October 8, 2014
Keynote: The Rise of China – The True Game Changer
“Geoff Dyer Discusses the Rise of China and the Implications it Will Have on US and European Interests”
By Atlantic Council
An ambitious China that is pushing towards becoming the most powerful economy has three implications for Mr. Dyer: broadly, it will push American and European interests closer together, there will be a reassessment on both sides regarding the necessary steps to achieve their goals, and Europe will be wary of working closely with the US in the Asia Pacific. Europe and the United States have similar philosophies and end goals agreed upon over decades of mostly positive relations but building allies in Asia may show their differences. In addition, China seems to hold values that do not neatly align with these two traditional allies.
Despite their common interests and endgames with China, Mr. Dyer believes there are some major differences between the United States and Europe. The European Union (EU) has not been able to form a consistent foreign policy, and due to current events, the EU will be bound to address Russia and the Ukraine crisis. Also, China does not pose a direct military threat to EU interests, because unlike the United States, the EU does not have a strong naval presence in the Asia Pacific. This disparity is indicative of the two different approaches between the US and EU to Asia. The United States favors stronger military involvement in Asia, whereas the EU favors stronger economic and international institutions in Asia.
The EU needs to be wary of US involvement in Asia, because the US is pursuing its own agenda, which in some circumstances favors US businesses over European businesses. Mr. Dyer noted that it is also important for the EU to not be seen as "America's plus one" in Asia. The EU has to be a legitimate actor in Asia and not just the United States' number two. Beyond defining common interests, the rise of Asia is certain to shed light the key differences in the United States' and Europe's approach to a new world order.