A Precarious Balancing Act: The U.S.-China-Europe and the Emerging New Global Order

Date December 20, 2018
Time 10.30a.m. - 12.00noon
Venue ICS Seminar Room, IPS Building, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur
Language English
Prof Larres talk focused on Europe's attempt to position itself between China and the U.S. This is a real balancing act, not least for a country such as Germany, which for historical and security/transatlantic trade reasons continues to feel a greatly loyalty to the U.S. but is also highly dependent on its trade and economic relations with China. The situation for countries such as the UK and France but also Spain, Poland, Hungary, and others is similar. Most of these countries largely agree with the Trump administration's position in the current 'trade war' but feel highly uneasy about the method and 'sledgehammer approach' employed by Trump. For the EU countries the situation regarding the South China Sea is similar though this is largely seen as much less important than the 'trade war' issue. On top of this comes the genuine responsibility Germany and other EU countries feel they have for upholding the 'rules-based' global order. Thus, the assertive politics of the Trump administration toward China provides most EU countries with a real dilemma. So far they have grappled in vain to overcome this dilemma. And the internal situation in the EU does not help with increasingly anti-democratic governments in the East and populist uprisings in the West (France) and a weakening situation in Germany (Merkel's slow departure) and the UK (Brexit). In this talk, Prof Larres will try to make sense of the situation and attempt to set some pointers for the future.


Klaus LARRESRichard M. Krasno Distinguished Professor of History and International Affairs at the University of North Caroline in Chapel Hill