19 July 2019
Jubilant crowds welcome home the German football team in Berlin after their World Cup victory in Brazil.
Photo: Reuters
Jubilant crowds welcome home the German football team in Berlin after their World Cup victory in Brazil. Photo: Reuters

Germany’s struggle between East and West

As Germany cements its status as a superpower in the sporting world with its fourth World Cup victory, the nation is also witnessing a resurgence of its role in international political and economic affairs.

But as jubilant crowds welcomed home the nation’s football team in Berlin on Tuesday, its top leaders may have a hard time figuring out its path in the international stage, Ming Pao Daily said in a commentary on Wednesday.

The nation has to choose whether to continue its close relationship with the United States, or draw closer to Russia, or assume a leadership role in Europe, the article said.

Following revelations by US intelligence whistle-blower Edward Snowden on the extent of Washington espionage activities in Germany, which include eavesdropping on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s private phone conversations, anti-US sentiment in the nation has been growing. The episode has resulted in the expulsion of the US Central Intelligence Agency chief of station in Berlin.

A recent survey gives us an idea of the state of US-German relations. When asked with which country Germany should strengthen its cooperation, 56 percent of the respondents picked the US, while 53 percent chose Russia, the article said, citing a study by German NGO Korber Foundation.

Although Germany still harbor negative sentiments toward Russia’s communist past, the two nation’s geographical proximity and historical links provide basis for further development.

After 20 years of economic development, Germany should be more independent in its role in leading Europe, according to the commentary, citing analysis from MingJingNews.

Merkel is very much aware of her country’s international responsibilities. At the the Munich Security Conference in February, she said Germany cannot always evade its responsibility in global security by bringing up its invasive past, and should dispatch more soldiers overseas and participate in international affairs more proactively.

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EJ Insight reporter

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