Sitrep: Here Comes China: Space, Trade, Encirclement and Tibet

May 22, 2021

Selections from Godfree Roberts’ extensive weekly newsletter: Here Comes China. You can get it here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe

Further selections and editorial commentary by Amarynth.


Space News

The Zhurong rover touched down May 15 on Mars and signaled ground control 320 million kilometers away. After diagnostic tests, it will spend 90 days exploring and analyzing the area, climate, magnetic field and subsurface. The Tianwen-1 orbiter is changing its trajectory so Zhurong can transmit high-resolution photos.

 Read full article $→

“The mission is very ambitious. They plan to do, in one go, three steps NASA took several decades to achieve: getting into orbit, landing on the surface and then driving a rover around,” said Roberto Orosei, from the Institute for Radioastronomy in Bologna, Italy. Other space milestones this past year include the final BeiDou GPS satellite and the first of 11 launches to build a Space StationRead full article →

Update from RT this morning:  “China’s Mars rover rolls off landing platform, joining US robots patrolling Red Planet”

https://www.rt.com/news/524522-chinese-rover-rolls-platform/

The Tianhe core module cabin of China’s space station project has completed in-orbit performance checks, including rendezvous and docking, life support systems for astronauts and robotic arms, as well as a series of space application equipment examinations. 

Read full article →


At $23 billion, China is the world’s largest ice cream market. Competitors include Mengniu Dairy, Yili, Guanming, and Sanyuan, along with foreign giants like Nestlé and Unilever. US ice cream sales average $7 billion annually. Read full article →

A record 9.09 million university students will graduate this year and Vice Premier Sun Chunlan says,  “Go to central and western regions where the country needs you” (and where there are 1.4 available jobs per graduate). Read full article →

The EU’s goods trade surged in Q1 and China remained its top trade partner, with imports and exports both increasing 20% YoY. The US followed, with both imports and exports shrinking. Read full article $→

US importers paid 90% of tariff costs on Chinese goods, or 18.5% more for Chinese products subject to the 20% tariff. Chinese exporters receive 1.5% less for the same product. Read full article $→

US exports to China of wine, cotton, log timber and wood have increased over the past year after Beijing blocked those products from Australia. The US is prioritising its own economic interests over its ally’s, despite Antony Blinken’s promise that Washington would not leave Australia to face ‘economic coercion’ from Beijing. Read full article $→

Supplies of Russian agricultural products to China increased by 17.6% in Q1. Trade turnover reached $40.207 billion, 20% higher YoY. The two aim to double 2021 trade to $200 billion. Read full article $→


Presidents Xi and Putin launched construction on four nuclear reactors made with Russian technology: two reactors each in Jiangsu and Liaoning Provinces, set to begin 2026 – 2028. They will be powered by Rosatom’s 3G pressurized water reactor technology at a  cost of $1.7 billion per site. Read full article $→


US Encirclement of China: A Progress Report

We will post this long-read article by Brian Berletic in full as the New Eastern Outlook site has been down for a number of days.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing are not merely the recent results of former US President Donald Trump’s time in office – but rather just the latest chapter in US efforts to contain China that stretch back decades.

Indeed, US foreign policy has for decades admittedly aimed at encircling and containing China’s rise and maintaining primacy over the Indo-Pacific region.

The “Pentagon Papers” leaked in 1969 would admit in regards to the ongoing US war against Vietnam that:

…the February decision to bomb North Vietnam and the July approval of Phase I deployments make sense only if they are in support of a long-run United States policy to contain China.

The papers also admitted that China, “looms as a major power threatening to undercut [American] importance and effectiveness in the world and, more remotely but more menacingly, to organize all of Asia against [America].

The papers also made it clear that there were (and still are), “three fronts to a long-run effort to contain China: (a) the Japan-Korea front; (b) the India-Pakistan front; and (c) the Southeast Asia front.”

Since then, it is clear that from the continued US military presence in both Japan and South Korea, the now two decades-long US occupation of Afghanistan on both Pakistan’s and China’s borders, and the emergence of the so-called “Milk Tea Alliance” aimed at overthrowing Southeast Asian governments friendly with China and replacing them with US-backed client regimes – this policy to contain China endures up to today.

Assessing US activity along these three fronts reveals the progress and setbacks Washington faces – and various dangers to global peace and stability Washington’s continued belligerence pose.

The Japan-Korea Front 

Military.com in their article, “Here’s What It Costs to Keep US Troops in Japan and South Korea,” reports:

In all, more than 80,000 US troops are deployed to Japan and South Korea. In Japan alone, the US maintains more than 55,000 deployed troops — the largest forward-deployed US force anywhere in the world.

The article notes that according to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), the US spent “$34 billion to maintain military presences in Japan and South Korea between 2016 and 2019.”

The article cites the GAO providing an explanation as to why this massive US military presence is maintained in East Asia:

“…US forces help strengthen alliances, promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region, provide quick response to emergencies and are essential for US national security.”

“Alliances” that are “strengthened” by the physical presence of what are essentially occupying US forces suggests the “alliance” is hardly voluntary and claims of promoting a “free and open Indo-Pacific region” is highly subjective – begging the question of to whom the Indo-Pacific is “free and open” to.

And as US power wanes both regionally in the Indo-Pacific as well as globally, Washington has placed increasing pressure on both Japan and South Korea to not only help shoulder this financial burden, but to also become more proactive within Washington’s containment strategy toward China.

Japan is one of three other nations (the US itself, Australia, and India) drafted into the US-led Quadrilateral Security Dialogue – also know as the “Quad.”

Rather than the US solely depending on its own military forces based within Japanese territory or supported by its Japan-based forces, Japan’s military along with India’s and Australia’s are also being recruited to take part in military exercises and operations in and around the South China Sea.

India’s inclusion in the Quad also fits well into the US 3-front strategy that made up Washington’s containment policy toward China as early as the 1960s.

The India-Pakistan Front 

In addition to recruiting India into the Quad alliance, the US helps encourage escalation through political support and media campaigning of India’s various territorial disputes with China.

The US also targets Pakistan’s close and ongoing relationship with China – including the support of armed insurgents in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

Recently, a bombing at a hotel in Quetta, Baluchistan appears to have targeted China’s ambassador to Pakistan, Ambassador Nong Rong.

The BBC in its article, “Pakistan hotel bomb: Deadly blast hits luxury venue in Quetta,” would claim:

Initial reports had suggested the target was China’s ambassador.

Ambassador Nong Rong is understood to be in Quetta but was not present at the hotel at the time of the attack on Wednesday.

The article also noted:

Balochistan province, near the Afghan border, is home to several armed groups, including separatists.

Separatists in the region want independence from the rest of Pakistan and accuse the government and China of exploiting Balochistan, one of Pakistan’s poorest provinces, for its gas and mineral wealth.

Absent from the BBC’s reporting is the extensive and open support the US government has provided these separatists over the years and how – clearly – this is more than just a local uprising against perceived injustice, but yet another example of armed conflict-by-proxy waged by Washington against China.

As far back as 2011 publications like The National Interest in articles like, “Free Baluchistan” would openly advocate expanding US support for separatism in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

The article was written by the late Selig  Harrison – who was a senior fellow at the US-based corporate-financier funded Center for International Policy – and would claim:

Pakistan has given China a base at Gwadar in the heart of Baluch territory. So an independent Baluchistan would serve US strategic interests in addition to the immediate goal of countering Islamist forces.

Of course, “Islamist forces” is a euphemism for US-Persian Gulf state sponsored militants used to both fight Western proxy wars as well as serve as a pretext for Western intervention. Citing “Islamist forces” in Baluchistan, Pakistan clearly serves as an example of the latter.

In addition to op-eds published by influential policy think tanks, US legislators like US Representative Dana Rohrabacher had proposed resolutions such as (emphasis added),

“US House of Representatives Concurrent Resolution 104 (112th): Expressing the sense of Congress that the people of Baluchistan, currently divided between Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan, have the right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country.”

There is also funding provided to adjacent, political groups supporting separatism in Baluchistan, Pakistan as listed by the US government’s own National Endowment for Democracy (NED) website under “Pakistan.” Organizations like the “Association for Integrated Development Balochistan” are funded by the US government and used to mobilize people politically, constituting clear interference by the US in Pakistan’s internal political affairs.

The Gwadar Port project is a key juncture within China’s growing global network of infrastructure projects as part of its One Belt, One Road initiative. The US clearly opposes China’s rise and has articulated robust strategies to counter it; everything up to and including open war as seen in the Pentagon Papers regarding the Vietnam War.

The recent bombing in Baluchistan, Pakistan demonstrates that this strategy continues in regards to utilizing local militants to target Chinese-Pakistani cooperation and is one part of the much wider, region-wide strategy of encircling and containing China.

The Southeast Asia Front

Of course the US war against Vietnam was part of a wider effort to reassert Western primacy over Southeast Asia and deny the region from fueling China’s inevitable rise.

The US having lost the war and almost completely retreating from the Southeast Asia region saw Southeast Asia itself repair relations amongst themselves and with China.

Today, the nations of Southeast Asia count China as their largest trade partner, investor, a key partner in infrastructure development, a key supplier for the region’s armed forces, as well as providing the majority of tourism arrivals throughout the region. For countries like Thailand, more tourists arrive from China than from all Western nations combined.

Because existing governments in Southeast Asia have nothing to benefit from by participating in American belligerence toward China, the US has found it necessary to cultivate and attempt to install into power various client regimes. This has been an ongoing process since the Vietnam War.

The US has targeted each nation individually for years. In 2009 and 2010, US-backed opposition leader-in-exile Thaksin Shinawatra deployed his “red shirt” protesters in back-to-back riots – the latter of which included some 300 armed militants and culminated in city-wide arson across Bangkok and the death of over 90 police, soldiers, protesters, and bystanders.

In 2018, US-backed opposition groups took power in Malaysia after the US poured millions of dollars for over a decade in building up the opposition.

Daniel Twining of the US National Endowment for Democracy subsidiary – the International Republican Institute – admitted during a talk (starting at 56 minutes) by the Center for Strategic and International Studies that same year that:

…for 15 years working with NED resources, we worked to strengthen Malaysian opposition parties and guess what happened two months ago after 61 years? They won.

He would elaborate on how the NED’s network played a direct role in placing US-backed opposition figures into power within the Malaysian government, stating:

I visited and I was sitting there with many of the leaders the new leaders of this government, many of whom were just our partners we had been working with for 15 years and one of the most senior of them who’s now one of the people running the government said to me, ‘gosh IRI you never gave up on us even when we were ready to give up on ourselves.’

Far from “promoting freedom” in Malaysia – Twining would make clear the ultimate objective of interfering in Malaysia’s internal political affairs was to serve US interests not only in regards to Malaysia, but in regards to the entire region and specifically toward encircling and containing China.

Twining would boast:

…guess what one of the first steps the new government took? It froze Chinese infrastructure investments.

And that:

[Malaysia] is not a hugely pro-American country. It’s probably never going to be an actual US ally, but this is going to redound to our benefit, and and that’s an example of the long game.

It is a pattern that has repeated itself in Myanmar over the decades with NED money building a parallel political system within the nation and eventually leading to Aung San Suu Kyi and her US-backed National League for Democracy (NLD) party taking power in 2016.

For Myanmar, so deep and extensive is US backing for opposition groups there that elections virtually guarantee US-backed candidates win every single time. The US National Endowment for Democracy’s own website alone lists over 80 programs and organizations receiving US government money for everything from election polling and building up political parties, to funding media networks and “environmental” groups used to block Chinese-initiated infrastructure projects.

The move by Myanmar’s military in February this year, ousting Aung Sang Suu Kyi and the NLD was meant to correct this.

However, in addition to backing political groups protesting in the streets, the US has – for many decades – backed and armed ethnic rebels across the country. These rebels have now linked up with the US-backed NLD and are repeating US-backed regime change tactics used against the Arab World in 2011 in nations like Libya, Yemen, and Syria – including explicit calls for “international intervention.”

A US-Engineered “Asia Spring”  

Just as the US did during the 2011 “Arab Spring” – the US State Department, in a bid to create synergies across various regime change campaigns in Asia, has introduced the “Milk Tea Alliance” to transform individual US-backed regime change efforts in Asia into a region-wide crisis.

The BBC itself admits in articles like, “Milk Tea Alliance: Twitter creates emoji for pro-democracy activists,” that:

The alliance has brought together anti-Beijing protesters in Hong Kong and Taiwan with pro-democracy campaigners in Thailand and Myanmar.

Omitted from the BBC’s coverage of the “Milk Tea Alliance” (intentionally) is the actual common denominators that unite it – US funding through fronts like the National Endowment for Democracy and a unifying hatred of China based exclusively on talking points pushed by the US State Department itself.

Circling back to the Pentagon Papers and recalling the coordinated, regional campaign the US sought to encircle China with – we can then look at more recent US government policy papers like the “Indo-Pacific Framework” published in the White House archives from the Trump administration.

The policy paper’s first bullet point asks:

How to maintain US strategic primacy in the Indo-Pacific region and promote a liberal economic order while preventing China from establishing new, illiberal spheres of influence, and cultivating areas of cooperation to promote regional peace and prosperity?

The paper also discusses information campaigns designed to “educate” the world about “China’s coercive behaviour and influence operations around the globe.” These campaigns have materialized in a propaganda war fabricating accusations of “Chinese genocide” in Xinjiang, China, claims that Chinese telecom company Huawei is a global security threat, and that China – not the US – is the single largest threat to global peace and stability today.

In reality US policy aimed at encircling China is predicated upon Washington’s desire to continue its own decades-long impunity upon the global stage and the continuation of all the wars, humanitarian crises, and abuses that have stemmed from it.

Understanding the full scope of Washington’s “competition” with China helps unlock the confusion surrounding unfolding individual crises like the trade war, the ongoing violence and turmoil in Myanmar, bombings in southwest Pakistan, students mobs in Thailand, riots in Hong Kong, and attempts by the US to transform the South China Sea into an international conflict.

Understanding that these events are all connected – then assessing the success or failure of US efforts gives us a clearer picture of the overall success Washington in encircling China.  It also gives governments and regional blocs a clearer picture of how to manage policy in protecting against US subversion that threatens national, regional, and global peace and stability.

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.


BEIJING, May 21 (Xinhua) — China’s State Council Information Office on Friday issued a white paper on the peaceful liberation of Tibet and its development over the past seven decades.

The white paper, titled “Tibet Since 1951: Liberation, Development and Prosperity,” reviewed Tibet’s history and achievements, and presented a true and panoramic picture of the new socialist Tibet.

You may Download the Full Text or read this very interesting document here: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-05/21/c_139959978.htm

It consists of the following:

Foreword

I. Tibet Before the Peaceful Liberation

II. Peaceful Liberation

III. Historic Changes in Society

IV. Rapid Development of Various Undertakings

V. A Complete Victory over Poverty

VI. Protection and Development of Traditional Culture

VII. Remarkable Results in Ethnic and Religious Work

VIII. Solid Environmental Safety Barriers

IX. Resolutely Safeguarding National Unity and Social Stability

X. Embarking on a New Journey in the New Era

Conclusion


This is but a fraction of what I gleaned from the Here Comes China newsletter.  If you want to learn about the Chinese world, get Godfree’s newsletter here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe

U.S. Targets Russia, Iran with Eyes on China الأميركيّون يستهدفون روسيا وإيران وعيونهم على الصين

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

U.S. Targets Russia, Iran with Eyes on China

Dr.. Wafiq Ibrahim

The Americans have finally chosen the international party they must compete with because it is the main party that causes them economic declines. . What matters to them is to maintain the world’s first economic rank and Russia and others do not seem to be able to compete, as Russia is militarily empowered but economically weak. . Also, some countries in Europe, such as Germany, have an economic power, but without military power, it is enough that American forces are still stationed in Germany since its defeat in World War II, while the rest of Europe, especially France and England, are middle countries with arms and economy and are going after the Americans waiting for opportunities in Iran and the Gulf. .

China is the real competitor to the Americans, especially since it is able to overtake the Americans in the middle of the next decade..

For further clarification, the Yellow Dragon lacks a little weapon to become a global star in the U.S. competition..

It should first be noted that the new U.S. measures in Saudi Arabia have a relationship with China, because any Sino-Saudi rapprochement immediately means a decline in U.S. hegemony in the world because it immediately entails the transfer of Relations of Bahrain and the UAE from the Americans to China, in addition to the possibility of change in many countries of the Muslim world linked to the Saudi leadership..

These are the deep reasons that imposed on the Americans to work diligently to hold Saudi Arabia and since Mohammed bin Salman was the pillar who was working to build a Saudi Arabia that has regional and perhaps international weight, so he was dramatically overthrown. This does not mean that he is a murderer, though he may have killed dozens in order to to pave the way for an easy rule. This is always the case in Gulf-style countries.

It is noticeable then that the United States wants to overcome all the obstacles to avoid the loss of the Gulf and Europe in the battle with China, as well as for Southeast Asia, major consumers in Australia, Canada and the underdeveloped part of the European continent. That’s why they’ve been ahead of China for decades, away from Europe for generations, and they don’t see Russia as a serious competitor for at least a few centuries. .

What is important for Americans is to maintain their unipolarity to have true control over Europe and the Gulf, and it seems that these two matters are close to the logic of the need for these two regions. The Gulf always feels an Iraqi-Yemeni threat, in addition to the Syrian situation and Iran, which causes the Gulf many problems not only in their common maritime borders, but also in Iranian spheres of influence in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and other areas..

It seems, then, that what the Americans need in their war of unipolarity is the Gulf and Europe, and Southeast Asia, Canada, Australia. This confirms unipolarity stability for a long time. Is this possible?

On the other hand, China works silently and moves from one city to another to promote cheap goods in an era of extreme poverty. It is enough that the countries of the earth tend to poverty, which means that they need cheap goods that are no longer present except in China.

Therefore, there is an sharp US-Chinese conflict amid Russian-European observation awaiting results to determine its roles. The problem here is related to production capacity, which only exists in China, America, and Europe, where quality and minimum wages exceed wages in the entire world.

The conflict continues to develop as China focuses on penetrating vulnerable countries, third world countries, the poor part of Europe and most of South-East Asia.. This may take a long time, but it won’t be out of reach because the world is heading for more poverty, and need Chinese cheap commodity..

Thus, the economic conflict in the world is concentrated between America, China and Europe, so Russia is absent, and with it most other countries, but it maintains its military superiority that may exceed the US military advantage.

Thus, the world’s economic conflict between America, China and Europe is concentrated, with Russia and most other countries absent, and Russia maintaining its military superiority that may exceed U.S. military superiority..

Here it is important to note, that Russia, just like the Americans, will not allow China to possess quality weapons, and this is not surprising because Russia is interested in the Sino-American economic conflict, but it does not accept the transformation of China into a military economic power that can jump over the Americans, and and therefore the Russian..

The world, then, is facing a great continuation of the Chinese-American conflict, China without a qualitative destructive weapon, so should it go towards making a qualitative weapon?

It’s hard to go this way, because sinking into the arms industry means a complete blow to the acceptable economic levels and may smash the middle classes struggling with the levels of the European classes, and why they go towards the arms industry and the difference between them and the Americans in this area is very large and needs a great Chinese effort to realize.

The conclusion is that Russia is not the U.S. main target. China, being the actual competitor in the next two decades. is the actual Americans target.

الأميركيّون يستهدفون روسيا وإيران وعيونهم على الصين

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د. وفيق إبراهيم

اختار الأميركيّون أخيراً الطرف الدولي الذي يجب عليهم أن ينافسوه لأنه الجهة الأساسية التي تتسبب لهم بتراجعات اقتصادية. فما يهمّهم هو المحافظة على المرتبة الاقتصادية الأولى في العالم ولا يبدو ان روسيا وغيرها بوسعها المنافسة، فروسيا متمكّنة عسكرياً لكنها ضعيفة اقتصادياً. كذلك فإن بعض بلدان أوروبا كألمانيا تمتلك قوة اقتصادية انما من دون قوة عسكرية، يكفي أن قوات أميركيّة لا تزال ترابط في المانيا منذ هزيمتها في الحرب العالمية الثانية، أما ما تبقى من اوروبا وخصوصاً فرنسا وانجلترا فهي من الدول المتوسطة بامتلاك السلاح والاقتصاد وتسير خلف الأميركيّين انتظاراً لفرص في إيران والخليج.

يتبين بذلك أن الصين هي المنافس الفعلي للأميركيّين لا سيما أنها قادرة على تجاوز الأميركيّين في منتصف العقد المقبل.

لمزيد من الإيضاح فإن التنين الأصفر ينقصه القليل من السلاح ليصبح نجماً عالمياً على مستوى منافسة الولايات المتحدة.

لا بدّ أولاً من الإشارة الى ان التدابير الأميركيّة الجديدة في السعودية على علاقة بالصين، لأن اي تقارب صيني – سعودي يعني فوراً تراجع الهيمنة الأميركيّة في العالم لأنه يستتبع فوراً انتقال علاقات البحرين والإمارات من الأميركيّين الى الصين، هذا بالإضافة الى إمكان حدوث تغيير في الكثير من بلدان العالم الإسلامي ربطاً بزعامة السعودية له.

هذه هي الأسباب العميقة التي فرضت على الأميركيّين العمل الدؤوب على الإمساك بالسعودية وبما أن محمد بن سلمان هو الركن الذي كان يعمل على بناء سعودية لها وزن إقليميّ وربما دولي، لذلك أطيح به بشكل دراماتيكيّ. وهذا لا يعني أنه قاتل ولربما قتل العشرات في مسيرته في الحكم لتمهيد حكم سهل له. وهذا ما يحدث دائماً في بلدان على النمط الخليجيّ.

الملاحظ إذاً أن الولايات المتحدة تريد ضرب كل العقبات التي تؤدي الى خسارة الخليج وأوروبا في المعركة مع الصين، كذلك بالنسبة لجنوب شرق آسيا وكبار المستهلكين في استراليا وكندا والجزء غير المتطور من القارة الأوروبية. وهذا ما يجعلهم متفوقين على الصين لعقود عدة ومبتعدين عن أوروبا لأجيال ولا يرون في روسيا منافساً جدياً لقرون عدة على الاقل.

المهم بالنسبة للأميركيّين أن يحتفظوا بأحاديتهم القطبية. هذا لا يستقيم إلا بسيطرتهم على أوروبا والخليج ويبدو أن هذين الأمرين قريبان من المنطق لحاجة هاتين المنطقتين اليهما. فالخليج يستشعر دائماً بخطر عراقي – يمني ويحاذر الوضع السوريّ متعاملاً مع إيران كخوافة تتسبب لها بالكثير من الإشكالات ليس فقط في حدودهما البحرية المشتركة بل في مناطق النفوذ الإيراني في لبنان والعراق وسورية ومناطق أخرى.

يبدو اذاً أن ما يحتاج اليه الأميركيّون في حربهم للأحادية القطبية هو الخليج واوروبا. مع مدى اقتصادي لتصريف البضائع موجود في جنوب شرق آسيا وكندا وأستراليا والخليج واوروبا. وهذا يؤكد ان الاحادية القطبية مستقرة الى زمن طويل، فهل هذا ممكن؟

تعمل الصين بصمت، وتنتقل من مدينة الى اخرى لتروج لسلع رخيصة الثمن في عصر يسوده فقر شديد، يكفي أن دول الأرض تنحو الى الفقر، ما يعني حاجتها الى سلع رخيصة لم تعد موجودة إلا في الصين.

هناك اذاً صراع حاد أميركيّ صيني وسط مراقبة روسية أوروبية تنتظر النتائج لتحديد أدوارها، لكن المشكلة أن هذا الأمر مرتبط بالقدرة على الإنتاج، غير الموجود إلا في أميركا والصين وأوروبا انما من ذوي الجودة العالمية باعتبار أن الحد الأدنى للأجور فيها يفوق الأجور في العالم بأسره.

هناك صراع إذاً حاد أميركيّ – صيني لا ينفك يتطور وقد يبلغ أشده مع تركيز الصين على اختراق البلدان الضعيفة.

فهل بإمكانها تحقيق هذا الإنجاز؟ نعم بإمكان الصين اختراق بلدان العالم الثالث والقسم الفقير من أوروبا ومعظم بلدان جنوب شرق آسيا. وهذا امر قد يحتاج الى مدة طويلة من الزمن لكنه لن يكون بعيد المنال لأن العالم يتّجه الى مزيد من الفقر فيما السلعة الصينيّة جديرة بالاختراق والسيطرة.

بذلك يتركز الصراع الاقتصادي في العالم بين أميركا والصين وأوروبا فتغيب روسيا ومعها معظم البلدان الأخرى، لكنها تحافظ على تفوّقها العسكري الذي قد يزيد عن التفوّق العسكريّ الأميركيّ.

هناك ملاحظة هامة وهي أن روسيا تماماً كالأميركيّين لا تسمح للصين بامتلاك أسلحة نوعيّة، وهذه ليست مفاجأة لأن روسيا مهتمة بالصراع الاقتصادي الصيني الأميركيّ لكنها لا تقبل بتحول الصين قوة اقتصادية عسكرية يصبح بوسعها القفز فوق الأميركيّ، وبالتالي الروسي.

العالم اذاً أمام استمرار كبير للصراع الصيني الأميركيّ وميزته أنه من دون سلاح نوعي تدميري، فالصين تمتلك سلاحاً معتدلاً فهل تذهب نحو صناعة سلاح نوعيّ؟

من الصعوبة أن تذهب نحو هذه الطريقة، لأن غرقها في صناعة السلاح يعني ضرباً كاملاً للمستويات الاقتصادية التي أصبحت مقبولة لديها وتحطيماً للطبقات المتوسطة التي أصبحت تصارع مستويات الطبقات الأوروبية، ولماذا تذهب نحو صناعة السلاح والفارق بينها وبين الأميركيّين في هذا المجال كبير جداً ويحتاج الى بذل جهود صينيّة جبارة لإدراك التعادل.

يتبين بالاستنتاج ان روسيا ليست هدفاً أميركيّاً كاملاً، وان الصين هي الهدف الفعلي الذي يريد الأميركيّون قصّ رأسه لما يسببه لهم من منافسات فعلية في العقدين المقبلين.

Win-Win vs Lose-Lose: The Time Has Come for the World to Choose

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Matthew Ehret October 21, 2020

It is a tragedy of our age that society has been locked in a zero-sum operating system for so long that many people living in the west cannot even imagine a world order designed in any other way… even if that zero sum system can ultimately do nothing but kill everyone holding onto it.

Is this statement too cynical?

It is a provable fact that if one chooses to organize their society around the concept that all players of a “great game” must exist in a finite world of tension as all zero-sum systems presume, then we find ourselves in a relatively deterministic trajectory to hell.

You see, this world of tension which game masters require in today’s world are generated by increasing rates of scarcity (food, fuel, resources, space, etc). As this scarcity increases due to population increases tied to heavy doses of arson, it naturally follows that war, famine, and other conflict will rise across all categories of divisions (ethnic, religious, linguistic, gender, racial etc). Showcasing this ugly misanthropic philosophy during a December 21, 1981 People Magazine Interview, Prince Philip described the necessity of reducing the world population stating:

“We’re in for a major disaster if it isn’t curbed-not just for the natural world, but for the human world. The more people there are, the more resources they’ll consume, the more pollution they’ll create, the more fighting they will do. We have no option. If it isn’t controlled voluntarily, it will be controlled involuntarily by an increase in disease, starvation, and war.”

When such a system is imposed upon a world possessing atomic weapons, as occurred in the wake of FDR’s death and the sabotage of the great president’s anti-colonial vision, the predictably increased rates of conflict, starvation and ignorance can only spill over into a global war if nuclear superpowers chose to disobey the limits and “norms” of this game at any time.

Perhaps some utopian theoreticians sitting in their ivory towers at Oxford, Cambridge or the many Randian think tanks peppering foreign policy landscape believed that this game could be won if only all nation states relinquished their sovereignty to a global government… but that hasn’t really happened, has it?

Instead of the relinquishing of sovereignty, the past decade has seen a vast rise of nationalism across all corners of the earth which have been given new life by the rise of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and broader multipolar alliance. While these impulses have taken on many shapes and forms, they are united in the common belief that nation states must not become a thing of the past but rather must become determining forces of the world’s economic and political destinies.

The Case of the Bi-Polar USA

Unfortunately, within the USA itself where nationalism has seen an explosive rise in popularity under President Trump, the old uni-polar geopolitical paradigm has continued to hold tight under such neocon carryovers as Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Esper, CIA director Gina Haspel and the large caste of Deep State characters still operating among the highest positions of influence on both sides of the aisle.

While I genuinely believe that Trump would much rather work with both Russia, China and other nations of the multipolar alliance in lieu of blowing up the world, these aforementioned neocons think otherwise evidenced by Pompeo’s October 6 speech in Japan. In this speech, Pompeo attempted to rally other Pacific nations to an anti-Chinese security complex known as the Quad (USA, Australia, Japan and India). With his typically self-righteous tone, Pompeo stated that “this is not a rivalry between the United States and China. This is for the soul of the world”. Earlier Pompeo stated “If the free world doesn’t change Communist China, Communist China will change us.”

Pompeo’s efforts to break China’s neighbours away from the Belt and Road Initiative have accelerated relentlessly in recent months, with territorial tensions between China and Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, Indonesia and Brunei being used by the USA to enflame conflict whenever possible. It is no secret that the USA has many financial and military tentacles stretching deep into all of those Pacific nations listed.

Where resistance to this anti-China tension is found, CIA-funded “democracy movements” have been used as in the current case of Thailand, or outright threats and sanctions as in the case of Cambodia where over 24 Chinese companies have been sanctioned for the crime of building infrastructure in a nation which the USA wishes to control.

Pompeo’s delusional efforts to consolidate a Pacific Military bloc among the QUAD states floundered fairly quickly as no joint military agreement was generated creating no foundation upon which a larger alliance could be built.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi accurately called out this regressive agenda on October 13 saying:

“In essence [the Indo-Pacific Strategy] aims to build a so-called Indo-Pacific NATO underpinned by the quadrilateral mechanism involving the United States, Japan, India and Australia. What it pursues is to trumpet the Cold War mentality and to stir up confrontation among different groups and blocs and to stoke geopolitical competition. What it maintains is the dominance and hegemonic system of the United States. In this sense, this strategy is itself an underlying security risk. If it is forced forward it will wind back the clock of history.”

China Responds with Class

China’s response to this pompous threat to peace was classy to say the least with Wang Yi teaming up with Yang Jiechi (Director of China’s Central Foreign Affairs Commission) who jointly embarked on simultaneous foreign tours that demonstrated the superior world view of “right-makes-might” diplomacy. Where Wang Yi focused his efforts on Southeast Asia with visits to the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Thailand and Singapore, Yang Jiechi embarked on a four-legged tour of Sri Lanka, the UAE, Algeria and Serbia.

While COVID assistance was a unifying theme throughout all meetings, concrete economic development driven by the Belt and Road Initiative was relentlessly advanced by both diplomats. In all bilateral agreements reached over this past week, opportunities for cooperation and development were created with a focus on diminishing the points of tension which geopolticians require in order for their perverse “game” to function.

In Malaysia, the $10 billion, 640 Km East Coast Rail link was advanced that will be completed with China’s financial and technical help by 2026 providing a key gateway in the BRI, as well as two major industrial parks that will service high tech products to China and beyond over the coming decades.

After meeting with Wang Yi on October 9, Indonesia’s Special Presidential Envoy announced that “Indonesia is willing to sign cooperation documents on the Belt and Road Initiative and Global Maritime Fulcrum at an early date, enlarge its cooperation with China on trade and investment, actively put in place currency swap arrangements and settlements in local currency, step up the joint efforts in human resources and disaster mitigation, and learn from China’s fight against poverty.”

In Cambodia, a major Free Trade Agreement was begun which will end tariffs on hundreds of products and create new markets for both nations. On the BRI, the New International Land-Sea Trade corridor and Lancang-Mekong Cooperation plans were advanced.

In the Philippines, Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Locsin discussed Duterte’s synergistic Build Build Build program which reflects the sort of long term infrastructure orientation characteristic of the BRI which are both complete breaks with the decades-long practices of usurious IMF loans which have created development bottlenecks across the entire developing sector.

In Thailand Wang Yi met with the Thai Prime Minister where the two accelerated the building of the 252 km Bangkok-Korat high speed rail line which will then connect to Laos and thence to China’s Kunmin Province providing a vital artery for the New Silk Road.

In the past few years, the USA has been able to do little to counter China’s lucrative offers while at best offering cash under the rubric of the Lower Mekong Initiative established under the Hillary-Obama administration in preparation for the Asia Pivot encirclement of China that was unleashed in 2012. This was done as part of a desperate effort to keep China’s neighbors loyal to the USA and was meant to re-enforce Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership which Trump thankfully destroyed during his first minutes in office.

Yang Jiechi’s Four-Legged Tour

In Sri Lanka, a $90 million grant was offered by China which will be devoted to medical resources, water supplies and education and which the Chinese embassy website stated “will contribute to the well being of Sri Lankans in a post-COVID era”. Another $989 million loan was delivered for the completion of a massive expressway stretching from Central Sri Lanka’s tea growing district to the Port of Hambanota. While this port is repeatedly used by detractors of the BRI like Pompeo as proof of the “Chinese debt trap”, recent studies have proven otherwise.

In the UAE, the Chinese delegation released a press release after meeting with Prince Zayed al-Nahyan stating: “Under the strategic guidance of President Xi and the Abu Dhabi crown prince, China will enrich the connotation of its comprehensive strategic partnership with UAE, cement the political trust and support, promote alignment of development strategies, and advance high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road.”

In Algeria, Yang offered China’s full support for the New Economic Revival Plan which parallels the Philippines’ Build Build Build strategy by focusing on long term industrial growth rather than IMF-demands for privatization and austerity that have kept North Africa and other nations backward for years.

Finally in Serbia which is a vital component of the BRI, the Chinese delegation gave its full support to the Belgrade-Budapest railway, and other long term investments centered on transport, energy and soft infrastructure, including the expansion of the Chinese-owned Smederevo Steel Plant which employs over 12 000 Serbians and which was saved from bankruptcy by China in 2016. By the end of the trip, Prime Minister Brnabic announced: “Serbia strongly supports China both bilaterally and multilaterally, including President Xi Jinping’s Access and Roads Initiative and the 17+1 Cooperation Mechanism, in the context of which most of Serbia’s infrastructure and strategy projects will be realized”

The Spirit of Win-Win Must Not Be Sabotaged

Overall, the spirit of the growing New Silk Road is fast moving from a simple east-south trade route towards a global program stretching across all of Africa, to the Middle East, to the High Arctic and Latin America. While this program is driven by a longer view of the past and future than most westerners realize, it is quickly becoming evident that it is the only game in town with a future worth living in.

While China has committed to the enlightened idea that human society is more than a “sum of parts”, the Cold Warriors of the west have chosen to hold onto obsolete notions of human nature that suppose we live in a world of “each vs. all”. These obsolete notions are premised on the bestial idea that our species is destined to do little more than fight for diminishing returns of scraps in a closed -system struggle for survival where only a small technocratic elite of game masters calling themselves “alphas” control the levers of production and consumption from above.

Thus far, President Trump has distinguished himself from other dark age war hawks in his administration by promoting a foreign policy outlook centered on economic development. This has been seen in his recent victories in achieving economic normalization between Serbia and Kosovo, and endorsing the Alaska-Canada railway last month. With the elections just around the corner and the war hawks flying in full force, it is clear that these piecemeal projects, though sane and welcomed are still not nearly enough to break the USA away from its course of war with China and towards a new age of win-win cooperation required for the ultimate survival of our species.

واشنطن تستعدّ لشنّ حرب نوويّة ضدّ موسكو وبكين…!

محمد صادق الحسيني

في الوقت الذي ينشغل فيه الرأي العام والإعلام الأميركيين بمهرجان الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية فإن المخططين الاستراتيجيين العسكريين في واشنطن منشغلون بالتخطيط لحرب نووية ضدّ كل من موسكو وبكين.

اي انّ الولايات المتحدة قد تجاوزت مرحلة الحشد الاستراتيجي ضدّ هاتين القوتين العظميين، الصين الشعبية وروسيا الاتحادية، وانتقلت الى مرحلة الاستعداد العملياتي لتنفيذ ضربات نووية ضدهما، وذلك بعد فشل كل المشاريع الأميركية، في كل من غرب آسيا وجنوب شرق آسيا (بحار الصين) وأميركا الجنوبية (فنزويلا)، التي كانت تهدف الى استعادة الهيمنة الأميركية المطلقة على العالم والتي بدأت بالذوبان، بعد صعود القوى الدوليّة، روسيا والصين، والقوى الاقليمية الدولية، الجمهورية الاسلامية، وبعد ان بدأ الاقتصاد الصيني يقترب بتوأدة / بثبات من التربع على الكرسي الاقتصادي الاول في العالم.

وبالنظر إلى أهمية هذا الموقع الإخباري، الذي تديره وزارة الخارجية الالمانية، بشكل غير مباشر، ويرأس تحريره هورست تويبرت ، المعروف بارتباطاته الوثيقة ليس فقط بالخارجية الألمانية، وإنما باجهزة الاستخبارات الالمانية، وفِي مقدمتها الاستخبارات العسكرية، وبالنظر الى ما جاء في التقرير من تفاصيل غاية في الأهمية، والتي سنأتي على ذكرها لاحقاً، وانطلاقاً من ردود الفعل الروسية، الدبلوماسية والإعلامية، على هذه الاستعدادات العسكرية الأميركية الأطلسية الخطيرة، فإن من الضروري التأكيد على النقاط المهمة التالية:

أولاً: امتلاك القيادة السياسية والعسكرية الروسية والصينية معلومات دقيقة جداً، عن خطط الحرب النووية التي يجري التخطيط لها، في البنتاغون الأميركي وفي دوائر حلف شمال الأطلسي في أوروبا، وهو:

البقية

حرب المضائق والجزر بين الغرب والصين والعدوان الأميركيّ

محمد صادق الحسيني

يقع بحر الصين الجنوبي بين الصين الشعبية شمالاً، وفيتنام وماليزيا غرباً، وجزء من ماليزيا في الجنوب الغربي، والفلبين في الشرق. وهو بالتالي يتوسّط أهم ممرّين بحريين، في كل منطقة آسيا وغرب المحيط الهندي، وهما مضيق مالاقا الواقع بين ماليزيا وجزيرة سومطرة الإندونيسية ومضيق تايوان الواقع بين جزيرة تايوان الصينية المنشقة والبر الصيني (جمهورية الصين الشعبية).

تنبع أهمية هذه الممرات او المصائد البحرية من كونها معبراً اجبارياً لسفن التجارة الدولية الى دول كل تلك المنطقة من العالم، بما في ذلك اليابان وكوريا الشمالية والجنوبية والفلبين وإندونيسيا وفيتنام ودول اخرى.

فعلى سبيل المثال لا الحصر فإن:

ما قائمتة 37.3 ترليون دولار من حجم التجارة العالمية يمر عبر المضيقين وبالتالي عبر بحر الصين الجنوبي
وأن 80% من واردات الصين النفطية والغازية تصل الى الصين عبر هذين المضيقين.
وان 39,8 من إجمالي واردات الصين وصادراتها الى العالم تمر عبر هذين المضيقين.
وبما أن بحر الصين الجنوبي يحتوي على مجموعات عدة من الجزر، مثل مجموعة جزر باراسيل (Paracel Islands)، التي لا تبعد أكثر من 250 كم عن البر الصيني / مقاطعة هاينان / وجزر سبراتلي (Spratly Islands)، وانطلاقاً من المسؤولية الدولية، التي تقع على عاتق جمهورية الصين الشعبية، كدولة عظمى وعضو دائم في مجلس الامن الدولي، فإن بكين قد عملت ومنذ انتصار الثورة في البلاد سنة 1949 على تأمين طرق التجارة الدولية في تلك البحار. وبما ان مجموعات الجزر، المذكورة اعلاه، تقع في نقاط حساسة من هذا البحر، فإن تأمينها، او بالأحرى تعزيز حمايتها، كان دائماً جزءاً من مسؤوليات بكين الأساسية، في حماية وتأمين طرق الملاحة التجارية الدولية. خاصة أن هذه الجزر جميعها ليست مشمولة بأية اتفاقيات دولية قد تشمل أساساً قانونياً، لاي جهة كانت، كي تطعن في سيادة الصين الشعبية عليها، وذلك لأنها كانت عبر التاريخ جزرًا صينية خالصة.

ولمزيد من الإضاءة على الموضوع فلا بد من الاشارة الى بعض الحقائق الهامة، المتعلقة بهذه الجزر، وأهم هذه الحقائق ما يلي:

1

ـ ان هذه الجزر بقيت خاضعة لسيطرة الدولة الصينية، ما قبل الفترة شيوعية، حتى سنة 1930، عندما قام الجيش الإمبراطوري الياباني باحتلال معظمها وأقام عليها قواعد او مرتكزات عسكرية له.

2

ـ ان الحكومة الفرنسية، بموجب اتفاقية جنيف، الموقعة سنة 1954 لإنهاء حرب الهند الصينية، بعد هزيمة فرنسا في معركة ديان بيان فو الفيتنامية، بقيادة الجنرال جياب، قد أعطت حق السيادة على معظم هذه الجزر لفيتنام الجنوبية، جنوب خط عرض 17، والذي بقي خاضعاً لحكم قادة محليين تابعين للاستعمار الأجنبي. علماً انه كان من المفترض، حسب اتفاقية جنيف نفسها، اجراء انتخابات عامة في جنوب فيتنام سنة 1956، لإعادة توحيد البلاد. لكن فرنسا وبدعم واضح من الولايات المتحدة قد عرقلت ذلك ومهدت بذلك لحرب فيتنام الثانية التي تورطت فيها الولايات المتحدة ومُنيت بهزيمة نكراء سنة 1975.

3

ـ ان جمهورية الصين الشعبية، وقبل هزيمة الولايات المتحدة، في حرب الهند الصينية – فيتنام وكمبوديا ولاوس – وسقوط سايغون، عاصمة جنوب فيتنام، وفي إجراء احترازي، لتعزيز امن تلك الجزر، وبعد ان اضطرت واشنطن ان تعطيها ضمانات بعدم التدخل في شؤون تلك الجزر، قامت بتعزيز حامياتها العسكرية فيها، وذلك خوفاً من قيام الجيش الاميركي باحتلال هذه الجزر ونشر فلول قواتة الهاربة من فيتنام الجنوبية فيها، واقامة قواعد عسكرية لضمان استمرار هيمنته على تلك المنطقة من العالم.

ولكن فشل تلك المحاولة الاميركية، أواسط سبعينيات القرن الماضي، لم يمنعها من مواصلة التحرش بالصين، ومحاولة إعادة سيطرتها على تلك الممرات البحرية الهامة. اذ انها لجأت، ومنذ بداية القرن الحالي، بتحريض دول المنطقة، وخاصة فيتنام، التي باعتها واشنطن قطعاً بحرية مهمة، ضد جمهورية الصين الشعبية، وشنت حملة إعلامية واسعة ضد بكين، خاصة بعد احتلال واشنطن لأفغانستان سنة 2001، وبدء عمليات الحشد والتطويق الاستراتيجيين لجمهورية الصين الشعبية، من قبل الولايات وحلفائها الغربيين في حلف شمال الأطلسي. كما ان اكتشاف النفط والغاز أواخر العشرية الاولى من هذا القرن، في بعض مناطق وجزر بحر الصين الجنوبي، قد صعَّد من عدوانية واشنطن بشكل كبير ضد الصين، اذ انها واصلت إرسال قطعها البحرية، من الاسطول الاميركي السابع على وجة الخصوص، الى بحر الصين الجنوبي وذلك بحجة أن الصين تقيم جزراً صناعية في هذا البحر لبناء منشآت عسكرية صينية عليها.

وعلى الرغم من مواصلة الصين سياسة الاستثمار في الحلول الدبلوماسية، ومواصلة الجهود السلمية للتوصل الى حلول سلمية، يرضى بها الجميع، وتحافظ على مصالح جميع الدول المعنية بموضوع بحر الصين الجنوبي وتوصلها الى اتفاقية مع مجموعة دول آسيان العشرة ASEAN COUNTRIES)) وتوقيعها بتاريخ 20/7/2011، وذلك كقاعدة للتعاون بين تلك الدول والصين الشعبية وحل جميع الخلافات البحرية بالطرق السلمية، إلا ان واشنطن لجأت الى خطوة استفزازية وتصعيدية، مثلت عدواناً مباشراً على مصالح الصين، وذلك عندما قامت سنة 2015 وفِي عهد باراك اوباما، بالتعاون مع دول الاستعمار القديم، فرنسا وبريطانيا، بتشكيل قوة بحرية أُطلق عليها اسم: فريدوم أوف ناڤِغيشن Freedom of navigation، ضمّت خلالها عدداً من مدمرات وبوارج الاسطول السابع الاميركي، الى جانب مدمرات وطرادات وفرقاطات فرنسية وبريطانية عدة، والتي بدأت بعمليات الاستفزاز والتحرش، بالجزر الصينية، وبقطع القوات البحرية الصينية، التي تقوم بأعمال الدورية الروتينية، في بحر الصين الجنوبي وبحر الصين الشرقي. وقد تصاعدت هذة الاستفزازات الأميركية الى حد عرقلة أعمال سفن الصيد الصينية وبشكل مستمر.

كما عمدت الاساطيل الاميركية منذ عام 2016، وفِي مسلسل خطوات استفزازية جديدة ضد الصين الشعبية، وضمن تعزيز عمليات الحشد الاستراتيجي الاميركي ضد الصين، بتنظيم تدريبات عسكرية بحرية مع القوات البحرية لدول آسيان، وهي: ميانمار، تايلاند، كمبوديا، ماليزيا، سنغافورة، إندونيسيا، بروناي، الفلبين وفيتنام، لاوس، التي تدّعي بعض منها السيادة على بعض جزر بحر الصين الجنوبي.

علماً ان قطع المجموعة البحرية الاميركية الاوروبية المشار اليها اعلاه تتعمد إجراء التمارين العسكرية مع سلاح البحرية لكل دولة من دول آسيان على حدة، وذلك لضمان وجود القطع البحرية الاميركية بشكل دائم في تلك البحار.

ولعله من الجدير بالذكر ايضاً ان رئيس الولايات المتحدة الحالي قد اكد، ومنذ تسلمة الحكم، على ما يلي:

أ ـ ضرورة تعزيز عملية: فريدوم أوف ناڤيغيشن، الاميركية الاوروبية المشار اليها اعلاه، في منطقة بحر الصين الجنوبي وذلك حفاظاً على استراتيجية استمرار ديناميكية (حركية) الانتشار العسكري الاميركي هناك.

ب ـ ان تكون استراتيجية الولايات المتحدة للانتشار العسكري الاميركي، في المنطقة، غير قابلة للتخمين او التوقع او التقدير وضرورة ان يتم نشر القطع البحرية هناك دون سابق إنذار ودون الاعلان عن ذلك.

ج ـ وفي هذا الإطار قامت القطع البحرية الاميركية الأوروبية، المكلفة بعملية فريدوم أوف ناڤيغيشن، ومنذ شهر أيار 2019 حتى اليوم، بتنفيذ اربع عمليات «دورية»، في محيط جزر باراسيل وجزر سبراتلي الصينية،

في بحر الصين الجنوبي، بالإضافة الى القيام بعمليات تحليق جوي، في اجواء الجزر المذكورة اعلاه، من قبل قاذفتي قنابل استراتيجيتين أميركيتين من طراز B 52، وفي الفترة الزمنية نفسها، المذكورة اعلاه.

فهل تقبل الولايات المتحدة أن تقوم القطع البحرية الصينية بأعمال الدورية البحرية، في محيط جزيرتي كاتارينا آيلاند (Catalina island)و تشانيل آيلاند (Chanel Island)، قبالة شواطئ لوس انجيلوس، ام أنها ستعتبر ذلك عدواناً صينياً على سيادتها؟

اوقفوا عدوانكم قبل أن يفوت الأوان وتصبح سواحلكم مسرحاً مفتوحاً للقطع البحرية الصينية وغيرها من الدول التي ترفض عنجهيتكم وعدوانكم المدان. انتهى زمن العربدة البحرية والجوية ولم تعد تخيف أحداً وأنتم تعلمون ذلك جيداً ولن تفيدكم المكابرة الزائفة والتي يجب ان تستعيضوا عنها بسياسة التعاون المثمر مع كل دول العالم ولإنقاذ اقتصادكم ومستقبل أجيالكم قبل كل شيء.

إن كنتم تفقهون.

بعدنا طيبين، قولوا الله…

Geostrategic Factors: Will China Wins “World War C”

By Andrew Korybko

Global Research, April 14, 2020

The New Cold War between the US and China abruptly took a new form following the global outbreak of COVID-19, but Beijing still has a solid chance of coming out on top in this struggle for global leadership if it accurately assesses the changed geostrategic situation in the Eastern Hemisphere and accordingly crafts the right policies for responding to it.

Will The World Backtrack On BRI After World War C?

The US & China Are Intensely Competing To Shape The Outcome Of World War C“, as the author noted late last month when analyzing the consequences of the global COVID-19 outbreak on the New Cold War between these two Great Powers, but Beijing still has a solid chance of coming out on top in this struggle for global leadership if it accurately assesses the changed geostrategic situation in the Eastern Hemisphere and accordingly crafts the right policies for responding to it. The Asian Giant is under immense pressure as its envisaged model of reformed globalization under the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) is increasingly seen with skepticism, not so much because of the intense infowar that the US has been waging against it over the past few years, but simply because of the sudden supply chain consequences that were brought about as a result of the world’s rolling lockdowns. Foreign investors and national leaders alike are no longer ignorant of the strategic vulnerabilities inherent to the globalized world system as a whole, and many are now seriously reconsidering its merits and correspondingly contemplating re-offshoring production back to their own countries or at least their immediate regions.

China’s Grand Strategy

This represents the most profound challenge that China has been forced to confront in the decades since it first decided to reform its economy by opening up to foreign investment. It was hitherto taken for granted that the globalization trend would generally continue unabated, notwithstanding some high-profile expressions of economic nationalism such as the ones most commonly associated with Trump’s “America First” policy, and that only gradual reforms would be necessary to improve this model and thus indefinitely perpetuate it. China, comfortable with its position as “the world’s factory” and flush with excess cash to invest in connectivity infrastructure projects all across the world for the purpose of more closely tying its partners’ economies to its own in pursuit of what it describes as a Community of Common Destiny, took the lead in taking globalization into its next natural phase through BRI. The grand strategic intent was to peacefully replace America’s previously predominant global economic role and therefore enter into a position of privileged soft power whereby China could then shape the world order to its liking through trade and institutions.

A Concise Analysis Of Afro-Eurasia

Those carefully crafted calculations have suddenly been thrown into uncertainty as a result of World War C, which is why it’s imperative for China to assess the changed geostrategic situation as accurately as possible in order to craft the right policies for saving its global leadership model. What follows is a concise summary of the importance that each region of Afro-Eurasia holds for Chinese strategists at the present moment, which also briefly describes their challenges and opportunities. The Western Hemisphere is omitted from this analysis because China’s relations with Latin America aren’t anywhere as significant for its global strategy as those that the country has the Eastern Hemisphere as whole, and the complex contours of Chinese-American relations will be greatly determined by the outcome of their so-called “trade war”. As such, the author believes that it’s much more relevant to discuss East & Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, the Mideast, Africa, Russia, and the EU instead, ergo the focus of the present article. Having said that, here are the geostrategic factors that will determine whether China wins World War C:

East & Southeast Asia

This region of the world previously planned to enter into the world’s largest trade bloc, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), irrespective of India’s US-influenced refusal late last year to move forward with this game-changing development. This eastern periphery of Eurasia functions as a future integrated market for Chinese goods and services, conveniently located right next to the People’s Republic. The problem, however — and one that was already emerging prior to World War C — is that these countries’ production facilities inside China are considering re-offshoring back home or to other parts of the region as a result of the trade war, with this trend taking on a renewed importance given the global supply chain disruption in recent months. The same holds true for non-regional companies such as those from the West which are eyeing ASEAN (and especially Vietnam) as a favorable replacement to China, sometimes for political reasons. China will therefore need to ensure that RCEP eventually enters into effect in order to mitigate some of the immediate economic consequences through its envisaged regional marketplace, as well as remain competitive with lower-cost labor from its neighbors in order to slow down the speed of this seemingly inevitable re-offshoring process.

South Asia

The opportunities and challenges that South Asia poses for China are more geopolitical in nature than economic. The US’ successful co-opting of India into a proxy for “containing” China reduces the likelihood of a meaningful economic rapprochement between these two Asian Giants, and instead positions what’s soon predicted to become the world’s most populous country as a possible rival to the People’s Republic in the long term, with the short- and medium-term consequences being that it might become an even more appealing re-offshoring destination for foreign Chinese-based companies than even ASEAN. The global pivot state of Pakistan, however, represents nothing but opportunities for China because of CPEC, BRI’s flagship project. This ambitious initiative serves not only as a geostrategic shortcut to the energy market of the Mideast and the growing labor-consumer one of Africa that conveniently bypasses the increasingly militarized South China Sea and Strait of Malacca, but is also the basis upon which all other major BRI projects will be managed, relying upon the invaluable experiences learned during its years-long implementation. In order to succeed in South Asia in the post-coronavirus environment, China must manage to retain pragmatic relations with India in parallel with undercutting its attractiveness as a re-offshoring center while maximizing every mutual strategic opportunity that it can reap from CPEC.

Central Asia

The Eurasian Heartland is primarily functions as a reliable source of Chinese energy imports. It has obvious connectivity potential for linking China to the Mideast and Europe through the “Middle Corridor” that’s being pursued in partnership with Turkey, but in and of itself, it doesn’t have much economic significance for the People’s Republic due to its comparatively small labor and consumer markets relative to East-Southeast-South Asia and Africa. It does, however, function as a crucial test case for the resiliency of the Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership insofar as it provides these two Great Powers with the opportunity to reach pragmatic “compromises” in pursuit of their grander strategic goal of multipolarity, but there’s no sidestepping the fact that some in Moscow seem to be increasingly uncomfortable with being replaced by Beijing in the region that they’ve long regarded as their “backyard”. Furthermore, rising Sinophobia in some of these countries as a result of the massive influx of Chinese goods and the replacement of some local laborers with imported Chinese ones creates a possible fault line for the future, albeit one that doesn’t necessarily have to have any security implications since the region’s traditional Russian hegemon has no interest whatsoever in allowing Central Asia to be used as a base for launching terrorist attacks against it in Xinjiang.

Mideast

Just like Central Asia, the Mideast is mostly important to China for energy reasons even though it too has obvious connectivity potential in linking East Asia with Western Europe. Unlike Central Asia, however, some of the most geostrategically positioned countries like Iraq and Syria have been destroyed by Hybrid War, while populous Iran is under sanctions pressure like never before and could very well be the next to follow in the worst-scenario scenario. This makes the Mideast risky from a strategic connectivity standpoint, though that nevertheless hasn’t stopped some Chinese firms from making inroads in this region. The GCC countries, and especially Saudi Arabia, are attempting to restructure their economies in order to reduce their dependence on energy exports, which in turn necessitates Chinese investment in their planned production facilities. China’s growing economic and military influence (in terms of exports) in the Mideast also presents it with the diplomatic opportunity to participate in resolving some of the region’s crises following the model that it’s spearheading in Myanmar, which could prove very valuable for managing other conflicts that might one day arise elsewhere along its New Silk Road.

Africa

Africa’s importance might arguably even overshadow that of East & Southeast Asia when it comes to China’s grand strategy since the People’s Republic is depending on having reliable access to the continent’s raw material, labor-consumer markets, and increasingly, its energy resources in order to maintain domestic growth throughout the present century. Unlike in East & Southeast Asia, however, there are few competitors to China’s plans in Africa, with the only ones that deserve mention being the US’ ongoing infowar campaign to discredit BRI and the nascent joint Indo-Japanese “Asia-Africa Growth Corridor” being supported by the US, France, and the GCC as a possible long-term (key word) competitor to China’s investment model there (focusing instead on “soft infrastructure” like schools, job training, and healthcare services in contrast to the attention that China pays to its “hard” counterpart like physical connectivity infrastructure). Being much more under China’s influence than any other part of the world due to the mutual benefits derived from the premier position that the People’s Republic holds in Africa’s trade and investment spheres, it’s unlikely that many of its countries will be swayed into turning against Beijing’s reformed globalization model of BRI by the Trump-promoted appeal of economic nationalism. This doesn’t mean that China should grow complacent, however, but should instead strive to present Africa as a shining example to the rest of the world of everything that can be achieved as a result of bilateral cooperation through BRI.

Russia

The future of Russian-Chinese relations is quickly becoming an interesting field of study because of the progress that Moscow is making on reaching a “New Detente” with Washington, the latter of which has been extensively covered by the author in a series of four articles hereherehere, and here. To summarize, Russia’s pursuit of a series of “pragmatic compromises” with the US on a host of relevant issues ranging from NATO expansion to North Korea could lead to a fast-moving rapprochement between the two with serious strategic implications for China, especially if the People’s Republic comes to rely more on the Eurasian Great Power for ensuring reliable access to the markets of Western Europe through the complementary Eurasian Land Bridge and Northern Sea Route. That’s not to say that Russia will ever “cut off” China and/or the EU’s access to the other since the country itself is depending on reaping the economic benefits of facilitating their overland and maritime connectivity with one another, but just that this relationship could be leveraged in more “creative” ways to advance certain political-strategic objectives vis-a-vis China (such as in Central Asia for example, be it in coordination with the US or carried out independently) the same way as it’s alleged to have employed its energy relationship with the EU in the first decade of the present century. In addition, Russia’s envisaged irreplaceable role in facilitating Chinese-EU trade used to be taken for granted but is now highly uncertain since it’ll depend on whether globalization survives World War C and if China even retains an interest in having Russia fulfill this role in the first place to the extent that Moscow previously anticipated.

EU

The last region of the Eastern Hemisphere relevant to Chinese grand strategy is the EU, and it’s definitely one of the most important. This region of Western Eurasia has a large and highly developed consumer market that the Chinese economy depends on for growth, especially considering that most of its members use the euro, one of the world’s strongest and most stable currencies. It’s extremely important that China does everything that it can to ensure that the EU as a whole remains committed to expanding bilateral economic relations, especially through BRI, hence Beijing’s unprecedented soft power outreaches in recent weeks through the provision of medical equipment and healthcare specialists to some of its members like Italy and aspiring ones such as Serbia. Accordingly, it naturally follows that China would prefer for the EU to emerge from this crisis stronger and more integrated than ever in order to facilitate this goal, though that’s also why its weakening, disintegration, and/or pivot towards the US would be so detrimental to Beijing’s grand strategy. If China’s economic reach becomes limited in the EU as a result of the bloc gradually “de-globalizing” (including through re-offshoring Chinese-based production facilities to ASEAN, India, and/or back home [perhaps to the organization’s poorer members along its periphery]) or possibly even embracing a degree of Trump-inspired economic nationalism, then it would greatly reduce China’s influence to its immediate region (East and Southeast Asia) and the Global South (mostly South Asia [except India] and Africa in this respect) and thus make it more easily “containable” through Hybrid War means.

The Three Steps To Success

Taking all of the above insight into consideration, the following three steps are absolutely necessary if China wants to win World War C:

1. Ensure The Continued Attractiveness Of Globalization:

If Trump-inspired economic nationalism becomes a new global trend throughout the course of World War C, then BRI will be in danger of becoming nothing more than a bare-bones project that turns into a skeleton of its formerly so-ambitious self. This would require China to undertake a range of far-reaching reforms at home in order to restructure its economy from its hitherto export-dependent nature and into something more autarkic, though the latter has very real limits given how much the country relies on foreign trade surpluses reaped from globalization processes to drive domestic development and purchase essential resources like energy, raw materials, and even food. Without ensuring the continued attractiveness of globalization, China could very well enter into its worst-ever crisis since the 1949 Communist Revolution that could have unimaginable economic and even political consequences, which is why it’s of the highest priority that the People’s Republic does everything in its power to protect this trade model at all costs.

2. Focus On The Afro-Eurasian Triangle:

Provided that globalization survives in some relevant form after World War C (which remains to be seen but would be attributable in that case to China pulling out all the stops in pursuit of this goal), then China will have to focus on the Afro-Eurasian Triangle of RCEP, Africa (increasingly via S-CPEC+), and the EU in order to guarantee its place as the US’ global systemic rival. These three regions of the Eastern Hemisphere all complement one another in terms of China’s grand strategy as was extensively explained in each case earlier above, though this also means that they’re all possible targets upon which the US can put Hybrid War pressure. China cannot depend on any one of these regions alone if it aspires to remain a global leader, though it could still in theory manage to attain this goal provided that it only “loses” one of them. The “loss” of Africa is highly unlikely, so in the scenario that it “loses” the EU, then China would become a power relevant only to most non-Western countries (which is the still the lion’s share of the world), whereas the “loss” of RCEP would make China more dependent on Russian-controlled trans-continental trade routes to the EU (the “Middle Corridor” through Central Asia and Northern Sea Route) that could be indirectly influenced by the US through the “New Detente”.

3. Manage The US-Indian Strategic Partnership & The “New Detente”:

Both the ever-intensifying US-Indian Strategic Partnership and the gradual progress that America is making on reaching a “New Detente” with Russia represent latent challenges of the greatest geopolitical magnitude if they aren’t nipped in the bud before they blossom or properly managed in advance. There’s little that China can do to influence either of them, though the first-mentioned might fizzle out if India implodes as a consequence of World War C or due to the Hybrid War being waged by the Hindu nationalist government on its own citizens in an attempt to turn the country into a “Hindu Rashtra” (Hindu fundamentalist state), while the second might abruptly be derailed by the American “deep state” at any time and would almost certainly fail if Trump loses re-election. In the “worst-case” scenario of each US-backed “containment” vector entering into force and possibly even combining into an unofficial semi-united American-Russian-Indian front against it, China would do best trying to emulate its global rival’s Kissingerian policy by “triangulating” both between its Great Power neighbors and itself and between those two and the US in an effort to relieve the growing multilateral pressure upon it.

Concluding Thoughts

China’s global leadership ambitions are being challenged like never before as a result of World War C and the subsequent suspicion that many countries now have of globalization processes, especially in respect to the strategic vulnerability inherent to being dependent on foreign supply chains halfway across the world for essential products such as medical equipment. The rolling lockdowns that unfolded across the world over the past two months, beginning in China and eventually spreading to the West, exposed the fragility of the previous world system and will inevitably necessitate some serious reforms to its structure at the very least, with the possible mass movement away from globalization towards Trump-inspired economic nationalism being the absolute worst-case scenario for China since it would completely cripple its grand strategy. It’s for this reason that the People’s Republic must do everything in its power to ensure the survival of as much of the pre-crisis globalization system as possible in order to stand a credible chance of remaining the US’ only global rival, after which it must then focus on the Afro-Eurasian Triangle of RCEP, Africa, and the EU concurrent with managing the dual latent challenges posed by the US-Indian Strategic Partnership and the “New Detente” in the center of the Eastern Hemisphere. Should China succeed with these daunting tasks, then the world’s multipolar future will be assured, though its failure would mean that unipolarity will probably return with a vengeance.

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This article was originally published on OneWorld.

Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from OneWorldThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Andrew Korybko, Global Research, 2020

An Attack on Iran Would be an Attack on Russia

Moscow is proposing a diametrically opposed vision to Western sanctions, threats and economic war, one that is drawing it ever closer to Tehran

Global Research, August 06, 2019R

Russia is meticulously advancing Eurasian chessboard moves that should be observed in conjunction, as Moscow proposes to the Global South an approach diametrically opposed to Western sanctions, threats and economic war. Here are three recent examples.

Ten days ago, via a document officially approved by the United Nations, the Russian Foreign Ministry advanced a new concept of collective security for the Persian Gulf.

Moscow stresses that “practical work on launching the process of creating a security system in the Persian Gulf” should start with “bilateral and multilateral consultations between interested parties, including countries both within the region and outside of it,” as well as organizations such as the UN Security Council, League of Arab States, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Gulf Cooperation Council.

The next step should be an international conference on security and cooperation in the Persian Gulf, followed by the establishment of a dedicated organization – certainly not something resembling the incompetent Arab League.

The Russian initiative should be interpreted as a sort of counterpart of, and mostly a complement to, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is finally blossoming as a security, economic and political body. The inevitable conclusion is that major SCO stakeholders – Russia, China, India, Pakistan and, in the near future, Iran and Turkey – will be major influencers on regional stability.

The Pentagon will not be amused.

Drill, baby, drill

When the commander of the Iranian Navy, Hossein Khanzadi, recently visited St Petersburg for the celebration of Russia’s Navy Day, the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces and the Russian Defense Ministry signed an unprecedented memorandum of understanding.

Khanzadi was keen to stress the memorandum “may be considered a turning point in relations of Tehran and Moscow along the defense trajectory.”

A direct upshot is that Moscow and Tehran, before March 2020, will enact a joint naval exercise in – of all places – the Strait of Hormuz. As Khanzadi told the IRNA news agency:

“The exercise may be held in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, which flows into the Gulf of Oman, the Strait of Hormuz and also the Persian Gulf.”

The US Navy, which plans an “international coalition” to ensure “freedom of navigation” in the Strait of Hormuz – something Iran has always historically guaranteed – won’t be amused. Neither will Britain, which is pushing for a European-led coalition even as Brexit looms.

Khanzadi also noted that Tehran and Moscow are deeply involved in how to strengthen defense cooperation in the Caspian Sea. Joint drills already took place in the Caspian in the past, but never in the Persian Gulf.

Exercise together

Russia’s Eastern Military District will be part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) anti-terrorist exercise in Thailand and China early next month. According to the Eastern Military District, the training is part of “preparations for a practical phase of an ASEAN anti-terrorist exercise in China.” This means, among other things, that Russian troops will be using Chinese military hardware.

Exercises include joint tactical groups attempting to free hostages from inside official buildings; search for and disposal of explosives; and indoor and outdoor radiation, chemical and biological reconnaissance.

This should be interpreted as a direct interaction between SCO practices and ASEAN, complementing the deepening trade interaction between the Eurasia Economic Union and ASEAN.

These three developments illustrate how Russia is involved in a large spectrum from the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf to Southeast Asia.

But the key element remains the Russia-Iran alliance, which must be interpreted as a key node of the massive, 21st century Eurasia integration project.

What Russian National Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said at the recent, historic trilateral alongside White House national security adviser John Bolton and Israeli National Security Council Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat in Jerusalem should be unmistakable:

“Iran has always been and remains our ally and partner, with which we are consistently developing relations both on a bilateral basis and within multilateral formats.”

This lays to rest endless, baseless speculation that Moscow is “betraying” Tehran on multiple fronts, from the all-out economic war unleashed by the Donald Trump administration to the resolution of the Syrian tragedy.

To Nur-Sultan

And that leads to the continuation of the Astana process on Syria. Moscow, Tehran and Ankara will hold a new trilateral in Nur-Sultan, the Kazakh capital, possibly on the hugely significant date of September 11, according to diplomatic sources.

What’s really important about this new phase of the Astana process, though, is the establishment of the Syrian Constitutional Committee. This had been agreed way back in January 2018 in Sochi: a committee – including representatives of the government, opposition and civil society – capable of working out Syria’s new constitution, with each group holding one-third of the seats.

The only possible viable solution to the tragedy that is Syria’s nasty, rolling proxy war will be found by Russia, Iran and Turkey. That includes the Russia-Iran alliance. And it includes and expands Russia’s vision of Persian Gulf security, while hinting at an expanded SCO in Southwest Asia, acting as a pan-Asian peacemaking mechanism and serious counterpart to NATO.

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This article was originally published on Asia Times.

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