Wednesday, 14 November 2018


Wolfgang PAPE      Bruxelles, October 2018

“Opening to Omnilateralism –Democracy from local to global for and by all?”



Omnilateralism, in a nutshell, means firstly to open up the current still mainly western-inspired system of global governance to cultures and good practices of non-Western origin. Secondly, in the so-called multilateral system ‘nations’ remain the supposedly ‘sovereign’ actors as imposed world-wide by European history of empirialism. However, the global level of governance (cf. “United Nations”) has to open up to civil society and  to encompass the responsibility to the public of influential trans-border non-state actors (eg GAFA etc.) in order to reign omnibus.
Furthermore, the practice of democracy ought to differentiate according to the level of governance. More direct democracy is feasible in local elections, referenda etc. rather than at provincial, national, regional and global level, where the dependence on information by media increases exponentially and thus expertise of parliaments and other filtrations become more necessary.
Recently, the unilateralism of President Trump in the USA and subsequently the initiatives notably of China and Japan reacting to defend the multilateral system have brought them closer to the Europeans (cf. ASEM Summit 2018 in Bruxelles) thus giving substance to the talk of Eurasian connectivity also to strengthen global governance by adding Eastern understanding of issues ranging from climate change to cyber space. While the West is currently split on many trans-border policies like trade and environment, this provides a timely window of opportunity to open up towards omnilateralism with input from non-Western cultures, for instance with their comprehension of natural cycles also for patterns of modern economies.

After a peak in the number of recognized democracies towards the end of the 20th century, the score of their quality declined world-wide in recent years. While the claimed “mother of democracy”, the UK, now ranks at the lower end of “full democracies” within Europe, the USA has fallen into the big world-wide pot of “flawed” ones. The two Anglo-Saxon shocks of 2016, Brexit and Trump, had cast doubt in many minds notably in Europe on the practice of “liberal democracy”. In other parts of the world as well, sudden unexpected disruptions of the status quo occurred in established democracies in spite of all the prior psephology to the contrary.
However, politics do not only play out at national level, governance is a multi-level affair - as Brexit now teaches the British and Catalunya the Spanish about ‘going down’ a level in order to meet the aspirations of a counted majority of voters. Increasingly in Europe, in spite of what populist nationalists loudly proclaim, the authority of the nation state is thinning and flowing upstream towards global decision-making and downstream towards local politics. Our economic interdependence has been growing immensely (as Brexit issues now demonstrate clearly), in particular through fragmented value chains of production and trillions of Euro moving daily on the world’s financial markets. On the one hand, these and other issues, which obviously transcend borders - climate change, the Internet, management of the high seas and in outer space - demand rules at global level. On the other hand, people everywhere in our liberal democracies feel increasingly empowered through advanced communication technologies (the ‘digital death of distance‘, but within the limits of narrow echo-chambers) to question the position of their politicians whether in Tokyo, Brussels or New York (cf. health apps vs GP expertise). Hence, they turn ever more anti-elitist and demand that their own voices be heard more directly in politics.
Nowadays such instant democracy is technically feasible – almost everybody could decide in a few clicks whenever a public issue came up for a vote. However, the wider spread and success of the parliamentary system since WWII provides evidence to the contrary, that such direct voting (including the Brexit referendum and Trump’s election) can carry enormous risks at national and international levels. It is an obvious fact that the higher the level of governance (from local up to global) the wider is its geographical and demographic impact. At global level the entire earth (universe even) and its peoples are affected. Hence the highest standards of expertise and overall responsibility are required for the right policies. On the contrary, at the lowest level of public governance, namely the local community, in most cases the impact on people and the earth is much smaller accordingly, due to the geographical limitations (eg the village). However, at that local level because of their direct proximity, the relatively few people concerned are much better and more directly informed about the issues (eg whether to build a football stadium or a theatre) and the choice of personalities (eg electing a mayor from among their neighbours). Hence, at local level, direct judgment and voting by ‘one person-one vote’ is most reasonable. Whereas at the higher levels of provincial, notably national, regional and global governance exponentially increasing inputs of moderating expertise, clearer transparency, stricter accountability and wider responsibility are required. However, on top of our almost complete dependence on information through mainly market-based media these requirements are hardly met at (inter)national or the rare cases of supranational level.  
An idealistic conclusion would point the way to the proposition of an omnilateral stakeholder democracy for a more legitimate and efficient governance to build a ‘better world’.
Hence, in view of recent short-sighted backlashes against globalisation and of echo-chambers of left and right populisms, the need for a more inclusive and participatory form of pluralistic governance grows stronger, thus my original proposal of the title 'Opening to Omnilateralism'.
Even the much discussed proposals of further decentralisation and subsidiarity with more direct democracy (vertical legitimacy) at national and higher level cannot suffice. A truly participatory governance must be complemented by ‘horizontal legitimacy’ that draws from all pro-active stakeholders world-wide with their cultural diversity (cf. need of bio-diversity for sustainability of life), rather than falling into the narrow trap of the Western conclusion of ‘The End of History’ that even its author already repudiated.
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Friday, 10 March 2017

Publication List of Wolfgang PAPE

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List of major publications:
Das japanische Kartellrecht, in: Reihe Japanwirtschaft, Heft 2, Düsseldorf 1978

Kartellrecht, in: Das japanische Rechtssystem, Eubel u.a., Arbeiten zur Rechtsvergleichung, Bd. 96, Metzner, Frankfurt 1979

Gyoseishido und das Anti-Monopol-Gesetz in Japan, Eine Untersuchung über Praxis, Hintergrund und rechtliche Problematik von „Administrative Guidance“, Schriftenreihe Japanisches Recht, Bd. 7, Heymanns, Köln 1980, 124 S.

Gyoseishido –Administrative Anleitungen in der japanischen Wirtschaft, Reihe Japanwirtschaft, Heft 9, Düsseldorf, 1980

Joint Venture und Gyoseishido, in: Japaninfo Nr.3 vom 6.2.1981 und Nr.4 vom 20.2.1981

Die Beziehungen der EG zu Japan, in: Japaninfo Nr. vom 25.1.1982

Gyoseshido and the Antimonopoly Law, in: Law in Japan, Vol.15, Tokyo/Seattle 1982

Das Verhältnis Japans zur EG, in: Wirtschaftspartner Japan, Institut für Asienkunde, Hamburg 1984

ひと (Mann des Tages) W.パ-ぺ、in:朝日新聞 (Asahi Shinbun), Tokyo 23.5.1985

Japan, EC Locked in a Liquor Label Battle, Asahi Evening News, Tokyo 12.6.1985

日本の消費者を味方に(Als Partner der japanischen Verbraucher), in: 日本経済新聞 (Nihon Keizai Shinbun), 11.7.1985
 
ほんものの洋酒を! (Schenkt den wahren Wein aus Europa ein!), in: 正論 (Das richtige Argument), Tokyo August 1985
  
国際化とコムニケイション (Internationalisierung und Kommunikation), in: 公証取引  (Fairer Handel),  Nr.49, Tokyo September 1985

リッチな日本へ愛を込めて (Einem reichen Japan zugewandt) in: 世界週報 (Weltwocheninformation), Tokyo 5.11.1985

ECから日本の消費者を見る (Der japanische Verbraucher aus EG-Sicht), in: 国民生活 (Das Volksleben), Nr.1, 1986, Tokyo

日本-ECにおける貿易関係 (Die Handelsbeziehungen Japan-EG), in: The  Sophia Annual of EC Studies, Nr.2, 1986, Sophia University, Tokyo

胎動はじめたヨロッパ (Die Geburtswehen Europas), in: 正論 (Das richtige Argument), Tokyo Juli 1986

EC Brings Shared Traditions to Jaoan Trade, in: Japan Times, Tokyo 11.10.1986

日本とECの貿易関係 (Die Handelsbeziehungen von Japan und der EG), in: 農政企画職員研修録 (Studienschriften Agrarpolitischer Planer), Tokyo 1986

Die politisch-gesellschaftliche Verflechtung des Unternehmens, in: Das Industrieunternehmen in Japan, Berlin 1986

国際化玄関先だけ (Internationalisierung nur an der Pforte), in: 毎日新聞 (Mainichi Shinbun), Tokyo 13.4.1987

不正商品と誤認表示の場合 (Ein Fall verfälschter Waren und irreführender Auszeichnungen), in: 輸団連弘報 (Nachrichten des Importvereins), Tokyo August 1987

Das Verhältnis der EG zu Japan, in: Festschrift zum 25.Jubiläum der DIHK in Japan, Tokyo September 1987

日本人はマネーマニアか (Leiden die Japan an einer Kopier-Mani?), in: 週間東洋経済 (Weekly Oriental Economist), Tokyo 29.9.1987

EC Official Cries Foul over Way ‚Non-Imports’ Packaged in Japan, in: Asahi Evening News, Tokyo 14.12.1987 

Japanese Imitate Again With Home-Grown ’Imports’, in: The Asian Wall Street Journal, Tokyo 21.12.1987

„Der Geschmack Deutschlands“ lockt Käufer für japanische Produkte, dpa-Interview, Tokyo Januar 1988

ガット勸告の速やかな実現を求めて酒税法改正 (Alkoholsteuerreform fordert prompte Ausführung der GATT-Empfehlungen), in: Wands, Tokyo Februar 1988

ニセモノの国際化がはびころニッポン (Japan, wo die Internationalisierung der Nachahmungen wuchert), in: プレイボ- (Playboy), Tokyo 19.4.1988

92年市場統合を目指すヨーロッパ 共同体 (Die EG und die Marktintegration von 1992), in: ラジオたんぱ (Die Radio-Kurzwelle), Tokyo April 1988

真実は酒にあり( In Vino Veritas ), in: たる (Das Fass), Tokyo April 19
ニセ物天國にメス (Das Skalpell im Paradies der Nachahmungen), in: 読売新聞 (Yomiuri Shinbun), Tokyo 14.5.1988
 
日本は貿易の過剰防衛国である (Japan ist im Handel übermässig defensiv), EC Hot Line, in: Avant, Nr.1, Tokyo Mai 1988

商標等に見る日本人とマネーマニア (Kopier-Manie der Japaner bei Handelsmarken etc.), in: ジュリスト (Der Jurist), Tokyo Mai 1988

日本は文化を輸出すべきだ (Japan sollte Kultur exportieren), in: 経協未来21 (Manager-Zukunft 21), Yamagata Juni 1988

まなぶことはまねることなんてとんでもない認識だ! (Lernen ist noch lange nicht gleich nachmachen!), EC Hot Line, in: Avant, Nr.2, Tokyo Juni 1988

EC hails liquor tax change reducing high-grade rate, in: The Japan Economic Journal, Tokyo 25.6.1988

日本での弁護士活動を妨げる巧妙なる障壁を怒る!(Die Verhinderung der Anwaltspraxis in Japan als schlaue NTB!), EC Hot Line, in: Avant, Nr.3, Tokyo Juni 1988

EC—そのシステムと目指すもの (Die EG – Ihr System und ihre Merkmale), in: CAT (Cross and Talk), Tokyo August 1988

閉鎖的な日本の流通制度 ( Japans verschlossenes Distributionssystem ), EC Hot Line, in: Avant, Nr.4, Tokyo August 1988

“Das wird hier viel zu heiß gehandelt“, in: Hessische Allgemeine, Kassel 6.8.1988

Der lange Weg zur Öffnung Japans, in: Börsenzeitung, Frankfurt 2.9.1988

消費者の経済的な利益 (Der wirtschaftliche Vorteil des Konsumenten), in:アドバイザ (Adviser), Tokyo Herbst 1988

東欧の輸出は欧州統合の先がけになる (Der Aufbruch Osteuropas als der Bahnbrecher der europäischen Einigung), in: 公正取引 (Fairer Handel), Nr.472, Tokyo Februar 1990

Nichttarifäre Handelshemmnisse in Japan, in: Recht der internationalen Wirtschaft, Heidelberg September 1990

Nichttarifäre Handelshemmnisse in Japan, in: Japaninfo Nr.16 vom 26.11.1990, Nr.17 vom 17.12.1990 und Nr.1 vom 14.1.1991

Japans Dumping – Kein Zufall, sondern Backpfeifen, in: Japaninfo Nr.3, vom 25.2.1991

Dumping by Japanese Companies, in: Revue de Droit des Affaires Internationales, No.4, Paris Juillet 1991

Europeans in Japan – Not a fast buck, but a stable Ecu in the offing, in: European Affiars, Amsterdam October 1991
  
The Cultural Barriers to Japan´s Universalism, in: International Minds, London Winter 1992-3, Vol.3 No.4

Wettbewerb auf japanisch? Geschichte der Giganten im Handel, in: JAPAN aktuell, Bonn Februar/März (I), April/Mai (II) 1993

Europas Antwort auf die Herausforderung Fernost,  in: Wirtschaftsmacht Japan - Ohnmacht Europas?  Reihe Tagungsberichte Band 13, München 1993

How to Overcome Stereotype Images of Japan, in: Kyoto Conference on Japanese Studies, Kyoto 1994, vol. III, p.141-144

CHINA - A Production Site and Market of Enormous Opportunities for Europe, in: Sino Euro Review, Vol.2 No.10, Athens March/April 1994

Elements of Integration in Europe and Asia, in: Regional Economic Strategies in East Asia, Maison Franco-Japonaise, Tokyo 1994

Kulturelle Barrieren für einen japanischen Universalismus, in: Japaninfo Nr.8, 13.6.1994

Das Japanische im japanischen Kartellrecht, in: iudicium, Monographien aus dem Deutschen Institut für Japanstudien der Philipp-Franz-von-Siebold-Stiftung, (Ed.) Heinrich Menkhaus, München 1994

EU Trade Policy vis-à-vis Japan: From Confrontation to Cooperation, in: Europe-Asia-Pacific Studies in Economy and Technology, Waldenberger (Ed.), The Political Economy of Trade Conflicts, Berlin Heidelberg 1994

La Révolution silencieuse du Japon, von: Karoline Postel-Vinay, Paris 1994, fiche de lecture, in: Bulletin de l’Association Nord Japon, Août-Sept. 1994, p. 5-7

Japanese production in Europe: why it came, where it’s going, in: Euro Japanese Journal, Vol.1 No.2, August-November 1994

Europe and Japan: Toward Mutually Beneficial Cooperation, in: NIRA Review, Tokyo Autumn1994 p.9-14 and Winter 1995 p.13-17; www.nira.go.jp/publ/review/94autumn/pape.html

Die politischen und wirtschaftlichen Beziehungen der EU zu Japan, in: JAPAN 1994/95, POLITIK und WIRTSCHAFT, Institut für Asienkunde Hamburg, (Ed.) Manfred Pohl, Hamburg 1995

情報への遅い足取り('Joho haiuei' he no osoi ashidori;  Später Schritt auf den 'Information Highway'),  in: 産経新聞Sankei Shinbun, Tokyo 21.1.1995

La coopération euro-japonaise, in: L’état du Japon, Editions La Découverte, Paris 1995

(Ed.) Shaping Factors in East Asia by the Year 2000 and Beyond, Institute of Asian Affairs, Hamburg 1996, 260 pages

Europas Netzwerk mit Japan,  in: Schriftenreihe des Asien-Pazifik-Instituts für Management, Hannover 1996, S. 1-22

Die EU und Ostasien, in: Handbuch der europäischen Integration, Strategie-Struktur-Politik, Wien 1996, S. 564-579

Stereotype Images of Japan, on: http://www.jmission-eu.be/club/imajap.htm#Pape,  June 1997

Europas Omnilateralismus -- allseitig zwischen Amerika und Asien,  in: Japaninfo Nr.13, 22.9.97

Life-long Learning for the Information Society and the East Asia Advantage, in: EC-Japan Roundtable on Education at Universiteit Leuven 1996, Brussels June 1997, p. 42-44

Omni-lateralism with Europe in the Middle, in: Carrefours Newsletter, No.6, Brussels September 1997, p.8-9

(Ed.) 東アジア、21世紀の経済と安全保証、ヨロッパからの警告Higashi Ajia, 21seiki no keizai to anzenhosho, Yoroppa kara no keikoku (Ost-Asien, Wirtschaft und Sicherheit im 21.Jahrhundert, Mahnung aus Europa), Toyo Keizai, Tokyo 1997, 232 pages

L’omnilatéralisme et le rôle de médiateur de l’Europe, dans: Carrefours, Lettre d’information No.6, Cellule de Prospective, Bruxelles, Septembre 1997, p.8-9

The European Union and the United States in East Asia: The Need for Omnilateralism, A Personal View by a European, in: World Affairs, New Delhi, July-September 1997, p. 94-109

Europas Omnilateralismus – allseitig zwischen Amerika und Asien, in: Japaninfo Nr.13,  22.9.1997

Des mutations dans l’économie japonaise, dans: Reflects Perspectives de la vie économique, Tome XXXVI, 3ème trimestre, 1997, p. 77-83

Comparison of East Asia Policies of the USA and the EU, in: Leng Zhan Ho Der Dong Fang Yue Shi Fang – Shue Zer Der Duei Hua (East and West in the Post-Cold War Era – Dialogue among Scholars), Beijing November 1997, p.428-438

Die Asien-Krise hat den europäischen Zusammenhalt weiter gestärkt, in: Handelsblatt, Düsseldorf  31.12.1997

(Review) Andreas Huber, China und die ASEAN Staaten, in: China Information, Vol.XII, No.3, Winter 1997-98, p.156-157

(Ed.) East Asia by the Year 2000 and Beyond - Shaping Factors, Curzon Press, Richmond, UK 1998, 268 pages   (also: St.Martin's Press, New York, USA 1998)

Values and Religion in Relation to Progress, in : The Message of Manila, Manila 1998, p.97-128

East Asia and the ‘Information Society’ -- A Comparative Advantage to Bridge the Communication Gap?  in: Johoshakai Shiron, Vol.3, Tsukuba, 31.7.98

Opening for Omnilateralism, A European View, on: http://www.jmission-eu.be/club/omnilat.htm, August 1998

Europe in Northeast Asia, in: Northeast Asia towards 2000: Interdependence and Conflict? Nomos, Baden-Baden 1999, p.107-113

Sustainability of Societal Development in East Asia, in: Carrefours Newsletter, Forward Studies Unit, EC, Brussels, No.11, October 1999, p.2-5 (aussi en français)

Orientierung am Omnilateralismus (ins Chinesische übersetzt), in: Deutschland-Studien der Tongji-Universität, Shanghai 1999, Nr.3, S.22-24

Socio-Cultural Differences and International Competition Law, in: European Law Journal, Vol.5, Issue 4, Blackwell Publ. Oxford, December 1999, p.438-460

Generating Public Space for our Common Futures: Models of Integration in Asia and Europe, Forward Studies Unit, Brussels, Working Paper 2000, 22 pages

グロバルセイションからオムニラテラリスムへGurobaruseishion kara omuniraterarisumu e (From Globalisation Towards Omnilateralism), in: 21 seiki shisutemu to nihon kigyo, Tokyo, May 2000, p.129-141

東洋統合は地域主義から'Toyo' togo wa chiikishugi kara ( 'Asia' - Integration from Regionalism), Mainichi Shinbun, Tokyo 1.2.2001, p.6

(Ed.) Models of Integration in Asia and Europe: Generating Public Space for Our Common Futures, Forward Studies Series, Luxembourg 2001, 157 pages

Opening for Omnilateralism : A European View, in: Japan and Multilateral Diplomacy, Ashgate, Aldershot, 2001, p. 48-61

S’ouvrir à l’omnilatéralism / Opening for Omnilateralism, in: ACCES International,  Brest 2002, p.17-20, 228

これからはオムニ主義時代Kore kara wa Omuni-shugi jidai (From Now Onwards an Era of Omnilateralism), in: Mainichi Shinbun, Tokyo 27.12.2002

„Liebeserklärung an Kassel“ – Schnee von gestern? in: Leben in Kassel, Euregioverlag Kassel 2003, p. 156-160

EU in der Welt – Wandel auch jenseits vom Handel, in: Zuckerindustrie 128 (2003) Nr.8, p.762

‚Orientalism’ is politically incorrect in West, in: New Strait Times, Kuala Lumpur, 19.10.2003

The EU and Its Relations with Asia, in: AEI News, Volume 2, No.1, Kuala Lumpur, January 2004

Die EU-Erweiterung und die Beziehungen zwischen Europa und Asien – Ein Blick aus Brüssel (also in English), in: Asienhaus-Rundbrief 5/2004 Essen, 4.3.2004

Oshu ni okeru tatekina Gabanansu to Shiminshakai (A European View of Multi-Level Governance and Civil Society), in: GenRon Burogu Bukkuretto, vol.013, Tokyo, 10.10.2008, p. 62-85

Obama as an Omnilateralist – is he open to all? in: New Europe, Brussels, June 7-13, 2009

European integration and East Asia – Learning from each other towards Omnilateralism, in: European Social Integration – A Model for East Asia? Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main, 2009, p.289-299

Unseen Union in East Asia? in: New Europe, Brussels, April 18-24, 2010

Unseen Union, Part 2, in: New Europe, Brussels, June 10-16, 2010

Fukushima clears East-West Divide? in: New Europe, Brussels, April 17-23, 2011


欧州におけるフランスとドイツの関係Oshu ni okeru furansu to  doitsu no kankei (German-French Relations within Europe), in: Noriko Yasue, EU to furansu (EU and France), Horitsu Bunka Sha, Kyoto, 2012, p.171-191

Japanese ‘Peace Boat’ as business model for ‘EUR-Boat’? in: New Europe, Brussels, May 10-16, 2012

European Development Policies at the Crossroads, in: 2011 KIEP Visiting Scholars’ Papers Series, Seoul, Korea, October 2012, p.221-276

The EU’s chance to change Japan? in: New Europe, Brussels, November 3, 2012

The EU’s chance to change Japan? (Part 2) in: New Europe, Brussels, November 25, 2012

FDI and Market Access Issues in Japan for EU-SMEs, in: Towards a New Role for SMEs in EU-Japan Relations, EU-Japan Centre, Brussels, 2013, p.10-21

Interview on importance of Chinese script in East Asia, Antwerp University, 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85ys3BCoBok

EU-Korea relations to promote regulatory cooperation in economic policies, in: EU-Korea Relations in a Changing World, KU Leuven, 2013, p.269-288

The Evolving Integration in East Asia - Too many reservations? in: Economic Policy, CEPS Essays29 April 2013, http://www.ceps.be/book/evolving-integration-east-asia-too-many-reservations , 15 p.

East Asia ahead with visualization, in: Chinese for Europeans, Antwerp, 7 June 2013, p. 167-173, http://www.chinese4.eu/docs/china-language-culture-business-chinese4eu.pdf

East Asia: visually faster informed? In: New Europe, Brussels, January 12, 2014 http://www.neurope.eu/article/east-asia-visually-faster-informed

The meaning of competition, in: The Economist, London, 29 March 2014 http://www.economist.com/news/letters/21599739-cronyism-competition-defence-policy-china-takeovers-prostitution-solar-power-senators

 

European law could help Taiwan, in: Taipei Times, April 26, 2014 www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2014/04/.../200358890


Is Taiwan's growth hampered by European ideas? In:...China Post, Taipei, April 28, 2014, www.chinapost.com.tw/commentary/letters/2014/04/28/.../Is-Taiwans.ht...


Is the ‘American lake’ drying up in the China Sea? In: Foreign Policy, CEPS Commentaries, 31 July 2014, http://www.ceps.be/book/%E2%80%98american-lake%E2%80%99-drying-china-sea


East Asia’s Evolving Integration – A European’s View, in: 国際アジア共同体ジャーナル (Journal of International Asian Community, ISAC) 2014, No. 3-4, p. 10-28 (http://www.isac.asia/pdf/Journal3&4.pdf )

China’s Omnilateralism (in Chinese translation:中国的全边主義), CIRD,Haikou, Hainan, December 2015

Economic Integration and National Identity in Northeast Asia: A European Perspective, in: Contemporary Chinese Political Economy and Strategic Relations: An International Journal, Vol.2, No.1, April 2016, pp. 173-217

https://www.neweurope.eu/author/wolfgang-pape/

https://www.ceps.eu/content/wolfgang-pape

Geopolitics over Oceans, TPP


Wolfgang Pape

Geopolitics over Oceans:
Only plurilateral containment 
or omnilateral opening?

While here in the West trade people are focusing their attention on the TTIP negotiations, they are barely aware that, apart from this contentious bilateral Transatlantic Partnership currently set on its difficult course of discussion, there is an already existing plurilateral Transpacific Partnership (TPP) at a much more advanced stage of ratification out there in the East.
What both Partnerships have in common as a major motive for the USA leading them is the ostentatious exclusion of China. As far as the TTIP is concerned, this exclusion prima facie is purely based on geography. Evidently not the case with the TPP, the naïve observer might well ask why the second -- or perhaps already the largest -- economy in the world is not being included as another appropriate Pacific neighbour in such a plurilateral pact. With Communist Vietnam vetted as suitable, market ideology can hardly have served as a valid pretext for the rejection of China. The actual answer sounds too simple: TPP is driven by the USA[1] and Washington does not want the Chinese to play a negotiating role, at least not from the very beginning, i.e. not upstream in the basic shaping of its rules and standards. After the negotiators ‘paraphed’ the TPP text, there were indeed hints that China might one day join the club.  But it can only come in, once the TPP’s basic rules have been established in the Western way[2] with the acquis so set in stone that even the biggest trader would hardly be able to change anything afterwards. With the USA still the dominant power in the setting of the rules from IPR to ISDS[3], over the Atlantic as well as over the Pacific, China would be left with a very limited margin in which to set out its own standards.
In geopolitics such containment strategies have revealing historic precedents. Already before the height of the Cold War between the USA and the Soviet Union, the Anglo-Saxons used containment strategies against China in the negotiation of the Treaty of San Francisco in 1952, which covered Japan’s withdrawal after WWII. China's exclusion from those talks led to the purposely unclear situation in the China Seas and to the increasingly tension-filled but control-leaking ‘American Lake’[4] of our days, ranging from the Spratly Islands in the South to the Dokdo/Takeshima in the North.
One might go even further back in time, as Henry Kissinger does in his bestseller, and point out that China did not participate either in the making of the basic rules of the existing international order grown on the all-Western Westphalian structure of nation-states,[5] originating in the 17th century and evolving into the multilateral system of our day. In East Asia, unlike in Europe, people in more maritime communities had a much weaker attachment to anything like a state with clear boundaries[6] or to ethnic groupings and dogmatic books of religion. There, coastal traders created pragmatic networks eventually reaching all the way to Arabia and Rome, also via the Silk Road. It has taken Europe centuries of destructive wars over national borders mainly drawn by mighty militaries to learn at least plurilaterally the lessons for mutually beneficial trading networks and flows of communication unhindered by borders -- as finally achieved in Schengen, in spite of a multilateral yet unfettered focus on the nation-state.
East Asia (as well as Africa and South America!) through the imposition of western-made ‘inter-national law’ often saw straight-line borders artificially inflicted by colonisers separating and mixing peoples irrespective of their native, natural and cultural belonging. This strategy also led to thousands of islands being left 'at sea', which later gave cause not only to post-colonial conflicts from the Falklands in the South-Atlantic to the Kurils in the North-Pacific but also in the China Seas. Such conflicts do not (yet) flare up in the East only because the ‘Asian Paradox’, with its still fast-flowing trade, maintains priority over deeply frozen politics and exaggerated territorial disputes stemming from those imported Western concepts of the narrowly nation-minded multilateralists such as borders and sovereignty.
However, the Chinese of the 21st century – much more pro-actively emerging on the world scene and potentially the largest economy again -- expect to be centrally[7] involved in further 'international’ rule-making, even to the point of revising some of the rules that prevail.[8] Otherwise, Chinese initiatives spanning the globe with BRICS[9] and SCO[10] and more recent AIIB[11] as well as OBOR[12] clearly demonstrate that the country’s call can draw others – not only nations -- into its suite in an omnilateral way that rather lets the USA look lonesome and excluded now. It must have been a shocking eye-opener for Washington to see even main allies of its ‘Five-Eyes’ of old like the UK and Australia rush without any hush to join the new AIIB. Francis Fukuyama, who along with other Americans is fearful of China exporting its model, already admits that the US has relatively little to offer to developing countries and it should have become a founding member of the AIIB.[13] To a certain degree, Obama has sought to work with China, while at the same time forging relationships with other states that can shape and constrain (but not militarily contain) it.[14] The American’s attempted arch of containment around China hence would reach from Europe via India and ASEAN all the way to South Korea and Japan. But the Americans seem to be already pushed into such a defensive position by China’s deft diplomacy that Hillary Clinton has recalled the Cold War and called TTIP an ‘economic NATO’. However, it is questionable whether she really could count any longer on solidarity equivalent to NATO’s Article 5 in the trans-ocean partnerships, in view of China’s further emerging mild market might[15] and hard political power poss


[1] The USTR even calls it “Made in America” as headlined in big letters on its website
[2] NB: The original TPP text was ‘paraphed’ by negotiators in English, Spanish and French only, not in any Asian language. The 12 countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership are arranging to hold an official signing ceremony in New Zealand on 4 February 2016; they include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States of America and Vietnam.
[3] The insistence of the USA on the ISDS reminds us of the Senate’s refusal to ratify the League of Nations in the 1920s i.a. on grounds of President Wilson having neglected the American ’arbitration tradition’ in his negotiations with the Europeans; cf. Mark Mazower, “Governing the World“, London, 2012, p.138-139. Interestingly, it is now the EU insisting on ISDS-courts in their FTA with Japan.
[4] See Wolfgang Pape, “Is the ‘American lake’ drying up in the China Sea?”, CEPS, Bruxelles, 31.7.2014 https://www.ceps.eu/publications/%E2%80%98american-lake%E2%80%99-drying-china-sea accessed 12.1.2016
[5] Cf. Henry Kissinger, “World Order“, London, 2014, p. 225
[6] See Bill Hayton, “The South China Sea“, Yale University Press, 2014, p.8
[7] NB China is still the Middle Kingdom in its own and Japanese name, i.e.中国
[8] Kissinger, p. 225
[9] BRICS brings together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa
[10] The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation comprises China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
[11] The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has a list of 57 prospective founding members that have signed its basic agreement to commit funds, including major EU member states. The United Nations has addressed the launch of AIIB as having potential for "scaling up financing for sustainable development" for the concern of global economic governance.
[12] OBOR refers to the China’s action plan for its new Silk Road under the slogan “One Belt, One Road”. It potentially covers an area with 55 percent of world GNP, 70 percent of global population and 75 percent of known energy reserves (see François Godement, "One Belt, One Road: China’s Great Leap Outward", China Analysis, European Council on Foreign Relations, June 2015, http://www.ecfr.eu/page/-/China_analysis_belt_road.pdf accessed on 11.1.2016
[13] See Francis Fukuyama, “Exporting the Chinese Model“, New Europe, Issue 1146, January 2016, p.107
[15] China’s richest man is buying up a major stake in Hollywood, the very heart of America’s remaining ’soft power’, in order to build the world’s biggest studios in China; see The Guardian, “Hollywood studio Legendary bought for $3.5 bn in largest Chinese acquisition”, 12.1.2016, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jan/12/hollywood-studio-legendary-bought-for-35-bn-in-largest-chinese-acquistion accessed 15.1.2016