Kamala Harris in Vietnam after Singapore. Joe Biden with G7 leaders. The withdrawal from Afghanistan and the US commitment to a “free and open Indo-Pacific”. Francesco Sisci, sinologist, professor of geopolitics at Luiss, reads the commitments of the US administration with Adnkronos and starts from the observation of how the participation of the American president in the summit dedicated to Afghanistan coincides with the mission in Vietnam of the vice president for “to speak of American support for the countries of the region” against what Washington sees as “intimidation” by China, with an eye to the South China Sea. According to Sisci, “the real message America wants to send to the G7 lies in Harris’s journey: we leave Afghanistan, but we strengthen ourselves in East Asia and support our allies and friends” in the region. “America – he says – reassures Asia about its support against China”. And during the G7, he continues, “Biden will try to bring the Europeans on board, because Japan is already there” alongside the US, like “Canada”, while the United Kingdom “is always there” and the “problem they are Germany, France and Italy “. “Reasonable reasons – he points out – but everything has changed”. Sisci says he is convinced that “France and Germany will eventually change”, while “Italy must decide whether to take a clear, strong position in the G7 or to get out of this consensus and go alone”. And, he continues, “both are difficult and delicate choices that the Italian government is probably not prepared for” and “it is easy” to make “mistakes”. On a practical level, what could be asked of Italy? “Probably – she replies – she will be asked to send ships” to participate in a naval mission after “the British and French have already participated in naval missions in the South China Sea”. ‘In the region the most important problem is China’. Italy and Europe “will have to decide”, he says, despite what he indicates as “problems” in the Old Continent because – he observes – if “in some way the presence in Afghanistan was understandable to us in the context of the fight against terrorism, the presence in East Asia appears smokier. ” Not to mention that China was “the country where to make money” not the one with which “to have a geopolitical and much less strategic confrontation”. The sinologist invites us to reflect on the perception that there is in Europe with respect to the latest developments in Afghanistan, after the surrender of Kabul to the Taliban and the “difficult mission” – in Biden’s words – of evacuation from the airport of the Afghan capital in a situation which, after 20 years of operations, appears more and more chaos. And also on the perception that there is in Asia of all this, of the last 20 years in Afghanistan – whose stability is in everyone’s interest – and above all of what is happening in the region on a wider scale. “We are disappointed by the question. Afghan because we were convinced that our presence in Afghanistan would also stop Islamic terrorism in our country – says Sisci – In reality in Asia the issue of Islamic terrorism has never been an existential problem, while the problem of China was and is much more important “. And “the perception in East Asia is that – he concludes – America has finally woken up and talks about serious things”.
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