“American politicians underestimate the consequences of the chaos they create in the world. The post-American era is coming,” writes the German edition of Die Zeit.
“It is not unusual that many newspapers in the world publish articles that criticize this or that aspect of American foreign policy or accuse a particular president. This has always happened since America became a world power. But the journalism that we see today is something new. This time, the U.S. president is not being attacked. He is being ridiculed”, – writes journalist Ann Applebaum.
“While Trump is being laughed at, his government has disappeared from the world stage. (…) In this crisis, the U.S. has no leadership from the president and, consequently, no leadership from the U.S. in the world”, – the author believes.
“The G7 – the U.S. and six of its closest allies – met to draw up a joint statement on the Coronavirus pandemic, but even this weak attempt at political initiative ended in an absurd dispute, when U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo insisted on using the concept of “Wuhan virus”, while the rest of the participants objected to it”.
“Other actors on the international scene are drawing conclusions from such behaviour, at an astounding rate”, – Applebaum writes. – “The laughter of Trump’s incompetent, quackery comments on epidemiological policy marks a historic moment. A change that began much earlier suddenly seems unstoppable. Although we still do not know the real scale of the health crisis and economic disaster, the image of the post-American world order is already taking shape. In this world, America’s opinion will be taken into account to a lesser extent, while U.S. rivals will gain more weight.”
Thus, the strategy lies behind China’s ambitious PR campaign to provide humanitarian aid.
“Of course, imaginary humanitarian aid is an essential part of propaganda. After all, in reality, part of the medical equipment usually had to be paid for. Part of the aid – for example, many tests – later proved to be defective. Recipients must have known that all of this was not the least of all to overshadow pressing questions about the origin of the virus and its spread. If the propaganda worked, it was because the recipients followed a calculation: contrary to all doubt, they accepted China’s claim to power in the hope of future Chinese investment”, – the article says.
“In the Western world, this logic prevailed primarily in Italy. The Italians are exhausted by the virus and quarantine. (…) The Internet is full of bots with hashtags about Sino-Italian friendship (#forzaCinaeItalia) and gratitude to China (#grazieCina). (…) Last year, Italy became the main European participant in the One Belt and One Way project. (also called the “new silk road”). (…) Chinese investment is playing an increasingly important role in Italy. Chinese oligarchs have bought football club Inter (Milan), Chinese banks already have large stakes in such companies as oil concern Eni and car maker Fiat. (…) Maurizio Molinari, editor-in-chief of La Repubblica, told me that Chinese businessmen are buying up companies in Italy that have suffered from the crisis”, – the journalist writes.
“Chinese propaganda is falling on favorable ground in other regions as well. Japan and South Korea, two U.S. allies who sought a close relationship with Donald Trump but were unable to demand higher fees for the presence of U.S. military bases, received help. (…) Now that Trump has been the object of the world’s ridicule and America is withdrawing from the global power game, Tokyo and Seoul may conclude that they are better off reinsured and negotiating with China.”
“China has also offered assistance to Iran, which is already an important hub in the One Belt and One Way project. (…) During the pandemic, China’s relations with the Arab world also deepened. At the beginning of the crisis, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait sent aid to Wuhan; later China thanked them in return”.
China’s strategy could be a success at a time when the world is laughing at the American president, Applebaum said. “There is a vacuum in world politics, and the Chinese regime is leading the race to fill it,” Applebaum saidv”Judging by their recent statements, Trump’s government representatives do not yet understand the significance of the chaos they created where American foreign policy once was. Pompeo is still busy organizing sanctions against Iran – as if Russia, China or European allies were still ready to follow. Recently, a French journalist asked Philip Ricker, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, whether the coronation would help rebuild damaged transatlantic relations. He responded pompously as a representative of the Soviet nomenclature in the late 1980s.
“I do not reject the premise of your question”, – he said strongly and stated that “French-American cooperation is going remarkably well. Now there is only one remarkable thing about this cooperation – in fact, it does not exist”, – says the publication.
“(…) If Trump wants to lead the world in the confrontation with China, who will follow? Italy will absolutely openly refuse. The European Union will diplomatically express its doubts. Close friends of America in Asia will also play for a while. Africans will calculate everything and will probably choose to have good relations with both sides – however angry they are about the new anti-African racism in China.
“(…) If the Americans elect Trump a second time, it will be a clear message: we as a nation no longer need to be taken seriously. We are as ignorant as our stupid, narcissistic, thoughtless president. No one will probably be surprised if the world draws its conclusions from this”, – concludes Die Zeit.
Source: Die Zeit.