Three years of declining economic growth in the European Union since they chose to stand lock-step with the United States on sanctions against Russia have brought the coalition of European countries to a turning point. And the one nation holding the best cards to take advantage of this is China.
One of the primary reasons why governments create socialistic economies is because they understand that as long as the people have enough basic needs covered, they will rarely act to overthrow their political regimes. And even as the former President of the United States Bill Clinton correctly surmised during the 1990's when he went on to serve two terms in office, the biggest issue will always be the economy stupid.
Populations historically have had a long rope when it comes to being oppressed, and will put up with the loss of civil liberties and being crushed by taxes as long as they somehow are able to put food on the table, and keep a roof over their heads. But at a certain point even this rope 'breaks', as seen right now down in Mexico following the government's order to raise gasoline prices to unaffordable levels.
That breaking point has finally reached Europe, and is even threatening the foundation of the European Union itself. As not only is one country (Britain) already on their way out of the EU, but upwards of four elections could shift the balance of power from one of unity, to that of nationalism and protectionism.
“The French Commissioner in charge of Economics and Financial Affairs has warned that, unless countries in the Eurozone single currency area embrace economic convergence, the whole project could collapse.
The Eurozone single currency area is one of the central pillars of the EU — although not all member states are part of it. However, critics have always maintained that it lacks credibility in that it requires all members to share common fiscal policies for it to work. Now, Pierre Moscovici, the French European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, has warned that if divergence between member states continues “…the dismantling of the euro could become a fashionable idea, even a reality.”
Central to the issue is the Stability and Growth Pact, which requires all Eurozone members to avoid excessive budget deficits — greater than 3% of GDP. However, several states have crashed the barrier — including Spain and Portugal — leading to a loss of confidence in the currency as a whole.”
— Sputnik News
Yet even if the European Union does not completely fall apart from the political and economic movements currently shaking the coalition, the die has already been cast for many of these nations to break their treaty with the EU on creating trade partnerships that do not adhere to EU regulations. And the one economy ready and willing to quickly move into this turmoil is China.
“There are optimistic expectations in Europe for Xi Jinping’s visit to Davos, according to Yury Rubinsky, a senior researcher at the Institute for European Studies, at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
”European analysts believe that Xi Jinping wants to show that Europe is the endpoint of China’s New Silk Road infrastructure route. This is especially important taking into account the role of Europe in the foreign policy strategy of the new United States presidential administration,” Rubinsky told Sputnik Chinese.
The expert noted that US President-elect Donald Trump has long been an opponent to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), two major deals endorsed by Barack Obama’s administration.
”Europeans see no future in the TTIP. They are concerned. They don’t know what to expect from Trump’s administration. Xi Jinping’s visit to Davos may indicate that Europe sees China as an important partner amid the uncertainty in relations with the US and the future negotiations on Brexit,” the expert pointed out.
He suggested that for the European Union China’s role is going to increase in the near future. “In the event of a trade war between Washington and Beijing, Europe would not like being involved. This is a very important matter. ”
— Sputnik News
China's readiness to seize on an opportunity in Europe is very similar to what Russia has done over the past three years in the oil industry where new partnerships with Syria, Iran, and even Saudi Arabia have grown at a time when the United States has destroyed long-standing relations with their petro-dollar partners.
They say that one man's crisis is another man's opportunity, and this transfers over as well to nation states and economies. And while the early predictions are still up in the air on what a Trump presidency will mean for free trade, protectionism, and a pulling back of globalism, the ripest fruit tree in the orchard is suddenly becoming a wide open prize, and Beijing is salivating at the chance to pick up more than just low-hanging fruit.