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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/25/21

The Significance of China Surpassing US as EU's Top Trade Partner

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Republished from Land Destroyer Report

Over the course of last year, China surpassed the United States as the European Union's top trade partner. It was significant news and noted as such across Chinese media.

But in the West, this news was somewhat muted.

One of the few articles featuring this news comes from Politico titled, "China topples US as EU's top trade partner over 2020," and notes that:

In 2020, exports of EU goods to China increased by 2.2 percent and imports went up 5.6 percent, while EU trade with the rest of the world dramatically dropped (down 9.4 percent in term of exports, and down 11.6 percent in terms imports compared with 2019). The pandemic severely hit transatlantic trade, with exports of European goods to the U.S. falling by 8.2 percent year-on-year. Imports fell 13.2 percent.

As a result, the U.S. is no longer the bloc's top commercial partner and has been replaced by China. EU exports to China in 2020 amounted to " 202.5 billion while imports reached " 383.5 billion.

Not only had China surpassed the US as the EU's top trading partner, it did so with a net surplus with Europe.

While the article attempts to blame the COVID-19 crisis for the development - and while the US and China may, over the course of the next few years, exchange places as the EU's top trade partner, China's growing trade with Europe and the fact that it is on par with, and at times surpassing that of the United States - is just one of many metrics indicating the inevitability of China's rise as the world's largest and most powerful economy.

America's "Solution" to a Non-Problem

Washington and Wall Street's answer to China's growing economic clout has been a multifaceted strategy of encirclement and containment involving an ongoing trade war, sanctions, propaganda, and political subversion both within China in places like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet, as well as along China's peripheries especially in Southeast Asia where the US is backing protests seeking to oust Beijing-friendly governments and replace them with Western-leaning client regimes. Thailand and now Myanmar both face such protests.

The US also appears significantly invested in building up its military capabilities versus China and is attempting to place those capabilities as close to China as possible - with thousands of US troops already stationed in Japan and South Korea and a frequent US military presence both in the South China Sea and in the Strait of Taiwan.

All of this is predicated on what US policy papers themselves admit is Washington's desire to maintain and expand American "primacy" in the Indo-Pacific region. Iterations of this objective and the prerequisite of encircling and containing China have been expressed since as early as the Vietnam War in the leaked "Pentagon Papers."

The declassified "US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific," posted in the US White House's "Trump archives" would begin by listing as its primary strategic challenge:

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Brian Joseph Thomas Berletic (A.K.A. Tony Cartalucci) is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer.  Tony is a American industrial designer living in Bangkok, Thailand since he left the United States Marine Corps and the US altogether in 2004.

Since he began writing about politics he has used pen (more...)

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