Europe’s dependence on others: what does it show?

January 24, 2023

Europe is now spending a harsh winter due to the highest inflation in 40 years and the worst energy crisis in history.

This was compounded by price hikes. As a result, Europeans are surviving in difficult circumstances and factories and shops are closed one after another.

One of the ways to get out of the current economic crisis is to diversify external trade. This is common economic knowledge.

However, Europe is wavering in its attitude just reading the face of the “inspector,” the US.

Recently, Germany is under pressure from the US to stop China’s investment in Hamburg Port, one of the three major ports in Europe. The Netherlands has also come under pressure from Washington to limit its semiconductor manufacturing equipment export to China.

The EU and European countries should draw a lesson from the Ukrainian crisis.

The Ukrainian crisis caused by the US-led eastward advance of NATO has disturbed the security of Europe. Taking advantage of this, the US has pushed the EU and European countries into the quagmire of the Ukrainian crisis.

Let me remind you that the US used the Ukrainian situation as a good opportunity to reap a windfall by conducting a large-scale transaction while the whole of Europe is suffering a nightmare of security crisis, economic crisis and energy crisis due to the Ukrainian crisis.

As the Bloomberg news agency recently reported, the US sold its liquefied gas to Europe at four-fold price of its domestic sale despite the fact that Europe has already suffered a tremendous loss of US$ 1 trillion after giving up gas import from Russia.

According to data published by American magazine Foreign Policy, the weapons sales of the US to NATO member nations nearly doubled in 2022 as against 2021, pushing up the profit of the US munitions industry and stock prices of many enterprises to a record high.

There is a saying that “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. I am now wondering which word is proper to describe a friend who lives by racketeering his friend when he is in need now.

Moreover, the US once again revealed that there is no limit on its greed by publishing “Inflation Reduction Act”, an American-first law, taking no account of the difficult circumstances of its allies who are struggling to overcome the current economic crisis.

American newspaper The Wall Street Journal argued that the US should demand that the allies actively join its policy of restraining semiconductor development in China in return for providing them with subsidy for electric cars. The Netherlands also made an unexpected announcement that it would limit the export of semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China.

Now we can easily guess how desperately the US is working behind the curtains.

It is the evil design of the US to contain and weaken the rapid economic growth of China even at the cost of sacrificing the whole of Europe.

The total amount of trade by Germany, the Netherlands and France with China are no less than US$ 235 billion, US$ 100 billion and US$ 80 billion respectively. For them and other European countries, it is tantamount to a suicidal act to exclude China from the global industrial chain and reject the Chinese market as required by the US.

The US is instigating its allies to seek confrontation and use it as a good chance to hit the jackpot and fish in troubled waters. The EU and European countries should see through such evil intention of the US and break from their conventional habit of depending on the US at the earliest date possible.

Independent foreign policy will be the only choice for Europe.

Son U Jin, researcher at the Korea-Europe Association

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