2007/10/18

East Asian security challenges and Europe

In theory and practice most of Europe and all of Northern America are allied. It's been common in history that an alliance shares threats and foes, but this time the partners are so far away from each other and have so different stances in the world that it's more complicated.

American people with interest in foreign or defense policy often consider the PR China as the next big opponent. The USA have security treaties with East Asian countries in addition to their NATO obligations. The result is that an invasion of Taiwan or South Korea would for Americans almost be like a declaration of war on the USA.
For most Europeans, it would rather be a severe disruption of international trade and an event that would be handled through the United Nation's institutions.

This difference is quite important and should be understood by Americans. I know about no security pact between any of the European nations and any of the East Asian nations. It's the other end of the world for Europeans, where some industrial consumer goods come from and to where some of our businessmen go for investments.

The only European country with really strong security interests in East Asia is the semi-Asian Russia.

Sven Ortmann

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