Shaping the Future: Moscow and Beijing’s Multipolar World Order

Shaping the Future: Moscow and Beijing’s Multipolar World Order

Shaping the Future: Moscow and Beijing’s Multipolar World Order

Once in a while, think tanks such as the Brookings Institute are able to deal with highly strategic and current issues. Often, the conferences held by such organizations are based on false pretences and copious banality, the sole intention being to undermine and downplay the efforts of strategic opponents of the US. Recently, the Brookings Institute’s International Strategy and Strategy Project held a lecture on May 9, 2017 where it invited Bobo Lo, an analyst at Lowy Institute for International Policy, to speak. The topic of the subject, extremely interesting to the author and mentioned in the past, is the strategic partnership between China and Russia.

The main assumption Bobo Lo starts with to define relations between Moscow and Beijing is that the two countries base their collaboration on convenience and a convergence of interests rather than on an alliance. He goes on to say that the major frictions in the relationship concern the fate that Putin and Xi hold for Europe, in particular for the European Union, in addition to differences of opinions surrounding the Chinese role in the Pacific. In the first case, Lo states that Russia wants to end the European project while China hopes for a strong and prosperous Europe. With regard to the situation in the Pacific, according to this report, Moscow wants a balance of power between powers without hegemonic domination being transferred from Washington to Beijing.

The only merit in Lo’s analysis is his identification of the United States as the major cause of the strategic proximity between Moscow and Beijing, certainly a hypothesis that is little questioned by US policy makers. Lo believes Washington’s obsession with China-Russia cooperation is counterproductive, though he also believes that the United States doesn’t actually possess capabilities to sabotage or delimit the many areas of cooperation between Beijing and Moscow.

What is missing in Lo’s analysis are two essential factors governing how Moscow and Beijing have structured their relationship. China and Russia have different tasks in ushering in their world order, namely, by preserving global stability through military and economic means. Their overall relationship of mutual cooperation goes beyond the region of Eurasia and focuses on the whole process of a sustainable globalization as well as on how to create an environment where everyone can prosper in a viable and sustainable way. Doing this entails a departure from the current belligerent and chaotic unipolar world order.

Moscow and Beijing: Security and Economy

Beijing has been the world’s economic engine for over two decades and shows no signs of slowing down, at least not too much. Moscow, contrary to western media propaganda, has returned to play a role not only on a regional scale but as a global power. Both of these paths of military and economic growth for China and Russia have set things on a collision course with the United States, the current global superpower that tends to dominate international relations with economic, political and military bullying thanks to a complicit media and corrupt politicians.

In the case of Beijing, the process of globalization has immensely enhanced the country, allowing the Asian giant to become the world’s factory, enabling Western countries to outsource to low-cost labor. In this process of economic growth, Beijing has over the years gone from being a simple paradise for low-cost outsourcing for private companies to being a global leader in investment and long-term projects. The dividends of years of wealth accumulation at the expense of Western nations has allowed Beijing to be more than just a strategic partner for other nations. China drives the process of globalization, as recently pointed out by Xi Jinping in Davos in a historic speech. China’s transition from a harmless partner of the West to regional power with enormous foreign economic investments place the country on a collision course with Washington. Inevitably, Beijing will become the Asian hegemon, something US policymakers have always guaranteed will not be tolerated.

The danger Washington sees is that of China emerging as a regional superpower that will call the shots in the Pacific, the most important region of the planet. The United States has many vested interests in the region and undeniably sees its future as the leader of the world order in jeopardy. Obama’s pivot to Asia was precisely for the purposes of containing China and limiting its economic power so as to attenuate Beijing’s ambitions.

Unsurprisingly, Washington’s concerns with Moscow relate to its resurgence in military capabilities. Russia is able to oppose certain objectives of the United States (see Ukraine or Syria) by military means. The possibility of the Kremlin limiting American influence in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Eurasia in general is cause for concern for American policy makers, who continue to fail to contain Russia and limit Moscow’s spheres of influence.

In this context, the strategic division of labor between Russia and China comes into play to ensure the stability of the Eurasian region as a whole; in Asia, in the Middle East and in Europe. To succeed in this task, Moscow has mainly assumed the military burden, shared with other friendly nations belonging to the affected areas. In the Middle East, for example, Tehran’s partnership with Moscow is viewed positively by Beijing, given its intention to stabilize the region and to eradicate the problem of terrorism, something about which nations like China and Russia are particularly concerned.

The influence of Islamist extremists in the Caucasian regions in Russia or in the autonomous region of Xinjiang in China are something that both Putin and Xi are aware can be exploited by opposing Western countries. In North Africa, Egypt has signed several contracts for the purchase of military vehicles from Moscow, as well as having bought the two Mistral ships from France, thereby relying on military supplies from Moscow. It is therefore not surprising that Moscow and Egypt cooperated with the situation in Libya and in North Africa in general.

In Southeast Asia, Moscow seeks to coordinate efforts to reach an agreement between Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The entry into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) of New Delhi and Islamabad (Tehran will be next), with the blessing of Beijing as the protagonist of the 2017 SCO meeting, is a keystone achievement and the right prism through which to observe the evolution of the region. Moscow is essentially acting as a mediator between the parties and is also able to engage with India in spite of the dominating presence of China. The ultimate goal of Moscow and Beijing is to eradicate the terrorist phenomenon in the Asian region with a view to what is happening in North Africa and the Middle East with Iran and Egypt.

Heading to a Multipolar World Order

The turning point in relations between Moscow and Beijing concerns the ability to engage third countries in military or economic ways, depending on these countries’ needs and objectives. Clearly in the military field it is Moscow that is leading, with arms sold to current and future partners and security cooperation (such as with ex-Soviet Central-Asian republics or in the Donbass) and targeted interventions if needed, as in Syria. Beijing, on the other hand, acts in a different way, focusing on the economic arena, in particular with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at its center.

Initiatives such as the One Belt One Road (OBOR) and the Maritime Silk Road have the same strategic aim of the Russian military initiative, namely, ensuring the independence of the region from a geo-economic perspective, reaching win-win arrangements for all partners involved. Naturally, the win-win agreement does not mean that China wins and then wins again; rather, a series of bilateral concessions can come to satisfy all actors involved. An important example in this regard that explains the Sino-Russian partnership concerns the integration of the Eurasian Union with the Chinese Silk Road. The Russian concerns over the predominant status of the Chinese colossus in Central Asia have been assuaged by a number of solutions, such as the support of the OBOR infrastructure program to that of the Eurasian Union. Beijing is not interested in replacing Moscow’s leading role the post-Soviet nations in Central Asia but rather with providing significant energy and economic development to particularly underdeveloped nations that are in need of important economic investment, something only Beijing is able to guarantee.

The linking of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) with the One Belt One Road initiative guarantees Moscow a primary role in the transit of goods from east to west, thereby becoming the connecting point between China and Europe while expanding the role and function of the EEU. All participants in these initiatives have a unique opportunity to expand their economic condition through this whole range of connections. Beijing guarantees the money for troubled countries, and Moscow the security. The SCO will play a major role in reducing and preventing terrorist influence in the region, a prerequisite for the success of any projects. Also, the AIIB, and to some extent the BRICS Development Bank, will also have to step in and offer alternative economic guarantees to countries potentially involved in these projects, in order to free them from the existing international financial institutions.

One Belt One Road, and all the related projects, represent a unique occasion whereby all relevant players share common goals and benefits from such transformative geo-economic relationships. This security-economy relationship between Moscow and Beijing is  the heart of the evolution of the current world order, from the unipolar to the multipolar world. The US cannot oppose China on the economic front and Russia on the military front. It all comes down to how much China and Russia can continue to provide and guarantee economic and security umbrellas for the rest of the world.

China: Rise, Fall and Re-Emergence as a Global Power

The Lessons of History

First published on GR in March 2012

The study of world power has been blighted by Eurocentric historians who have distorted and ignored the dominant role China played in the world economy between 1100 and 1800.  John Hobson’s[1] brilliant historical survey of the world economy during this period provides an abundance of empirical data making the case for China ’s economic and technological superiority over Western civilization for the better part of a millennium prior to its conquest and decline in the 19th century.

China ’s re-emergence as a world economic power raises important questions about what we can learn from its previous rise and fall and about the external and internal threats confronting this emerging economic superpower for the immediate future.

First we will outline the main contours of historical China ’s rise to global economic superiority over West before the 19th century, following closely John Hobson’s account in The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization.  Since the majority of western economic historians (liberal, conservative and Marxist) have presented historical China as a stagnant, backward, parochial society, an “oriental despotism”, some detailed correctives will be necessary.  It is especially important to emphasize how China , the world technological power between 1100 and 1800, made the West’s emergence possible.  It was only by borrowing and assimilating Chinese innovations that the West was able to make the transition to modern capitalist and imperialist economies.

In part two we will analyze and discuss the factors and circumstances which led to China ’s decline in the 19th century and its subsequent domination, exploitation and pillage by Western imperial countries, first England and then the rest of Europe, Japan and the United States .

In part three, we will briefly outline the factors leading to China’s emancipation from colonial and neo-colonial rule and analyze its recent rise to becoming the second largest global economic power.

Finally we will look at the past and present threats to China ’s rise to global economic power, highlighting the similarities between British colonialism of the 18 and 19th centuries and the current US imperial strategies and focusing on the weaknesses and strengths of past and present Chinese responses.

China:  The Rise and Consolidation of Global Power 1100 – 1800

In a systematic comparative format, John Hobson provides a wealth of empirical indicators demonstrating China ’s global economic superiority over the West and in particular England .  These are some striking facts:

As early as 1078, China was the world’s major producer of steel (125,000 tons); whereas Britain in 1788 produced 76,000 tons.

China was the world’s leader in technical innovations in textile manufacturing, seven centuries before Britain ’s 18th century “textile revolution”.

China was the leading trading nation, with long distance trade reaching most of Southern Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe .  China’s ‘agricultural revolution’ and productivity surpassed the West down to the 18th century.

Its innovations in the production of paper, book printing, firearms and tools led to a manufacturing superpower whose goods were transported throughout the world by the most advanced navigational system.

China possessed the world’s largest commercial ships.  In 1588 the largest English ships displaced 400 tons, China ’s 3,000 tons.  Even as late as the end of the 18th century China ’s merchants employed 130,000 private transport ships, several times that of Britain . China retained this pre-eminent position in the world economy up until the early 19th century.

British and Europeans manufacturers followed China ’s lead, assimilating and borrowing its more advanced technology and were eager to penetrate China ’s advanced and lucrative market.

Banking, a stable paper money economy, manufacturing and high yields in agriculture resulted in China ’s per capita income matching that of Great Britain as late as 1750.

China ’s dominant global position was challenged by the rise of British imperialism, which had adopted the advanced technological, navigational and market innovations of China and other Asian countries in order to bypass earlier stages in becoming a world power[2].

Western Imperialism and the Decline of China

The British and Western imperial conquest of the East, was based on the militaristic nature of the imperial state, its non-reciprocal economic relations with overseas trading countries and the Western imperial ideology which motivated and justified overseas conquest.

Unlike China , Britain ’s industrial revolution and overseas expansion was driven by a military policy.  According to Hobson, during the period from 1688-1815 Great Britain was engaged in wars 52% of the time[3].  Whereas the Chinese relied on their open markets and their superior production and sophisticated commercial and banking skills, the British relied on tariff protection, military conquest, the systematic destruction of competitive overseas enterprises as well as the appropriation and plunder of local resources.  China ’s global predominance was based on ‘reciprocal benefits’ with its trading partners, while Britain relied on mercenary armies of occupation, savage repression and a ‘divide and conquer’ policy to foment local rivalries.  In the face of native resistance, the British (as well as other Western imperial powers) did not hesitate to exterminate entire communities[4].

Unable to take over the Chinese market through greater economic competitiveness, Britain relied on brute military power.  It mobilized, armed and led mercenaries, drawn from its colonies in India and elsewhere to force its exports on China and impose unequal treaties to lower tariffs.  As a result China was flooded with British opium produced on its plantations in India – despite Chinese laws forbidding or regulating the importation and sale of the narcotic.  China ’s rulers, long accustomed to its trade and manufacturing superiority, were unprepared for the ‘new imperial rules’ for global power.  The West’s willingness to use military power  to win colonies, pillage resources and recruit huge mercenary armies commanded by European officers spelt the end for China as a world power.

China had based its economic predominance on ‘non-interference in the internal affairs of its trading partners’.  In contrast, British imperialists intervened violently in Asia , reorganizing local economies to suit the needs of the empire (eliminating economic competitors including more efficient Indian cotton manufacturers) and seized control of local political, economic and administrative apparatus to establish the colonial state.

Britain ’s empire was built with resources seized from the colonies and through the massive militarization of its economy[5].  It was thus able to secure military supremacy over China .  China ’s foreign policy was hampered by its ruling elite’s excessive reliance on trade relations.  Chinese officials and merchant elites sought to appease the British and convinced the emperor to grant devastating extra-territorial concessions opening markets to the detriment of Chinese manufacturers while surrendering local sovereignty.  As always, the British precipitated internal rivalries and revolts further destabilizing the country.

Western and British penetration and colonization of China ’s market created an entire new class:  The wealthy Chinese ‘compradores’ imported British goods and facilitated the takeover of local markets and resources.  Imperialist pillage forced greater exploitation and taxation of the great mass of Chinese peasants and workers.  China ’s rulers were obliged to pay the war debts and finance trade deficits imposed by the Western imperial powers by squeezing its peasantry.  This drove the peasants to starvation and revolt.

By the early 20th century (less than a century after the Opium Wars), China had descended from world economic power to a broken semi-colonial country with a huge destitute population.  The principle ports were controlled by Western imperial officials and the countryside was subject to the rule by corrupt and brutal warlords.  British opium enslaved millions.

British Academics:  Eloquent Apologists for Imperial Conquest

The entire Western academic profession – first and foremost British  imperial historians – attributed British imperial dominance of Asia to English ‘technological superiority’ and China’s misery and colonial status to ‘oriental backwardness’, omitting any mention of the millennium of Chinese commercial and technical progress and superiority up to the dawn of the 19th century.  By the end of the 1920’s, with the Japanese imperial invasion, China ceased to exist as a unified country.  Under the aegis of imperial rule, hundreds of millions of Chinese had starved or were dispossessed or slaughtered, as the Western powers and Japan plundered its economy.  The entire Chinese ‘collaborator’ comprador elite were discredited before the Chinese people.

What did remain in the collective memory of the great mass of the Chinese people – and what was totally absent in the accounts of prestigious US and British academics – was the sense of China once having been a prosperous, dynamic and leading world power.  Western commentators dismissed this collective memory of China ’s ascendancy as the foolish pretensions of nostalgic lords and royalty – empty Han arrogance.

China Rises from the Ashes of Imperial Plunder and Humiliation:  The Chinese Communist Revolution

The rise of modern China to become the second largest economy in the world was made possible only through the success of the Chinese communist revolution in the mid-20th century.  The People’s Liberation ‘Red’ Army defeated first the invading Japanese imperial army and later the US imperialist-backed comprador led Kuomintang “Nationalist” army.  This allowed the reunification of China as an independent sovereign state.  The Communist government abolished the extra-territorial privileges of the Western imperialists, ended the territorial fiefdoms of the regional warlords and gangsters and drove out the millionaire owners of brothels, the traffickers of women and drugs as well as the other “service providers” to the Euro-American Empire.

In every sense of the word, the Communist revolution forged  the modern Chinese state.  The new leaders then proceeded to reconstruct an economy ravaged by imperial wars and pillaged by Western and Japanese capitalists.  After over 150 years of infamy and humiliation the Chinese people recovered their pride and national dignity.  These socio-psychological elements were essential in motivating the Chinese to defend their country from the US attacks, sabotage, boycotts, and blockades mounted immediately after liberation.

Contrary to Western and neoliberal Chinese economists, China ’s dynamic growth did not start in 1980.  It began in 1950, when the agrarian reform provided land, infrastructure, credits and technical assistance to hundreds of millions of landless and destitute peasants and landless rural workers. Through what is now called “human capital” and gigantic social mobilization, the Communists built roads, airfields, bridges, canals and railroads as well as the basic industries, like coal, iron and steel, to form the backbone of the modern Chinese economy.  Communist China’s vast free educational and health systems created a healthy, literate and motivated work force.  Its highly professional military prevented the US from extending its military empire throughout the Korean peninsula up to China ’s territorial frontiers.  Just as past Western scholars and propagandists fabricated a history of a “stagnant and decadent” empire to justify their destructive conquest, so too their modern counterparts have rewritten the first thirty years of Chinese Communist history, denying the role of the revolution in developing all the essential elements for a modern economy, state and society.  It is clear that China ’s rapid economic growth was based on the development of its internal market, its rapidly growing cadre of scientists, skilled technicians and workers and the social safety net which protected and promoted working class and peasant mobility were products of Communist planning and investments.

China ’s rise to global power began in 1949 with the removal of the entire parasitic financial, compradore and speculative classes who had served as the intermediaries for European, Japanese and US imperialists draining China of its great wealth.
China’s Transition to Capitalism

Beginning in 1980 the Chinese government initiated a dramatic shift in its economic strategy:  Over the next three decades, it opened the country to large-scale foreign investment; it privatized thousands of industries and it set in motion a process of income concentration based on a deliberate strategy of re-creating a dominant economic class of billionaires linked to overseas capitalists.  China ’s ruling political class embraced the idea of “borrowing” technical know-how and accessing overseas markets from foreign firms in exchange for providing cheap, plentiful labor at the lowest cost.

The Chinese state re-directed massive public subsidies to promote high capitalist growth by dismantling its national system of free public education and health care.  They ended subsidized public housing for hundreds of millions of peasants and urban factory workers and provided funds to real estate speculators for the construction of private luxury apartments and office skyscrapers. China ’s new capitalist strategy as well as its double digit growth was based on the profound structural changes and massive public investments made possible by the previous communist government.  China ’s private sector “take off” was based on the huge public outlays made since 1949.

The triumphant new capitalist class and its Western collaborators claimed all the credit for this “economic miracle” as China rose to become the world’s second largest economy.  This new Chinese elite have been less eager to announce China ’s world-class status in terms of brutal class inequalities, rivaling only the US .

China:  From Imperial Dependency to World Class Competitor

China ’s sustained growth in its manufacturing sector was a result of highly concentrated public investments, high profits, technological innovations and a protected domestic market.  While foreign capital profited, it was always within the framework of the Chinese state’s priorities and regulations.  The regime’s dynamic ‘export strategy’ led to huge trade surpluses, which eventually made China one of the world’s largest creditors especially for US debt.  In order to maintain its dynamic industries, China has required huge influxes of raw materials, resulting in large-scale overseas investments and trade agreements with agro-mineral export countries in Africa and Latin America .  By 2010 China displaced the US and Europe as the main trading partner in many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America .

Modern China ’s rise to world economic power, like its predecessor between 1100-1800, is based on its gigantic productive capacity:  Trade and investment was governed by a policy of strict non-interference in the internal relations of its trading partners.  Unlike the US , China did initiate brutal wars for oil; instead it signed lucrative contracts.  And China does not fight wars in the interest of overseas Chinese, as the US has done in the Middle East for Israel .

The seeming imbalance between Chinese economic and military power is in stark contrast to the US where a bloated, parasitic military empire continues to erode its own global economic presence.

US military spending is twelve times that of China .  Increasingly the US military plays the key role shaping policy in Washington as it seeks to undercut China ’s rise to global power.

China’s Rise to World Power: Will History Repeat Itself?

China has been growing at about 9% per annum and its goods and services are rapidly rising in quality and value.  In contrast, the US and Europe have wallowed around 0% growth from 2007-2012.  China ’s innovative techno-scientific establishment routinely assimilates the latest inventions from the West (and Japan ) and improves them, thereby decreasing the cost of production.  China has replaced the US and European controlled “international financial institutions” (the IMF, World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank) as the principle lender in Latin America .  China continues to lead as the prime investor in African energy and mineral resources.  China has replaced the US as the principle market for Saudi Arabian, Sudanese and Iranian petroleum and it will soon replace the US as the principle market for Venezuela petroleum products.  Today China is the world’s biggest manufacturer and exporter, dominating even the US market, while playing the role of financial life line as it holds over $1.3 trillion in US Treasury notes.

Under growing pressure from its workers, farmers and peasants, China ’s rulers have been developing the domestic market by increasing wages and social spending to rebalance the economy and avoid the specter of social instability.  In contrast, US wages, salaries and vital public services have sharply declined in absolute and relative terms.

Given the current historical trends it is clear that China will replace the US as the leading world economic power, over the next decade,  if the US empire does not strike back and if China ’s profound class inequalities do not lead to a major social upheaval.

Modern China ’s rise to global power faces serious challenges.  In contrast to China ’s historical ascent on the world stage, modern Chinese global economic power is not accompanied by any imperialist undertakings.  China has seriously lagged behind the US and Europe in aggressive war-making capacity.  This may have allowed China to direct public resources to maximize economic growth, but it has left China vulnerable to US military superiority in terms of its massive arsenal, its string of forward bases and strategic geo-military positions right off the Chinese coast and in adjoining territories.

In the nineteenth century British imperialism demolished China ’s global position with its military superiority, seizing China ’s ports – because of China ’s reliance on ‘mercantile superiority’.

The conquest of India , Burma and most of Asia allowed Britain to establish colonial bases and recruit local mercenary armies.  The British and its mercenary allies encircled and isolated China , setting the stage for the disruption of China ’s markets and the imposition of the brutal terms of trade.  The British Empire’s armed presence dictated what China imported (with opium accounting for over 50% of British exports in the 1850s) while undermining China ’s competitive advantages via tariff policies.

Today the US is pursuing similar policies:  US naval fleet  patrols and controls China ’s commercial shipping lanes and off-shore oil resources via its overseas bases.  The Obama-Clinton White House is in the process of developing a rapid military response involving bases in Australia , Philippines and elsewhere in Asia .  The US is intensifying  its efforts to undermine Chinese overseas access to strategic resources while backing ‘grass roots’ separatists and ‘insurgents’ in West China, Tibet, Sudan, Burma, Iran, Libya, Syria and elsewhere.  The US military agreements with India and  the installation of a pliable puppet regime in Pakistan have advanced its strategy of isolating China .  While China upholds its policy of “harmonious development” and “non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries”, it has stepped aside as US and European military imperialism have attacked a host of China’s trading partners to essentially reverse China’s  peaceful commercial expansion.

China’s lack of a political and ideological strategy capable of protecting its overseas economic interests has been an invitation for the US and NATO to set-up regimes hostile to China .  The most striking example is Libya where US and NATO intervened to overthrow an independent government led by President Gadhafi, with whom China had signed multi-billion dollar trade and investments agreements. The NATO bombardment of Libyan cities, ports and oil installation forced the Chinese to withdraw 35,000 Chinese oil engineers and construction workers in a matter of days.  The same thing happened in Sudan where China had invested billions to develop its oil industry.  The US, Israel and Europe armed the South Sudanese rebels to disrupt the flow of oil and attack Chinese oil workers[6].  In both cases China passively allowed the US and European military imperialists to attack its trade partners and undermine its investments.

Under Mao Tse Tung, China had an active policy countering imperial aggression:  It supported revolutionary movements and independent Third World governments.  Today’s capitalist China does not have an active policy of supporting governments or movements capable of protecting China ’s bilateral trade and investment agreements.  China ’s inability to confront the rising tide of US   military aggression against its economic interests, is due to deep structural problems.  China’s foreign policy is shaped by big commercial, financial and manufacturing interests who rely on their ‘economic competitive edge’ to gain market shares and have no understanding of the military and security underpinnings of global economic power.  China ’s political class is deeply influenced by a new class of billionaires with strong ties to Western equity funds and who have uncritically absorbed Western cultural values. This is illustrated by their preference for sending their own children to elite universities in the US and Europe .  They seek “accommodation with the West” at any price.

This lack of any strategic understanding of military empire-building has led them to respond ineffectively and ad hoc to each imperialist action undermining their access to resources and markets.  While China ’s “business first” outlook may have worked when it was a minor player in the world economy and US empire builders saw  the “capitalist opening” as a chance to easily takeover China ’s public enterprises and pillage the economy.  However, when China (in contrast to the former USSR) decided to retain capital controls and develop a carefully calibrated, state directed “industrial policy”  directing western capital and the transfer of technology to state enterprises, which effectively penetrated the US domestic and overseas markets, Washington began to complain and talked of retaliation.

China ’s huge trade surpluses with the US provoked a dual response in Washington :  It sold massive quantities of US Treasury bonds to the Chinese and began to develop a global strategy to block China ’s advance. Since the US lacked economic leverage to reverse its decline, it relied on its only “comparative advantage” – its military superiority based on a world wide  system of attack bases,  a network of overseas client regimes, military proxies, NGO’ers, intellectuals and armed mercenaries.  Washington turned to its vast overt and clandestine security apparatus to undermine China ’s trading partners.  Washington depends on its long-standing ties with corrupt rulers, dissidents, journalists and media moguls to provide the powerful propaganda cover while advancing its military offensive against China ’s overseas interests.

China has nothing to compare with the US overseas ‘security apparatus’ because it practices a policy of “non-interference”.  Given the advanced state of the Western imperial offensive, China has taken only a few diplomatic initiatives, such as financing English language media outlets to present its perspective, using its veto power on the UN Security Council to oppose US efforts to overthrow the independent Assad regime in Syria and opposing the imposition of drastic sanctions against Iran .  It sternly repudiated US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s vitriolic questioning of the ‘legitimacy’ of the Chinese state when it voted against the US-UN resolution  preparing  an attack on Syria[7].

Chinese military strategists are more aware and alarmed at the growing military threat to China .  They have successfully demanded a 19% annual increase in military spending over the next five years (2011-2015)[8].  Even with this increase, China’s military expenditures will still be less than one-fifth of the US military budget and China has not one overseas military base in stark contrast to the over 750 US installations abroad.  Overseas Chinese intelligence operations are minimal and ineffective.  Its embassies are run by and for narrow commercial interests who utterly failed to understand NATO’s brutal policy of regime change in Libya and inform Beijing of its significance to the Chinese state.

There are two other structural weaknesses undermining China ’s rise as a world power. This includes the highly ‘Westernized’ intelligentsia which has uncritically swallowed US economic doctrine about free markets while ignoring its militarized economy.  These Chinese intellectuals parrot the US propaganda about the ‘democratic virtues’ of billion-dollar Presidential campaigns, while supporting financial deregulation which would have led to a Wall Street takeover of Chinese banks and savings.  Many Chinese business consultants and academics have been educated in the US and influenced by their ties to US academics and international financial institutions directly linked to Wall Street and the City of London .  They have prospered as highly-paid consultants receiving prestigious positions in Chinese institutions.  They identify the ‘liberalization of financial markets’ with “advanced economies” capable of deepening ties to global markets instead of as a major source of the current global financial crisis.  These “Westernized intellectuals” are like their 19th century comprador counterparts who underestimated and dismissed the long-term consequences of Western imperial penetration.  They fail to understand how financial deregulation in the US precipitated the current crisis and how deregulation would lead to a Western takeover of China ’s financial system- the consequences of which would reallocate China ’s domestic savings to non-productive activities (real estate speculation), precipitate financial crisis and ultimately undermine China ’s leading global position.

These Chinese yuppies imitate the worst of Western consumerist life styles and their political outlooks are driven by these life styles and Westernized identities which preclude any sense of solidarity with their own working class.

There is an economic basis for the pro-Western sentiments of China ’s neo-compradors.  They have transferred billions of dollars to foreign bank accounts, purchased luxury homes and apartments in London , Toronto , Los Angeles , Manhattan , Paris , Hong Kong and Singapore . They have one foot in China (the source of their wealth) and the other in the West (where they consume and hide their wealth).

Westernized compradores are deeply embedded in China ’s economic system having family ties with the political leadership in the party apparatus and the state. Their connections are weakest in the military and in the growing social movements, although some “dissident” students and academic activists in the “democracy movements” are backed by Western imperial NGO’s.  To the extent that the compradors gain influence, they weaken the strong economic state institutions which have directed China ’s ascent to global power, just as they did in the 19th century by acting as intermediaries for the British Empire .  Proclaiming 19th Century “liberalism” British opium addicted over 50 million Chinese in less than a decade.  Proclaiming “democracy and human rights” US gunboats now patrol off China ’s coast.  China ’s elite-directed rise to global economic power has spawned monumental inequalities between the thousands of new billionaires and multi-millionaires at the top and hundreds of millions of impoverished workers, peasants and migrant workers at the bottom.

China ’s rapid accumulation of wealth and capital was made possible through the intense exploitation of its workers who were stripped of their previous social safety net and regulated work conditions guaranteed under Communism.  Millions of Chinese households are being dispossessed in order to promote real estate developer/speculators who then build high rise offices and the luxury apartments for the domestic and foreign elite.  These brutal features of ascendant Chinese capitalism have created a fusion of workplace and living space mass struggle which is growing every year.  The developer/speculators’ slogan  “to get rich is wonderful” has lost its power to deceive the people.  In 2011 there were over 200,000 popular encompassing urban coastal factories and rural villages.  The next step, which is sure to come, will be the unification of these struggles into  new national social movements with a class-based agenda demanding the restoration of health and educational services enjoyed under the Communists as well as a greater share of China’s wealth. Current demands for greater wages can turn to demands for greater work place democracy.  To answer these popular demands China ’s new compradore-Westernized liberals cannot point to their ‘model’ in the US empire where American workers are in the process of being stripped of the very benefits Chinese workers are struggling to regain.

China , torn by deepening class and political conflict, cannot sustain its drive toward global economic leadership.  China ’s elite cannot confront the rising global imperial military threat from the US with its comprador allies among the internal liberal elite while the country is  a deeply divided society with an increasingly hostile working class.  The time of unbridled exploitation of China ’s labor has to end in order to face the US military encirclement of China and economic disruption of its overseas markets.  China possesses enormous resources.  With over $1.5 trillion dollars in reserves China can finance a comprehensive national health and educational program throughout the country.

China can afford to pursue an intensive ‘public housing program’ for the 250 million migrant workers currently living in urban squalor.  China can impose a system of progressive income taxes on its new billionaires and millionaires and finance small family farmer co-operatives and rural industries to rebalance the economy.  Their program of developing alternative energy sources, such as solar panels and wind farms – are a promising start to addressing their serious environmental pollution.  Degradation of the environment and related health issues already engage the concern of tens of millions.  Ultimately China ’s best defense against imperial encroachments is a stable regime based on social justice for the hundreds of millions and a foreign policy of supporting overseas anti-imperialist movements and regimes – whose independence are in China ’s vital interest.  What is needed is a pro-active policy based on mutually beneficial joint ventures including military and diplomatic solidarity.  Already a small, but influential, group of Chinese intellectuals have raised the issue of the growing US military threat and are “saying no to gunboat diplomacy”.[9]

Modern China has plenty of resources and opportunities, unavailable to China in the 19th century when it was subjugated by the British Empire . If the US continues to escalate its aggressive militaristic policy against China , Beijing can set off a serious fiscal crisis by dumping a few of its hundreds of billions of dollars in US Treasury notes.  China , a nuclear power should reach out to its similarly armed and threatened neighbor, Russia , to confront and confound the bellicose rantings of US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton.  Russian President-to-be Putin vows to increase military spending from 3% to 6% of the GDP over the next decade to counter Washington’s offensive missile bases on Russia’s borders and thwart Obama’s ‘regime change’ programs against its allies, like Syria[10].

China has powerful trading, financial and investment networks covering the globe as well as powerful economic partners .These links have become essential for the continued growth of many of countries throughout the developing world.  In taking on China , the US will have to face the opposition of many powerful market-based elites throughout the world.  Few countries or elites see any future in tying their fortunes to an economically unstable empire-based on militarism and destructive colonial occupations.

In other words, modern China , as a world power, is incomparably stronger than it was in early 18th century.  The US does not have the colonial leverage that the ascendant British Empire possessed in the run-up to the Opium Wars.  Moreover, many Chinese intellectuals and the vast majority of its citizens have no intention of letting its current “Westernized compradors” sell out the country.  Nothing would accelerate political polarization in Chinese society and hasten the coming of a second Chinese social revolution more than a timid leadership submitting to a new era of Western imperial pillage.


[1] John Hobson, The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization ( Cambridge UK :  Cambridge University Press 2004)
[2] Ibid, Ch. 9 pp. 190 -218
[3] Ibid, Ch. 11, pp. 244-248
[4] Richard Gott, Britain’s Empire:  Resistance, Repression and Revolt ( London : Verso 2011) for a detailed historical chronicle of the savagery accompanying Britain ’s colonial empire.
[5] Hobson, pp. 253 – 256.
[6] Katrina Manson, “South Sudan puts Beijing ’s policies to the test”, Financial Times, 2/21/12, p. 5.
[7] Interview of Clinton NPR, 2/26/12.
[8] La Jornada, 2/15/12 ( Mexico City ).
[9]  China Daily (2/20/2012)
[10]Charles Clover, ‘Putin vows huge boost in defense spending’, Financial Times, 2/12/2012

Lavrov interview on Trump, Putin, Syria, ISIS, Ukraine, NATO

(Russian with English subtitles) ~ Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the Mir Interstate Television and Radio Broadcasting Company. (Thanks Russia Insider, Credit to Russian MFA)

From Syria to Korea: The Rush to Crush Multipolarism

April 30, 2017 (Ulson Gunnar – NEO) – A recent, unilateral, unjustified military strike on Syria by US cruise missiles, coupled with the deployment of a US naval fleet to the Korean Peninsula as well as terrorist attacks carried out by terrorist fronts worldwide associated with US-backed opposition groups signifies a worldwide push-back from Wall Street and Washington amid its crumbling “international order.”

Like all hegemons before it, Wall Street and Washington have found themselves expending more time and resources maintaining their current geopolitical order than on either further expansion or domestic development. What has developed is a vicious cycle of aggression, conflict, and retrenchment. Throughout the process, there is the expenditure of irreplaceable political capital.

For example, while US policymakers rightly noted their “international order” built by and for Wall Street and Washington would suffer immensely had their attempts to overthrow the Libyan government in 2011 been reversed, their “success” was equally damaging. Before an increasingly capable world of alternative systems, blocs and an emerging multipolar order, the destruction of Libya and its current status as a failed state along with the protracted nature of the US campaign to topple the government was more a sign of growing weakness than a warning of American strength.

Struggling in Syria 

The subsequent conflict in Syria only reinforced suspicions of serious and growing American weakness. The conflict has dragged on for 6 years, and US attempts at regime change have been met by direct Russian military intervention along with a significant role played by another obstacle to US regional and global hegemony, Iran.

Such a scenario, 20-30 years ago, would have been unimaginable.

The recent missile strikes in Syria, then, were not a masterstroke of strategic strength and brilliance, but rather an act of desperation amid a crumbling policy within its crumbling “international order.”

Analysts and policymakers the world over should not, however, get the impression that a retreating America poses no threat. On the contrary, the US in its current state of wounded pride, retracting influence and waning power is more dangerous than ever.

As the window closes on any possibility of a US-maintained order in the Middle East, attempts to permanently damage whatever remains and whoever presides over it becomes more tempting than ever.

While the US poses as “fighting” terrorist organizations like the “Islamic State” and other Al Qaeda affiliates, it has all but openly armed, funded, trained and supported these groups, including with, now, direct military intervention. Indeed, the military targets the US hit recently with its cruise missiles were engaged on the front lines against both the Islamic State and US State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization, the al-Nusrah Front.

Continued support for these terrorist groups either directly or through America’s regional allies (Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others), along with the persistent threat of unilateral military action in direct defiance of the very international law Washington claims its own “international order” is built upon, may be a grievous threat for years to come.

Along the peripheries of this conflict include Egypt who has also just recently experienced terrorist attacks aimed at dividing the nation along sectarian lines and undermining Cairo’s ability to administer its own nation let alone participate in any meaningful way in any emerging alternative regional order.

Proxy War on the Korean Peninsula 

North Korea poses little threat to the United States. Any first strike carried out by North Korea against either the US or South Korea would result in the immediate and absolute destruction of the isolated nation. Despite this reality, the United States has purposefully and disingenuously built it up into a national, even global security threat that conveniently requires an ever increasing military build-up both on the Korean Peninsula itself, as well as across the rest of East Asia.

However, the Korean Peninsula is just one of several fronts amid the actual target of US ambitions, China and the ruling political order in Beijing.

In addition to the Korean Peninsula, the US is concentrating sociopolitical, economic and even covert terrorist pressure as far west as Afghanistan, Pakistan and China’s Xinjiang province, all throughout Southeast Asia and even within Chinese territory, particularly in Hong Kong.

The elimination of North Korea as one of the remaining buffer zones between America’s presence in the Pacific and Beijing has been a stated US geopolitical objective for decades (including during the Korean War). With the target actually being Beijing itself, efforts to solve the “Korean problem” without recognizing and dismantling America’s unwarranted presence in the region will lead only to further conflict, not only in East Asia but all along China’s peripheries.

Not Trump’s Policy, Not Because of His Ego 

American and European media sources have attempted to assign responsibility for America’s recent aggression both in Syria and its posturing upon the Korean Peninsula to US President Donald Trump’s own personal motivations and politics. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

The precise agenda of regime change in Syria stretches back decades, and plans to launch cruise missiles into Syria once it became apparent swift Libyan-style regime change was not possible was articulated across the entirety of the US foreign policy establishment as early as 2013.

Bloomberg, in a 2013 article titled, “Tomahawk Cruise Missiles Likely in U.S. Strikes on Syria,” would exclaim:

Tomahawk cruise missiles are likely to be launched at night against hundreds of Syrian targets, including some of President Bashar al-Assad’s elite military units, if the U.S. and allies launch a military strike in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons.

Careless readers could easily mistaken the Bloomberg article from years ago for a current headline.

Likewise, US efforts to topple the government of North Korea stretch back for years. US-based think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), would publish a 2009, 60-page report titled, “Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea,” in which scenarios for the full-scale invasion, occupation and subjugation of North Korea were laid out.

Today, President Trump is merely the latest politician to rubber stamp the most recent iterations of these policies, laid out publicly and repeatedly for years by policy think tanks representing the collective interests and ambitions of some of the West’s largest corporations and financial institutions.

Conversations regarding the so-called “deep state” have revolved around talk of various bureaucracies and career administrators within the US government, however, more accurately, all of these, along with elected representatives, fall under a singular and truly gargantuan deep state, one emanating from Wall Street, not offices in Washington.

Thus, regardless of various popular narratives circulating across the Western press, US policy now is merely the continuation of a singular agenda pursuing global hegemony. As competing centers of power around the globe emerge and increasingly resist the United States, attempts to sweep these centers of power away increase in both number and desperation.

Genuinely responsible leadership in the United States or Europe would recognize the shifting balance of power and seek to maintain equity between nations. Instead, ruling circles of power in the West are attempting to unrealistically reassert hegemony at the risk of triggering catastrophic and destructive war. By doing so, they, at best, are only delaying the inevitable. And by doing so, they illustrate their inability to function as reasonable and constructive partners in the new, multipolar world order that is emerging, ensuring that they are the ones ultimately swept away.

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Trump – From Coward to Hero – MOAB, Syria, North Korea and Yemen are the Answer

April 23, 2017

by Peter Koenig

Trump, within a span of a week, has made a U-turn; from a coward to hero. So the MSM; his aggressive violence, his murderous killing spree in Syria, Yemen and threatening North Korea with a nuclear ‘take-out’ – turns Trump from a pussie to a macho. Overnight, so to speak, Trump has become the darling of the presstitute Zionist-MSM. That tells you who is controlling the ‘brainstream’ of the masses. Just look at the 24 April 2017 edition of the US Inquirer – “Trump Declaring War on Dictators”, depicting photographs of Presidents Putin, Assad, and Kim Jong Un, with the caption “Dead Men Walking”. What this paper says – if the term ‘paper’ even applies to this piece of junk – is the opinion of a large segment of the US population – and the west in general, led by the puppets of Europe.

After attacking Syria for a false flag Sarin gas attack on mainly women and children, instigated by CIA and carried out by Erdogan’s forces, helped by the Saudis; pretending sending the nuclear aircraft carrier Carl Vinson to the shores of North Korea – and taking over from the Saudis, the most vicious war against helpless Yemen, killing thousands of civilians, women and children, soon exceeding Obama’s murders – and plunging this poverty struck country into further misery and famine – Trump has finally ascended to the level corporate Zion-America and their corrupt media requires a US president to command the world. Bravo!

Actually, with all the hoopla of the new warrior Trump, there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding his turn-around politics in Syria, and especially with the aircraft flotilla sailing towards North Korea. According to the NYT, the Navy released photographs of the Carl Vinson off the coast of Indonesia to take part in a joint Navy exercise with Australia, thousands of miles away from the Korean peninsula. Trump then corrected himself saying the vessel would arrive in North Korea by this weekend, whereas the Pentagon speculated it would reach its destination more likely towards the end of April. And a few days ago, the White House reported sending two more carriers and flotillas to North Korean waters? – What is actually going on in the waters off the Korean peninsula?

Not least as Trump’s heroic bravura, he inaugurated the “Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB) – the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Blast Bomb, by dropping it – an 11,000-ton bomb equivalent of TNT – on Afghanistan’s villages – killing dozens of innocent people. Even within his first 100 days in office, Trump has joined the club of murderers, assassins and war criminals of his predecessors. Just to see whether MOAB behaves as expected, busting bunkers and other underground structures, causing earthquake like explosions up to 200 m below the surface, capable of destroying bunkers and nuclear reactors. Its reported to be the most devastating bomb, other than a nuclear bomb. The most vicious and devastating test since the nuclear Hiroshima blast.

The MOAB is mainly thought for nuclear reactors. Afghanistan, already a wasteland, complements of the horrid west, was not chosen by accident for the test. Afghanistan, in addition to the transit still planned of the infamous and highly disputed TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline, also possesses uncountable riches of rare earths and minerals – worth billions and especially needed for the ever-growing war industrial complex – which already today uses up more than half of the extractive industry’s output, worldwide.

Imagine – first devastation of mother earth by plundering her unrenewable resources; then doubling up with destruction and merciless killing and maiming of countries, cities, cultures and entire populations. All for dominance, power and – greed. And Trump goes along with all of that – at least for now, as he needs the support of Zion-Neocons to survive.

Yes, Trump, after just 100 days in office has proven that he is up to the task that his masters have carved out for him. He had a choice of sticking to his campaign promises of seeking peace not war, of not interfering in other countries’ businesses – and risking being impeached or even killed – there are precedents of neutralizing inconvenient politicians, including in the history of the United States, as we know – by the deep establishment. Well, The Donald chose to live and bask in the sun of his success. Who wants to blame him?  But turning from an eccentric billionaire macho bully to an outright mass murderer, makes him a first-degree mass murderer. If there was an independent Nuremberg style court on this globe, their fate would be sealed.

Justice in our western world is nothing but a pipedream. And unless, We, the People, stop believing in the fakeness of the UN System, of international institutions, including the International Court of Justice – once designed as balancing organisms, as peace and justice seeking institutions – we are actually contributing to the fraud played out in front of our eyes.

Now let’s face it. Would Washington and its masters be stupid enough to risk a nuclear war over North Korea, or Syria for that matter? – I doubt it. Not even Trump would be stupid enough to risk destroying the world as we know it, with no known outcomes, other than probable and likely total or close to total destruction. That’s not good business. That’s not good for profits. On the other hand, keeping wars and conflicts as vicious and chaotic as possible and as long as possible, that’s good business, bringing high profits for the war industry and its sub-contractor, the extractive industry.

Mr. Trump, you are businessman. Your sable-rattling scares people. Scared people do not invest. But you know such things. Do you? – So, you can’t really believe that you will scare Presidents Putin and Jinping onto their knees? – They are much stronger than you, intellectually, spiritually and your war-mongering armada displayed around the globe. And you and your masters know it. But hope more deception-propaganda may help postpone your faltering empire’s demise.

Talking to Americans of all walks, talks and believes – the Inquirer, mentioned above, may at least partially reflect the opinion of a large a segment of people. Though, one thing is crystal clear and unites pretty much all US citizens I talked to – whether they voted for The Donald or not – none of them wants war. They are all scared of another war; they want peace, work and a livelihood that allows them to feed their families.

President Trump take note. They elected you. Most of them are sick and tired seeing their tax dollars being spent on wars and endless conflicts around the globe – while at home they are suffering unemployment at rates way above the official labor statistics – around 22% – a rate similar to those of Spain and Greece. They all may like the MSM hammered and brainwashed slogan of “America First” and “Making America Great Again” – but they do not see the connection to wars. None of those that I talked to think that the Inquirer’s ‘dictators’ – Messrs. Assad, Kim Jong Un and Putin are a threat to US national security.

President Trump wake up! Your co-citizens are waking up. They want an America of Peace, not of bombs and blood. They want the America your promised them – of friendly relations with other nations, including Russia, of non-interference in foreign lands, of a reduction of the more than 1,000 US military bases around the globe – and they want you to bring back outsourced jobs to their Homeland. The want a strong America, as in a solid economy, not one based on wars and destruction.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media (China), TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

Moscow ‘Won’t Sacrifice Sino-Russian Alliance’ for Potential U.S.-Russian Thaw


Regardless of Washington’s purported foreign policy shift toward Moscow under President-elect Donald Trump, Russia won’t change its geostrategic imperatives and will continue to maintain close political and economic relations with China and Iran, Russian online newspaper Vzglyad notes.

The strategic alliance of Moscow and Beijing, which took its final shape in 2012-2014, is based on common interests and goals; one of its aims is to create a new global order that will eventually replace the so-called “Pax Americana,” Russian online newpaper Vzglyad says.

Commenting on the possible consequences of Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, Petr Akopov of Vzglyad posed the question whether there are any preconditions for a progressive Russo-American rapprochement.

According to Akopov, even if Trump reaches an agreement with Russia on a joint military operation against Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) in Syria, de-escalates tensions over Ukraine (providing guarantees that the latter would not join NATO), lifts some of the sanctions on Moscow and allows Europe to restore its ties with Russia, there will still be a number of geopolitical contradictions between Moscow and Washington.

The journalist calls attention to the fact that Trump’s victory does not mean that the United States will head toward isolationism.

However, it is possible that Washington’s foreign policy doctrine will undergo some changes which could lead to the re-formatting of NATO, accelerating the “circulation of elites” in Europe and provoking the transformation of the EU.

“In general, it is in Trump’s style to propose a ‘big deal’ to Moscow in order to reach a comprehensive agreement on a global scale. While under Barack Obama the U.S. offered China to create a ‘big two’ to solve the global issues together, Trump could now try to make a similar offer (albeit informally) to Russia,” Akopov assumes.

“However, China had not bought into it and likewise Russia won’t change its foreign strategy because of the US’s foreign policy shift,” he deems.

Indeed, as Russian military experts Vasily Kashin suggested in his interview with Sputnik, the US is likely to switch its focus from Eastern Europe and the Middle East to Asia-Pacific.

According to the military expert, Washington under Trump will seek to strike a mutually acceptable compromise with Russia; after having its hands untied the US will increase its pressure on China, America’s major economic and political rival.

“Imagine that Trump starts a trade war with Beijing, as he promised, while continuing to conduct the policy of military containment toward China… In the eyes of Beijing these actions coupled with Washington’s activity in the South China Sea, the Korean peninsula, Japan and Taiwan would look like an ‘offensive’ [against China]. Under these circumstances it is unlikely that Russia would remain a neutral and passive observer,” Akopov writes.

Iran may become yet another apple of discord between Moscow and Washington, he continues.

While it is obvious that Trump won’t tear up the Iran nuclear deal, Washington’s potential attempts to exert further pressure on Tehran would be negatively perceived by both Moscow and Beijing, the journalist suggests.

“Russia and China need Iran as their strategic partner, in half a year Tehran will join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO),” the journalist reminds, adding that Moscow and Beijing will not leave their ally in the lurch.

According to Vzglayd’s commentator, Trump’s geopolitical plans won’t affect Russia’s major foreign policy imperatives.

The journalist highlights that Moscow and Beijing are taking efforts to create a multi-polar world based on the principles of equality and mutual respect, where the United States will be just one of the centers of power.

The opinion piece published in Vzglyad echoes the People’s Daily, China’s leading media outlet, recent report.

“The closeness between China and Russia is determined by several factors, formed over a long period of time; it brings stable strategic benefits to both countries,” the People’s Daily said Wednesday. 

“We believe that the leaders of both countries [Russia and China] as well as their diplomatic elite would protect the status quo established jointly by China and Russia,” the media wrote adding that “Russia will not sacrifice the Sino-Russian relationship for the development of Russian-American relations.”

In light of this the potential US-Russian thaw will by no means harm China’s interests, according to the Chinese media outlet.


Submitted by SyrianPatriot, Lone Bear, Cem Ertür 
War Press Info Network at :

In the time of the major accelerated changes في زمن التحولات الكبرى المتسارعة

The war on Syria is the war of twenty-first century; from its womb the new international and new regional systems will be born.

نوفمبر 21, 2016

Written by Nasser Kandil,

It is easy for the followers of this column for nearly three years to see a dominant graphic line in the readings which provide the readers with the ongoing events in the world, the region, and Lebanon, and which form political intellectual background in approaching the variables, the developments, and the center of the principles on which this background based on and stems from. America which we knew is no longer exist; it has changed to the extent of coping with an international role less important but more inclined to settlements, after the running out of its social and human capacity for waging wars. Israel does not differ from America in this respect, but only regarding the state of denial which occupies the minds of its leaders. Saudi Arabia is as Israel and as the rest of the allies in Turkey, France, and Britain. The war on Syria is the war of twenty-first century; from its womb the new international and new regional systems will be born. Russia along with China will be the first international player in the Middle East at least. Iran will be the greatest country in the region, while the recommendations of the US Baker-Hamilton Committee which include the Democratic and the Republican parties to cope with the variables are followed without announcement. They are the background of the understanding with Russia and the understanding on the nuclear program with Iran, as well as in somewhere it is the background for the arrival of the Republican Donald Trump and his extremist team to presidency, contrary to what he would do totally from the regression of America from the wars to the inside.

The rhythm of reading events in this column  is in harmony with the expectations, which some of them are Russian military reposition on the Mediterranean and some of them signing the understanding on the Iranian nuclear program and the exclusion of the choice of the US direct military involvement in the war of Syria, as well as the inevitability of the birth of a Yemeni understanding that ends the war in accordance to the demands of Al Houthis of a unified government, and considering the Russian American understanding vivid in Syria even with suspension till the resolution in Aleppo, moreover the inevitability of the coming of the Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri to meet the presidential choice of Hezbollah in Lebanon which is represented by the General Michael Aoun. All these expectations are ruled by a specific time ceiling that rules the American movement, the steps are being accelerated whenever it becomes closer, it is the date of the departure of the last US soldier from Afghanistan. It is the date which was scheduled at the end of 2014 but was extended till the end of the mandate of the US President Barack Obama in the middle of January 2017. This calendar has been carried out successively according to this date, the closer this deadline becomes the steps will seem dramatic towards the endings.

Resolving the situation in Aleppo and a political solution in Yemen will ensure the announced process in the US Russian understanding in the war on ISIS and Al Nusra, and will justify the Saudi reposition to negotiate with Iran after it appeared in Lebanon and appears in Yemen that the understanding through meditation is possible towards the starting of the mandate of the new US President in preparation to a summit that includes him with the Russian President who returns to a new term to draw the maps of the international cooperation, where Syria under  the leadership of President Bashar Al-Assad is a pillar in the equations of the new Middle East and Hezbollah is a major regional power, and where it was impossible according to the maps and the US coping with the facts the arrival of Hillary Clinton. We stayed offering to the readers a wide window on the so-called the surprise of the arrival of Donald Trump to the US Presidency, despite the flow of expectations and the reverse polls.

The next few days will be critical in all hot issues, sixty days versus sixty months, a new event every day. Lebanon which competed the variables through an insurance policy that is similar to the birth of the government of Tammam Salam through sudden change of the Prime Minister Saad Al-Haririr expresses the direction of the coming wind, while what is going on there and what is going on in Yemen and what will happen in Syria are the items of the Russian US understanding which are carried out successively, as the US Russian understanding and the understanding on the Iranian nuclear program are the items of Baker-Hamilton document which are implemented consecutively.

The Lebanese people will do well if they make use rapidly of the background of the settlements through resolving the terrorism with Russian American support, and if they rush to a modern election law and a collective government before and after it, In this case they will prove the political maturity.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

في زمن التحولات الكبرى المتسارعة

ناصر قنديل
– يسهل على متابعي هذه الزاوية منذ قرابة ثلاث سنوات تلمّس خط بيانيّ حاكم في القراءات التي تقدّمها للقراء حول الأحداث الجارية في العالم والمنطقة ولبنان، والتي تشكل خلفية فكرية سياسية في مقاربة المتغيرات والتطورات، ومحور الثوابت التي ترتكز عليها هذه الخلفية وتنطلق منها، أن أميركا التي عرفناها لم تعد موجودة وهي تتغيّر وتضمر، وصولاً للتأقلم مع دور دولي أقل حجماً وأكثر ميلاً للتسويات، بعد نفاد طاقتها الاجتماعية والبشرية على خوض الحروب، وأن «إسرائيل» لا تختلف عن أميركا في هذا التغيّر إلا بحال الإنكار التي تسكن عقول قادتها، ومثل «إسرائيل» حال السعودية، وبينهما سائر الحلفاء في تركيا وفرنسا وبريطانيا، وأن الحرب على سورية هي حرب القرن الحادي والعشرين ومن رحمها سيولد نظام دولي جديد ونظام إقليمي جديد، وأن روسيا ستتحول مع الصين إلى اللاعب الدولي الأول، في الشرق الأوسط على الأقل، وأن إيران الدولة الأعظم في الإقليم، وأن توصيات لجنة بايكر هاملتون الأميركية الجامعة للحزبين الديمقراطي والجمهوري، بالتأقلم مع المتغيرات، يُعمل بها دون إعلان، فهي خلفية التفاهم مع روسيا والتفاهم على الملف النووي مع إيران، وهي في مكان ما خلفية وصول دونالد ترامب الجمهوري وفريقه المتطرّف، عكس ما سيفعله بالكامل، من انكفاء بأميركا من الحروب، نحو الداخل.

– إيقاع قراءة الأحداث في هذه الزاوية رسم توقعات منها تموضع عسكري روسي على المتوسط، ومنها توقيع التفاهم على الملف النووي الإيراني، واستبعاد خيار التورط العسكري الأميركي المباشر في حرب سوريا، وحتمية ولادة تفاهم يمني ينهي الحرب وفقاً لمطالب الحوثيين بحكومة موحدة، واعتبار التفاهم الروسي الأميركي في سورية حيّ مع وقف التنفيذ حتى الحسم في حلب، وحتمية مجيء الرئيس سعد الحريري لملاقاة خيار حزب الله الرئاسي في لبنان الذي يمثله العماد ميشال عون، ويحكم كل هذه التوقعات ربط بزمن محدد كسقف يحكم الحركة الأميركية، تتسارع الخطوات كلما اقترب، وهو موعد خروج آخر جندي أميركي من أفغانستان. وهو الموعد الذي كان مقرراً في نهاية العام 2014، ومدّد لنهاية ولاية الرئيس الأميركي باراك أوباما منتصف الشهر الأول من العام 2017، وقد نفذت روزنامة الانسحاب تباعاً وفقاً لهذا التاريخ، وكلما اقترب الموعد ستبدو الخطوات دراماتيكية نحو النهايات.

– حسم حلب وحل سياسي في اليمن، يضمنان السير المعلن في التفاهم الروسي الأميركي في الحرب على داعش والنصرة، ويبرران تموضعاً سعودياً للتفاوض مع إيران، بعدما ظهر في لبنان ويظهر في اليمن، أن التفاهم بالواسطة ممكن، وصولا إلى بدء ولاية الرئيس الأميركي الجديد تمهيداً لقمة تجمعه بالرئيس الروسي العائد لولاية جديدة، لرسم خرائط التعاون الدولي، حيث سورية بقيادة رئيسها بشار الأسد ركن في معادلات الشرق الأوسط الجديد، وحزب الله قوة إقليمية كبرى، وحيث كان مستحيلاً لهذا الترسيم للخرائط والتأقلم الأميركي مع الوقائع أن يحدث بوصول هيلاري كلينتون، بقينا نفتح للقراء نافذة واسعة على ما سُمّي بمفاجأة وصول دونالد ترامب للرئاسة الأميركية رغم دفق التوقعات واستطلاعات الرأي المعاكسة.

إن الأيام المقبلة فاصلة في كل الملفات الساخنة، ستون يوماً بستين شهراً، كل يوم بحدث جديد، ولبنان الذي استبق المتغيرات ببوليصة تأمين تشبه ولادة حكومة الرئيس تمام سلام بانعطاف مفاجئ للرئيس سعد الحريري، يعبر عن اتجاه الريح المقبلة، وأهله يقولون صنع في لبنان، بينما ما جرى عندهم وما يجري في اليمن وما سيجري في سورية بنود من التفاهم الروسي الأميركي تنفذ تباعاً، كما التفاهم الروسي الأميركي والتفاهم على الملف النووي الإيراني بنود من وثيقة بايكر هاملتون تنفذ تباعاً.

– يحسن اللبنانيون صنعاً إذا استثمروا سريعاً على مناخ التسويات بحسم مع الإرهاب بدعم روسي أميركي، وإذا سارعوا لقانون انتخاب عصري وحكومة جامعة قبله وبعده، فيؤكدون بلوغ سن الرشد السياسي.

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