. For that it would not be enough to cite Germany's extended responsibility on ceremonial occasions.
NATO will stay, but with less U.S. and more Europe. What happened when the Americans turned their strategic attention to East Asia in the early 1930s belongs to the past history of World War II. Europe is warned.