The death knell to China is here. The Pentagon has finalised the decision to withdraw 12,000 American troops out of Germany. This signals the beginning of the end for the US-Russia Cold War, and Trump’s focus now shifts to China where a new Cold War is brewing.
Beijing is now panicking as it is known that not Europe or NATO, but China will stand to lose if the Cold War dynamics shift from Russia to China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry is thus pleading with other global powers to desist from taking sides.
The US decision to officially pull out troops from Germany has been described as a “strategic” repositioning of its forces in Europe. 6,400 troops will be brought back home to the United States, while the rest of them will be shifted to other NATO countries- Italy and Belgium.
This is bound to be interpreted as the US acknowledging the reduced threat from Russia in global dynamics. The US decision is admittedly guided by a decisive shift towards China as reflected in the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks.
Last month, Pompeo was asked why the Trump administration had reduced the number of troops in Germany, a key-NATO ally. To which the top US diplomat had replied, “The actions of the Chinese Communist Party meant there were “threats to India” and countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and the South China Sea. The US military is “postured appropriately” to meet these “challenges of our time”.”
Berlin too understands that the US is moving away from the Atlantic alliance to fight a new battle in the Indo-Pacific with China. German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told DW, “If they [the troops] stay in Europe, then this remains a commitment towards NATO. But if they were to be restationed in the Indo-Pacific region, then that would indicate a change to US strategy, which then would spark a debate within NATO.”
NATO itself believes that China is the latest threat. Recently, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg had said, “The rise of China is fundamentally shifting the global balance of power … Multiplying the threats to open societies and individual freedoms and increasing the competition over our values and our way of life.”
China, on the other hand, is naturally worried about the symbolic American withdrawal from the Atlantic and strategic re-positioning in the Indo-Pacific. The People’s Republic of China’s biggest nightmare is going down the same path as the USSR. And with Trump launching a new Cold War against China, Xi Jinping feels that the US could do to China what it did to the Soviet Union three decades ago.
China is putting all its diplomatic capital at stake in order to prevent the upcoming Cold War. China started with Russia. First, the CCP General-Secretary telephoned the Russian President Putin and complained about American unilateralism without actually naming the US.
Later, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called his Russian counterpart, and this time Beijing directly brought up the issue of “US unilateralism”. A panicked Wang Yi also told the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Beijing felt the US was pursuing a “Cold War mentality” in its policy towards China.
It is the first time that the CCP is accusing the US of starting a Cold War in as many words. Now, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has pleaded all countries to “resist” the US’ “blatant and unreasonable acts” and to avert the possibility of the two biggest powers of the world descending into what Yi calls a new Cold War.
In a telephonic conversation with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, Yi advised “vigilance against US Secretary of State [Mike] Pompeo’s recent remarks instigating renewed ideological confrontation and leading the world to a new cold war”.
Wang Yi has been making far too many references to a ‘new Cold War’, showing the level of anxiety within the CCP. Recently, the Chinese Foreign Minister also said, “All countries will make concerted efforts to prevent the world from being dragged into a new cold war of conflict and confrontation.”
China is also raking up the recent diplomatic tensions, and the closure of Houston and Chengdu Consulates as a major flashpoint. The Chinese Foreign Minister cites the Vienna Convention while discussing the dramatic escalation between China and the US.
The realisation of the threat posed by China has led Trump to reposition American foreign policy. NATO withdrawal from Germany is a grand and formal announcement of this recalibration. Washington is going to lock China in a new struggle, and Beijing is not ready. The Chinese Foreign Ministry is, therefore, pulling every possible string to hold back the US from waging a new era of brutal confrontations that would isolate and disintegrate the Communist Republic of China.