Former Danish Prime Minister: We may end up at war with China

Anders Fogh Rasmussen during the democracy conference Copenhagen Democracy Summit in Skuespilhuset in Copenhagen, Monday 10 May 2021. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen

In a newly published interview with local media BT, Denmark’s former prime minister and NATO’s former secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen talks about how he believes the West must dare to stand up to the world’s new economic and military superpower in the name of democracy.

He points out that China’s leader, Xi Jinping, himself has said that Taiwan will be reunited with China before the 100th anniversary of the Chinese revolution in 2049. But Anders Fogh Rasmussen believes it will probably happen sooner rather than later and that an attack within 5-10 years is not unlikely. “The consequences can be severe,” he says.

He believes that Europe should enter into a musketeer with the United States and Taiwan to back a US response if China takes their threats of attacking Taiwan seriously.

“It is in this light that one must see that NATO has begun to take a keen interest in China as a military threat, and if it comes to a military showdown, then I think Europe should help the Americans. It is the future of democracy that is at stake, nothing less,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen says to BT

The prospect of a new Cold War between the West and China is steadily rising. Although China’s nuclear arsenal is still far smaller than the West’s, the Chinese way of thinking is radically different.

In 1957, President Mao said, “I am not afraid of nuclear war. Even if half of China’s population were to die, there would be 300 million Chinese left.” Since then China’s position in the world has been markedly strengthened, both in terms of population, economic turnover, and global influence but the question, however, is whether the mindset that President Mao advocated in 1957 has changed significantly?

“There are certainly similarities between the Cold War and then the crisis with China today. We again have autocracies and dictatorships facing freedom and democracy. But there are also big differences. The most important is probably trade. The Soviet bloc was largely isolated from the rest of world trade. Today, China is strongly integrated into our economy. We are dependent on them, but they are certainly also dependent on being able to trade with us and in being able to invest in other countries. Therefore, it will not be a traditional Cold War. If we in the West stand together, then we account for 60 percent of world trade. It will make an impression on Beijing, ” Anders Fogh Rasmussen says.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen believes that democratic and economic solidarity in the West is the best weapon to avoid war with China.

About Mette Larsen

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

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