Over the past few weeks I've been occasionally blogging about the emergence of a new geopolitical reality that I've been calling "The Quadruple Entente," an understanding among the great powers of Asia of three principal realities: (1) China cannot be trusted; and (2) China cannot be trusted, especially under Mr. Xi; and (3) China cannot be trusted, because it is Communist. Obviously, all three propositions are related, but why it took everyone so long to figure out the last one is any sane person's guess. Think of it as Cuba, only on a much larger scale, with nukes, plenty of big dams that may or may not fail, virus problems, a problem with telling the truth, and, if recent banking loans collateralized by billions in fake gold bullion in the form of gold-wrapped tungsten bars are any indicator, a big economy that manages - without FASAB 56 regulations - to conduct its fraud right out in the open for everyone to see.
This Quadruple Entente, I've been urging, includes not just the "usual Big Three," i.e., the USA, Japan, and India, but Russia, which has its own very good reasons to be very skeptical of the "good intentions" of its big southern neighbor. And this situation has developed very quickly. Just a few years ago we were talking about BRICS; now, thanks to the Kaiser Wilhelm-esque diplomacy of Mr. Xi, China is being increasingly isolated due to its own swaggering and strutting. Granted, for most analysts out there, the fourth member of "the Quad" isn't Russia, but Australia, and for the most part that's true, except for the Great Powers part. Australia is not a great power (at least, not right now) and, like it or not, Putin's Russia still is.
But now you can add another country to the growing list of major players that has decided to put the brakes to its China trade: Germany, according to this article shared by L.G.L.R.:
What's incredibly intriguing here is that this story is being reported by a Japanese source, for reasons that will be obvious to anyone who has been following my blogging on this topic. But there's something even more interesting in this article. To give that "something" a little context, note the point about technology transfer:
After years of shaping its Asian strategy around China, Germany has made a sharp break and will focus instead on stronger partnerships with democracies in the region such as Japan and South Korea to promote the rule of law.
The shift comes as part of a rising sense of alarm throughout Europe about economic dependence on China and the country's track record on human rights.
"We want to help shape [the future global order] so that it is based on rules and international cooperation, not on the law of the strong," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Sept. 2. "That is why we have intensified cooperation with those countries that share our democratic and liberal values."
Germany that day adopted new policy guidelines covering the Indo-Pacific, stressing the importance of the rule of law and promoting open markets in the region. The strategy echoes the approach taken by France, as well as Japan, Australia and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
But economic growth has not opened the Chinese market as hoped. German companies operating there have been forced to hand over technology by China's government. Negotiations for an investment treaty between the European Union and China to address such issues have stalled, fueling concerns about becoming too economically dependent on Beijing.
This coincided with growing criticism of China's new national security law in Hong Kong and its detention centers for members of the Uighur Muslim minority, which in turn have led to increasing resistance in Germany to Merkel's pro-China policies.
German companies also have concerns about doing business and protecting their intellectual property in China, especially after Chinese appliance maker Midea Group bought German robot maker Kuka in late 2016.
And here comes that "interesting something":
Germany plans to work with France toward an EU-wide strategy on the Indo-Pacific. Berlin aims to boost its influence on the issue by having the entire bloc on its side.
It's that part about France that's intriguing, because if you've been following the emergence of The Quad, France is a major arms supplier, along with Russia, to - you guessed it - India, which as we saw earlier this week, is busily inking deals with Japan, extending lines of credit to Russia, and entering logistical support agreements not just with Japan, but with France. In other words, the "China card" has not worked out for Germany, and now it wants a piece of the other action, and even Mad Madam Merkel, in her lunacy, gets that. In other words, to the Quad you can now add both Germany and France to the list of "Major Interested Parties," and because of that, I strongly suspect, you will see both countries gradually turning away from the USA-led sanctions regime against Russia; after all, France has its own nice high-speed rail tech too, and Germany has a large pool of technology that would be of benefit to Quad members India and Japan, some of which is military.
So, this year's Kaiser Wilhelm II Award for the Most Inept Diplomacy goes to ...
...Mr. Xi Jinping of Beijing, China, who in a matter of a few short months of brilliant bungling, has managed to almost totally isolate his country... unless of course you're including paradisial Pakhistan.
See you on the flip side...