Dimitris Rapidis

The two major global powers have long accommodated their geopolitical interests in the international field. Actually they have never been enemies, but rather competitive to each other. Since the fall of communism, China was deeply infiltrated by a combined statism and capitalism, whereas the USA was eagerly turned to be the dominating soft power, that when necessary it could exert power politics to secure its economic and political interests. The question lies elsewhere: what about the case of sensitive geopolitical players and to what extent China and the USA are antagonizing each other?

Greek PM Mr. Samaras has been verbally decisive in bringing investments in Greece, especially now that the country is in desperate need of them. The international competition for the privatization of the state company of gas has been dominated by the Russian Gazprom which has declared strong interest in buying it. The competition is still open, and lately the Azeris had come to provide their strong interest in taking part in the competition. Let us here stress out that both Russia and Azerbaijan are considered as amongst the strongest players in the field of energy being equally suppliers and producers for the entire basin of the Mediterranean, Europe, and the Caspian Sea, but also in international field being involved in gas pipeline projects in Middle East and Europe.

Meanwhile, the Greek PM is also vying for the investment capacity of China centering the attention of the “Big Dragon” in the exploitation of transports that could easily accelerate Chinese access to the European markets. The perspective deal? After the buying out of the port of Piraeus, one of the biggest ones in the Mediterranean, China is also interested in railway routes connecting Greece with the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Central Europe, and further North Europe, Germany, and the Scandinavian Peninsula. A big plan, and definitely a prosperous one.

But where is the United States actually? Nowhere, but yet everywhere. In fact, the United States while not being tempted to invest in Greece, they can actually undermine the geopolitical role of country when conditions bring it into surface. Actually, the geopolitical game and the turmoil in Middle East and North Africa have been of a big concern for Washington and for this very reason Turkey has been called to assume the burden-sharing of stability in the region. Turkey was “picked” in the place of Greece or of another country in the region in order to secure that regional stability will be preserved and maintained and that no escalation will be evaded from the US control. And what is the implication of Greece vis-à-vis Turkey? That when the first is sided by China or Russia, the second is upgraded simultaneously as geopolitical watchdog. In other words, and in deeper sense, it is not a period for Greece to negotiate bilateral issues with Turkey as actually the weight has been put to the latter and consequently any effort to reach a final solution in the Aegean is timely unacceptable for Greece (i.e no matter who is wrong or right).

And what is the conclusion after all? In the case of Greece, it is well-observed that the game between China and the United States find its fit in this small country with the beautiful islands and the vast landscape, that is actually found in one of the worst periods of its late history. But this is only one case. In every geopolitically sensitive area, where economic interests are mixed with military turmoil and political control, the result is one: China and the US will not get directly entangled each other, but they will try to impose influence to their interlocutors. And this is what Greece has to deal with strategically: To balance delicately between both China and the United States.

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