Germany As Europe’s Fragmenting Force – OpEd


By Kung Chan

The post-World War II Germany has more often than not, been regarded by the Western world as a mere “production plant”, rather than as an independent country of its own. The Germans, on the other hand, focused on their working life and their family seriously. When it came to national defense, they relied on the United States and had no need to care about other things. Angela Merkel’s Germany went a step further. When the then U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw the U.S. military, Merkel did not hesitate to get closer with Russia. She meant clearly that if the Americans were to leave, then Germany would lean towards Russia.

From the perspective of historical realism, when Europe is dominated by the French, it was a strong Europe and a Europe of the Europeans. When countries other than France had the final say for Europe, then this Europe went downhill, and this is exactly what happens today. The future of Europe may not be much better, because of the existence of Germany.

In the future, Germany may adopt the following policies:

1. Germany is willing to hand Ukraine to Vladimir Putin, even at the expense of Poland. That said, Germany has a bottom line too. It must have felt that Russia should be satisfied with Crimea and Donbass. Otherwise, Germany would completely lean towards a Europe of the French. Putin understands this kind of diplomacy well. What he hopes is legal guarantee, that is, the recognition of the world.

2. Germany continues to describe its “bilateral” relations with China as “multilateral” in order to maintain the traditional industrial friendship between the two countries. As I mentioned in my “1+3” strategical analysis, Germany is China’s true friend in Europe. As of Japan, because of the Japan-U.S. security agreement, Japan cannot have its own say. Therefore, whether it is the Taiwan Strait issue or the Hong Kong issue, Germany will essentially stand on China’s side. What it says and what it does are two different things.

3. Germany is essentially a fragmenting force in Europe, although it would not admit it. The current geopolitical relations in the world are increasingly fragmented, and it is easy to directly turn into various forms of confrontation. Therefore, in the future, Germany may openly play the geopolitical games between the United States and Russia for its own interest. This of course, will hurt Europe, but that is a Europe of the French, which is less of a concern for Germany.

4. Germany will treat new European countries as a buffer zone rather than as an integrated part of Europe. Therefore, it would be less likely for Germany to defend such new European countries like Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and others. It supports their existence, but it will not help them to win any war.

5. Germany is a democratic country, and the German society is influential. That said, as long as the German economy is stable, the Germans would generally be satisfied. Under such condition, the German society would have less impact on the German politics. It is conceivable that professors continue to speak their views, journalists continue to follow the internet trend, and young people continue to pursue the mainstream political correctness. Everything appears to be normal, although the world is changing rapidly.

While some might ponder if such attitude of Germany would be considered as unethical in terms of Western history and worldview, it is not really an issue for Germany. The world is changing, but Germany should be the last country to change, and this remains the consensus of the German society.


Anbound Consulting (Anbound) is an independent Think Tank with the headquarter based in Beijing. Established in 1993, Anbound specializes in public policy research, and enjoys a professional reputation in the areas of strategic forecasting, policy solutions and risk analysis. Anbound's research findings are widely recognized and create a deep interest within public media, academics and experts who are also providing consulting service to the State Council of China.

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