Why China Supports Stronger European Union

European Union Tower of Babel Poster


China has given several reasons why it wants to see a stronger and more militaristic European Union:

Why China sees the EU as a counterweight to America
Europe’s World By Dingli Shen

China is keeping a careful watch on EU integration and the development of its security and defence policy. Dingli Shen says the ESDP is already earning Beijing’s general approval, and explains that because China seeks a multipolar world rather than one dominated by the United States it views the EU as a means to achieve it.
China sees the European Union as a possible balance to the United States.
The last rival superpower to the US, the Soviet Union, collapsed at the end of the Cold War, and quite apart from its military strength, was in any case never powerful enough in other ways to counterbalance US influence. Japan had in the late 1980s seemed capable of challenging America’s industrial leadership, but by the 1990s it had lost its competitive edge.
China might itself wish to be a major force in a multipolar world, but has been plagued by its lack of overall strength. Given these realities, Beijing sees the expanding EU as a likely counter to United States’ unchecked power.
In terms of total economic output, the EU of 27 member states today generates the same amount of wealth as the United States. In recent decades the EU has made tremendous efforts to integrate its legal, economic and monetary systems. It is the first continent-wide inter-state system based on political and legal cognition.

It continues to grow while retaining its quality because the Union insists on a minimum economic standing by an applicant state before it can be admitted. But the EU has yet to build a strong integrated defence system that can respond promptly and effectively either to a regional contingency or to global needs. What would be the strength of such a system when developed, and how would it compare with that of the United States?In assessing the current strength of the United States, Beijing follows with keen interest the debate in Washington on the merits of a unipolar or a multipolar world. Some Americans obviously favour a unipolar system in which the US dominates. Such a Pax Americana system would surely cost the country less to sustain, but the world would worry if America adapts a wrong course, as has been the case with the US-led intrusion into Iraq…

The notion of a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) was first formulated in 1999 at an EU summit in Cologne. The EU formed a Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) and various police missions, to carry out operations involving humanitarian rescue, crisis management and peacekeeping, as well as to restore peace in areas of conflict. The EU has made it clear that its ESDP will operate under the auspices of both the UN and Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).In China, the concept of an independent European defence is generally seen to suit its preferred notion of a multipolar world rather than a unipolar one dominated by the United States. China accepts that on most security matters, the ESDP will in the near future coincide with American security interests because they share fundamental values of human rights and democracy. A number of EU member states have at the same time pledged their defence capabilities to NATO, which has been led by the United States since its creation at the outset of the Cold War, and it continues to operate under strong American influence. The US was the prime mover of NATO’s activity in Kosovo in 1999 and it has shouldered some 80% of the operational work. In Afghanistan, Americans and Europeans are together in the NATO coalition of forces fighting the Taliban.

But an independent European security and defence policy, once it is fully developed, will not necessarily equate with that of the United States, especially if American policy significantly deviates from the norm of international law, as was the case of the Iraq war. The Europeans are, as a result of acquiring a pan-European defensive capacity, likely to play a more independent role than at present in managing intra-European security relations and carrying out its missions globally.

Beijing welcomes an expanded security role for the EU. Although it may be still wary of international intervention by the EU, the substances and pattern of ESDP operations are likely to win Beijing’s respect…

There are good reasons to expect Beijing’s acceptance of an independent European security mechanism. There is little concern, if any, about the ESDP affecting Chinese internal affairs, such as the Taiwan problem. In any case, the temperature across the Taiwan Strait is cooling. Beijing can see the constructive ramification of a strong and independent Europe, and from that vantage point it is not too early for China to envisage a multipolar global system as already on the horizon.  http://www.europesworld.org/NewEnglish/Home/Article/tabid/191/ArticleType/articleview/ArticleID/21260/Default.aspx

USA President Barack Obama also wants a stronger EU, but the USA will regret this in the future.

To find out why, please read the following:

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