| Martin Wolf |
|Alma mater||Corpus Christi College, Oxford, Nuffield College|
Economic journalist and serial Bilderberger
After the 2019 Bilderberg conference, Wolf wrote an article sharply criticizing the anti-China turn in US foreign policy (and as an extension the wanted Bilderberg consensus) . It is unusual for participants to mention the meeting at all, and even less criticizing the political line that was being pushed there, indicating he might be speaking ob behalf of more people.
The disappearance of the Soviet Union left a big hole. The “war on terror” was an inadequate replacement. But China ticks all boxes. For the US, it can be the ideological, military and economic enemy many need. Here at last is a worthwhile opponent. That was the main conclusion I drew from this year’s Bilderberg meetings. Across-the-board rivalry with China is becoming an organising principle of US economic, foreign and security policies.
Whether it is Donald Trump’s organising principle is less important. The US president has the gut instincts of a nationalist and protectionist. Others provide both framework and details. The aim is US domination. The means is control over China, or separation from China. Anybody who believes a rules-based multilateral order, our globalised economy, or even harmonious international relations, are likely to survive this conflict is deluded. [...] A framing of relations with China as one of zero-sum conflict is emerging. Recent remarks by Kiron Skinner, the US state department’s policy planning director (a job once held by cold war strategist George Kennan) are revealing. Rivalry with Beijing, she suggested at a forum organised by New America, is “a fight with a really different civilisation and a different ideology, and the United States hasn’t had that before”. She added that this would be “the first time that we will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian”. The war with Japan is forgotten. But the big point is her framing of this as a civilisational and racial war and so as an insoluble conflict. This cannot be accidental. She is also still in her job.
Others present the conflict as one over ideology and power. Those emphasising the former point to President Xi Jinping’s Marxist rhetoric and the reinforced role of the Communist party. Those emphasising the latter point to China’s rising economic might. Both perspectives suggest perpetual conflict. [...] China’s ideology is not a threat to liberal democracy in the way the Soviet Union’s was. Rightwing demagogues are far more dangerous. An effort to halt China’s economic and technological rise is almost certain to fail. Worse, it will foment deep hostility in the Chinese people. In the long run, the demands of an increasingly prosperous and well-educated people for control over their lives might still win out. But that is far less likely if China’s natural rise is threatened. Moreover, the rise of China is not an important cause of western malaise. That reflects far more the indifference and incompetence of domestic elites. What is seen as theft of intellectual property reflects, in large part, the inevitable attempt of a rising economy to master the technologies of the day. Above all, an attempt to preserve the domination of 4 per cent of humanity over the rest is illegitimate.
A blend of competition with co-operation is the right way forward. Such an approach to managing China’s rise must include co-operating closely with like-minded allies and treating China with respect. The tragedy in what is now happening is that the administration is simultaneously launching a conflict between the two powers, attacking its allies and destroying the institutions of the postwar US-led order. Today’s attack on China is the wrong war, fought in the wrong way, on the wrong terrain. Alas, this is where we now are.
Events Participated in
|Bilderberg/1999||3 June 1999||6 June 1999||Portugal|
|Bilderberg/2000||1 June 2000||4 June 2000||Belgium|
|The 48th Bilderberg, 94 guests|
|Bilderberg/2001||24 May 2001||27 May 2001||Sweden|
|The 49th Bilderberg, in Sweden. Reported on the WWW.|
|Bilderberg/2003||15 May 2003||18 May 2003||France|
|The 51st Bilderberg, in Versailles, France|
|Bilderberg/2004||3 June 2004||6 June 2004||Italy|
|The 52nd such meeting. 126 recorded guests|
|Bilderberg/2005||5 May 2005||8 May 2005||Germany|
|The 53rd Bilderberg, 132 guests|
|Bilderberg/2006||8 June 2006||11 June 2006||Canada|
|54th Bilderberg, held in Canada. 133 guests|
|Bilderberg/2009||14 May 2009||17 May 2009||Greece|
|The 57th Bilderberg|
|Bilderberg/2012||31 May 2012||3 June 2012||US|
|The 58th Bilderberg, in Chantilly, Virginia. Unusually just 4 years after an earlier Bilderberg meeting there.|
|Bilderberg/2013||6 June 2013||9 June 2013||Watford|
|The 2013 Bilderberg group meeting.|
|Bilderberg/2014||29 May 2014||1 June 2014||Denmark|
|Bilderberg/2015||11 June 2015||14 June 2015||Austria|
|Bilderberg/2016||9 June 2016||12 June 2016||Germany|
|The 2016 Bilderberg meeting took place in Dresden, Germany.|
|Bilderberg/2017||1 June 2017||4 June 2017||US|
|The 65th Bilderberg Meeting|
|Bilderberg/2019||30 May 2019||2 June 2019||Switzerland|
Hotel Montreux Palace
|The 67th Bilderberg Meeting|
- Martin Wolf, Columnists, Financial Times, 3 June 2012.