Russia and China Are Containing the US to Reshape the World Order

Russia and China Are Containing the US to Reshape the World Order

Russia and China Are Containing the US to Reshape the World Order

Fortunately the world today is very different from that of 2003, Washington’s decrees are less effective in determining the world order. But in spite of this new, more balanced division of power amongst several powers, Washington appears ever more aggressive towards allies and enemies alike, regardless of which US president is in office.

China and Russia are leading this historic transition while being careful to avoid direct war with the United States. To succeed in this endeavor, they use a hybrid strategy involving diplomacy, military support to allies, and economic guarantees to countries under Washington’s attack.

The United States considers the whole planet its playground. Its military and political doctrine is based on the concept of liberal hegemony, as explained by political scientist John Mearsheimer. This imperialistic attitude has, over time, created a coordinated and semi-official front of countries resisting this liberal hegemony. The recent events in Venezuela indicate why cooperation between these counter-hegemonic countries is essential to accelerating the transition from a unipolar to a multipolar reality, where the damage US imperialism is able to bring about is diminished.

Moscow and Beijing lead the world by hindering Washington

Moscow and Beijing, following a complex relationship from the period of the Cold War, have managed to achieve a confluence of interests in their grand objectives over the coming years. The understanding they have come to mainly revolves around stemming the chaos Washington has unleashed on the world.

The guiding principle of the US military-intelligence apparatus is that if a country cannot be controlled (such as Iraq following the 2003 invasion), then it has to be destroyed in order to save it from falling into Sino-Russian camp. This is what the United States has attempted to do with Syria, and what it intends to do with Venezuela.

The Middle East is an area that has drawn global attention for some time, with Washington clearly interested in supporting its Israeli and Saudi allies in the region. Israel pursues a foreign policy aimed at dismantling the Iranian and Syrian states. Saudi Arabia also pursues a similar strategy against Iran and Syria, in addition to fueling a rift within the Arab world stemming from its differences with Qatar.

The foreign-policy decisions of Israel and Saudi Arabia have been supported by Washington for decades, for two very specific reasons: the influence of the Israel lobby in the US, and the need to ensure that Saudi Arabia and the OPEC countries sell oil in US dollars, thereby preserving the role of the US dollar as the global reserve currency.

The US dollar remaining the global reserve currency is essential to Washington being able to maintain her role as superpower and is crucial to her hybrid strategy against her geopolitical rivals. Sanctions are a good example of how Washington uses the global financial and economic system, based on the US dollar, as a weapon against her enemies. In the case of the Middle East, Iran is the main target, with sanctions aimed at preventing the Islamic Republic from trading on foreign banking systems. Washington has vetoed Syria’s ability to procure contracts to reconstruct the country, with European companies being threatened that they risk no longer being able to work in the US if they accept to work in Syria.

Beijing and Moscow have a clear diplomatic strategy, jointly rejecting countless motions advanced by the US, the UK and France at the United Nations Security Council condemning Iran and Syria. On the military front, Russia continues her presence in Syria. China’s economic efforts, although not yet fully visible in Syria and Iran, will be the essential part of reviving these countries destroyed by years of war inflicted by Washington and her allies.

China and Russia’s containment strategy in the Middle East aims to defend Syria and Iran diplomatically using international law, something that is continuously ridden roughshod over by the US and her regional allies. Russia’s military action has been crucial to curbing and defeating the inhuman aggression launched against Syria, and has also drawn a red line that Israel cannot cross in its efforts to attack Iran. The defeat of the United States in Syria has created an encouraging precedent for the rest of the world. Washington has been forced to abandon the original plans to getting rid of Assad.

Syria will be remembered in the future as the beginning of the multipolar revolution, whereby the United States was contained in military-conventional terms as a result of the coordinated actions of China and Russia.

China’s economic contribution provides for such urgent needs as the supply of food, government loans, and medicines to countries under Washington’s economic siege. So long as the global financial system remains anchored to the US dollar, Washington remains able to cause a lot of pain to countries refusing to obey her diktats.

The effectiveness of economic sanctions varies from country to country. The Russian Federation used sanctions imposed by the West as an impetus to obtain a complete, or almost autonomous, refinancing of its main foreign debt, as well as to producing at home what had previously been imported from abroad. Russia’s long-term strategy is to open up to China and other Asian countries as the main market for imports and exports, reducing contacts with the Europeans if countries like France and Germany continue in their hostility towards the Russian Federation.

Thanks to Chinese investments, together with planned projects like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the hegemony of the US dollar is under threat in the medium to long term. The Chinese initiatives in the fields of infrastructure, energy, rail, road and technology connections among dozens of countries, added to the continuing need for oil, will drive ever-increasing consumption of oil in Asia that is currently paid for in US dollars.

Moscow is in a privileged position, enjoying good relations with all the major producers of oil and LNG, from Qatar to Saudi Arabia, and including Iran, Venezuela and Nigeria. Moscow’s good relations with Riyadh are ultimately aimed at the creation of an OPEC+ arrangement that includes Russia.

Particular attention should be given to the situation in Venezuela, one of the most important countries in OPEC. Riyadh sent to Caracas in recent weeks a tanker carrying two million barrels of oil, and Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has taken a neutral stance regarding Venezuela, maintaining a predictable balance between Washington and Caracas.

These joint initiatives, led by Moscow and Beijing, are aimed at reducing the use of the US dollar by countries that are involved in the BRI and adhere to the OPEC+ format. This diversification away from the US dollar, to cover financial transactions between countries involving investment, oil and LNG, will see the progressive abandonment of the US dollar as a result of agreements that increasingly do away with the dollar.

For the moment, Riyadh does not seem intent on losing US military protection. But recent events to do with Khashoggi, as well as the failure to list Saudi Aramco on the New York or London stock exchanges, have severely undermined the confidence of the Saudi royal family in her American allies. The meeting between Putin and MBS at the G20 in Bueno Aires seemed to signal a clear message to Washington as well as the future of the US dollar.

Moscow and Beijing’s military, economic and diplomatic efforts see their culmination in the Astana process. Turkey is one of the principle countries behind the aggression against Syria; but Moscow and Tehran have incorporated it into the process of containing the regional chaos spawned by the United States. Thanks to timely agreements in Syria known as “deconfliction zones”, Damascus has advanced, city by city, to clear the country of the terrorists financed by Washington, Riyadh and Ankara.

Qatar, an economic guarantor of Turkey, which in return offers military protection to Doha, is also moving away from the Israeli-Saudi camp as a result of Sino-Russian efforts in the energy, diplomatic and military fields. Doha’s move has also been because of the fratricidal diplomatic-economic war launched by Riyadh against Doha, being yet another example of the contagious effect of the chaos created by Washington, especially on US allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Washington loses military influence in the region thanks to the presence of Moscow, and this leads traditional US allies like Turkey and Qatar to gravitate towards a field composed essentially of the countries opposed to Washington.

Washington’s military and diplomatic defeat in the region will in the long run make it possible to change the economic structure of the Middle East. A multipolar reality will prevail, where regional powers like Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran will feel compelled to interact economically with the whole Eurasian continent as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The basic principle for Moscow and Beijing is the use of military, economic and diplomatic means to contain the United States in its unceasing drive to kill, steal and destroy.

From the Middle East to Asia

Beijing has focussed in Asia on the diplomatic field, facilitating talks between North and South Korea, accelerating the internal dialogue on the peninsula, thereby excluding external actors like the United States (who only have the intention of sabotaging the talks). Beijing’s military component has also played an important role, although never used directly as the Russian Federation did in Syria. Washington’s options vis-a-vis the Korean peninsular were strongly limited by the fact that bordering the DPRK were huge nuclear and conventional forces, that is to say, the deterrence offered by Russia and China. The combined military power of the DPRK, Russia and China made any hypothetical invasion and bombing of Pyongyang an impractical option for the United States.

As in the past, the economic lifeline extended to Pyongyang by Moscow and Beijing proved to be decisive in limiting the effects of the embargo and the complete financial war that Washington had declared on North Korea. Beijing and Moscow’s skilled diplomatic work with Seoul produced an effect similar to that of Turkey in the Middle East, with South Korea slowly seeming to drift towards the multipolar world offered by Russia and China, with important economic implications and prospects for unification of the peninsula.

Russia and China – through a combination of playing a clever game of diplomacy, military deterrence, and offering to the Korean peninsula the prospect of economic investment through the BRI – have managed to frustrate Washington’s efforts to unleash chaos on their borders via the Korean peninsula.

The United States seems to be losing its imperialistic mojo most significantly in Asia and the Middle East, not only militarily but also diplomatically and economically.

The situation is different in Europe and Venezuela, two geographical areas where Washington still enjoys greater geopolitical weight than in Asia and the Middle East. In both cases, the effectiveness of the two Sino-Russian resistance – in military, economic and diplomatic terms – is more limited, for different reasons. This situation, in line with the principle of America First and the return to the Monroe doctrine, will be the subject of the next article.

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Get over it: Asia rules

February 09, 2019

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author)

Get over it: Asia rulesGet over it: Asia rules

New book helps explain why the 21st Century will be the Asian Century

The greatest merit of Parag Khanna’s new book, The Future is Asian, is to accessibly tell the story of a historical inevitability – with the extra bonus of an Asian point of view. This is not only a very good public service, it also blows out of the water countless tomes by Western “experts” pontificating about Asia from an air-con cubicle in Washington.

Asia hands from the West tend to be extremely protective of their extra-territoriality. In my case, I moved to Asia in 1994, and Singapore was my first base. In time I found out – along with some of my colleagues at Asia Times – nothing would ever compare to following the ever-developing, larger than life Asian miracle on the spot.

Khanna has always been in the thick of the action. Born in India, he then moved to the UAE, the West, and is now a resident in Singapore. Years ago we spent a jolly good time in New York swapping Asia on-the-road stories; he’s a cool conversationalist. His Connectography is a must read.

Khanna found a very special niche to “sell” Asia to the Western establishment as a strategic adviser – and is very careful not to ruffle feathers. Barack Obama, for instance, is only guilty of “half-heartedness”. When you get praise from Graham Allison, who passes for a Thucydides authority in the US but would have major trouble understanding Italian master Luciano Canfora’s Tucidide: La Menzogna, La Colpa, L’Esilio, you know that Khanna has done his homework.

Of course, there are a few problems. It’s a bit problematic to coin Singapore “the unofficial capital of Asia”. There’s no better place to strategically follow China than Hong Kong. And as a melting pot, Bangkok, now truly cosmopolitan, is way more dynamic, creative and, let’s face it, funkier.

In 1997 I published a book in Brazil titled 21st: The Asian Century, based on three years of non-stop on-the-road reporting. It came out only a few days before the Hong Kong handover and the collapse of the baht that sparked the Asian financial crisis – so the book’s argument might have been seen as passé. Not really; once the crisis was over, the development push by the Asian tigers was overtaken by China. And 10 years later, slightly before the Western-made global financial crisis, the road to the Asian Century was more than self-evident.

Khanna hits all the right tones and multiple overtones stating the case that the Asian century “will…” begin when Asia crystallizes into a whole greater than the sum of its many parts”. It’s already happening, and it’s a wise choice to set the point of no return towards an Asia-led new world order at the first Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summit in May 2017 in Beijing.

Yet throughout the book Khanna feels the need to take immense pain showing frightened Anglo-American readers that China won’t lead the Asian future; there will be no “Chinese tianxia, or harmonious global system guided by Chinese Confucian principles”. And that offers room for references to the push by the US and its allies to “deter China”, or the push by “Japan, India, Australia and Vietnam” to “counter China aggression”. Not to mention credit to the pathetic notion of “clash of civilizations”. But, on a whole, Khanna nails it. “By joining BRI, other Asian countries have tacitly recognized China as a global power – but the bar for hegemony is very high.”

No East and West

Within the scope of an article, and not a book, it’s possible to show that this epic story is not about hegemony, but connectivity.

First of all, there’s no East and West; as Edward Said has shown, this is essentially inherited from Eurocentrism and colonialism, starting way back when the Ancient Greeks situated the western borders of Asia in the eastern Mediterranean.

Asia, the term, comes from the ancient Assyrian assu – which means rising sun. A clear distinction between East and West was stamped by the end of the 3rd century, at the time of Diocletian, when the Roman empire was cut in half following a meridian from Dalmatia to Cyrenaica, a partition confirmed at the death of Theodosius 1 in 395 AD.

The East then organized itself around Constantinople while the West was divided and regarded as Europe, a distinct unity under Charlemagne (800 AD). What’s interesting is that in contrast with China – self-defined as the center of the world – neither the Roman Empire nor Islam saw themselves as such, admitting the existence of other quite populated worlds: China and India.

The notion of a “continent” only came up in the 16th century, based on the tri-partition Europe-Asia-Africa made by the Greeks in the Eastern Mediterranean, adopted by Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and ratified by the “discovery” of the New World: the Americas. So once again, “continent” is a Western invention.

Eurasia is essentially a giant, elliptical, unified space. Crack geographers tend to see it to the north – from Central Asia up to the northwest of India – as the realm of caravan routes, Silk Roads, cosmopolitan oases, steppes and deserts crisscrossed by nomads.

To the south, it’s a sort of monsoon “shawl” draped over a unique ocean; maritime routes through straits; and cosmopolitan ports and warehouses.

Southeast Asia enjoys a unique status, squeezed in a historical and cultural pincer movement between two major forces, constituted in an independent manner from one another as two major civilizations; India to the west and China to the northeast.

The inner logic of all this immense space is mutation, trade exchanges, and migrations. So Eurasia is essentially unified as two major “on the move” spaces; continental and steppe (on horseback), plus maritime (via navigation). Historically, between these two corridors, we find the creative hubs of civilizations and more durable empires: China, the Indian world, Persia/Iran, the Arab world, the Byzantine-Ottoman empire.

Hard node of history

In one of his exceptional books, French geographer Christian Grataloup conclusively shows how Eurasia is a geo-historic entity – exhibiting a “system of inter-relations from one end to another”. Yes, it’s all about connectivity, as the Chinese are stressing with the New Silk Roads or BRI.

Already by the 15th century, every society in Eurasia exhibited the same presence of cities, writing, monetary exchange. So it’s possible to conceive a common history, from the Mediterranean to Japan, for over two millennia. Grataloup’s intuition is breathtaking. “This is the hard node of world history”.

Historically, it’s all about the confluence of eastern routes in the north, the Silk Roads at the center, and southern routes, mostly the Spice Route. In the central segment of the major axis, decisive innovations occurred; the first villages, the first forms of agriculture, writing, the birth of the State. As the great Mongol caravan empire, built around the Silk Roads in the 13th century, fractured, while societies in the extremities of Eurasia developed maritime power.

Khanna offers myriad details on the key fact; that the Eurasian space is finally being rearranged, rebuilt via economic development, along transversal axes configured as economic corridors; the result of a modernization process that started in Japan in the second half of the 19th century to expand to all of East and Southeast Asia, then China, and finally India. The genius of the BRI project is to make it happen.

The Chinese ambition to be the economic leader of the Eurasia ensemble – by land and by sea – is a unique development in the region’s history, combining the continental approach of the Mongol empire of the steppes, or the Russia empire, with the maritime approach of the West, especially via the British Empire.

But contrary to Western imperialism, it’s all based on economy and culture. So, China will have a lot of work mastering the art of soft power. Time though is on the BRI side; the horizon is 2049 – not profits in the next quarter. Maritime routes in the north like the Arctic Silk Road, and via the South China Sea and Indian Ocean to the south, will envelop Eurasia, which will articulate itself in the center over high-speed rail and highway corridors of the New Silk Roads and the upgraded Trans-Siberian links.

They call it Euro-Asia in Beijing, and they call it Greater Eurasia in Moscow. The whole process is historically inexorable, already forging the future – call it Asian or Eurasian.

No Sanctions Can Stop Cooperation between Russia, ASEAN Countries, 13 States Mull Buying Russia’s S-400 Despite US Sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Putin: No Sanctions Can Stop Cooperation between Russia, ASEAN Countries

November 15, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Thursday that no sanctions can stop cooperation between Russia and the ASEAN countries.

At a press conference in Singapore after his participation in the 13th East Asia Summit (EAS) and the Russia-ASEAN summit, Putin said that any politically-motivated restrictions in the economy are a hindrance and hurt everyone, including those who introduce them.

No sanctions can stop cooperation between Russia and the ASEAN countries and the development of their economies, the Russian strongman said.

Putin meanwhile, stressed that Russia is ready to work with Japan to resolve controversial issues.

He also asserted that Russia’s participation in WEF in Davos “will not affect Russia’s authority in world’s economy. A country’s authority in the world’s economy depends on its economic power, the economy’s structure, results in terms of technological effectiveness, the GDP growth, macroeconomic indicators, small external debt, the absence of budget deficit or its minimum rate or, what is better, budget surplus, which Russia enjoys now.”

Those imposing restrictions on Russian businessmen’s participation in WEF impose them against themselves, Putin added.

On the other hand, the Russian President has spoken briefly with US Vice President Mike Pence and White House National Security Adviser John Bolton before the beginning of the plenary session of the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

Meeting with Pence, Bolton

Putin and Pence had discussed strategic stability as well as the implementation of a new start treaty, Sputnik said.

He said that he believes that strategic stability is the key issue on the agenda of Russia-US talks.

Commenting on Syrian influx of migrants, Putin said that Europe should get rid of its “phobias” and help the Syrian people if it does not want to face a new inflow of migrants.

Russia is ready for full-fledged work in Syria’s economy, which would be advantageous for Moscow, and hopes that joint humanitarian aid deliveries in Syria, conducted by Russia as well as France and Germany, will continue, Putin added.

Source: Sputnik

https://www.globalresearch.ca/

13 States Mull Buying Russia’s S-400 Despite US Sanctions: Report

November 15, 2018

S-400 air defense systems

At least 13 countries have expressed their interest in purchasing the Russian S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile systems instead of US equipment despite the likelihood of provoking Washington’s sanctions, media reported citing people with first-hand knowledge of a US intelligence assessment.

Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam were among the countries that had already engaged in talks on buying the Russian missile systems, the CNBC broadcaster reported on Wednesday.

Washington expected that several countries would yield to the US pressure and abandon their plans to purchase the Russian equipment, the outlet added.

“Many of these countries do not want to wait for US regulatory hurdles … The S-400 has less export restrictions and the Kremlin is willing to expedite sales by skipping over any regulatory hurdles. It’s like buying it off the shelf,” one of the sources told the broadcaster.

Another source noted that S-400 had been more powerful, in terms of capability, than the US most capable Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

“No other US system can match the S-400’s ability to protect large swathes of airspace at such long ranges,” the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said.

Sanctions over the purchase of the Russian military equipment could be triggered under the US Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which came into force in 2017 and is set to punish Moscow for it alleged meddling in the US 2016 presidential election.

Source: Sputnik

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U.S. in “Military Crisis”, Could Lose War to Russia and China: Report Warns

US in “Military Crisis”, Could Lose War to Russia and China: Report Warns

November 15, 2018

The United States is facing a national security and military crisis and could lose in a war against Russia or China, a bipartisan congressional panel warned in a report on Wednesday (Nov 14).

The National Defense Strategy Commission evaluated the Trump administration’s 2018 National Defense Strategy, which ordered a vast reshaping of the US military to compete with Beijing and Moscow in an era of “great-power competition”.

Meanwhile, according to the commission, China and Russia are seeking regional hegemony in an attempt to project military power globally and pursuing defense buildups aimed squarely at the United States.

“America’s military superiority – the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security – has eroded to a dangerous degree,” the commission said.

In the report, the commission found America’s focus on counter-insurgency operations this century resulted in it slipping in other warfighting areas such as missile defense, cyber and space operations, and anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare.

“The United States has significantly weakened its own defense due to political dysfunction and decisions made by both Republicans as well as Democrats;” thus, creating “a crisis of national security for the United States,” the report added.

The commission also said that American influence across Asia and Europe is being steadily eroded and military balances have shifted in “decidedly adverse” ways that have raised the risk of conflict.

“The US military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict,” the commission added.

The report concludes that the Defense Department isn’t financially or strategically set up to wage two wars at once and could even lose a war against China or Russia individually.

Though the Pentagon this year has a budget of more than US$700 billion, far more than Russia and China combined, the commission said the sum is still “clearly insufficient” to meet the goals laid out in the NDS.

Commissioners made a series of recommendations including a 3-5 per cent annual increase in the defense budget.

SourceAgencies

 

Way to go: Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum Wrap Up: De-Dollarization Tops Agenda

Soource

Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum Wrap Up: De-Dollarization Tops Agenda

The Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) was held in Vladivostok on Sept.11-13. Founded in 2015, the event has become a platform for planning and launching projects to strengthen business ties in the Asia-Pacific region.This year, the EEF brought together delegations from over 60 countries to discuss the topic “The Far East: Expanding the Range of Possibilities”. A total of 100 business events involving over 6,000 participants were held during the three days. 1,357 media personnel worked to cover the forum. Last year, the number of participants was 5,000 with 1,000 media persons involved in reporting and broadcasting. The EEF-18 gathered 340 foreign and 383 Russian CEOs. Nearly 80 start-ups from across South-East Asia joined the meeting.

This year, a total of 175 agreements worth of 2.9 trillion rubles (some $4.3 billion) were signed. For comparison, the sum was 2.5 trillion rubles (roughly $3.7 billion) in 2017. They included the development of the Baimsky ore deposits in Chukotka, the construction of a terminal for Novatek LNG at Bechevinskaya Bay in Kamchatka and the investment of Asian countries in Russia’s agricultural projects in the Far East. Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Mail.Ru Group, Megafon and Chinese Alibaba inked an agreement on establishing AliExpress trade joint venture. Rosneft and Chinese CNPC signed an oil exploration agreement.

The Chinese delegation was the largest (1,096 people), followed by the Japanese (570 members). The list of guests included the president of Mongolia and prime ministers of Japan and South Korea. It was also the first time Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the event to meet his Russian counterpart. The issue of de-dollarization topped the agenda. Russia and China reaffirmed their interest in expanding the use of national currencies in bilateral deals.

During the forum, Kirill Dmitriev, the head of RDIF, said the fund intends to use only national currencies in its transactions with China starting from 2019. It will cooperate with the China Development Bank. This “yuanification” is making visible progress with Shanghai crude futures increasing their share of oil markets up to 14 percent or even more. China has signed agreements with Canada and Qatar on national currencies exchange.

De-dollarization is a trend that is picking up momentum across the world. A growing number of countries are interested in replacing the dollar. Russia is leading the race to protect itself from fluctuations, storms and US-waged trade wars and sanctions. Moscow backs non-dollar trade with Ankara amid the ongoing lira crisis. Turkey is switching from the dollar to settlements in national currencies, including its trade with China and other countries. Ditching the US dollar is the issue topping the BRICS agenda. In April, Iran transferred all international payments to the euro. 

The voices calling for de-dollarization are getting louder among America’s closest European allies. In August, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called for the creation of a new payments system independent of the US. According to him, Europe should not allow the United States to act “over our heads and at our expense.” The official wants to strengthen European autonomy by establishing independent payment channels, creating a European Monetary Fund and building up an independent SWIFT system.

Presenting his annual program, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called on Sept. 12 for the European Union to promote the euro as a global currency to challenge the dollar. According to him, “We must do more to allow our single currency to play its full role on the international scene.” Mr. Juncker believes “it is absurd that Europe pays for 80 percent of its energy import bill – worth 300 billion euros a year – in US dollars when only roughly 2 percent of our energy imports come from the United States.” He wants the raft of proposals made in his state of the union address to start being implemented before the European Parliament elections in May.

70% of all world trade transactions account for the dollar, while 20% are  settled in the euro, and the rest falls on the yuan and other Asian currencies. The dollar value is high to make the prices of consumer goods in the US artificially low. The demand for dollars allows refinancing the huge debt at low interest rates. The US policy of trade wars and sanctions has triggered the global process of de-dollarization. Using punitive measures as a foreign policy tool is like shooting oneself in the foot. It prompts a backlash to undermine the dollar’s status as the world reserve currency – the basis of the US economic might. The aggressive policy undermines the US world standing to make it weaker, not stronger.

New Asian Axis المحور الآسيوي الجديد

New Asian Axis

سبتمبر 5, 2018

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Since the escalation of the war on Syria years ago and the international regional equation which the future of the Asian mainland forms its arena, the confrontation was between Washington in its main front along with an alliance that started with more than one hundred countries and an axis that started with Syria, Iran, and the forces of the resistance, along with Russia partially, China, and the Brix countries morally. During the years of confrontation the front led by Washington has been dismantled, it lost Turkey gradually, after it abandoned it in its unilateral confrontation with Russia when Moscow involved directly in the Syrian war. The Turkish secession led to the birth of Astana path after the defeat of the axis of war in the battle of Aleppo, and the emergence of the Russian-Iranian-Syrian alliance, while after the succession of defeats and dismantling in the war front which affected the American- European relationship, and the files as the Iranian nuclear program and the US trade war, the alliance led by Washington has become an American- Israeli- Saudi one.

With the emergence of a Russian –Iranian- Syrian alliance versus American-Israeli- Saudi one, the factors of the formation of the international regional scene have become clear.  Europe seems in between despite its interrelated relationship with Washington, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, but the imprudence shown in dealing with the region’s issues as the Iranian nuclear program, the future of the Palestinian cause, and the US arrogance in the economic files puts Europe gradually in a state of waiting and the lack of enthusiasm for a serious involvement in the American-Israeli-Saudi alliance in the light of Russian-Iranian approaches that grant Europe more opportunities for taking rational positions regarding the engagement, while Washington’s policies have made Turkey after the sanctions on it closer to form a new regional axis with Russia and Iran. The search at Tehran Summit this week will be about new Asian leadership that based on the coordination between the parts of the Russian-Iranian-Turkish tripartite. The relationships of more than ten Asian countries that neighbor this tripartite depend on its pillars. It is enough to ensure the understanding of this tripartite for the stability of the international regional arena and countries such as Caspian Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and its Islamic Republics.

Moreover, the new Asian equations in the light of the Syrian war on one hand, and the aggressive policies of the American-Saudi-Israeli axis and its continuous threat of destabilizing the Asian entities on the other hand have led to geostrategic change in the position of a pivotal country in the Asian geography named Pakistan. Furthermore, the trade war announced by Washington on China, which became clearly that is the title of the successive policies has forced Beijing to get out of its reluctance regarding politics and from being sufficient in employing its capacities and status to ensure its economic development silently, and to accelerate its political movement, especially after the clear US attempt of influencing North Korea without China’s knowing which obliged it to overthrow it and to link the Korean settlement with farer international regional understandings. It became clear that the process of the development of Chinese-Russian-Turkish- Pakistani-Iranian axis to ensure the stability of Asia and its protection from the craziness and the aggression of the opposite bank forms a gateway for the intertwining of economic interests and security integration that will lead for settlements in many Asian regional arenas that witness conflicts as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon.

King Abdullah II said ten years ago, that there is a Shiite crescent in the region, and the major wars were taking place to destroy this false crescent, but now the real Asian moon is going to be completed as an only way to impose stability and peace…. Idlib is the first test.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

المحور الآسيوي الجديد

سبتمبر 3, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– منذ تصاعد الحرب على سورية قبل سنوات والمعادلة الدولية الإقليمية التي يشكّل مستقبل البَرّ الآسيوي محورها، تقوم على مواجهة تدير واشنطن جبهتها الرئيسية بتحالف بدأ بأكثر من مئة دولة، يواجهه محور بدأ بسورية وإيران وقوى المقاومة ومعهما روسيا جزئياً والصين ودول البريكس معنوياً. وخلال سنوات المواجهة تفكّكت الجبهة التي تقودها واشنطن فخسرت تركيا بالتدريج، منذ تخلّيها عنها في مواجهتها المنفردة مع روسيا، عندما تموضعت موسكو مباشرة في الحرب السورية، وتكرّس الانفصال التركي بولادة مسار أستانة بعد هزيمة محور الحرب لمعركة حلب، وبرز المحور الروسي الإيراني السوري. بينما صار الحلف الذي تقوده واشنطن مع تتابع الهزائم ومحاور التفكك في جبهة الحرب التي أصابت العلاقة الأميركية الأوروبية، على إيقاع ملفات بحجم الملف النووي الإيراني والحرب التجارية الأميركية، حلفاً أميركياً إسرائيلياً سعودياً.

– مع تبلور حلف روسي إيراني سوري مقابل حلف أميركي سعودي إسرائيلي، تصاعدت عوامل تشكيل المشهد الدولي الإقليمي من حولهما، فأوروبا تبدو في موقع وسط رغم علاقتها المتشابكة بواشنطن والسعودية و«إسرائيل»، لكن الرعونة التي يبديها هذا الحلف في ملفات المنطقة وفي مقدمتها الملف النووي الإيراني ومستقبل القضية الفلسطينية، والصلف الأميركي في الملفات الاقتصادية، تضع اوروبا تدريجا في موقع الانتظار وعدم الحماس لانخراط جدي في الثلاثي الأميركي السعودي الإسرائيلي، في ضوء مقاربات روسية وإيرانية تمنح أوروبا المزيد من الفرص لمواقف عقلانية من قضايا الاشتباك بينما تكفلت سياسات واشنطن بجعل تركيا بعد العقوبات التي طالتها، أقرب لتشكيل محور إقليمي جديد مع روسيا وإيران، ليستقر هذا الأسبوع في قمة طهران البحث في قيادة آسيوية جديدة، تقوم على التنسيق بين أطراف الثلاثي الروسي الإيراني التركي. فعلاقات أكثر من عشر دول آسيوية تجاور هذا الثلاثي تدور حول محاوره، ويكفي تفاهم أركان الثلاثي لضمان استقرار الإطار الدولي الإقليمي لدول مثل حوض قزوين والقوقاز وآسيا الوسطى وجمهورياتها الإسلامية.

– على ضفة موازية تكفلت المعادلات الآسيوية الجديدة في ضوء الحرب السورية من جهة، وفي ضوء السياسات العدوانية للمحور الأميركي السعودي الإسرائيلي، وتهديدها المستمر بزعزعة استقرار الكيانات الآسيوية، بتغيير جيواستراتيجي في موقع دولة مفصلية في الجغرافيا الآسيوية هي باكستان، كما ترتب على الحرب التجارية التي أعلنتها واشنطن على الصين وصار واضحاً أنها عنوان سياسات لاحقة، أن تخرج بكين من تردّدها في خوض غمار السياسة، والاكتفاء بتوظيف مقدراتها ومكانتها لضمان تطورها الاقتصادي بصمت، ووجدت نفسها ملزمة بتسريع حركتها السياسية، خصوصاً بعدما ظهرت محاولة أميركية مكشوفة لتصيد كوريا الشمالية من وراء ظهر الصين، اضطرت بكين للتحرك لإسقاطها وربط التسوية الكورية بتفاهمات إقليمية دولية أبعد، وصار واضحاً أن مسار تبلور محور صيني روسي تركي باكستاني إيراني لضمان استقرار آسيا، وحمايتها من الجنون والعدوانية في الضفة المقابلة، يشكل مدخلاً لتشابك مصالح اقتصادي وتكامل أمني سينتج تسويات في العديد من ساحات الصراع الإقليمية الآسيوية مثل أفغانستان والعراق ولبنان.

– قال الملك عبدالله الثاني قبل عشر سنوات إن هناك هلالاً شيعياً في المنطقة. وكانت الحروب الكبرى لتدمير هذا الهلال الوهمي. وها هو البدر الآسيوي الواقعي في طريق الاكتمال كطريق وحيد لفرض الاستقرار والسلام، وإدلب الاختبار الأول.

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