Will Trump rewrite US’ Europe policy?

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/1/16 23:28:39

In an interview with a German newspaper Sunday, US President-elect Donald Trump called NATO obsolete, "because it was designed many, many years ago." He also characterized the EU as "a vehicle for Germany" and predicted that more countries will follow the UK in leaving the bloc.

Trump's words immediately caused a stir in Europe. If Trump is really about to weaken NATO and better Washington-Moscow ties after he takes office, it will be a move that conforms to the reality, as NATO is indeed obsolete.

But it also means the US' Europe policy will fundamentally change. So will Europe's strategic architecture. Many people believed that the US system could restrain Trump, but now it seems that he will bring his characteristics into full play as US president.

Trump has shown far less interest in and attached less importance to Europe than his predecessors. He is inclined to favor Russia and the UK, while disregarding the role of continental European countries. If his policies are about to reflect his thinking, the pattern of the whole of Europe will be reshaped.

Trump wants to see his "America first" doctrine have an immediate effect. He seems to have no patience to carry on the geopolitical game of power balances.

He only cares about which country can bring the most benefits to the US and what benefits the US can get from the world during his term. This is a major change of thinking.

The "leader" of world order seems to be throwing away its job to grab the most advantages. The chaos it may bring to the world is much more severe than a war or a crisis. China faces the challenge of Trump's meddling with the one-China policy.

Moreover, China may suffer from a shaken world order. The one-China policy is one part of the existing world order. Trump not only wants to scrap the one-China policy, but also aims at an overall change.

In a changing landscape, enhancing one's own strength is most important. Trump has shown strategic arrogance that is beyond America's strength and he seems to be confident that anyone he asks will yield to him.

It is quite likely that China and the US will face a head-on confrontation. China must be quick in preparing for sharp provocations from the Trump administration. China's win over this confrontation will serve as the basis for normal exchanges between the two in the future.

China also needs to review its ties with other countries. It may have to improve relations with some countries so as to have more leverage in its game with the US.

All in all, if Trump stirs up strategic challenges, China needs to change its way of thinking strategically. Preparing for the worst-case scenario will give China more initiative.

In this era of change, China will offer its resolution in reshaping the global code of conduct.

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