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Europeans Want to Stay Out of the New Cold War

9 45 13
22.09.2021

The new Indo-Pacific security alliance dubbed AUKUS—announced last week among the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia—is a clear sign of a new cold war, pitting the free world against an axis of authoritarianism centered on China. As in the last cold war, the democracies of Europe are coordinating their efforts in response to the confrontation. This time, however, Europeans’ priority seems to be to stay out of it.

That’s what a new survey by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) in 12 European Union member states appears to indicate. Nearly two-thirds of respondents expressed the view that there is a new cold war developing between China and the United States. Only 15 percent disagreed. But this new confrontation has a twist: Most Europeans do not feel that their own states are part of the new cold war. This reveals significant disparities of opinion between political leaders and their citizens.

In fact, only 15 percent of respondents to ECFR’s survey in Europe indicated that they felt that their country is definitely or probably in a cold war with China, while 59 percent believe their country is uninvolved. There are nuances between different member states, but the same broad picture emerges: In every country polled, more people deny that a new cold war is taking place between their country and China than agree it might be happening.

The new Indo-Pacific security alliance dubbed AUKUS—announced last week among the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia—is a clear sign of a new cold war, pitting the free world against an axis of authoritarianism centered on China. As in the last cold war, the democracies of Europe are coordinating their efforts in response to the confrontation. This time, however, Europeans’ priority seems to be to stay out of it.

That’s what a new survey by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) in 12 European Union member states appears to indicate. Nearly two-thirds of respondents expressed the view that there is a new cold war developing between China and the United States. Only 15 percent disagreed. But this new confrontation has a twist: Most Europeans do not feel that their own states are part of the new cold war. This reveals significant disparities of........

© Foreign Policy


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