BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin is intensifying its relations to the new Latin American “Pacific Alliance” and, thereby, heightening tension on the subcontinent. The Pacific Alliance, a network of four Pacific bordering Latin American nations, has a neo-liberal orientation and is closely allied with the EU and the USA through free trade agreements. It is currently growing rapidly stronger and could, possibly also threaten Brazil’s standing as the subcontinent’s most powerful economic power. However, it is mainly aimed at Latin America’s Venezuela-inspired ALBA alliance, struggling for autonomous development, which includes strong socially oriented policies. “The strategy of the Pacific Alliance” is “not just commercial,” it is more “a political and military strategy [seeking] to reinstall the Washington Consensus,” according to a minister of ALBA member Bolivia. At the beginning of the month, Germany obtained observer status at the Pacific Alliance, with which the German industry is expanding its trade relations. Alongside its increasing tensions on the Latin American continent, the alliance is helping the West prepare for the conflict of the century – between China and the USA.
The tension between the PA and the Venezuela-inspired ALBA alliance is having an even stronger impact. The PA offers “the US government new options to promote its free trade agenda in Latin America,” according to the GIGA analysis. These are diametrically opposed to those of ALBA. At the end of July, the president of the ALBA member nation Ecuador, Rafael Correa, explained that there are “two opposing visions of the world: neoliberalism and free trade versus those that believe in socialism and the guarantee of rights; those that believe not in free trade zones but zones free of hunger and free of poverty.” A few days later, the Foro de São Paulo, a left-wing conference, also took a stand concerning that new international alliance. It described it as a project “inspired by extraregional powers” with “the objective to fracture and sabotage regional integration.” A minister of ALBA member Bolivia declared last summer that “the strategy of the Pacific Alliance” is “not just commercial,” it is more “a political and military strategy [seeking] to reinstall the Washington Consensus.” The “Washington Consensus” is the designation of a bundle of neo-liberal measures in line with an outdated western hegemony.
The Pacific Century
Beyond these new Latin American tensions, the Pacific Alliance, with which Germany is developing ever closer cooperation, is helping set the stage for the great 21st Century conflict constellation. in 2011, because of China’s incessantly growing strength, Washington officially declared a “Pacific Century” and is preparing for a comprehensive power struggle against the People’s Republic of China. This includes efforts to establish an alliance of nations throughout the Pacific, which is oriented – at least the economic, but in numerous cases, also the military cooperation – on North America’s powerful transatlantic alliance with Western Europe during the cold war. The USA is also participating in efforts to establish a Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), in which some of the Southeast Asian nations, Australia and New Zealand, Canada as well as Chile, Peru and Mexico are integrated. The Pacific Alliance, directed toward the Asia-Pacific realm, is oriented along these same lines and seeks to include other Latin American countries in its new alliance structures. The PA can be seen “as part of the political and economic dynamics” evolving in the Asia-Pacific region as part of “the great power competition between China and the United States,” writes the GIGA. Cooperation with the Pacific Alliance is taking Germany a step further into the power rivalry – on the side of the Old West.
Full article: The Strategy of the Pacific Alliance (German Foreign Policy)