BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI
In the new multipolar world order, which the Ukraine war set aflame, ranks are tightening. Especially on the Western front, led by the USA, things are very active these days. One of the western front’s strategies seems to be to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from China, in the name of “fighting climate change.”
Negotiations between the USA and the European Union have already begun. China is the world’s largest steel producer. The US and EU are planning to impose additional taxes on steel and aluminum to be purchased from China, based on the carbon emissions of iron and steel production. Studies reveal that worldwide iron and steel production emits a total of 3.4 billion tons of carbon per year, 7% of global emissions.
A TIMBER DECISION THAT WILL AFFECT WORLD ORDER
Again, another decision taken by the European Union on the grounds of combating climate change may indirectly hit China.
As of 31 December 2022, companies operating in EU countries can no longer import products such as cocoa, coffee, soy, palm oil, timber, livestock and rubber from deforested lands, as well as leather, chocolate, furniture, paper and charcoal produced with raw materials from these areas. Their use is prohibited.
The last political move of the Europeans against Russia was to organize an EU-Balkan summit. However, the exclusion of Turkey – participation was limited to the “Western Balkans” – is alarming for Ankara.
Considering that about 75 percent of Africa’s wood goes to China, it is clear who this decision will affect the most. Obviously, African countries are given the first signs that they may lose the European market if they continue intense trade with China. The same is, of course, also valid for South America.
The European Parliament has also demanded that countries observe a “human rights requirement” in the products they import or use in the EU. It is obvious that this is targeting China without saying it explicitly. It is obvious that many countries that ignore human rights will also be affected.
TURKEY EXCLUDED FROM BALKAN SUMMIT
The latest political move by the Europeans against Russia was to organize an EU-Balkan summit.
At the summit held in Tirana, the goal was to discourage pro-Russian countries such as Serbia from their pro-Moscow stance by using the EU’s financial resources. However, we cannot say this was a success; Serbian Leader Vucic, who gladly accepted 165 million Euros to be used in the energy sector by the end of the year, did not sign the declaration on the Balkan countries’ compliance with EU sanctions against Russia. The negotiations will continue.
However, the exclusion of Turkey from the summit – participation was limited to the “Western Balkans” – is alarming for Ankara. It is obvious that Greece and Greek Cypriots envisage placing Turkey on the “other front” not only in the Eastern Mediterranean, but also in the Balkan geography.
While the West is tightening its ranks, China has also started a counterattack, especially in the Middle East.
Chinese Leader Xi Jinping’s threeday visit to Saudi Arabia, which started yesterday, and the Arab-Chinese, GulfChinese and Saudi Arabia-Chinese summits that will take place during this visit, warrant an article unto themselves.