I have written several articles on postings related to politics. A list of links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on these political events.
In this article which is the third in this series I will discuss the tenuous alliance that China and Russia have developed. When I think about this turn of events, I am reminded of a similar situation that took place involving Nazi Germany and Communist Russia. I think both sides new that it was only going to be temporary and that it was simply a way to delay the inevitable. It gave both of them a chance to build up their military and for Germany to finish conquering the rest of Europe without worrying about a two front war. The reason that I believe the same thing is happening with China and Russia is that you have a similar situation. China and Russia are controlled by strong-willed dictators who both want to be top dog. Eventually they will come to blows, even though they have similar ideologies.
Are Russia And China Really Close To Being Allies?
As the U.S. and Western leaders continue with Russia to accuse each other of trying to start a war over Ukraine, the Russians have gotten support from an unlikely place, China. Both are driven by their desire to weaken American influence around the world.
The two sides have closer ties now than at any time since the 1950s.
The two countries have both accused the US and the Biden administration of having a “Cold War mentality” with the State Department’s virtual summit of 110 countries being invited to a “Summit for Democracy” and excluding both Russia and China, who despite being autocratic societies insist on describing themselves as democratic.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to Beijing and meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the first meeting Xi has had with other world leaders since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged more than a year ago.
The backdrop of Putin and Xi meeting at the start of the Olympic Games will be a pivotal moment as many US analysts believe that the Chinese would not look favorably on the start of the games in Beijing with an invasion of Ukraine by Russia. And there is a precedent there.
In 2014, just as the Winter Olympics were finishing in Sochi, Russia, Russian troops invaded and annexed Crimea in Ukraine. And in 2008, at the start of the Summer Games in Beijing, Russia used that moment with the world’s attention riveted on China’s Olympics to invade Georgia.
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman stated that Xi Jinping “would not be ecstatic if Putin chose that moment to invade Ukraine.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry denied a report from the Bloomberg news outlet that the PRC asked Russia not to invade Ukraine again during the games. Russian state news agency TASS denied the report calling it “fake news and a way to inflame tensions.” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, likewise criticized the report, stating that, “the report is purely made up out of thin air. It seeks not only to smear and drive a wedge in China-Russia relations but also to deliberately disrupt and undermine the Beijing Winter Olympics,”
Checkered Past, Undeclared Border War, Now Allies:
The Chinese and Russians have strengthened their political, economic, and military relations this year, despite their uneasy history in the past, as both countries say they resent what they call growing pressure from the West.
The two countries both adopted Marxism-Leninism and after World War II, initially were close, signing the Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance in 1950.
However, the Soviets feared a massive invasion by millions of Chinese troops despite having a huge advantage in modern weapons and equipment. According to Arkady Shevchenko, the highest-ranking Soviet defector to the US during the Cold War, “The Politburo was terrified that the Chinese might make a mass intrusion into Soviet territory”. The thought of an invasion of this magnitude was a real concern for the Soviets.
They began to diverge when after Stalin’s death, Nikita Khrushchev, began a de-Stalinzation program and promoted “peaceful co-existence” with the West. The Chinese under Mao Zedong was appalled at the “revisionism” of the Soviets. Relations were broken off in 1962 when Mao was angered that the Soviets did not go to nuclear war with the United States over the Cuban Missile Crisis.
With the rhetoric ramping up on both sides, the Chinese moved nearly 1.5 million troops to the border with the Soviets by 1968. The Red Army had 375,000 troops, 1,200 aircraft, and 120 medium-range (nuclear-capable) missiles. After the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia, they announced that they retained the right to overthrow any communist regime’s government that was branching off from what was defined by the Kremlin.
On March 2, 1969, the Chinese initiated the conflict by ambushing Soviet troops on Zhenbao Island. Both sides suffered heavy casualties. Later in the year, as the prospect for an expanded war grew, the Soviets probed the US and asked what the American reaction would be if they attacked Chinese nuclear sites.
After decades of little movement in diplomatic circles concerning the border region, the two sides entered into an agreement in 2003, that was strengthened in 2008. The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) version of the conflict, is that it was Soviet aggression.
An Alliance of Convenience?
Since both countries were seeking to usurp US hegemony in influence around the world, an alliance between the two makes sense in some factors of their relationship. Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, Moscow was on the outs with many nations in the West, and sanctions were hurting their already fragile economy. That’s when everything changed.
Putin needed China now as both a military and economically, but the trust factor was still lacking. Russia’s security services incorporated very little Chinese technology, wary of the issues that could crop up there. Russian industrialists wanted and needed the Chinese marketplace.
In 2015, the two sides put aside their differences, at least for the short term, and signed an agreement that put China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union on the same path.
But there are already cracks appearing in this alliance, while small, will eventually rear their heads and affect both sides. Russian security services are already complaining about the espionage being conducted by the Chinese. As the Chinese grow stronger, both politically and militarily, they are being more assertive and it is beginning to chafe at those in Moscow.
With Ukraine once again dominating Western thoughts, it has made this alliance of convenience closer once more. Governments around the world are leery of what they see as aggression by Russia against Ukraine and China’s increasing aggressiveness against Taiwan.
While the two sides have held military drills together on both land and at sea, those are mainly superficial and don’t appear to be serious, long-term pacts as the Cold War memories still linger in the background.
This Ukrainian situation has driven Russia ever closer to China on “Chinese terms”. Should the US and the West hit Russia with crippling economic sanctions, Moscow will look to China for an economic lifeline. And that will come with strings attached.
Despite the differences in each situation, the Chinese see Russia’s insistence that Ukraine reverts to be under their control as very similar to their view that Taiwan is part of China. And yet they’ve never recognized the Russian annexation of Crimea.
It is…an alliance of convenience
Russia analyst: China and Russia are partners, but not quite allies
In his remarks in October 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin called Russo-Chinese relations “alliance-like.” For the first time, Putin publicly confirmed that Russia was assisting China in creating an early warning system that should alert the Beijing leadership to missile launches that might be directed at China, thus making sure that no attack against the People’s Republic comes as a complete surprise. Such collaboration suggests new intimacy in the strategic relationship between Russia and China.
Yet in reality, this relationship is still more of an alignment rather than an alliance. True, Russia has been selling arms and military technology to China since 1992. The two militaries have been training together for more than a decade. Military cooperation between Russia and China comes against the background of their increasingly closer cooperation in a growing number of areas.
True again: Since 2014, when Russia’s relations with the United States became confrontational and its ties to Europe soured as a result of the Ukraine crisis, Moscow’s economic and financial reliance on Beijing grew substantially. And since 2017, when the United States designated China, alongside Russia, a strategic rival, Beijing’s interest in advanced Russian defense systems also increased.
There are voices within each country that favor moving much closer together and forging a formal alliance to push back against the United States. However, so far, these voices have not been heeded by the top leaders in the Kremlin and Zhongnanhai. Presidents Putin and Xi Jinping, while seeing eye to eye on many world issues and enjoying an excellent personal rapport, continue to prefer the “never-against-each-other-but-not always-with-each-other” formula for Sino-Russian ties. This formula conveniently combines reassurance with flexibility, which both great powers need, and eschews the tricky issue of hierarchy.
In this strong but pragmatic relationship, neither side has commitments to defend the other. In fact, Russia and China are engaged in furthering their entente, not building an alliance. Despite Washington’s simultaneous pressure on Moscow and Beijing, these two are not yet forming a military bloc to oppose the United States.
This is good news. As long as things stay this way, hard bipolarity in the world security system can be avoided. Each of the three most consequential, if highly unequal, geopolitical and military players — America, China and Russia — will move independently of one another and can exercise various options. And China developing — with Russian assistance — an early warning system to detect missile launches would allow Beijing to operate with more confidence in its own security, and thus contribute to strategic stability.
Russia and China Unveil a Pact Against America and the West
In a sweeping long-term agreement, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, the two most powerful autocrats, challenge the current political and military order.
In their matching mauve ties, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping last week declared a “new era” in the global order and, at least in the short term, endorsed their respective territorial ambitions in Ukraine and Taiwan. The world’s two most powerful autocrats unveiled a sweeping long-term agreement that also challenges the United States as a global power, nato as a cornerstone of international security, and liberal democracy as a model for the world. “Friendship between the two States has no limits,” they vowed in the communiqué, released after the two leaders met on the eve of the Beijing Winter Olympics. “There are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation.”
Agreements between Moscow and Beijing, including the Treaty of Friendship of 2001, have traditionally been laden with lofty, if vague, rhetoric that faded into forgotten history. But the new and detailed five-thousand-word agreement is more than a collection of the usual tropes, Robert Daly, the director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, at the Wilson Center, in Washington, told me. Although it falls short of a formal alliance, like nato, the agreement reflects a more elaborate show of solidarity than anytime in the past. “This is a pledge to stand shoulder to shoulder against America and the West, ideologically as well as militarily,” Daly said. “This statement might be looked back on as the beginning of Cold War Two.” The timing and clarity of the communiqué—amid tensions on Russia’s border with Europe and China’s aggression around Taiwan—will “give historians the kind of specific event that they often focus on.”
Beyond security, the declaration also pledged collaboration on space, climate change, the Internet, and artificial intelligence. Politically, the document claimed that there is “no one-size-fits-all” type of democracy, and heralded both forms of authoritarian rule in Moscow and Beijing as successful democracies. “It’s a pretty striking step closer to an alliance and shows that they’re very much aligned in their vision of the world order in the twenty-first century,” Alexander Vershbow, a former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, told me. Putin described the broader strategic partnership with China as “unprecedented.” Xi said that their joint strategy would have a “far-reaching influence on China, Russia, and the world.”
U.S. experts described the lengthy statement, which was riddled with false and accusatory language, as startling. “I’ve never seen a joint statement from both leaders using this kind of language. They’ve joined forces,” Angela Stent, a Russia expert who served at the National Intelligence Council and wrote “Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and with the Rest,” told me. She described the communiqué as “quite Orwellian” and called it an “inflection point” in which Russia and China are challenging the balance of power that has defined the global order since the Cold War ended, three decades ago. “We could be at the beginning of a new era as the Russian relationship with the West deteriorates and China’s does as well.” The agreement puts Washington and its key allies “in a terrible bind,” she added. “The fact is, whatever we do to counter what Russia is doing only reinforces its reliance on China.”
The joint statement is, at least for the moment, a diplomatic boon for Putin amid his showdown with the United States and Europe over Ukraine. For the first time in any of Russia’s recent aggressions, Putin has won the open support of China’s leader. China did not back Russia’s war in Georgia in 2008, or its invasion of Ukraine in 2014, nor has it recognized Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Now Moscow and Beijing, which both have the ability to veto any resolution at the United Nations, have declared their opposition to further enlargement of nato and to the formation of other regional security alliances. “Russia and China stand against attempts by external forces to undermine security and stability in their common adjacent regions, intend to counter interference by outside forces in the internal affairs of sovereign countries under any pretext, oppose colour revolutions, and will increase cooperation,” the often unwieldy statement declared. “This is where they pledge their troth,” Daly said.
Washington had been pressuring Beijing, including in a call last month between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in an attempt to keep China neutral or out of the Ukraine crisis. Now, at least on paper and in public voice, it has budged, Andrew Weiss, a former National Security Council official who is currently at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told me. “Russia now has China as an endorser of the egregious and inflammatory position that Putin has staked out on Ukraine.”
Hints of China’s shift have been emerging in the past two weeks, as the Ukraine crisis began spilling over onto already tense U.S.-China relations. President Biden’s foreign policy had hoped to steer relations with Beijing toward stable and manageable competition. Instead, China, which is normally discreet in its diplomacy, is visibly pushing back. After his conversation with Blinken last month, the Chinese foreign minister said publicly that Russia’s security concern about nato expansion is legitimate and must be addressed. The Biden Administration countered last week with an admonition. The State Department warned that the West has “an array of tools” to deploy against foreign companies—including in China—that help Russia evade punitive sanctions.
In the new agreement, Russia, in turn, reaffirmed its support for Beijing’s One China policy that Taiwan is “an inalienable part of China, and opposes any forms of independence.” The joint communiqué also supported Beijing’s ruthless crackdown on dissidents in Hong Kong in the past two years. The bold assertions in the joint statement follow deepening military ties between the two nations in the past decade, Weiss noted. Russia and China have conducted dozens of joint exercises and war games that have involved as many as ten thousand troops to hone tactical and operational capabilities. Russian officials have boasted that the growing defense partnership was designed to warn the United States and nato not to pressure Moscow. The naval operations have included mock seizures of islands, patrols by long-range bombers over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea, and surface-to-air missile targeting. Last summer, Putin and Xi both witnessed military exercises in China. In October, they held joint naval exercises off Russia’s far-eastern coast. “The frequency, complexity, and geographic scope has steadily increased, reflecting the growth in the overall bilateral defense relationship,” the U.S. Naval Institute reported last year. As two nuclear-armed countries that span Europe and Asia, the more muscular alignment between Russia and China could be a game changer militarily and diplomatically. “They want this to be as threatening as a formal alliance to the West, but don’t want to formally commit to mutual defense,” Daly said. “They don’t have to. The spectre of their mutual aid will serve as a deterrent.”
The joint announcement reflects a shift in the balance of power between Russia and China as well. “The Russians for the longest time were condescending in their view of China as an uninteresting rural society,” Weiss said. “Now China looks at Russia and says, ‘What are you good for?’ China’s ambitions do not run through Moscow.” China has become “canny” in exploiting Russia’s neediness, he said. “It uses Russia as a cat’s paw to disrupt the U.S. pivot to Asia. The fact that we have to keep coming back to Putin, as the neighborhood bully, is beneficial to China.”
Putin was the highest-profile leader to show up for the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. The U.S. and other major powers opted not to send high-profile delegations, to protest China’s human-rights abuses, particularly against its Uyghur minority. Russia had received a two-year ban from officially sending teams to the Olympics after conducting a years-long, state-sponsored doping scheme. Russian athletes—who are not supposed to carry their nation’s flag, wear the Russian insignia, or play the national anthem—instead compete as part of the Russian Olympic Committee. After his meeting with Xi, Putin applauded the team during the opening ceremony’s Parade of Nations on Friday. But his visit clearly had another purpose.
The question now is how far Russia and China will take their agreement. “Words are one thing,” Vershbow, the former Ambassador, said. “We still have to see if the statement will translate into greater tangible Chinese support for Russia’s aggressive behavior—or whether they’ll say, ‘We’re with you, good luck,’ and then turn the other way.” The Chinese have different and sometimes more pragmatic interests in their relations with the U.S. and Europe, which are vital to their economy. “They don’t want to burn all bridges for the sake of a relationship with Russia.”
The new unholy alliance: Xi’s China and Putin’s Russia
Ominous news greeted freedom-loving people across the globe as the Beijing Olympiad began. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed in their 38th personal meeting between the two heads of state that “a trend has emerged towards redistribution of power in the world.”
The two presidents jointly released a 5,300-word document making it clear that the redistribution was to them and away from the post-Cold War order forged by America and its democratic allies.
This document, “Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development,” announced to the world a new partnership between the two nations that is even more comprehensive than the one forged between the Stalinist Soviet Union and Mao’s China.
And the reality is that while Mao’s China was decidedly the junior partner in the previous alliance, there is no doubt that Communist China is the senior partner in this ominous new threat to freedom and national sovereignty anywhere it currently exists.
This new “axis of totalitarianism” is the greatest threat to human freedom and dignity to arise since the end of the Cold War symbolized by the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991.
As William Galston so aptly put it in The Wall Street Journal op-ed, “The New Axis of Autocracy,” America and her allies around the world are now confronted by a hostile “axis of autocracy stretching from the Baltic to the Pacific.”
Walter Russell Mead, WSJ’s columnist and foreign policy expert, explained the new situation in even more ominous terms:
The 2022 Winter Olympics will be remembered for geopolitics, not sports. It’s where Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin declared war on the post-Cold War world order and the American primacy that sustained it. Issuing a joint statement that criticized the U.S. by name six times and outlined an ambitious program of anti-Western collaboration from Ukraine to the South China sea, the two leaders left no doubt that the world’s holiday from history has come to an end.
Emboldened by American fecklessness and grotesque incompetence in its shameful withdrawal from Afghanistan, President Biden’s perennial weakness has turned out to be more temptation than either the Russians or President Xi could withstand.
Let’s remember that the closest to an actual nuclear exchange between the U.S. and the Soviet Union happened in the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. Why did that happen? After President Kennedy’s perceived weakness in the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Premier Khrushchev and the Soviet government did not believe JFK would use military force to stop the deployment of nuclear missiles in Cuba until it was almost too late to avoid warfare that would have inevitably involved at least a partial release of nuclear weapons by each side.
The greatest danger of nuclear war is MISCALCULATION — when at least one side, maybe both, underestimates what would drive the other side to cross the nuclear threshold.
We are in greater danger than we know of just such a miscalculation escalating into a war over Ukraine or Taiwan that would involve the three nations possessing the largest nuclear arsenals to be involved in a real, live shooting war. We are reminded of one diplomat asking another, as Europe slaughtered the cream of a whole generation of its men in World War I, “How did all this start?” to which the other replied, “If we only knew!”
America’s perceived weakness in the Afghanistan debacle has caused the Russians and the Chinese to underestimate (I hope and pray) President Biden. The Chinese are waiting with bated breath to see how the American-led NATO alliance responds.
If NATO caves and Ukraine is invaded, China will begin preparations to move against Taiwan unilaterally, and both Russia and China will say to our allies around the world, “You think America is going to keep its commitments to defend you? Don’t you believe it! Did they keep their word to the Afghans? Did they keep their word to the Ukrainians?”
When the old Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, for one brief moment Ukraine became the third-largest nuclear power in the world.
The Clinton administration, rightly concerned about these nuclear weapons ending up in the hands of terrorists or aggressor nations, urged the Ukrainians to give up their nuclear weapons in return for “ironclad” security guarantees. The “Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances” involved Ukraine surrendering all of its “nukes” and signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty whereby Britain, Russia, and the U.S. pledged to protect Ukraine’s “territorial integrity.”
We gave our solemn pledge to defend Ukraine and we did nothing when the Russians seized the Crimea and chunks of eastern Ukraine in 2014. Are we going to repeat our shame by going back on our word again? And if and when we do, will anyone believe us ever again when giving solemn security guarantees? What about Taiwan? What about the Philippines? What about Japan? What about the Baltic States? What about Poland?
If we fail to keep our word, there will also be major nuclear proliferation. Does anyone believe that Russia would be threatening to invade Ukraine if the Ukrainians still had their nuclear weapons? Of course not.
If we allow the Russians to further abuse the Ukrainians’ national integrity, then countries like Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan in the Pacific and Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in the Baltics will pursue nuclear deterrents for themselves. And the world will rapidly become a far more dangerous place.
When Ukraine agreed to surrender its newfound nuclear arsenal, they were hailed as “model citizens.” At the time, however, there were those inside and outside Ukraine who were opposed to giving up what could be the only effective deterrent to Russian aggression, including Andriy Zahorodniuk, a former defense minister who now says, “every time somebody offers us to sign a strip of paper, the response is, ‘Thank you very much. We already had one of those some time ago,’” according to The New York Times.
If we allow Russia to successfully invade Ukraine, it will signal to the dictators of the world that the strong can impose their will on weaker nations.
This joint declaration by China and Russia has raised the stakes in Ukraine immeasurably. The “holiday from history” is over. America faces a stark choice. After World War I, we retreated to our continent smugly assuming that the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans insulated us from the Old World and its troubles and turmoil, thus sowing the seeds for the worldwide catastrophe that was World War II.
After World War II, America resisted the siren song of isolationism. Instead, under President Truman’s sterling leadership, America constructed a series of alliances and a policy of containment which eventually led to the demise of the Soviet menace.
Now, for the third time in a little over a century, America must choose engagement with, or isolation from, the world. This time we face a more mortal threat than either the Axis Powers or the Soviet “evil empire.”
China has the potential to become the most serious existential threat to American democracy that we have ever encountered. China’s economy is far stronger than any the Soviets ever created. They have the potential to seize the worldwide leadership in technology and research from us and they have used new technologies to make their country the most invasive and monolithic surveillance state mankind has yet seen.
If we withdraw they will gradually dominate the world economy and human freedom will atrophy beyond the borders of the United States.
Also, if China becomes the world’s dominant economic and military power, the U.S. dollar will cease to be the world’s reserve currency. If and when that happens, we will no longer be able to fund our welfare state on credit and massive budget deficits. In other words, we will have to live within our means, and that would severely curtail Social Security and the entire federal welfare state.
Make no mistake! The future of America as we have known it is at stake. The true “evil empire” of Communist China, and her junior partner, Russia, are on the march.
It is believed China is playing three-dimensional chess and the Biden administration is playing “Tic-tac-toe.” The Biden foreign policy team reminds me of “Wynken, Blynken and Nod” sailing “on a river of crystal light, into a sea of dew.”
Not only is Communist China more powerful than the Soviet Union ever was, but America is also far more divided about its identity and purpose than it was during the Cold War. Our current fixation on “diversity, equity, and inclusion” will not prepare us to win an all-out competition with Red China.
We need to do everything we can to get the best scientists and researchers working to beat the Chinese on the frontiers of research, whatever race the “best” is.
We are doomed to lose that competition if we hobble ourselves by insisting on “equity” if it means sacrificing excellence.
As the NASA administrator said in my favorite movie, “The Right Stuff,” about the original Mercury astronaut program, “The best shall be first.” America must do its best to make certain that our “best and brightest” are competing with China, regardless of ethnicity.
To do less would be equivalent to making sure all team members get to play before you have actually won the game. Make no mistake, somebody is going to win this game, just like the Cold War. Winning and losing both have consequences, and winning has much better consequences for the future of humanity. There are no certificates for “participation” in this contest.
The Chinese and Russian “Joint Declaration” just raised the stakes in Ukraine to a whole new level. I pray we rise to the challenge. The stakes are existential and enormous.
And if we fail this test, the next one will be even more difficult. And we must always remember that the greatest danger of a nuclear exchange is miscalculation.
China and Russia unveil plan for new world order
China and Russia have outlined a vision of international relations anchored in their potential to reinforce each other in disputes with the United States and its allies while cooperating on an array of economic and diplomatic fronts.
Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a joint statement that forecast the “transformation of the global governance architecture and world order.” And that transformation would be marked by the progress of concepts and initiatives that Moscow and Beijing conceived separately, often in opposition to the U.S. and its Western allies, and now could develop into an integrated challenge to American power.
“What they propose or rather suggest is a new world order, isn’t it? They have not left out a single policy issue,” Stefanie Babst, former NATO chief strategic policy analyst, explained to the Washington Examiner. “The prime addressee sits in the White House, with the main message being, ‘F*** you. We are the future, and you are the past.'”
George H.W. Bush popularized the term “new world order” in a Sept. 11, 1990, appearance before a joint session of Congress, in the midst of the first Gulf War. Bush touted fading Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev’s denunciation of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, a point of unity between Washington and Moscow that Bush thought heralded a new moment in international affairs.
“Clearly, no longer can a dictator count on East-West confrontation to stymie concerted United Nations action against aggression,” he said. “A new world order can emerge. … A world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle. A world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice. A world where the strong respect the rights of the weak.”
Putin and Xi made an effort to occupy the rhetorical position held by Western leaders who have touted the value of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and other multilateral institutions collectively described as “the post-war world order.” But they pledged allegiance to that order in terms that called attention to their acrimonious relations with their respective neighbors.
“The sides intend to strongly uphold the outcomes of the Second World War and the existing post-war world order, defend the authority of the United Nations and justice in international relations, resist attempts to deny, distort, and falsify the history of the Second World War,” the China-Russia joint statement says.
“In order to prevent the recurrence of the tragedy of the world war, the sides will strongly condemn actions aimed at denying the responsibility for atrocities of Nazi aggressors, militarist invaders, and their accomplices, besmirch and tarnish the honor of the victorious countries,” they continued.
That paragraph is filled with pointed statements. Russian officials refer to that cataclysmic conflict as a triumph that rescued Eastern Europe from Nazi German rule — “a noble and great mission of liberation,” as Putin put it last year — while contemporary Central and Eastern European critics of Soviet rule are portrayed as “fascists.” Chinese diplomats routinely recall that the Chinese people “defeated the Japanese militarist aggressors and fascism” and accuse Tokyo of trying “to revive the specter of militarism” in the context of contemporary disputes.
The linking of such disputes with their mutual affirmation of “the outcomes of the Second World War” might signal their joint determination to recover the clout in their own regions that they enjoyed after the defeat of the Axis powers.
“The outcome of World War II, depending on how you read it, was reasserting Soviet-Russian hegemony over their sphere of influence in Eastern Europe . … [Also], think about the Chinese victories over Japan in East Asia,” U.S. Army War College research professor Evan Ellis, a former member of the State Department’s policy planning staff, told the Washington Examiner. “You could read it [to mean that] reaffirming the outcome of World War II is implicitly rolling back the ‘new world order’” that Bush described in 1990.
The statement included alignment on two simmering hot spots. Russian forces annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and destabilized the Donbas region. That conflict has festered for years, with Putin recently mobilizing Russian forces around Ukrainian borders while demanding that NATO ban Ukraine and Georgia from joining and cut U.S. and Western European military ties to Eastern European allies. Xi endorsed Putin’s push for “binding security guarantees in Europe,” while Putin endorsed China’s claim to sovereignty over Taiwan, a strategically significant island democracy that the Chinese Communist Party has never ruled.
“Russia and China stand against attempts by external forces to undermine security and stability in their common adjacent regions, intend to counter interference by outside forces in the internal affairs of sovereign countries under any pretext, oppose color revolutions, and will increase cooperation in the aforementioned areas,” they said in the China-Russia statement.
Those areas include a linking of Xi’s vaunted Belt and Road Initiative, an overseas infrastructure investment program that Western officials deride as predatory lending, with the Eurasian Economic Union that Moscow hopes will lead to the economic integration of states that gained independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
“The sides reaffirm their focus on building the Greater Eurasian Partnership in parallel and in coordination with the Belt and Road construction to foster the development of regional associations as well as bilateral and multilateral integration processes for the benefit of the peoples on the Eurasian continent,” Xi and Putin said.
The statement suggests that Putin is more willing to align with Xi than Western analysts generally have thought, although he may remain uncomfortable with the imbalance of power between Moscow and Beijing.
“They traded quite a number of issues, which are important for either Russia or China, carefully crafted. But we expected all this, didn’t we? What they cannot camouflage is they remain an uneven couple,” said Babst, the former NATO strategist. “But in contrast to China, Putin has put himself … in a corner. Both cannot force other countries to ‘love and follow’ them, neither with money nor guns. But neither Putin nor Xi understand the concept of soft power and persuasion.”
Only time will tell what the future holds for us. Is the US strong enough to stand up against Russia and China at the same time? I really don’t know the answer to that question. You probably noticed that I did not mention NATO. I think they are nothing but a paper tiger, they were fine when the enemy was a second rate country with a mediocre army and airforce. The Chinese and Russians have don’t fall into this same category. I don’t think Canada or Australia will back us up either, they have shown their true colors during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are more socialist then capitalist and it appears they are leaning closer to at least China anyways. I think about the only country we can count on will be England and just maybe France. I will be shocked if Germany sides with us. Basically who came blame them. I still think they are exhausted after two world wars that devastated Europe. Do they really want to have to rebuild yet again. After all the US homeland was barely touched by either war.
As much as I hate to admit it, the US after being beset on al sides by either hostile forces or at the very least indifferent forces will be forced to back down, and thereby will be relegated to same position as France and England as second string players in the global arena, while Russia and China jockey for the pull position.
In the Addendum section I have posted an article on how we are already giving into China.
defensenews.com, “Russia analyst: China and Russia are partners, but not quite allies.” By Dmitri Trenin; christianpost.com, “The new unholy alliance: Xi’s China and Putin’s Russia.” By Richard D. Land; 19fortyfive.com, “Are Russia And China Really Close To Being Allies?” By Steve Balestrieri; newyorker.com, “Russia and China Unveil a Pact Against America and the West: In a sweeping long-term agreement, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, the two most powerful autocrats, challenge the current political and military order.” By Robin Wright; washingtonexaminer.com, “China and Russia unveil plan for new world order.” by Joel Gehrke; dailywire.com, “4 Ways America Routinely Bows Down To China.” By Ben Zeisloft;
4 Ways America Routinely Bows Down To China
Within weeks of the Biden administration gaining control of the State Department, American diplomats were publicly humiliated at a meeting with their Chinese counterparts.
During the conference in Alaska, Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered a measured speech about encouraging a “rule-based international order.” In a lengthy retort, Chinese officials bluntly informed America’s top diplomat that the United States “does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength” and that “the Western world does not represent the global public opinion.”
As Blinken predecessor Mike Pompeo remarked after the incident, “Strength deters bad guys. Weakness begets war.”
For Sino-American relations, the principle extends far beyond diplomacy.
Here are four ways America routinely surrenders to China.
Actor and WWE wrestler John Cena made waves after he issued an apology — delivered in Chinese — for the crime of suggesting that Taiwan is an independent country.
“Hi China, I’m John Cena,” the star said in a video posted to a Chinese social media platform. “I’m in the middle of Fast and Furious 9 promotions… I made one mistake… I love and respect China and Chinese people. I’m very, very sorry about my mistake. I apologize, I apologize, I’m very sorry. You must understand that I really love, really respect China and the Chinese people.”
Cena was undoubtedly motivated by promoting “Fast and Furious 9” to countless millions of enthusiastic Chinese moviegoers. His grifting is by no means unique: American companies must comply with Chinese regulations — and dogma — to conduct business in the communist nation, which boasts one of the world’s fastest-growing consumer economies.
For instance, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver notes that his organization must “build relationships” in order to continue the growth of basketball as “the most popular team sport” in China. In 2019, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey faced condemnation from the league for supporting pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.
Companies in other industries must also avoid displeasing the Chinese regime. Media outlets like Bloomberg have nixed stories critical of powerful officials in Beijing out of the fear that they could be shut out of the Chinese market. Technology firms like Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo have capitulated to Chinese demands that they provide back doors to their products. Former Attorney General William Barr accordingly slammed the companies for “being too willing to take steps to ensure access to the large Chinese market.”
The economic interdependence that exists between the United States and China has enabled Chinese entities to steal between $300 billion and $600 billion in American intellectual property every year.
A large portion of the theft arises from American universities and their research institutes. Last year, one Chinese national was caught smuggling Harvard cancer research in a sock. Others were likewise caught in the possession of software and other assets.
As the Department of Justice explains, China maintains its “Thousand Talents” program to “lure overseas talent and foreign experts to bring their knowledge and experience to China and reward individuals for stealing proprietary information.”
Beyond the theft of intellectual property, American academia buckles under China’s ideological offensives.
Despite rising pressure from lawmakers, several dozen American universities host chapters of the Confucius Institute — an entity affiliated with China’s education ministry and labeled by the State Department as “part of the Chinese Communist Party’s global influence and propaganda apparatus.”
As a Campus Reform investigation uncovered, several prominent American universities — including Georgia State University, the University of Toledo, and Southern Utah University — signed contracts effectively surrendering their academic freedom to the Confucius Institute Headquarters in China. One clause states that the American host institution “must accept” the “project assessments conducted by the Headquarters.”
“Think of the equivalent. Suppose somebody in the U.K. decides that they want to sponsor a chair at Harvard in 1779? That would be crazy,” Hudson Institute fellow Seth Cropsey told Campus Reform. “And nobody at Harvard in their right mind would have entertained such an idea.”
Indeed, the American professoriate is by no means vigilant in countering China’s encroachments upon their campuses. Recently, the Washington Free Beacon discovered that a Huawei employee ghostwrote an op-ed arguing that the United States “should collaborate with leading technology companies and their research labs, rather than banning them” on behalf of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor. Huawei — a Chinese telecommunications firm — is under investigation from the Department of Justice for thirteen counts related to compromising the national security of the United States.
As demonstrated by the Alaska meeting, the United States often fails to interact with China from a position of strength.
With respect to the investigation into the origins of COVID-19, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki why the Biden administration is not “pushing for more access and information to get to the bottom of exactly what happened” with the outbreak of the virus in Wuhan.
Psaki explained that the United States would trust the judgment of the WHO — an entity that the Chinese Communist Party has effectively shepherded since the earliest days of the pandemic.
“We are. We have repeatedly called for the WHO to support an expert-driven evaluation of the pandemic’s origins that is free from interference or politicization,” Psaki told Doocy. “There were Phase I results that came through. During the first phase of the investigation, there was not access to data or information provided. Now, we are hopeful that WHO can move into a transparent, independent Phase II investigation.”
Likewise, the Chinese government is seeking to grow its international influence through the “Belt and Road Initiative” — an expansive array of foreign infrastructure investments that would establish China as the epicenter of the global economy.
Although Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled the plan as early as 2013, American officials only joined India in condemning the program four years later. In October 2017, former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis became the first American official to publicly express concern about the initiative.
While the Chinese government emphasizes cultural values that foster strength, the United States government promulgates cultural values that produce weakness.
In particular, one Department of Defense advertisement centering upon the emotional and psychological experience of an Army recruit experienced widespread backlash.
“This is the story of a soldier who operates your nation’s Patriot missile Defense Systems,” says the video. “It begins in California with a little girl raised by two moms.”
The advertisement describes how a Corporal named Emma pursues “her own adventure,” finds “her inner strength,” and shatters “stereotypes” through her career in the Army.
The CIA faced similar criticism after publishing an advertisement that fixates upon an agent’s experience grappling with his homosexual identity.
“Growing up gay in a small Southern town, I was lucky to have a wonderful and accepting family. I always struggled with the idea that I may not be able to discuss my personal life at work,” states the man in the advertisement. “Imagine my surprise when I was taking my oath at the CIA and I noticed a rainbow on then-Director Brennan’s lanyard.”
As American officials released these advertisements, the Chinese government began devising “The Proposal to Prevent the Feminization of Male Adolescents.”
Through its education ministry, the Chinese Communist Party is seeking to promote manhood by hiring more physical education teachers and intensifying health education. A government memo asks schools to “pay more attention to the cultivation of students’ masculinity, and continue to add new physical education teachers through multiple channels.”
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