by Pepe Escobar
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi
makes a speech at the
56th Munich Security Conference (MSC)
on Feb 15, 2020.
Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas
Anadolu / AFP
Foreign Minister Wang Yi
need for international coordination
'to build a
Few postmodern political pantomimes have been more revealing than
the hundreds of so-called "international decision-makers," mostly
Western, waxing lyrical, disgusted or nostalgic over "Westlessness"
at the Munich Security Conference.
"Westlessness" sounds like one of those constipated concepts
issued from a post-party bad hangover at the Rive Gauche during the
In theory (but not
French Theory) Westlessness in the age of Whatsapp should
a deficit of
multiparty action to address the most pressing threats to the
"international order" - or (dis)order - as nationalism, derided
as a narrow-minded populist wave, prevails...
Yet what Munich actually
unveiled was some deep - Western - longing for those effervescent
days of humanitarian imperialism, with nationalism in all its
strands being cast as the villain impeding the relentless advance of
profitable, neocolonial Forever Wars.
As much as the MSC organizers - a hefty Atlanticist bunch - tried to
spin the discussions as emphasizing the need for multilateralism, a
basket case of ills ranging from uncontrolled migration to "brain
dead" NATO got billed as a direct consequence of,
"the rise of an
illiberal and nationalist camp within the Western world."
As if this were a rampage
perpetrated by an all-powerful Hydra featuring
Far from those West-is-More heads in Munich is the courage to
admit that assorted nationalist counter-coups also qualify as
blowback for the relentless Western plunder of the Global South via
wars - hot, cold, financial, corporate-exploitative.
For what it is worth, here's
the MSC report.
Only two sentences would
be enough to give away the MSC game:
"In the post-Cold War
era, Western-led coalitions were free to intervene almost
Most of the time,
there was support in the UN Security Council, and whenever a
military intervention was launched, the West enjoyed almost
uncontested freedom of military movement."
There you go...
Those were the days when
NATO, with full impunity, could,
miserably lose a
war on Afghanistan
turn Libya into a
interventions across the Global South...
And of course none of
that had any connection whatsoever with the bombed and the invaded
being forced into becoming
refugees in Europe.
West is more
In Munich, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha got
closer to the point when she said she found "Westlessness" quite
insular as a theme.
She made sure to stress
that multilateralism is very much an Asian feature, expanding
on the theme of
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, with his customary
finesse, was sharper, noting how,
"the structure of the
Cold War rivalry is being recreated" in Europe.
Lavrov was a prodigy of
euphemism when he noted how,
NATO's military infrastructure advancing to the East, exercises
of unprecedented scope near the Russian borders, the pumping of
defense budgets beyond measure - all this generates
Yet it was Chinese State
Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi who really got to the
heart of the matter.
While stressing that,
governance and international coordination is urgent right now,"
"We need to get rid
of the division of the East and the West and go beyond the
difference between the South and the North, in a bid to build a
community with a shared future for mankind."
"Community with a
shared future" may be standard Beijing terminology, but it does
carry a profound meaning as it embodies the Chinese concept of
multilateralism as meaning,
no single state has
priority and all nations share the same rights...
Wang went farther:
The West - with or
without Westlessness– should,
get rid of
its subconscious mentality of civilization supremacy
give up its
bias against China
welcome the development and revitalization of a nation
from the East with a system different from that of the
Wang is a sophisticated
enough diplomat to know this is not going to happen.
Wang also could not fail to raise the Westlessness crowd's eyebrows
to alarming heights when he stressed, once again, that,
strategic partnership will be deepened - alongside exploring
"ways of peaceful coexistence" with the US and deeper
cooperation with Europe.
What to expect from the
leader" in Munich was quite predictable.
And it was delivered,
true to script, by current Pentagon head Mark Esper, yet
revolving door practitioner.
All Pentagon talking points were on display.
China is nothing but
a rising threat to the world order - as in "order" dictated by
China steals Western
Intimidates all its
smaller and weaker neighbors
Seeks an "advantage
by any means and at any cost"
As if any reminder to
this well-informed audience was needed,
No one asked whether
al-Qaeda in Syria is part of the list.
"Communist Party and
its associated organs, including the People's Liberation Army,"
were accused of "increasingly operating in theaters outside
China's borders, including in Europe."
Everyone knows only
one "indispensable nation"
is self-authorized to operate "in theaters outside its
borders" to bomb others into democracy.
No wonder Wang was forced to qualify all of the above as "lies":
"The root cause of
all these problems and issues is that the US does not want to
see the rapid development and rejuvenation of China, and still
less would they want to accept the success of a socialist
So in the end Munich did
disintegrate into the catfight that will dominate the rest of
With Europe de facto
irrelevant and the EU subordinated to NATO's designs,
Westlessness is indeed just an empty, constipated concept: all
reality is conditioned by the toxic dynamics of China ascension and
The irrepressible Maria Zakharova once again
"They spoke about
that country [China] as a threat to entire humankind.
They said that
China's policy is the threat of the 21st century.
I have a feeling that
we are witnessing, through the speeches delivered at the Munich
conference in particular, the revival of new colonial
approaches, as though the West no longer thinks it shameful to
reincarnate the spirit of colonialism by means of dividing
people, nations and countries."
An absolute highlight of
the MSC was when diplomat Fu Ying, the chairperson on foreign
affairs for the National People's Congress, reduced US
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to dust
with a simple question:
"Do you really think
the democratic system is so fragile" that it can be threatened