Arnon Grunberg



Dirk Kurbjuweit in Der Spiegel on Hong Kong and dimming the light:

'And now, Donald Trump's presence in the White House hasmade everything even worse. It is unclear if this president, who so admires Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, his autocratic counterparts from China and Russia, is an adherent of this normative project, whether he actually values democracy, the rule of law and human rights. He has undermined NATO, the West's hard-power organization, and now, there is no leading power that will intervene decisively in support of Western values.

The dream that Angela Merkel could perform the role usually played by an American president has not come true. Her refugee policy temporarily raised the hopes of left-wing liberals in the West. But Germany has too little hard power to take a leading position in the world, and Merkel is more interested in securing exports than in safeguarding Western values, especially when it comes to China. Thus far, she has refrained from criticizing China publicly.

The European Union, a Western soft-power organization, also has little global influence. It lacks troops and, ever since the Brexit vote, cannot be considered a role model for the long-term eradication of nationalism. Which means that the foreign-policy aspect of this 230-year-old project is dead. In its current state, the West is incapable of advancing normative values. In some parts of the world, the West is even laughed at when it mentions such values. Get your own house in order, is the response. And it's not unjustified. In some Western countries, right-wing populism is even threatening to undermine the internal projection of the normative project.

What can be done? Acquiesce to the notion that Pax Sinica -- the Chinese World Order, a system that cares nothing for democracy, the rule of law or human rights -- will emerge as the new norm? Hong Kong could be a harbinger of things to come.

But simply giving up would be a serious mistake. Even those who cannot issue demands command can still engage in promotion. They can still appeal to China's sanity. Things have become too silent in the West in the face of what is happening in Hong Kong. The West may no longer be the guarantor of Western values in the 21st century. But it can be an advocate.'

Read the article here.

A few more years Trump and the Pax Americana might be worse than the Pax Sinica.

discuss on facebook