It was 'Germany' then, and now it’s 'China'

Last Sunday, on Nov. 11, ceremonies were held in Paris to commemorate the cease-fire that ended World War I, which resulted in the elimination of three great empires. The cracks caused by U.S. President Donald Trump between U.S. and NATO allies cast a shadow over this commemoration ceremony. Europe, which lost its trust in the Trump administration, is seeking "new" ways to ensure its own security.

The cracks in the global system, center parties in the U.S. and Europe being left to erosion by populist right-wing parties, China's economic rise, Russia taking the stage again, armament and technology competitions, as well as trade wars, are being considered as the signs of the world war on the horizon. References are made to how today's conditions are similar to the pre-1914 and pre-1939 conditions. These references go all the way to the world wars.

A "neo-nationalist" hawk tendency, which sees China's rise as the most serious threat against the U.S., reached the power to "set games" with the Trump administration. This is the group that directs Trump's trade wars with China. Professor Peter Navarro, the author of the books titled, "Death by China: Confronting the Dragon - A Global Call to Action," and "The Coming China Wars," plays the lead role in Trump's trade wars against China as the director of the National Trade Council.

The U.S.'s National Defense Strategy seems to be affected by the "fear of China." This fear is best explained by Professor Graham Allison's "Thucydides Trap," which was inspired by the "Peloponnese Wars" in ancient Greece. According to Athenian Gen. Thucydides, the competition between the sovereign military power (Sparta) and the rising power (Athens) ending with war was inevitable. Athens's economic rise in parallel with the development of its naval force was a reason to go to war for Sparta. Trump's former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon had said in a speech he made in 2016 that a war would break out between China and the U.S. in the South China Sea in a decade.

Those who match the present state of the world with pre-1914 draw attention to how the competition between the 19th century's sovereign power, the U.K., and the rising power, Germany, ended in war. "The U.K.'s German fear" appears to be replaced by "the U.S.'s China fear." In her book, "The War That Ended Peace," Oxford University professor and historian Margaret Macmillan also widely covers how the fear in the U.K. caused by Germany's attempts at being a "naval force" reflected in the press. For example, look at what British journalist Ernest Edwin Williams said in his 1896 article, "Made in Germany": "A giant trade state is rising to threaten our welfare and clash with us regarding world trade. Look around you. Toys, our girls' dolls, the fairytales thrown around in our children's play rooms are all made in Germany, as a matter of fact, the paper your favorite newspaper is printed on is most likely from there too.

In 1897, the Daily Mail newspaper published a serial, warning its readers with respect to "keeping their eyes on Germany in the next decade." In 1902, the British held a fleet performance to celebrate Edward VII's coronation. The Times newspaper not only announced the ceremony as a strong display of British naval power, it also said, "some of our rivals worked with all their might in the past period and are continuing to increase their efforts in this direction. They should know that Britain is on alarm and defense, and that it is ready to spend all funds necessary to maintain its superiority in the seas."

These articles overlap perfectly with the discourse and style displayed in the anti-China articles published in the U.S. If every mention of "Germany" in the anti-German articles in the British press in the late 1800s and early 1900s were changed to "China," nobody would know the difference. The U.S. finding the $714-billion annual military budget, which is four times that of China's military expense, inadequate, shows us the direction the world is headed in. Unfortunately, peace pacts do not show that the war is over but merely indicate a break.

#Donald Trump
#trade wars
#World War I
#World War II
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