US will have gradually withdrawn from battle for world domination by mid century
MUNICH – Helmut Schmidt, 95, Europe’s most eminent living politician and former German chancellor, overshadowed this year’s Munich Security Conference with a controversial video message: “By the mid century,” he said, "the United States of America will have gradually withdrawn from the battle for world domination.”
America’s changing demographics and shifting priorities
“The majority of Americans will be worrying more about their European-style social security system than about some island disputes in the Chinese sea.” In addition, by the mid century the majority of Americans will be of African- and Latin-American descent. “And those families will be concentrating on the progress of their children rather than on issues of security policy,” the Frankfurter Allgemeine (FAZ) paraphrased Schmidt.
Europe becomes irrelevant; Russia is besieged
Schmidt’s prognosis for Europe and Russia are devastating: “Russia’s problem is its vast territory.” The country has too much space for fewer and fewer people (its demographics are in sharp decline), while its neighboring states, mostly Muslim, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, are growing their populations. And “Europe,” the man said, “is becoming irrelevant.” The most pressing security issues for a disunited Europe, according to Schmidt, will be refugees from African lands, as we could recently witness on Italy’s island of Lampedusa.
Schmidt's pessimistic outlook on Europe's future followed just days after the World Economic Forum 2014 concluded in Davos, Switzerland, where leading global economists apparently labelled Europe as "emerging country" and "land of the living dead."
Don’t bet future on the US; we will be needing China
Schmidt asked the Munich Security Conference to accept the inevitable ascent of China and the declining power of America. “[The Conference] will have to discuss [the world’s] geo-strategical and geo-economical problems – together with the Chinese."
Helmut Schmidt (born 1918) was the chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982 during the country’s ‘economic miracle’. He is the ‘oldest surviving’ German Chancellor in history (as of April 2010). A social democrat and the former publisher of Germany’s most influential weekly Die Zeit, Schmidt also became Europe’s most prominent living “China-politician” who – maybe only comparable to America’s mighty Henry Kissinger, met and befriended China's top leaders like Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. Schmidt wrote and co-authored several books on world politics, including his latest bestseller, a dialogue with Lee Kuan Yew: “A last visit: An encounter with the world power China (2013).
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