Monday, December 21, 2009

Welcome to the Sino-American Century

Europeans have for some time devoutly wished for a multi-polar world, one in which the unpredictable American behemoth is constrained. Perhaps the best discussion of this is Robert Kagan's Of Paradise and Power (highly recommended).

This desire for the United States for be humbled, to be knocked from its perch at the pinnacle of a uni-polar world was the driving force behind the wave of Obamamania that swept Europe in the summer and fall of 2008. Unlike the unilateralist cowboy Bush, Obama would consult with our indispensable European allies. He was, after all, the head of Harvard Law Review, and a committed transnationalist. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Welcome to a new Revolution:

Approaching the summit, it appeared that pretty much all the countries wanted a new global climate deal under the UNFCCC umbrella. Politicians from many countries invested significant diplomatic effort to make it happen - apparently.

The concluding sequence of this much-hyped summit has left many observers and national delegations stunned.

Ministers and officials and scientists and campaigners and lobbyists who have dedicated huge swathes of the last year to making a tough deal happen watched aghast as Chinese and US leaders and their entourages flew in, took over the agenda and emerged with what was basically their own private deal, with leaders announcing it live on television before others realised it had happened.

I pride myself on running a full service blog, so let me spell it out for the Euros: China wasn't about to hobble their economy for some Green pie-in-the-sky, either now or in the future. Obama needs the Chinese checkbook wide open as he brings Trillion dollar euro-style "Third Way" socialism to the USA, so he wasn't going to push them. You've spent the last two decades making yourselves irrelevant, at an accelerating pace, so what you think is important is - well, irrelevant.

You thought that when Big China made the world multi-polar, you'd come out on top. Like the Red Chinese were going to take marching orders from Brussels, or even share your philosophy.

You thought that the future was going to be all Truffaut and Fellini. You thought wrong.

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