Skip to main content

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions

fischer155_Adam BerryGetty Images_euro Adam Berry/Getty Images

Europe Needs a Global Strategy

The increasingly sharp rivalry between the United States and China could have negative economic and other consequences for Europe. But instead of forging a strategic vision suitable to this risk, European leaders are, as per usual, preoccupied with their own problems.

BERLIN – Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States may have hastened the end of the “American Century” and of the US-led postwar international order. True, the world’s political and economic center of gravity had been shifting toward East Asia well before 2016, and the idea of China rising to global power in the coming “Pacific Century” is not new, either. But Trump’s actions, together with those of his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, have brought the increasingly sharp superpower rivalry to center stage. Unfortunately, Europe has yet to produce a coherent response.

The current US-China trade dispute has the potential to trigger a global recession. But even this conflict is only part of a far larger power struggle, including in the technology sector, to determine whether the new rising star (China) or the incumbent (America) plays the leading global role.

For most of the period since China began its modernization drive under Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970s, its policy was not to challenge the existing geopolitical and strategic order, and to avoid a confrontation with the US at all costs. But Xi’s speech at the Communist Party of China’s 19th National Congress in October 2017, and the several current Chinese initiatives aimed at challenging US dominance, indicate that China will no longer hide its strength and bide its time, as Deng enjoined.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/MWjXx47;
  1. op_campanella7_Aurelien MeunierGetty Images_billgatesrichardbransonthumbsup Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

    Abolish the Billionaires?

    Edoardo Campanella

    Even many of the wealthiest Americans would agree that the United States needs to overhaul its tax policies to restore a sense of social justice. But, notes Edoardo Campanella, Future of the World Fellow at IE University's Center for the Governance of Change, such reforms would not be enough to restart the engines of social mobility and promote greater equality of opportunity.

    7
  2. oneill69_Malte Mueller Getty Images_handholdingdollarsign Malte Mueller/Getty Images

    A Living Wage for Capitalism

    Jim O'Neill

    Higher nominal wages for low-paid workers can boost real earnings, increase consumer spending, and help make housing more affordable. And insofar as raising the minimum would increase companies’ wage bill, it would create a stronger incentive to replace labor with capital, which could lay the foundation for renewed productivity growth.

    0