A New Order in West Asia: The Case of China’s Strategic Presence in Syria

9 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Mohamad Zreik 

As the world order shifts into a multipolar world, a new balance of power based on economic ties centered in Asia emerges.

A New Order in West Asia: The Case of China’s Strategic Presence in Syria

Unanimity on a new American century had gone unchecked for a decade. The warhawk John Bolton lambasted Xi’s authoritarianism, claiming the new crackdown has made it practically hard for the CIA to keep agents in China.

Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has evolved enormously since its inception. Today, multipolarity has developed, promising long-term progress for everyone who follows its norms. And Syria is one among them, had lately returned to world prominence after defeating a decade-long military offensive by the traditional unipolar actors.

In spite of this, unlawful US sanctions continue to harm the hungry, impede the rehabilitation of essential infrastructure and access to clean water, and restrict the livelihood of millions in Syria.

“We welcome Syria’s involvement in the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative,” stated Xi Jinping to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on November 5.

In July 2021, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with the Arab League’s head to discuss Syria’s return to the fold. A four-point plan to end Syria’s multi-faceted crisis was signed by China at the end of the tour, which coincided with Assad’s re-election.

Surrounded by western-backed separatist movements, Syria reiterated its support for China’s territorial integrity. In 2018, China gave Syria $28 million, and in September 2019, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi proposed China-Iraq oil for rebuilding and greater BRI integration.

Events orchestrated by foreign forces halted this progress. Protests swiftly overthrew Abdul Mahdi’s administration and the oil-for-reconstruction scheme. In recent months, Iraq has rekindled this endeavor, but progress has been modest.

These projects are currently mostly channeled through the 25-year Comprehensive Strategic Partnership deal between China and Iran in March 2021. This might open the way for future rail and energy lines connecting Iran with Iraq and Syria.

At the first formal BRI meeting in April 2019, President Assad stated: “The Silk Route (Belt and Road Initiative) crossing through Syria is a foregone conclusion when this infrastructure is constructed, since it is not a road you can merely put on a map.”

China and Syria are now staying quiet on specifics. Assad’s wish list may be deduced from his previous strategic vision for Syria. Assad’s Five Seas Strategy, which he pushed from 2004 to 2011, has gone after the US began attacking Syria.

The “Five Seas Strategy” includes building rail, roads, and energy systems to connect Syria to the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf, Black, Red, and Caspian Seas. The project is a logical link that connects Mackinder’s world island’s states. This initiative was “the most significant thing” Assad has ever done, he claimed in 2009.

Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon were among the countries Assad led delegations to sign agreements with in 2011. President Qaddafi of Libya and a coalition of nations including Sudan, Ethiopia, and Egypt were building the Great Man-Made River at the time.

We can’t comprehend why Qaddafi was killed, why Sudan was partitioned in 2009, or why the US is presently financing a regime change in Ethiopia until we grasp this tremendous, game-changing strategic paradigm. Diplomatic confidentiality between China and West Asia is so essential in the post-regime transition situation.

Over the last decade, BRI-compliant initiatives throughout West Asia and Africa have been sabotaged in various ways. This has been a pattern. Neither Assad nor the Chinese want to go back to that.

The Arab League re-admitted Syria on November 23, revealing the substance of this hidden diplomacy. They have proved that they are prepared to accept their humiliation, acknowledge Assad’s legitimacy, and adjust to the new Middle Eastern powers of China and Russia: the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Unlike decades of US promises that consider Arab participation as disposable short-term interests, the China-Russia cooperation provides genuine, demonstrable advantages for everybody.

The BRI now includes 17 Arab and 46 African countries, while the US has spent the last decade sanctioning and fining those who do not accept its global hegemony. Faced with a possible solution to its current economic problems and currency fluctuations, Turkey has turned to China for help.

Buying ISIS-controlled oil, sending extremist fighters to the region, and receiving arms from Saudi Arabia and Qatar were all known methods of supporting ISIS and Al Qaeda operations in Iraq and Syria. The CIA’s funding has dwindled in recent months, leaving ISIS with little else to work with.

Though US President Joe Biden reiterated US military backing for the Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Forces (SDF), the Kurds’ hand has been overplayed. Many people now realize that the Kurds have been tricked into acting as ISIS’ counter-gang, and that promises of a Kurdish state are as unreal as Assad’s demise. For a long time, it was evident that Syria’s only hope for survival was Russia’s military assistance and China’s BRI, both of which need Turkey to preserve Syria’s sovereignty.

This new reality and the impending collapse of the old unipolar order in West Asia give reason to believe that the region, or at least a significant portion of it, is already locked in and counting on the upcoming development and connectivity boom.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

US ‘coercive diplomacy’ with Saudi Arabia

While a carrot may advance US interests infinitely better than a stick at this sensitive juncture in US-Saudi relations, all indications are that Biden will resort to the stick.

May 07 2022

The US cannot budge oil production and prices with this geopolitical line-up blocking its path. So Washington may strike at the weakest link – in Riyadh. Photo Credit: The Cradle

By MK Bhadrakumar

Some three weeks after the reported meeting of CIA chief William Burns with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS), the OPEC+ ministerial held a videoconference on Thursday.

The OPEC+ meeting drew satisfaction that “continuing oil market fundamentals and the consensus on the outlook pointed to a balanced market.” The press release issued in Vienna says the ministerial “further noted the continuing effects of geopolitical factors and issues related to the ongoing pandemic” and decided that OPEC+ should stick to the monthly production adjustment mechanism agreed in July last year “to adjust upward the monthly overall production by 0.432 million barrels/day for the month of June 2022.”

Former Wall Street Journal publisher Karen Elliott House says Burns came to Saudi Arabia for a “mating dance” with MbS — namely, the latter must cooperate on a new oil-for-security strategy to “increase production to save European nations from energy shortages.”

Burns’ visit to the kingdom took place just ahead of the fifth round of Saudi-Iranian normalization talks in Baghdad between the Saudi intelligence chief and the deputy head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi who acted as mediator and attended the talks, told state media last week, “Our brothers in Saudi Arabia and Iran approach the dialogue with a big responsibility as demanded by the current regional situation. We are convinced that reconciliation is near.”

In addition, Iranian outlet Nournews, affiliated with the country’s Supreme National Security Council, reported on 24 April that the fifth round of talks on a possible détente was “constructive,” that the negotiators managed “to draw a clearer picture” of how to resume bilateral relations, and that “given the constructive bilateral dialogue so far, there is a possibility of a meeting between the Iranian and Saudi top diplomats in the near future.”

Burns’ mission couldn’t have been indifferent toward the Saudi reconciliation track with Tehran. With the outcome of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) talks in Vienna still uncertain, Iran’s close ties with Russia and China remains a major worry for Washington. And with Tehran’s stubborn refusal to trim its regional policies to suit US regional strategies, Washington has fallen back on its usual default option to resuscitate an anti-Iran front of its regional allies. The US hopes that Saudi Arabia will come on board the Abraham Accords.

Soaring energy prices

Meanwhile, the issue of energy pricing has returned to centre stage. Indeed, high oil prices mean increased income for Russia. Russia’s sales of oil and natural gas far exceeded initial forecasts for 2021 as a result of skyrocketing prices, accounting for 36 percent of the country’s total budget. The revenues exceeded initial plans by 51.3 percent, totaling a whopping $119 billion. The Biden administration’s best-laid plans to cripple the Russian economy are unravelling. Equally, high energy prices is also a domestic issue for Biden who faces daunting elections this Autumn. Above all, unless Europe finds other oil sources, it will continue buying Russian oil.

The Saudi crown price, however, has a different agenda. After ascending to power, he is likely to rule the kingdom for many decades — half a century if he lives to 86, his father’s age. And MbS has been remarkably successful in creating his own Saudi ‘power base’ without US help. His lifestyle changes have been a smashing hit with Saudis 35 and under — 70 percent of the kingdom’s citizens — and his ambition to transform Saudi Arabia into a modern technological leader ignites the imagination of the youth.

Clearly, his refusal to punish Russia and his $2 billion ‘gesture’ toward a new, untested investment fund started by former US president Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, speak for themselves. MbS has his own reasons for these actions, starting with Biden’s contemptuous reference to Saudi Arabia as a “pariah” state and his refusal to deal with the crown prince in person.

MbS hit back recently by declining to take a call from Joe Biden. Besides the petty stuff, the US restrictions on arms sales to the kingdom; insufficient response assistance to attacks on Saudi Arabia by Yemeni forces; publication of a report into the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi — all these are in play here.

Even if the administration is able to obtain congressional approval for new security guarantees for Saudi Arabia (which is rather problematic), MbS might very well refuse to be swayed, since at the end of the day, high oil prices boost the ailing Saudi budget too.

The paradox is, both Saudi Arabia and Russia are stakeholders in OPEC+ as is evident from the explicit warning to the EU by OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo last month that it would be impossible to replace more than 7 million barrels per day of Russian oil and other liquids exports potentially lost due to current or future sanctions or voluntary actions.

Given the torrential geopolitical and economic crosscurrents at play here, what possibly unnerves the Biden Administration most is talk of an upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia by Chinese President Xi Jinping. There are persisting recent reports that Riyadh and Beijing are in discussions to price some of the kingdom’s oil sales in yuan rather than dollars, which would indeed mark a profound shift for global oil markets, and help advance China’s efforts to convince more countries and international investors to transact in its currency.

The Saudi explanation for the shift to the yuan is that the kingdom could use part of new currency revenues to pay Chinese contractors involved in domestic mega projects within Saudi Arabia, which would reduce the risks associated with the capital controls Beijing imposes on its currency. But, for Washington, that means certain sensitive Saudi-China transactions in yuan do not appear in the rearview mirror of the western-controlled SWIFT messaging infrastructure, making transaction monitoring unviable.

There are persistent US reports that with Chinese support, Saudi Arabia may be constructing a new uranium processing facility near Al Ula to enhance its pursuit of nuclear technology. Riyadh’s generous $8 billion in financial support for Pakistan, unveiled this week, will almost certainly raise hiccups in Washington.

Saudi Arabia is a central pillar of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and ranks in the top three countries globally for Chinese construction projects, according to the China Global Investment Tracker, run by the American Enterprise Institute. Suffice to say, the CIA chief’s call could not have been for a friendly chat with the Saudi crown prince.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Lebanese Media: An Arab Pioneer on Media Silk Road

3 Apr 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Mohamad Zreik 

“The land of liberties” is a fitting label for Lebanon, a remarkable country that deserves it.

Lebanese Media: An Arab Pioneer on Media Silk Road

The right to free press is revered and guarded in Lebanon. Constitutional freedom of expression in Lebanon is guaranteed under Article 13, which states that all forms of expression are protected “within the bounds imposed by law.” For many people, the most arduous way to freedom is not the path of armed struggle, but rather the path of free and brave speech. “The land of liberties” is a fitting label for Lebanon, a remarkable country that deserves it.

Without the sacrifices of the martyrs, this attribute would not have been part of the Lebanese identity. It’s everything on the altar of the press and the sacredness of the free word. The message of peace and freedom of expression may be carried by Lebanon. Because there is no peace without freedom, the two concepts are intertwined in their connection. Several Lebanese journalists were exonerated from the gallows by the Ottoman Empire during the month of May of the year 1958. Since the killed journalists’ mandate was: “We die free and do not live as slaves or captives of others,” May 6 has been declared a feast day for the martyrs in Lebanon.

The Lebanese press has a rich history of events and phases that have been etched into the minds of the Lebanese. The comments of An-Nahar newspaper, held by Chairman of the Board, Gibran Tueni, who took up his pen and walked out into the streets to remind the world that in Lebanon, freedom of speech and expression are taken by pen and not by gun, are well-remembered by all of us. “We promise by Almighty God, Muslims and Christians, that we will remain together in defense of glorious Lebanon forever and ever,” Gibran Tueni swore to the Lebanese people.

As a result of the vast range of freedoms it enjoys, Lebanon stands out regionally and globally. For example, there are television stations in Lebanon for each and every political party. In addition to the many free internet sites, private newspapers are all examples. Freedom of expression is not constrained by any red lines; as long as it does not infringe on the sacred and national sovereignty, you are free to voice your thoughts. Since Arab countries have rigorous monitoring agencies and stringent laws, Lebanon will remain a milestone in the free Arab media.

An unauthorized political journal, “The News Garden,” was published by Khalil El-Khoury in Beirut on January 1, 1858, and is regarded as “the mother of Arab newspapers.” Count Rashid Al-Dahdah, who published the “Barjis” newspaper in Paris in 1858 and Ahmed Faris al-Shidyaq, who published the “Al-Jawa’ib” newspaper in Istanbul in 1861 are just two examples of Lebanese involvement in the publication of Arab newspapers published abroad. According to writer Laila Hamdoun, we find that most of the Arab newspapers were issued by Lebanese intellectuals, for example, the great “Butros al-Bustani” has launched “Nafeer Syria“, Lebanon’s second newspaper, in 1860 in Beirut, appealing for national unity in the wake of the sectarian murders of 1860. The cinema and theatre have also grown popular in Lebanon.

These remarks have been written during my stay in China, the land of civilization, culture, science, and commerce. As a specialist in the “Belt and Road Initiative” that was first introduced in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping, and in order to highlight the Lebanese role in this effort, I decided to link the free Lebanese press in the Arab world to the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims in part at people-to-people exchange and cultural understanding.

Newspapers in Lebanon, media professionals, and authors claim that “our time today is different from prior periods.” People in Lebanon have long had an eye on the West, and they’ve done it through airing Hollywood films, importing anything dubbed, and keeping tabs on political developments in the West. To that end, I urge Lebanese political and media officials, as the stewards of Lebanon’s culture and language, not to cut ties with the West. At the same time, keep in mind that this is China’s golden period and that this great Asian is no less than the Western nations.

Speaking at the 2016 Media Cooperation Forum’s opening ceremony, Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed his country’s Belt and Road Initiative. Chinese President Xi Jinping mentioned that the media is a platform for constructive discourse, the sharing of ideas, and collaboration. Without an active and unbiased role for the media, there is no contact between peoples. Without media, the Belt and Road Initiative’s goal of bridging cultures won’t be able to fulfill its full potential.

As a technologically advanced country, China employs the most up-to-date broadcasting techniques in its media partnership with Lebanon. Co-operation between China and the Arab countries in media has become essential. According to Wang Chen of China’s State Council Information Office, media interactions between Beijing and Beirut are a priority for the country.

China has established a tight relationship with Lebanon through television shows that introduce the Lebanese people to the Chinese culture. As part of its Belt and Road Initiative, China has recently displayed a keen interest in the Arab world. CGTN Arabic and China Arab TV, two Chinese TV stations, have been introduced to the Arab satellites Nilesat and Arabsat, which transmit documentaries and news about China and the Arab world. To keep up with all of CGTN Arabic and China International Radio‘s social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Wechat), separate department staffed by Chinese and Arabs has been established.

A deal was reached in 2016 between Lebanon TV and China’s state television, whereby Lebanon was provided with certain equipment. National News Agency was given a large number of computers and training workshops by the Chinese government in order to facilitate mutual collaboration.

More seminars and training sessions for journalists and more equipment donations are expected from the Chinese government in Lebanon. Media in Lebanon will focus on Chinese matters, invite Chinese specialists and introduce the Lebanese people and Arabs to Chinese news. As China’s influence in Lebanon grows, it’s feasible that Lebanese media outlets may start publishing content in Chinese. Videos, interviews, and information on Lebanon can be used by the Chinese media to educate the Chinese population about the country. China may invite Chinese journalists and press students to visit Lebanon to learn more about the nation and collaborate with Lebanese journalists in order to speed up the reporting of the news.

Ex-Chinese Ambassador to Lebanon Jiang said the media collaboration between China and Lebanon is growing quickly, and he underlined that China is a long-term supporter of both the government and Lebanese media outlets. During the Chinese Spring Festival and Chinese National Day each year, the Chinese Embassy in Lebanon and Lebanon TV work together to broadcast programs in China.

The works of the Chinese Cultural Centre in Beirut (Confucius Institute) should be extended so that it can do other functions, such as translating Chinese films into Arabic. Due to Lebanon’s high cultural value, many Chinese dubbing businesses have shown a desire to cooperate with Chinese media outlets. In order to make Lebanese culture more accessible to the Chinese audience, films from the country will be dubbed. ‘Capernaum’, a film directed by Nadine Labaki, was the first Lebanese film to be dubbed into Chinese. In addition to books and poetry which could enhance cultural exchange.

A plan for successful Chinese-Arab media cooperation is being devised by China, which includes enhancing communication between Chinese and Arab media, establishing a media administrative system that serves the common Chinese-Arab interest, and raising electronic media cooperation.

“Media Silk Road” has emerged in recent years as a term for the media cooperation between Belt and Road Initiative countries. There are four committees that focus on news cooperation, integrated communication, cooperation in program production, and industrial cooperation. The main mission is to promote international peace by fostering cultural exchange between nations. More positive steps are expected to be taken by the international television cooperation community of the Silk Road in order to benefit both Chinese and Arab interests.

As part of the Belt and Road Initiative, the people of participating countries play a significant role in its implementation. As a result, in accordance with the principles of cultural communication and freedom of speech, the media should be a tool to enrich the Arab people’s knowledge about China and the Belt and Road initiative.

Considering Lebanon’s status as a participant of the Belt and Road Initiative, it is expected that Lebanon will play an important role in promoting the initiative in Lebanon and the Arab world. As part of an Arab media strategy for the Belt and Road Initiative, Lebanon might be designated as an authorized media hub in conjunction with the Chinese authorities. There are numerous examples of Sino-Lebanese media and cultural collaboration that have been successful, and this proposed cooperation could be another success.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Here comes China (and they don’t stop!)

March 19, 2022

Source

By Amarynth collaborating with Godfree Roberts’ Newsletter, Here Comes China

Biden / Xi Summit.

In perfect Chinese diplomatic terms, it looks like business as usual. Taken outside of the perfect diplomatic terms, it is a true spanking.

Let’s take one paragraph only and remember a few things first:

Washington, as usual, threatened and danced something like the haka and warned Xi not to support Russia in any way or the consequences would be dire for China. Washington threatened with equally applied sanctions and other dire unmentionables.  Apparently, Washington can support who it wants, but China is in some form prohibited from exactly that.  Hypocritically they want it both ways.  That era is over.

A few hours before the ‘summit’, China had a perfectly normal sail-by through the Taiwan Straits of their aircraft carrier Shandong.  Yes, this is ‘likely routine’ says their spox.  Sure, it was highly likely just routine.  It must have been a wonderful day for the Shandong to take a little sail through the Taiwan Straits.

A few hours before the ‘summit’ Global times had an interview with an unnamed official.  (Is China playing the US game here by not naming the official?).  This is the take-away:  “The international community can fairly judge who is frank and open and who is up to something, who is easing the situation and who is aggravating tension, who is promoting peace talks and who is pouring fuel on the fire, and who is maintaining peace and stability and who is provoking confrontations between blocs.”

Xi Jinping made a pre-summit statement: Countries should not come to the point of meeting on the battlefield. Conflict and confrontation are not in anyone’s interest. Peace and security are what the international community should treasure the most.

So, this is the milieu that Biden walked into at the online summit.  We must know by now what this is all about.  None of the boring line-up of US representatives could bend China to their will to support sanctions against Russia, so, time for a Presidential Summit to yet again attempt to split China and Russia.  This is how perfectly ridiculous this attempt is:  Can you help me fight your friend so that I can concentrate on fighting you later?

Here is how it went:

President Biden expounded on the US position and expressed readiness for communication with China to prevent the situation from exacerbating.

Simply said:  How can we make a deal so that the US/Nato alliance remains a unipolar world and all others must be subservient.

President Xi pointed out that China does not want to see the situation in Ukraine to come to this. China stands for peace and opposes war. This is embedded in China’s history and culture.

Simply said:  Hey Biden, mistake number one!  You do not know who you are talking to, but now I’m going to tell you

  • China makes a conclusion independently based on the merits of each matter.
  • China advocates upholding international law and universally recognized norms governing international relations.
  • China adheres to the UN Charter and promotes the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. These are the major principles that underpin China’s approach to the Ukraine crisis.
  • China has put forward a six-point initiative on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, and is ready to provide further humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and other affected countries.
  • All sides need to jointly support Russia and Ukraine in having dialogue and negotiation that will produce results and lead to peace.

Simply stated:  This is the crux of the matter and seemingly you are unable to grasp it!

  • The US and NATO should also have dialogue with Russia to address the crux of the Ukraine crisis and ease the security concerns of both Russia and Ukraine.

Message:  Go away and take your position and money with you!  You had your opportunity and you became a warmaker, coercing others to your will.  Enough is enough!  We have principles, law and morals and ethical standards.  You hold on to ‘positions’ favorable to you only.

China is active in the EU as well and the discussion does not remain dry and diplomatically correct. 

China is playing into its strengths, saying what is correct in terms of its own national interest and it happens to co-incide with that of the non-insane world.   The spokespeople are highly educated, clear, exceptionally well-spoken, and smart.   They also mercilessly dig in the knife when opportunity shows.  In a recent press conference:

CCTV: US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that the US is concerned about Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure which caused civilian casualties. However, China has yet to state its position explicitly. How does the foreign ministry view such criticism from other countries on China?

Zhao Lijian: Human lives are precious. Civilian casualties under all circumstances are heart-rending and lamentable. China has all along called for every effort to avoid civilian casualties. We still remember that in March 1999, the US-led NATO, without the Security Council’s mandate, flagrantly unleashed a ruthless bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for 78 days, killing at least 2,500 innocent civilians and injuring around 10,000 people, most of them civilians. Over the past two decades or so, the US conducted tens of thousands of air strikes in places like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. The number of innocent civilians killed can be anywhere between 22,000 and 48,000. When professing its concern for the welfare of the Ukrainian people, shouldn’t the US first express concern over the civilian casualties caused by all these military operations?

I particularly enjoyed this vignette:

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that any support to Russia, military or any other type of support, would actually help Russia conduct a brutal war against an independent sovereign nation, Ukraine, and help them to continue to wage war which is causing death, suffering and an enormous amount of destruction.

This was the comment of the Chinese spokesperson:

Chinese people can fully relate to the pains and sufferings of other countries because we will never forget who bombed our embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  China does not need a lecture on justice from the abuser of international law. As a Cold War remnant and the world’s largest military alliance, NATO continues to expand its geographical scope and range of operations. What kind of role has it played in world peace and stability? NATO needs to have a good reflection.

Currency

Against this backdrop, the news filtered out about The Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and China designing a new monetary and financial system bypassing the U.S. dollar, supervised by Sergei Glazyev and intended to compete with the Bretton Woods system which is now less than 50% of the currency flow in the world.  While news is still very scarce on this front, it fulfilled the purpose of telling Biden once again to go away if US/NATO cannot be a serious contender to building a peaceful and prosperous world.

Godfree Roberts, in his last newsletter, did an overview of the major historical milestones.  I am not sure if the concept of a special drawing rights fiat currency revaluated regularly against a basket of currencies will be the way this rolls out.  Stand by!  Much more incoming!  We will see.

DOLLAR’S END – Farewell, Inordinate Privilege

  • Credit Suisse analyst Zoltan Pozsar says Ukraine triggered a perfect storm in commodities that could weaken the Eurodollar system, contribute to inflation in Western economies, and threaten their financial stability. Pozsar said China’s central bank is uniquely placed to backstop such crisis, paving the way for a much stronger yuan. Reuters, Mar. 13, 2022.
  • Saudi Arabia Considers Accepting Yuan Instead of Dollars for Chinese Oil Sales: Talks between Riyadh and Beijing have accelerated as the Saudi unhappiness grows with Washington. WSJ, Mar. 14, 2022

–o0o–

In 2009, after helping to rescue the US from the GFC, Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the Peoples Bank of China, said, “The world needs an international reserve currency that is disconnected from individual nations and able to remain stable in the long run, removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies.”

After helping rescue America from the GFC, PBOC Governor Zhou Xiaochuan observed, “The world needs an international reserve currency that is disconnected from individual nations and able to remain stable in the long run, removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies.”

Zhou proposed SDRs, Special Drawing Rights, a synthetic reserve currency dynamically revalued against a basket of trading currencies and commodities. Broad, deep, stable, and impossible to manipulate. Nobelists Fred Bergsten, Robert Mundell, and Joseph Stieglitz approved: “The creation of a global currency would restore a needed coherence to the international monetary system, give the IMF a function that would help it to promote stability and be a catalyst for international harmony”.  Here’s what’s happened since:

2012: Beijing began valuing the yuan against a currency/commodity basket

2014: The IMF issued the first SDR loan

2016: The World Bank issued the first SDR bond

2017: Standard Chartered Bank issued the first commercial SDR notes.

2019: All central banks began stating currency reserves in SDRs

Mar. 14, 2022: “In two weeks, China and the Eurasian Economic Union – Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan – will reveal an independent international monetary and financial system. It will be based on a new international currency, calculated from an index of national currencies of the participating countries and international commodity prices”.

The currency resembles Keynes’ invention Special Drawing Rights.SDRs are a  synthetic currency which derives its value from a global, publicly traded basket of currencies and commodities. Immense beyond imaging, and stable as the Pyramids. Everyone gets a seat at the table and a vote. It may eventually be administered by an arm of the UN.

SDRs pose a serious alternative to the US dollar, both for the EAEU, the BRI’s 145 member states, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), ASEAN, and the RCEP. Middle East countries, including Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, are keenly interested.

Less well known is that the EAEU, the BRI, the SCO, ASEAN, and the RCEP were discussing a merger before the currency news hit.

It is reasonable to expect them to join this new, cooperatively managed, stable reserve currency regime in which they can settle their trades in stable, neutral, predictable SDRs.

Biological labs

China is not losing any opportunity to bring this front and center.  This is their last list of questions:

  • If the concerns are “disinformation”, why doesn’t the U.S. release detailed materials to prove its innocence? – Question by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
  • What did the U.S. spend the $200 million on? – Question by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
  • What kind of research has the U.S. conducted on which pathogens? – Question by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
  • What is it trying to hide when the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine deleted all relevant documents on its website? – Question by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
  • Why does the U.S. insist on being the only country in the world to oppose the establishment of a multilateral verification mechanism though it claims to abide by the Biological Weapons Convention? – Question by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
  • This is quite an amazing poster detailing the biolab web, which is too large to load here.  But take a look at the depiction of these US biolabs.  https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202203/1255055.shtml

Economic goals in a nutshell

What is happening with Belt and Road?  About the data: On January 21, 2022, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) released its data for “China’s investments and cooperation in countries along the Belt and Road” covering the period of January to December 2021. According to these data, Chinese enterprises invested about US$20.3 billion in non-financial direct investments in countries “along the Belt and Road”. Furthermore, there were 560 newly signed projects with a contract value of over US$100 million. The MOFCOM data focus on 55 countries that are “along the Belt and Road” – meaning on a corridor from China to Europe including South Asia. For this report, the definition of BRI countries includes 142 countries that had signed a cooperation agreement with China to work under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative by the end of 2021. To analyze investments in these countries, we base our data on the China Global Investment Tracker and our own data research at the Green Finance & Development Center affiliated with Fudan University, Shanghai. As with most data, they tend to be imperfect.

Chinese joke

On a somewhat of a lighter note:  The Chinese Netizens are in the majority siding with Russia so completely and so enthusiastically, that China’s WeChat and Douyin had to crack down on vulgar jokes and netizens were told in no uncertain terms that they cannot make fun of international news events.  The very high support for Russia is becoming a clear talking point despite the somewhat muted and correct Chinese diplomatic statements.

So, here is a joke for you.

Bear and Dragon take a walk in the gardens.  Bear is a little overcome with his serious responsibilities in the world and presents emotionally somewhat tired and despondent.  As the walk proceeds, Dragon says to Bear .. Out with it!  What has you so despondent?  Bear thinks a moment and says:  We’ve been friends for a long time.  So, if I need a very large amount of money very quickly, will you give it to me?

Dragon, known for taking time to ponder the imponderables, walks on for a while and then comes to a firm stop.  NO, says Dragon, I will not give it to you!

Bear’s shoulders fall .. but Dragon continues:  I will lend it to you.  1.5 trillion the moment you ask for it, no interest, no repayment terms, pay me back when you can.

Did Russia Have to Attack Ukraine?

March 5, 2022

By Darko Lazar

While announcing the start of military operations inside Ukraine on February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that he “had no other way of proceeding”.

“What was happening left us with no choice,” Putin said, noting that a “high-risk” situation in Ukraine posed an existential threat to Russia. However, he never specified what that risk was.

Naturally, everyone concluded that Putin was talking about NATO’s eastward expansion over the last three decades. But what if there is more to it than that?

Pathogens and biological weapons

In October 2017, Putin was hosting a meeting at the Kremlin of the Russian Presidential Commission on Human Rights.

At one point, the discussion took an unexpected turn when Putin suddenly suggested that the West was working on a new bioweapon.

“Do you know that biological material is collected all over the country, from different ethnic groups and people living in different geographical locations of Russia?” Putin said. “But what for? They do it purposefully and professionally.”

The Russian president was referring to research being conducted by the US Air Force’s largest medical department (the 59th Medical Wing). Those allegations prompted a quick response from the Pentagon.

The spokesman for the Air Education and Training Command, Capt. Beau Downey, told Sputnik that the samples are being collected “to conduct musculoskeletal research aimed at identifying the different biomarkers associated with injury.”

Fast forward to October 2021, when the war of words between Beijing and Washington over the origins of the coronavirus was intensifying. Both sides were alleging that the pandemic was linked to each other’s research.

That same month, Beijing joined Moscow in calling on the United Nations to review the biological warfare strength of the US and its allies. China and Russia jointly demanded that Washington abides by a UN convention on biological weapons, accusing the Americans of operating more than 200 military biolabs outside the US. The Chinese and the Russians allege that these US military facilities pose a direct threat to their national security.

Nothing about this declaration suggests that it was meant for propaganda purposes. It wasn’t widely covered by the media or circulated by the Chinese and Russian governments.

Instead, it was quickly followed by Moscow’s demands for security guarantees from the West, including that Ukraine should never become a member of NATO. China offered its support to Russia, warning that Moscow had “reasonable security concerns,” which the Americans and their allies should take “seriously”.

Just a few days later, Russia’s neighbor to the south and one of its most important allies, Kazakhstan, suddenly descended into chaos. Hundreds were killed as shadowy armed cells began seizing critical state infrastructure.

While a large Russian force deployed to help restore order in that country, Russia’s official news agency TASS highlighted reports that a secret bio-laboratory there had been compromised. The lab, which sits just outside Kazakhstan’s Almaty, is funded by the Pentagon and used to store dangerous pathogens. According to unconfirmed reports, the lab was briefly seized by “unidentified people”.

Then came the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, which was overshadowed by the most recent meeting between Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. A few weeks later, Russian troops were given the order to move on Ukraine.

A chain of laboratories 

On February 25, an article published in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists cites the director of the Pentagon’s Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, Robert Pope, who claims that Russia’s military operation in Ukraine endangers a network of US-linked labs, which handle dangerous pathogens.

The Cooperative Threat Reduction Program is part of the so-called Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), which traces its roots back to the Manhattan Project – the American-led development of the world’s first functional atomic weapon.

And while Pope claims that the US military labs in Ukraine are not bioweapons facilities but public and animal health laboratories, he makes a number of startling revelations.

For starters, he confirms the existence of pathogens that can easily become infectious.

“If you lose the electrical power, the pathogens in the freezers warm up,” Pope explains.

“If the ventilation system is damaged, or the building itself is damaged, and these now ambient-temperature pathogens are able to escape the facility, then they can be potentially infectious.”

From there, Pope appears to try and build an alibi by suggesting the Russians “could potentially go to one of these facilities and fabricate something that they call evidence of nefarious activity.”

But the real kicker is Pope’s admission that these supposedly harmless facilities may hold pathogen strains left over from the Soviet bioweapons program.

“Scientists being scientists, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of these strain collections in some of these laboratories still have pathogen strains that go all the way back to the origins of that program,” the good doctor warns.

Perhaps equally alarming is the disclosure that 62% of this program’s USD 360 million budget is allocated for biological research.

The website of the US embassy in Kiev confirms the existence of this program. However, the fact sheets and PDF files detailing the operations of these facilities have been removed from the server. Whoever the Pentagon tasked with that mission wasn’t very thorough, as the original documents can still be found on the web archive.

If these were mere animal health laboratories, one would expect their financing to have come from the US Department of Health. But the documents show that the sole “donor” for each of these labs is the US Department of Defense. Moreover, all the facilities either had or were in the process of obtaining licenses to work with dangerous pathogens.

Two of the labs, in Kiev and Odessa, were undergoing some sort of additional construction. The sam.gov website, a central database that includes information about all US government contractors, reveals that the construction commenced in late July and was supposed to be completed within seven months – in late February.

Are these facilities really developing genetic tools that threaten the Russian population and pose the sort of “high risk” that Putin was referring to? No one can say for sure. But the involvement of shadowy characters like Pope and warnings from both Beijing and Moscow about opaque American military biolabs must be treated as more than just conspiracy theories.

What will it be like after the war?

The establishment of US military labs in former Soviet republics surrounding Russia is just another consequence of NATO’s 30-year-long eastward expansion. The same can be said for the wars in the Balkans, Georgia and of course, Ukraine.

NATO’s insistence on integrating these countries into the Western military alliance gave rise to very legitimate concerns in Moscow. While watching this powerful and hostile force inch closer toward its borders, the Russians spent the better part of the last three decades warning of the potential consequences.

At the start of 2022, NATO simply rebuffed Moscow’s core demands for formal security guarantees, sending a clear message that negotiations over such matters are impossible. It’s also the clearest indication yet that only Russia can guarantee its own security and that Moscow will likely have to remove threats along the country’s vast border by force.

As such, Moscow is no longer relaying its concerns via diplomatic channels. The Russian military is doing the talking now, and if the West is even remotely interested in averting a nuclear holocaust, they will need to listen carefully.

One of the more explicit attestations of the severity of this situation came from an unlikely source. At the end of February, Russian state television host Dmitry Kiselyov opened his primetime show by saying: “Why do we need a world if Russia is not in it?” 

Some people are still walking around thinking the world they knew just a few months ago still exists. But the old political structures and alliances are dead. So is the unipolar world. The old-world order is no longer.

These are tectonic shifts in the global balance of power that are historically accompanied by the outbreak of disease, uncompromising social divisions, economic hardship, and wars. Those who survive will live to tell the tale.

Playing the mighty Wurlitzer vs Reality

FEBRUARY 26, 2022

Source

By Chris Faure

Do people seriously imagine Russia simply blundered into the Ukraine not knowing what the west would do?

You may be surprised to hear that the world is actually still spinning.  All we have to deal with is the mighty Wurlitzer which is an old-style pipe organ for theaters, and also a propaganda instrument.

Allow me a moment to explain:

In 1967 the magazine Ramparts ran an exposé revealing that the Central Intelligence Agency had been secretly funding and managing a wide range of citizen front groups intended to counter communist influence around the world. In addition to embarrassing prominent individuals caught up, wittingly or unwittingly, in the secret superpower struggle for hearts and minds, the revelations of 1967 were one of the worst operational disasters in the history of American intelligence and presaged a series of public scandals from which the CIA’s reputation has arguably never recovered.

CIA official Frank Wisner called the operation his “mighty Wurlitzer,” on which he could play any propaganda tune.   Hugh Wilford provides the first comprehensive account of the clandestine relationship between the CIA and its front organizations. Using an unprecedented wealth of sources, he traces the rise and fall of America’s Cold War front network from its origins in the 1940s to its Third World expansion during the 1950s and ultimate collapse in the 1960s.

Covering the intelligence officers who masterminded the CIA’s fronts as well as the involved citizen groups—émigrés, labor, intellectuals, artists, students, women, Catholics, African Americans, and journalists—Wilford provides a surprising analysis of Cold War society that contains valuable lessons for our own age of global conflict.

Now, the Mighty Wurlitzer, exposed during the cold war, has never ended.  We see it in full swing now.  Here are a few snippets, a few items from memory (it has to be from memory as most of the Russian sites are still down, or up or down, in a relentless cyber propaganda war and this cannot be meticulously linked to source).  And you know what, the Ukraine inherited its own theater and mighty Wurlitzer, where they are designing and producing for the common man, theater productions for this current time.  Excepting now, it is all done in studio with breathless journalists playing war and running around in front of green screens.

So, while the tinny and discordant theater music sometimes drowns out even our own ability to think (it is torture, you know!) let’s look at a few realities.

Sanctions.  Big Big Headlines – Russia is sanctioned for this or that and for basically everything, even Vodka.  The latest is SWIFT (but only for a few banks).  Take a good look at the sanctions.  It is paper production for the purpose of paper production.  The German sanctions on Russian banks for example have fine print.  (They all have).  They’re sanctioning Russia from hell, but of course, this does not apply to gas or oil payments.  Those will continue, says the fine print.

Sanctions on Russia are now the latest fashion accessory.  The one that can play that Wurlitzer the loudest is the one who wins.  So what happens if they don’t win?  What happens if they are busy shooting themselves in the heart, and not even in the foot?.  What happens if the fervor to punish Russia simply accelerates their own demise?

Russia is decoupling as fast as what the West is sanctioning.  A headline that comes to mind is: “European Commission: The disconnection of a number of banks from SWIFT “will actually block Russian exports and imports”.

No Einstein, it will hasten de-dollarization.

This morning from Medvedev:

‘Final review’ of Russia’s relations with West now possible – former president

Dmitry Medvedev has dubbed European organizations “meaningless almshouses”

Western sanctions could be an “excellent reason for a final review” of Russia’s relations with the nations that have imposed the restrictions, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council and former president, Dmitry Medvedev, said on Saturday.

Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, which was launched on February 24, has prompted outrage in the West and a new wave of harsh sanctions against Russia. In a lengthy post on the Russian social network VK, Medvedev called the restrictions “a myth, a figment, a figure of speech.”

Sanctions could be an excellent reason for the final review of all relations with those states that have introduced them. Including interruption of the dialogue on strategic stability,” Medvedev wrote.

[sidebar] Take another look at that sentence – why now? It is because most of the western world do not have answers to Russia on strategic stability, so they decided to play that Wurlitzer pretty loud to attempt to hide their inability). 

He added that in principle, it is possible “to renounce everything,” including the New START Treaty.

Yes, and diplomatic relations, in principle, are not particularly needed. It’s time to close the embassies with barn locks. And to continue contacts by examining each other only through binoculars and weapons’ optical systems,” Medvedev said.

Commenting on the decision by the Council of Europe and Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to suspend Russia’s membership, the former president said that while this is a “flagrant injustice,” it could still be considered as a good reason “to finally slam the door and forget about these meaningless almshouses forever.” This development could also be used to “restore a number of important institutions for prevention of especially serious crimes in the country,” he said, such as the “death penalty for the most dangerous criminals, which, by the way, is being actively used in the United States and China.

He has no assets abroad and to the UK sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote:

Neither Putin, nor Lavrov have accounts neither in Britain nor anywhere abroad. Maybe the kingdom’s government got something frozen off rather than it froze something?”

We are in a new world.

A few more:

Russia has just suspended cooperation with NASA on the international space station .. including the launch team which will not be available to the US.  Russia will work with China.  Zap!  Are there any US astronauts there at the moment?  I don’t know, but Elon Musk will have to get them home.

Let’s take a look at few more of Mr Putin’s actions these last days.

Russia’s President Meeting (http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/67851) with Security Council permanent members

 Vladimir Putin: According to available information, and this is confirmed by objective monitoring – we are seeing this; Banderites and neo-Nazis are putting up heavy weapons, including MLRS, right in the central districts of large cities, including Kiev and Kharkov. They plan to force return fire by Russian strike systems vs residential quarters. They are acting in the same way terrorists act all over the world – using people as shields.

It is known for a fact that all this is being done on the recommendations of foreign consultants, primarily American advisors.

 Once again, I am appealing to the military of the armed forces of Ukraine. Do not allow neo-Nazis and Banderites to use your children, wives and elders as a live shield. Take power into your own hands. It seems it will be easier for us to come to terms with you than with this gang of drug addicts & neo-Nazis that have settled in Kiev and that have taken the Ukrainian people.


President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation (https://is.gd/m8pf2L) with President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

The Presidents discussed developments related to the special military operation designed to protect peaceful civilians in Donbass as well as Ukraine’s demilitarisation and denazification.

 Shavkat Mirziyoyev expressed understanding of Russia’s actions.

The Presidents also touched upon certain current issues on the bilateral agenda. They reaffirmed their shared intention to continue the development of the Russian-Uzbek strategic partnership with a focus on implementing specific trade, economic, and humanitarian projects.

#RussiaUzbekistan


President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation (https://is.gd/322XIF) with President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping.

The President of Russia gave the President of China a detailed account of the reasons behind the recognition of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic and the start of a special military operation to protect civilians from genocide and ensure the demilitarisation and denazification of the Ukrainian state. Vladimir Putin also noted that considering the signals received from Kiev he was ready to send a delegation to Minsk to hold talks with representatives of Ukraine.

 Xi Jinping stressed that he respected the actions of the Russian leadership in the current crisis.

The two Leaders assessed the current international situation from a common perspective. They reaffirmed a mutual readiness to closely cooperate and support each other further at the UN and in other multilateral platforms.


Held at Kyrgyzstan’s initiative, the telephone conversation (https://is.gd/Ppnjou) between President Vladimir Putin and President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov focused on the situation with the special military operation carried out by Russia in Ukraine.

 Sadyr Japarov said that Kiev was responsible for derailing the Minsk agreements and expressed his support for Russia’s decisive actions to protect civilians in Donbass. Vladimir Putin thanked the President of Kyrgyzstan for his principled solidarity.

The two Presidents reaffirmed their mutual commitment to strengthening the strategic partnership and allied relations between Russia and Kyrgyzstan in all areas.


President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation (https://is.gd/oACYDq) with Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan.

The Parties continued their exchange of views on the practical aspects of the implementation of the agreements documented by the November 9, 2020, January 11 and November 26, 2021, tripartite statements by the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia on Nagorno-Karabakh, including efforts to ensure stability and security on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Some items on the current bilateral agenda were also touched upon.


The Ukraine is dancing to the music of the Mighty Wurlitzer.  Don’t you do that too!  Turn the music off. Zone B is way behind Zone A in playing the organ, but way ahead in creating a life friendly to human people, for this planet.

Margarita Simonyan focused on the 5th and 6th columns with a devasting phrase:

“If you are now ashamed that you are Russian, do not worry, you are not Russian,” she wrote in her Telegram channel.

And in the event that you are worried about China, they just posted this from their Russian embassy.  They truly understand that this time it is Russia, but for the throw of a set of dice, or a different tune on the Wurlitzer, it could have been China.

القمة الصينية الروسية.. ولادة عالَمٍ جديدٍ

الثلاثاء 14شباط 2021

عمرو علان

القمّة الصينية الروسية الأخيرة جاءت استثنائيةً في توقيتها ومضامينها وبيانها الختامي، وهي تشير بما نتج عنها إلى تبلور معسكرٍ في مقابل معسكرٍ غربيٍ استعماريٍ تقليديٍ.

البيان الختامي للقمة تناول في 5000 كلمةٍ العديد من القضايا

عقب قمة الرئيسين الصيني شي جين بينغ والروسي فلاديمير بوتين الثنائية، التي عُقِدت في 4 شباط/فبراير 2022، على هامش دورة الألعاب الأولمبية الشتوية التي تستضيفها الصين هذا الشهر، صدر بيانٌ ختاميٌ مشتركٌ، كما جرت العادة في القمم، لكنْ تميَّز هذا البيان الختامي في كونه جاء مفصلاً وشاملاً، إذ إنه أسَّس لمرحلة تعاونٍ صينيٍ روسيٍ مستقبليةٍ تمتدّ لسنواتٍ أو ربما لعقودٍ، فقد تناول في 5000 كلمةٍ عدة قضايا، كان من بينها:

صفقات استراتيجية في عدة حقول رئيسية، كالطاقة وتكنولوجيا الفضاء.

تنسيق مواقف البلدين تجاه قضايا الأمن الإقليمي الراهنة والمستقبلية في أوروبا ومنطقة الإندو باسيفيك.

أفكار وإشارات حول مرتكزات النظام العالمي ومستقبله، بحسب الرؤية الصينية الروسية.

صفقات استراتيجية

كشف الرئيس بوتين عن عدة مشاريع روسيةٍ صينيةٍ جديدةٍ في مجال الطاقة، من بينها صفقة تزود بموجبها روسيا الصين بعشرة بليون مترٍ مكعبٍ من الغاز سنوياً، وذلك عبر خطّ أنابيبَ جديد، ما يجعل الصين المستورد الأكبر للغاز الروسي، إضافة إلى تواتر أنباء عن أنّ شركة الطاقة الروسية العملاقة “روسنيفت” المملوكة للحكومة، ستصدّر 25% من مجمل إنتاجها النفطي للصين. 

من شأن هذه الاتفاقيات الطويلة الأمد والاستراتيجية تأمين الاستقرار في سوق الطاقة لكلا البلدين، الصين وروسيا على حدٍ سواء، وذلك في مواجهة تقلّبات سوق الطاقة العالمي التي تهدد أوروبا وآسيا. وفي هذا كلّه تدعيمٌ للتكامل الروسي الصيني في مجال الطاقة، الذي يعدّ أحد أهم المجالات الحيوية لدى الدول.

أما في مجال الفضاء، فقد وقَّعت كلٌ من الشركتين الصينية “بيدو” والروسية “جلوناسس” اللتين تديران “أنظمة الملاحة عبر الأقمار الصناعية” الصينية والروسية، على اتفاقيةٍ جديدةٍ تزيد مدى التعاون بين النظامين الصيني والروسي، ليصل إلى حدّ التكامل بينهما.

تأتي هذه الاتفاقية الجديدة لتبني على الاتفاقية المسماة “التعاون للأغراض السلمية لنظامي بيدو وجلوناسس” والتي وقَّعت عليها الصين وروسيا في العام 2018.

وتتيح الاتفاقية الجديدة للنظامين الصيني والروسي مزيداً من التكامل والاستمرارية في حالتي السلم والحرب، إذ سيتمّ استخدام النظام المتكامل للأغراض العسكرية والمدنية على حدٍّ سواء، ناهيك بكون التكامل بين النظامين الصيني والروسي يعطي دقّة لا يتجاوز فيها هامش الخطأ 1.2 متر فقط، على عكس نظام التموضع العالمي “<ج بي أس” الأميركي الذي يتراوح هامش الخطأ فيه بين 5 و10 أمتار.

تنسيق المواقف

أما تنسيق المواقف بين البلدين تجاه القضايا الأمنيّة، كما جاء في البيان الختامي، فكان أبرزه يتمثل برفض روسيا القاطع استقلالَ جزيرة تايوان عن جمهورية الصين الشعبية. في المقابل، رفضت الصين مساعي حلف شمال الأطلسي التوسع في أوروبا من دون مراعاة المخاوف الأمنية الروسية، وذلك في إشارةٍ إلى تأييد الموقف الروسي في الأزمة الروسية الأميركية الراهنة حول أوكرانيا. 

كما نسَّق البيان الختامي مواقف البلدين تجاه قضايا أمنيةٍ أساسيةٍ أخرى في منطقة الإندو باسيفيك والقارة الأوروبية، كالمواقف من حلف “أوكوس” ، والحوار الأمني الرباعي المسمى “كواد” (Quad)، وقضايا أخرى.

رؤية الصين وروسيا إلى النظام العالمي

ما تَقدَّم من أمثلةٍ على بعض ما جاء في بيان القمة الختامي من صفقات استراتيجية وتنسيق لرؤى البلدين حول قضايا أساسيةٍ راهنةٍ في الجغرافيا السياسية، يعطي فكرةً عن الخطوات العملية والملموسة التي اتفق عليها العملاق الاقتصادي الصيني مع شريكه العملاق العسكري الروسي، للدفع نحو تطبيق رؤيتهما للنظام العالمي، والتي تقوم على فكرة أنّ العالم يخرج من مرحلة الهيمنة الأميركية الأحادية الجانب وتسلُّط فكر العولمة الليبرالية على العلاقات الدولية، ليدخل مرحلة التعددية القطبية، واحترام سيادة الدول، وحقّها بتقرير مصيرها وصياغة نُظُمِها السياسية والاقتصادية بما يتماشى مع موروث شعوبها الحضاري، إذ ترى الصين وروسيا أنَّ العلاقات الدولية تدخل حقبة جديدة. وكانت هذه الرؤية واضحةً في عدة فقراتٍ في البيان، وفي روح اللغة المستخدمة فيه عموماً.

جاء في مقدِّمة البيان: “يمرّ العالم اليوم بتغيراتٍ بالغة الأهمية، فالبشرية تدخل مرحلةً جديدةً من التقدم السريع والتحولات العميقة، وترى هذه الظواهر في التعددية القطبية، وعولمة الاقتصاد، وحلول عصر المجتمع المعلوماتي، وتنوع الثقافات، وتحوّل بنية إدارة الشؤون العالمية والنظام العالمي، ويشهد العالم زيادةً في مستوى الترابط والتكامل بين الدول، وتوجهاً لإعادة توزيع القوة حول العالم”. وتبرز جلياً في هذه المقدِّمة الإشارة الواضحة إلى نظام عالمي يقوم على التعددية القطبية وإعادة توزيع القوة بين الدول على رقعة العالم. 

وتمضي مقدِّمة البيان ليتّضح المعنى أكثر، إذ يشير بعد ذلك إلى زيادة التحديات والمخاطر الأمنية على المستويين الدولي والإقليمي، ويضيف: “يستمرّ بعض اللاعبين الذين لا يمثلون سوى الأقلية على مستوى المجتمع الدولي بالتسويق للنهج الأحادي في معالجة القضايا الدولية، عبر اللجوء إلى القوة والتدخل في الشؤون الداخلية للدول، منتهكين بذلك حقوق تلك الدول ومصالحها المشروعة، ومثيرين القلاقل والخلافات، ما يعرقل تطور البشرية، في تحدٍ للمجتمع الدولي”، وفي هذا إشارةٌ واضحةٌ إلى الولايات المتحدة الأميركية ونهجها الذي يرتكز على الأحادية القطبية، لكن من دون ذكر اسمها صراحةً. 

وتتكرّر هذه الإشارات إلى الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وإلى سعيها للهيمنة على دول العالم في عدة مواضعَ من البيان، فيشير البيان في إحدى الفقرات إلى عدم وجود وصفة واحدة لتطبيق الديمقراطية، بل إنَّ الشعوب وحدها تملك الحق بالحكم على نظامها السياسي إذا ما كان ديمقراطياً، ويعود لكلِّ شعبٍ حقّ اجتراح الطرق الأصلح له من أجل تطبيق الديمقراطية، بما يتماشى ونظامه السياسي والاجتماعي وخلفيته التاريخية وتقاليده وثقافته المميزة.

في المحصّلة، جاءت القمّة الصينية الروسية الثنائية استثنائيةً في توقيتها ومضامينها وبيانها الختامي، فكما عبَّر الرئيس بوتين عن أنَّ روسيا والصين تمران بمرحلة غير مسبوقة من الصداقة والتعاون في كلِّ المجالات من دون سقوف، يشير حجم الصفقات الموقعة وطبيعتها الاستراتيجية، إضافة إلى التصور الذي قدمته القمة حول مستقبل النظام العالمي الذي يتم العمل على ترسيخه، إلى تبلور معسكرٍ في مقابل معسكرٍ غربيٍ استعماريٍ تقليديٍ يضمّ “لاعبين لا يمثلون سوى أقليةٍ على مستوى المجتمع الدولي”، بحسب وصف البيان.

وغالب الظنّ أنَّ هذا المعسكر الناشئ سيكون جاذباً لأعضاء جددٍ، سواء أكانوا من العالم الإسلامي التواق إلى التخلص من الهيمنة الغربية، أم من بعض دول أميركا اللاتينية، أم من دولٍ أفريقيةٍ، حيث توسَّع النفوذ الصيني، كما الروسي، لكن بدرجةٍ أقل.

لكن لا يجب الخلط بين طبيعة هذا المعسكر الناشئ وما كان عليه حال المعسكر الاشتراكي إبان حقبة الاتحاد السوفياتي، فدينامية العلاقات الدولية وبُنية إدارة الشؤون العالمية الحاكمة لهذا المعسكر تنبثق من ركيزتين أساسيتين: تعددية الأقطاب، واحترام خصوصية كلّ شعب في تقرير شكل نظامه السياسي والاقتصادي بما يراه مناسباً.

إذاً، شيّدت الصين وروسيا الهيكلية لمعسكرٍ ناشئٍ وواعدٍ، وتبقى العِبرة في حُسْن التطبيق، وفي عدم تضارب المصالح بين القطبين الشريكين، جراء تبايناتٍ محتملةٍ في بعض الساحات، ولا سيما في منطقتي وسط آسيا وشرق أوروبا، لأنَّ روسيا تستمد حضورها الدولي من كونها عملاقاً عسكرياً، ما يمكن أن يجعلها تستخدم القوة لتثبيت موقعها الدولي في بعض الساحات، بما يتعارض ومصالح الصين التي ترتكز على كونها عملاقاً اقتصادياً.

ورغم هذه التخوفات، ولمحاولة استشراف مستقبل كِلَا المعسكرين، يكفي النظر إلى حجم مخرجات القمة الصينية الروسية وطبيعتها، ومقارنتها بنتائج قمة جو بايدن “من أجل الديمقراطية”، التي جاءت باهتةً وهزيلةً بكل المعايير، ولا سيما بعد نفور الكثيرين حول العالم من الأيديولوجية الليبرالية التي ما انفكت تروج لكلِّ أشكال الموبقات، من ترويجٍ للشذوذ الذي يضرب المجتمعات عبر هدم مفهوم العلاقات الإنسانيّة والأسرة السويَّة، إلى استنزاف موارد كوكب الأرض، إلى الحدّ الذي باتت معه استمرارية الحياة البشرية موضع تساؤلٍ. يلخّص الفيلسوف ألكسندر دوغين نتائج القمة الصينية الروسية بالقول: “المستقبل بالتأكيد للتعددية القطبية… عالَمٌ جديدٌ قد وُلِد”.

إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

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التحالف الصيني الروسي.. أين سوريا منه؟

السبت 12 فبراير 2022

المصدر: الميادين نت

أحمد الدرزي 

يرتبط مستقبل سوريا بنتيجة الصراع في أوكرانيا، فقد تتحول الضغوط المتبادَلة بين الأميركيين والروس، الذين يؤازرهم الصينيون، إلى الساحة السورية.

شكّلت الحرب على سوريا هاجساً للأمن القومي الروسي والصيني والإيراني، الأمر الذي دفع الدول الثلاث بعيداً في مواجهة مشروع الولايات المتحدة فيها.

روسيا: “نُعَوِّل على الصين من أجل فرض توازن القوى العالمي مع واشنطن وأوروبا”.

لم يكن الرابع من شباط/فبراير لهذا العام يوماً عادياً، ففيه وقّع الرئيسان شي جين بينغ وفلاديمير بوتين على اتفاق التحدّي، وأظهرا للعالم أجمع أن شراكتهما أبعد كثيراً من مصطلح الحلف، وأقل من الاندماج، فتردّد صداه في كل العواصم، بما في ذلك دمشق، التي أُصيبت بالإرهاق، وهي تصارع ذاتها والعالم، من أجل الخروج من مأزقها الداخلي، الذي لا ينفصل عن الخارج، وتنتظر انعكاس هذا الصدى عليها.

تخوض الصين وروسيا، مشتركتَين، صراعاً متدرجاً مع النظام العالمي القطبي الوحيد، والذي تَشكَّلَ بعد انهيار الاتحاد السوڤياتي، فكانت الشراكة الاستراتيجية الجديدة عام 1996، والتي لم تعطِ تصوراً حقيقياً عن مدى التهديدات، التي يمكن لهذه الشراكة أن تسببها لواشنطن.

كان للحرب على سوريا، موقعاً وتاريخاً، دورٌ أساسيٌّ في إظهار حجم العلاقة بين الطرفين، بعد يقين الدولتين بأنهما المُستهدفَتان الأساسيتان لـ”ثورات الربيع العربي”، بالإضافة إلى إيران التي تشكل القوة العسكرية الصادمة في غربي آسيا، والتي عملت عليها الإدارات الأميركية المتلاحقة، الأمر الذي دفعهما إلى التصدي السياسي للحرب، عبر منع إعطاء مظلة شرعية دولية في مجلس الأمن، للتدخل العسكري المباشر في سوريا، كما حدث في ليبيا.

وفَّر التآزر السياسي الروسي الصيني، في الحرب السورية، فرصة كبيرة لروسيا والصين من أجل إخراج البعد الحقيقي لطبيعة الشراكة بينهما إلى العلن، لكن البُعد العسكري كان منوطاً بإيران وروسيا بصورة متتالية، فدخلت إيران وحزب الله وقوى عراقية أولاً، ثم شاركت روسيا في نهاية أيلول/سبتمبر 2015.

شكّلت الحرب في سوريا هاجساً للأمن القومي الروسي الصيني الإيراني، الأمر الذي دفع الدول الثلاث بعيداً في مواجهة مشروع الولايات المتحدة فيها، كما أنها شكلت فرصة للأطراف الثلاثة، وخصوصاً بالنسبة إلى موسكو، التي عملت على مدى أكثر من قرنين من أجل الوصول إلى المياه الدافئة، وهذا ما حققته بعد توسيع مطار حميميم، وتحويل أغلبيته إلى قاعدة عسكرية جوية، في مواجهة قاعدة أنجرليك للناتو في تركيا، بالإضافة إلى القاعدة العسكرية البحرية في طرطوس.

فرض الدور العسكري الروسي المباشِر نفسه على طبيعة الاتفاق مع الصين، التي أحجمت عن التدخل العسكري، نتيجةً لاستراتيجيتها المبنية على استراتيجية دفاعية فقط، الأمر الذي فرض معادلة بين الطرفين، تكون فيها موسكو صاحبة الدور الأساس، وتحتاج بكين إلى التوافق مع موسكو في تحقيق مشروعها “مبادرة الحزام والطريق”.

تغيّرت أحوال الدولتين مع عودة الديمقراطيين إلى البيت الأبيض، وظهرت عدوانية أميركا الكبيرة في طريقة التعاطي العدواني مع روسيا، في الدرجة الأولى، ومع الصين المؤجَّلة إلى المرحلة التالية، في الدرجة الثانية. ولمس الطرفان هذا التحول من خلال محاولات واشنطن تحريك الثورات الملوَّنة في هونغ كونغ وفي موسكو. وبعد الفشل، تحوّلت إلى سياسات عدوانية جديدة، عبر إنشاء تحالف عسكري جديد، “أوكوس”، ضد الصين، ومحاولة ضم أوكرانيا إلى حلف الناتو.

تشكّل كل من تايوان وأوكرانيا أولوية قصوى لكل دولة، فتايوان لا تزال تشكل تهديداً مستمراً للصين، بحكم الوجود الأميركي الذرائعي فيها، من أجل منع عودتها إلى الوطن الأم من جهة، وتهديد الممر البحري الفاصل بينهما، والذي يشكّل عصباً للتجارة البحرية. كما أن بكين لا يمكنها التنازل عن تايوان، لأن هذا أمر يمس سيادتها وعنوان وحدتها الكاملة، بالإضافة إلى ما تشكله تايوان من إضافة مهمة جداً إلى التكنولوجيا الصينية، باستحواذها على أهم المعامل المنتجة للمعالِجات، وخصوصاً بعد العقوبات الأميركية على الصين.

وتشكل أوكرانيا الملف الأهم في الاستراتيجية الروسية، وهي أولوية قصوى لها، وخصوصاً إذا استطاعت واشنطن ضمّها إلى حلف الناتو، بالإضافة إلى أهميتها التاريخية، والتي لا تنفصل عن التاريخ الروسي الإمبراطوري. وهي واقعاً أساس روسيا التاريخية، ولا تزال في الوجدان الروسي جزءاً من روسيا.

أولوية الملفين لكِلا البلدين تدفعهما إلى التعاطي مع سائر الملفات من موقع ساحات الصراع المتعددة. فالنظام الدولي الجديد، والذي تم إعلانه من بكين، لا يمكن له أن يثبّت قدميه واقعاً إلاّ بعودة تايوان إلى الصين، وخروج الولايات المتحدة من بحر الصين والمحيط الهادي، وبالتوازي بعودة أوكرانيا إلى روسيا، أو عزلها عن البحر الأسود، وإفقادها دور الخاصرة الرخوة، وإقرار الولايات المتحدة وأوروبا بهواجس الأمن القومي الروسي، ليس في أوكرانيا فقط، بل في كل أوروبا الشرقية.

يرتبط مستقبل سوريا، في الدرجة الأولى، بنتيجة الصراع في أوكرانيا، فقد تتحول الضغوط المتبادَلة بين الأميركيين والروس، الذين يؤازرهم الصينيون، إلى الساحة السورية. ومن الصعب على واشنطن أن تخسر معركة أوكرانيا، ففي ذلك فقدانها استمرارها قطباً وحيداً، بالإضافة إلى تراجع موثوقيتها لدى من يدور في فلكها، وخصوصاً بعد خروجها المُذِلّ من أفغانستان، وما قد يترك من آثار في النظام المالي العالمي المرتبط بالدولار. 

كما أن موسكو لا يمكن أن تتراجع عن مطالباتها، ففي ذلك هزيمة قد تنعكس على مجمل إنجازاتها، بعد عودتها إلى المسرح الدولي، ولها مصلحة الآن مع الصين في إخراج الأميركيين من سوريا، الأمر الذي يتيح التواصل البري من شانغهاي إلى شرقي المتوسط.

يبقى الوضع السوري هو الأصعب في منطقة غربي آسيا، وربما في العالم أجمع، وهو غير قابل للحل في المدى القريب، إلاّ إذا تغيَّرت معطيات الصراع، دولياً وإقليمياً، خلال الأشهر والسنوات المقبلة، وخصوصاً إذا تمت العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، الذي سيترك آثاره الإيجابية في كل المنطقة، لكن من دون الوصول إلى مرحلة الاستقرار والنهوض. والأمر يتطلب التعاطي مع المبادرة الصينية تجاه سوريا بجدية أكبر وبرؤية مغايرة، وخصوصاً أن التفاهم الروسي الصيني بشأن طريقة التعاطي مع سوريا سقط، مع توقيع اتفاق شراكة المواجهة مع الولايات المتحدة وأوروبا، والاندفاعة الصينية المباشِرة نحو دمشق، والعمل على تنفيذ مذكِّرات التفاهم بين البلدين. فالصين هي الوحيدة التي تمتلك الهامشين الاقتصادي والتكنولوجي، القادرين على إنقاذ سوريا من تداعيات تدهور الوضع الاقتصادي غير المُحتمَل للسوريين، بمساعدة إيرانية، وقبول روسي. فهل تندفع دمشق نحو تسهيل الحضور الصيني، من خلال إجراءات تشريعية واقتصادية مغايرة لكل المرحلة السابقة؟    

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Unpacking the Russian-Chinese joint statement

February 05, 2022

Source

Introduction:

First things first, this is a very long statement (5300 words).  It is also an extremely important one since it deals primarily with grand strategy issues (it discusses the “whats” not the “hows”).  To put it succinctly, this is a common vision of the future shared between Russia and China.  It is therefore also a common goal setting document.  Considering its scope and objective, this is most definitely a crucial historical document.

Next, it is really important to understand who the target audience of this statement is.  By definition, the target audience of such a document is the entire planet, but by its language I would argue that it is pretty clear that this is not a document addressed to anybody in the West (for one thing, it is too long for the average western reader and it is too long to be reprinted or read in full in the general press).  There is a saying which all Russians know: “the East is a delicate/refined matter” (it comes from a famous Soviet movie).  The style and contents of this joint statement shows that it is primarily aimed at the Russian and Chinese public, especially those in position of power: to a typical western reader the text itself looks long-winded and full of well-meaning platitudes.  The Russians and the Chinese understand each other much better, and not only can they read between the lines and they can evaluate what is said and what is only suggested.  The fact that some things are only alluded to does in no way make them less crucial.  Again, the audience here is most definitely not a western one.

Having said all that, I want to pick, roughly in order, some key parts of that speech and try to unpack what this joint statement really says.  This is a somewhat arbitrary selection, in reality, word letter and comma matter here, but for the sake of brevity, I won’t comment on the full text.  I do, however, recommend that you take the time and read it here: http://thesaker.is/joint-statement-of-the-russian-federation-and-the-peoples-republic-of-china-on-the-international-relations-entering-a-new-era-and-the-global-sustainable-development/

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Key excerpts from the RU-CH Joint Statement: (emphasis added)

Some actors representing but the minority on the international scale continue to advocate unilateral approaches to addressing international issues and resort to force; they interfere in the internal affairs of other states, infringing their legitimate rights and interests, and incite contradictions, differences, and confrontation, thus hampering the development and progress of mankind, against the opposition from the international community.

Translation into plain English: the USA and a few of its vassal states want to maintain a world hegemony and ignore international law.  This is a threat to the peace and security of our entire planet.  We oppose this.

There is no one-size-fits-all template to guide countries in establishing democracy. A nation can choose such forms and methods of implementing democracy that would best suit its particular state, based on its social and political system, its historical background, traditions, and unique cultural characteristics. It is only up to the people of the country to decide whether their State is a democratic one.

Translation into plain English: there is no one way to establish real people power, and outsiders are, by definition, disqualified from judging the degree of “democracy” of any nation.  Each nation has the right to decide how it wants to live, how it wants to formally structure its people power and only the people of that nation can decide whether their country’s organization faithfully expresses and upholds their national values.  Outsiders cannot think of themselves as “teachers of democracy”.

The sides reaffirm their focus on building the Greater Eurasian Partnership in parallel and in coordination with the Belt and Road construction to foster the development of regional associations as well as bilateral and multilateral integration processes for the benefit of the peoples on the Eurasian continent. The sides agreed to continue consistently intensifying practical cooperation for the sustainable development of the Arctic.

Translation into plain English: we, the locals, are (and have been) building a Eurasian community which will encompass the entire Eurasian landmass and its adjacent Arctic waters.  This Eurasian landmass will be sovereignly ruled by those nations who compose it.

The sides are gravely concerned about serious international security challenges and believe that the fates of all nations are interconnected. No State can or should ensure its own security separately from the security of the rest of the world and at the expense of the security of other States.

Translation into plain English: security is always and by definition collective.  There cannot be security for some at the expense of the security of others.  The AngloZionist Empire’s notion of unilateral security is basically putting a gun to the head of each nation on the planet with the very explicit threat to pull the trigger if that nation dares to resist this typical act of imperialist aggression.

The sides reaffirm their strong mutual support for the protection of their core interests, state sovereignty and territorial integrity, and oppose interference by external forces in their internal affairs.

Translation into plain English: we are, and will, be standing side by side and we will jointly defeat those forces who are trying to prevent us from achieving and maintaining true, full, sovereignty.

The Russian side reaffirms its support for the One-China principle, confirms that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and opposes any forms of independence of Taiwan.

Translation into plain English:Russia will support the Chinese efforts to reintegrate Taiwan.  Russia has got China’s back.

Russia and China stand against attempts by external forces to undermine security and stability in their common adjacent regions, intend to counter interference by outside forces in the internal affairs of sovereign countries under any pretext, oppose color revolutions, and will increase cooperation in the aforementioned areas.

Translation into plain English: China will support Russia in her efforts to prevent the USA/NATO/EU to turn the Ukraine into an anti-Russia or to overthrow governments friendly to Russia.  China has got Russia’s back.

The sides believe that certain States, military and political alliances, and coalitions seek to obtain, directly or indirectly, unilateral military advantages to the detriment of the security of others, including by employing unfair competition practices, intensify geopolitical rivalry, fuel antagonism and confrontation, and seriously undermine the international security order and global strategic stability. The sides oppose further enlargement of NATO and call on the North Atlantic Alliance to abandon its ideologized cold war approaches, to respect the sovereignty, security and interests of other countries, the diversity of their civilizational, cultural and historical backgrounds, and to exercise a fair and objective attitude towards the peaceful development of other States.

Translation into plain English: the West is trying to destabilize, subvert, control and destroy any country which is not willing to become a US vassal state.  NATO is an aggressive, violent and totalitarian superstructure whose aim is to prevent any country from achieving sovereignty.  It is just the latest iteration of Anglo imperialism.  It’s ideology is based on hate and projection of its own hateful worldview and ethos unto others.  It’s nature is imperialist and its motto divide et impera.  We will oppose that geostrategic malignant tumor together.

The sides are seriously concerned about the trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom (AUKUS), which provides for deeper cooperation between its members in areas involving strategic stability, in particular their decision to initiate cooperation in the field of nuclear-powered submarines. Russia and China believe that such actions are contrary to the objectives of security and sustainable development of the Asia-Pacific region, increase the danger of an arms race in the region, and pose serious risks of nuclear proliferation.

Translation into plain English: AUKUS is yet a further iteration of Anglo imperialism.  It is dangerous and we will oppose it together.

The sides call on the United States to respond positively to the Russian initiative and abandon its plans to deploy intermediate-range and shorter-range ground-based missiles in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe. The Chinese side is sympathetic to and supports the proposals put forward by the Russian Federation to create long-term legally binding security guarantees in Europe.

Translation into plain English: China fully backs the Russian ultimatum to the West.  The West’s rejection of the Russian demands also affects to Asia-Pacific region and, therefore, it affects and even threatens China’s national interests.  Russia and China have a common goal to resist the West’s imperialistic policies.

The sides note that the denunciation by the United States of a number of important international arms control agreements has an extremely negative impact on international and regional security and stability. The sides express concern over the advancement of U.S. plans to develop global missile defense and deploy its elements in various regions of the world, combined with capacity building of high-precision non-nuclear weapons for disarming strikes and other strategic objectives.

Translation into plain English: Russia will not allow the US to militarily encircle China and China will not allow the US to militarily encircle Russia.  Russia and China stand back to back and will protect each other, thereby foiling any Anglo plans to encircle either one, or both, of these nations.

The sides oppose attempts by some States to turn outer space into an arena of armed confrontation and reiterate their intention to make all necessary efforts to prevent the weaponization of space and an arms race in outer space. They will counteract activities aimed at achieving military superiority in space and using it for combat operations.

Translation into plain English: Russian and Chinese space programs will make a joint effort to defeat the Anglo attempts at militarizing space, both countries will help each other to develop future space capabilities and to create and deploy the means to prevent the US from threatening them from space.

The sides emphasize that domestic and foreign bioweapons activities by the United States and its allies raise serious concerns and questions for the international community regarding their compliance with the BWC. The sides share the view that such activities pose a serious threat to the national security of the Russian Federation and China and are detrimental to the security of the respective regions.

Translation into plain English:the USA clearly has an active biowarfare program.  Russia and China feel threatened by this and they will act together to stop the USA from developing illegal and dangerous bioweapons.

The Russian side notes the significance of the concept of constructing a ”community of common destiny for mankind“ proposed by the Chinese side to ensure greater solidarity of the international community and consolidation of efforts in responding to common challenges. The Chinese side notes the significance of the efforts taken by the Russian side to establish a just multipolar system of international relations.

Translation into plain English: Russia and China agree that the new, post Western, world order they want to achieve will be based on the brotherhood and solidarity of all those countries who, rather than exploiting the entire planet for the benefit of a few, want to see an international systems based on shared values rather than on greed and the oppression of the weak by the strong.  In that system, relations between countries will be based on international law and the United Nations as its cornerstone and not by some ad hoc “alliances of the willing” or any other such illegal nonsense.

They reaffirm that the new inter-State relations between Russia and China are superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War era. Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ”forbidden“ areas of cooperation, strengthening of bilateral strategic cooperation is neither aimed against third countries nor affected by the changing international environment and circumstantial changes in third countries.

Translation into plain English: “relations between Russia and China are superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War era” is pretty darn clear:  Russia and China are more than allies or “just” symbionts, the alliance they have formed is not a western-style peace of paper which can be revoked or ignored.  Russia and China have decided to establish a true “friendship which knows no limits“, that is a brotherhood that is much bigger in scope and much deeper in nature than any formal alliance.  The two countries see a common future and will stand by each other as two loving brothers.  Note: the choice of words “friendship with no limits” has been carefully crafted to not make sense to a western audience which will see it only as “pious and vague platitudes with no binding obligations” but which will be very clear to those who come from the Russian and Chinese civilizational realms.  Simply put: nobody in the West truly believes in “friendship” between states, only situational allies and personal interests.  The concept of friendship has a very different meaning in China and Russia.  Furthermore, “no limits” is also nonsensical in western geopolitics.  Again, to a Russian or Chinese audience the paragraph above means and expresses much MORE than any “alliance”, “treaty” or “agreement”.  Western political leaders simply cannot fathom or imagine what Russia and China are saying here – their minds simply cannot comprehend what is being said here.

Russia and China aim to comprehensively strengthen the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and further enhance its role in shaping a polycentric world order based on the universally recognized principles of international law, multilateralism, equal, joint, indivisible, comprehensive and sustainable security. They consider it important to consistently implement the agreements on improved mechanisms to counter challenges and threats to the security of SCO member states and, in the context of addressing this task, advocate expanded functionality of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure.

Translation into plain English: China and Russia will develop their full-spectrum security cooperation.  Just as the CSTO recently, the SCO will soon grow more powerful “teeth” and bare them if/when needed.  And don’t be fooled by the reference to “anti-terrorism” choice of worlds.  The recent CSTO operation in Kazakhstan was also an “anti-terrorist” one 🙂

Conclusion:

The release of this joint statement is the geostrategic equivalent of Putin’s famous speech in which he described the new Russian weapons systems: it will initially be dismissed by western politicians who will then slowly undergo the five Kübler-Ross stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance).  This “limitless friendship” working towards a “community of common destiny for mankind” is the absolute worst nightmare of western imperialism and it is only made worse by the fact that there is absolutely nothing which the West can do to foil, oppose or even slow the progress of Russia and China towards their common goal and future.

Far from “attacking” the West or from invading anybody,  Russia and China have been doing something for years already and now what that “something” is is quite clear (at least to those with the sobriety and intelligence to see it):  Russia and China are simply leaving the united West behind, letting it do its own thing (political, cultural, economic, military and even spiritual suicide) while they built an alternative.

You could say that Zone B does not want to destroy or bring down Zone A.  Zone B want to offer an alternative to Zone A and then let each nation decide for itself what zone it wants to live in.

There is one word which is missing from this statement.  That word is “Iran“.

It is not missing because China or Russia don’t care about Iran or don’t realize how important Iran will be for the future of the Middle-East and even our entire planet.  They know that very, very well.  The reason the word “Iran” is missing is simple: while Iran is most definitely a friend and ally of both Russia and China, Iran does not share a “limitless friendship” or brotherly symbiotic relationship with either country.  Neither is Iran a full member of the SCO, yet (but will be soon). Talk about true diversity!  These countries have completely different cultures, histories and political systems, yet they fully support each other.  That is the “there is no one-size-fits-all template” model already being built before our eyes!  I also believe that Iran’s bid to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was approved but in needs to be formalized (may be mistaken here)..  Yet both China and Russia understand that Iran is crucial, not only as a gateway for Russia and China into the Middle-East, but also as a crucial member of the supra-ideological system of alliances Russia and China want to create.  In fact, these countries have been helping each other for years already.  But there is more, look at this:

  • Russia is a democratic and “social” state, with a weird, and changing, mix of capitalism and traditional Russian collectivism.
  • China is a unique mix of capitalism and Communist state control
  • Iran is an Islamic Republic.

Talk about true diversity!  These countries have completely different cultures, histories and political systems, yet they fully support each other.  That is the “there is no one-size-fits-all template” model already being built before our eyes!  I also believe that Iran’s bid to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was approved but in needs to be formalized and fully implemented.

This model will attract and easily include those Latin American countries which will chose “21 century socialism” (primarily developed by Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia) ideology.  It will also be far more attractive to many African countries than the “western imperialist boot” (examples include Mali, Burkina Faso, Congo and, potentially many others).

The map below shows the current situation.

The Russian-Chinese joint statement tells us all we need to know about how this map will change in the near future.

Andrei

The New Era Of International Relations Is Defined By The Russian-Chinese Entente

5 FEBRUARY 2022

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

They’re truly changing the world in pursuit of their shared vision of making it more equitable, just, and multipolar, but neither is going to go to war for the other….Precisely because they’re ‘more than allies’, they can responsibly agree to disagree on certain key issues like Kashmir and the South China Sea while still continuing their globally game-changing cooperation.

The Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership serves as the engine of the emerging Multipolar World Order. It was unprecedentedly strengthened after these Great Powers’ grand strategies were compelled to converge in response to the US’ attempted simultaneous “containment” of both after 2014. The declining unipolar hegemon coordinated provocations in Eastern Europe via Ukraine and Southeast Asia through the South China Sea but “counterproductively” brought those two closer than ever before as a result. All of its attempts to divide and rule them through information warfare have also failed.

Nowhere is their grand strategic convergence more apparent than in the joint statement that they released during President Putin’s visit to the People’s Republic to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games and meet with his Chinese counterpart. Titled “Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development”, this document confirms that those two are coordinating almost every facet of their respective policies across the world.

They’re united in their shared vision of the emerging Multipolar World Order and are convinced that the sanctity of international law as enshrined in the UN Charter must be respected no matter what. Russia and China are strongly against attempts to weaponize the concept of “democracy” as a pretext for meddling in the internal affairs of other countries. They regard the people as granting legitimacy to their government, yet they also acknowledge that each country has the right to practice their own unique form of democracy based on their circumstances, history, socio-political situation, and traditions.

On the economic front, Russia and China agree that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals must be achieved, though this has become challenging as a result of the international community’s uncoordinated efforts to contain COVID-19 (“World War C”). Nevertheless, the synchronization between Beijing’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) and Moscow’s Greater Eurasian Partnership (GEP) will provide a much-needed impetus for bringing this about, all with the intent of jointly forging a community of common destiny for mankind.

The greatest obstacle to their ambitious vision is some states (understood to be a reference to the US) unilaterally ensuring what they describe as their own “security” at others’ expense, including through Color Revolutions, which Russia and China jointly oppose. The creation of military alliances aimed against others, the abrogation of international arms control pacts, and the nuclear proliferation threat posed by AUKUS are all of serious concern to these Great Powers. Only full compliance with the principle of indivisible security as enshrined in international law will suffice for stabilizing the world.

No so-called “forbidden” areas exist in terms of the spheres where Russia and China will now cooperate, nor are there any limits thereof. They’ll pursue true multilateralism in all international fora and will work to strengthen those in which they presently participate such as APEC, EAS, BRICS, RIC, the SCO, and the G20, et al. People-to-people ties will also continue to be prioritized, as will their efforts to maintain ASEAN’s central role in the Asia-Pacific. Russia and China are truly uniting to ensure that the ongoing global systemic transition towards multipolar remains stable and sustainable.

Having reached that conclusion throughout the course of reviewing their very detailed joint statement, it also deserves mentioning that Russia and China still aren’t “allies” in the traditional sense that this term is widely understood to signify. Although Chinese President Xi Jinping described their relations as “more than allied”, this doesn’t in any sense imply that either country is willing to have their troops fight, sacrifice, and potentially even die in defense of the other’s legitimate security interests that are threatened by unprovoked American aggression.

Rather, what’s meant is that neither is dependent on the other or “owes” them anything since their relations are truly between equals and not in any sort of “hierarchy” whereby one can order the other to sacrifice on their behalf like in the alliances of times past. Their joint statement makes it clear that these two are coordinating on issues of global strategic significance that surpass the cooperation of any pair or group of states in history. They’re truly changing the world in pursuit of their shared vision of making it more equitable, just, and multipolar, but once again, neither is going to fight for the other.

Nor, in that case, should they even be expected to as explained by the author in his answer to the third question that he was asked in a recent interview that can be read in full here. He also elaborated on the interplay of China and India’s importance for Russian grand strategy here, which is crucial for observers to keep in mind since Moscow and Beijing still don’t see eye-to-eye on exactly all issues like Kashmir or the South China Sea as was explained in the last part of this article about why China isn’t fully taking Russia’s side in its dispute with Ukraine despite supporting it against NATO’s warmongering.

Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that the Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership is truly the driving force in accelerating International Relations’ ongoing global systemic transition towards multipolarity following the brief and highly destabilizing period of US-led unipolar hegemony. Their ties are rock-solid and won’t be weakened even by their objectively existing differences over hot international issues like those that were touched upon in the abovementioned paragraph. Precisely because they’re “more than allies”, they can responsibly agree to disagree while still continuing their globally game-changing cooperation.

Erdogan in Kiev, Putin in Beijing: can neo-Ottomanism fit into Greater Eurasia?  

Reporting from Istanbul: As the world turns further over monumental announcements from the Putin-Xi summit in Beijing, Turkey’s Erdogan keeps walking a thinning tightrope between NATO and Eurasia

February 04 2022

The sweeping new Sino-Russian strategic partnership struck in Beijing this week has established clear expectations of geopolitically-ambiguous Eurasian states like TurkeyPhoto Credit: The Cradle

By Pepe Escobar

The Chinese year of the Black Water Tiger started with a big bang – a live Beijing summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping – and a minor bang – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Kiev, Ukraine. And yes, it’s all interlinked.

Kremlin foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov had revealed in advance that Putin-Xi would release a very important “joint statement on international relations entering a new era,” with Russia and China in synch “on the most important world problems, including security issues.”

Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and Wang Yi, who worked non-stop prior to the summit, met the day before in Beijing to finalize the joint statement. Wang stressed the increasing interconnection of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), and much to the interest of the Global South, referred to extensive discussions on BRICS cooperation, Ukraine, Afghanistan and the Korean Peninsula.

The Russia-China joint statement (here, in Russian) did not cut any corners. The two global powers, among the summit’s key takeaways, are against NATO expansion; favor the UN and “justice in international relations;” will fight “interference in the internal affairs of sovereign countries;” oppose “external forces” undermining national security; and are resolutely against color revolutions.

Putin Op-Ed published by Xinhua detailed the full spectrum of the Sino-Russian discussions at the highest level – from the drive to “strengthen the central coordinating role of the United Nations in global affairs and to prevent the international legal system, with the UN Charter at its center, from being eroded,” to “consistently expanding the practice of settlements in national currencies and creating mechanisms to offset the negative impact of unilateral [US] sanctions.”

Putin resolutely defined China as “our strategic partner in the international arena,” and stressed how he and Xi “hold largely the same views on addressing the world’s problems.”

He said this strategic partnership is “sustainable, intrinsically valuable, not affected by the political climate and not aimed against anyone. It is underpinned by respect, regard for each other’s core interests, adherence to international law and the UN Charter.” 

The Global South – and possibly swathes of Europe, now facing a frigid winter with hiked fuel prices because of the stand off over Ukraine – will not fail to compare it with NATO’s worldview.

Meanwhile, in Kiev, Erdogan and Zelensky were reviewing the Turkish-Ukrainian strategic partnership.

Erdogan did perform quite a feat in Kiev. He called for “a “peaceful and diplomatic solution” in Ukraine, not exactly following the relentless War Inc. narrative. He even said the solution should be found “within the framework of the Minsk agreements, on the basis of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and international law.”

That happens to exactly tie in with Moscow’s view. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had previously commented, “if Turkey could encourage Kiev to implement the Minsk deal, Moscow would welcome this development.”

The Sultan swing again

So enter Erdogan as benign messenger/peacemaker – the latest twist in the fascinating, never-ending saga of what could be interpreted as his search for a more refined post-neo-Ottomanism stance in foreign policy.

Well, it’s not that simple. Erdogan, even before landing in Kiev, affirmed that Ankara is ready to host a live Putin-Zelensky meeting or even “talks at the technical level.”

That was his cue to promote a possible Putin jaunt to Ankara after his meeting with Xi in Beijing: “Mr. Putin told us that he will visit Turkey after his visit to China.”

Erdogan did invite Putin in late January. The Kremlin confirms no date has been set yet.

The ostensible purpose of Erdogan’s visit to Kiev, part of a High-Level Strategic Council, was to sign a so-called New Generation Free Trade Agreement, including the very tricky – for Moscow – joint production of Bayraktar drones, manufactured by Baykar Makina, a company owned by none other than Erdogan’s son-in-law Selcuk Bayraktar.

Yes, in Erdoganistan it’s all in the family. And the problem is that the Bayraktar TBT 2 combat drone – like those sold to Ukraine since 2018 – will continue to be used against the civilian population of Donetsk. Lavrov and even Putin himself have been very vocal about it vis-a-vis Ankara.

Erdogan’s geopolitical tightrope walking includes Russian S-400s in and US F-35s out, receiving Russian gas and nuclear technology while selling those Bayraktars to Russia’s enemies, and even the support, expressed by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in late January, to the 1936 Montreux Convention, which is very specific on restricting NATO in the Black Sea: “It is out of the question to give up on [Montreux] under today’s conditions.”

NATO’s headquarters in Brussels won’t be amused.

Up to now, Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) had been actively ditching Montreux to the benefit of the still far-fetched Canal Istanbul linking the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, “entirely under Turkey’s sovereignty,” according to Erdogan – obviously a very juicy deal from NATO’s point of view. Yet the fact is Ankara, mired in an economic/financial swamp, has no means to build the Canal.     

The geopolitical tightrope walking still leaves in the balance the real objectives of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS), formerly Turkic Council, which crystallizes the pull of pan-Turkism – or pan-Turanism. It has already gone beyond last year’s Susha Declaration, which solidified a Turk-Azeri “one nation, two states;” it now encompasses these two plus Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and has been actively courting Hungary, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and – last but not least – Ukraine.     

The OTS met in a tightly secured island in Istanbul last November. They discussed in detail the fact that the extremely complex political environment in Taliban Afghanistan might spill over new instances of terrorism and uncontrolled migration. There were no leaks about future, practical OTS steps.    

Way more than a bridge connecting Asia Minor and the Caucasus to Central Asia, or a sort of benign form of “dialogue” between the south Caucasus and Central Asia, the OTS, in theory, carries all the trappings of a bloc from the Black Sea to Xinjiang, under a not-too-disguised Turkish hegemony, which implies a serious Trojan Horse element: a NATO presence.

It remains to be seen how the OTS would interface with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which congregates the “stans” as full members, as well as Iran – but not Turkey, which is just an observer. The SCO top powers are of course Russia and China, which in no way would allow, for instance, the Caspian to be open to western predatory policies, infringement of Russian and Iranian spheres of influence, and most of all a ‘security’ bloc with NATO ‘leading from behind.’     

The talk in those palace corridors

It’s quite enlightening to assess how Erdogan media – over 90% fully controlled across Turkey – mirrors what may be the real calculations swirling in the corridors of that 1000-room Sultanesque palace in Ankara.

They see that Russia “invaded Crimea, and annexed eastern Ukraine,” and is trying to “solidify its position in the Black Sea and Eastern Europe.” At the same time, they see the Empire instrumentalizing Turkey as a mere ‘frontline’ in a larger war, with NATO’s strategy to ‘besiege’ Russia and China also being applied against Turkey.

So “the fear of Turkey is now as strong as the fear of Russia and China.”

They seem to understand that if War Inc. gets what it desperately wants, “the Black Sea will be transformed into the Eastern Mediterranean. The US and Europe fully settling into the Black Sea means they will never leave.” That “could lead to Turkey’s destruction in the medium and long term.”

And then there’s the crucial twist: “Ukraine cannot stop Russia. But Turkey can.” That is exactly what Erdogan is playing at. “The US and Europe must be thwarted from settling into the Black Sea. Turkey-Russia relations must be preserved.” The problem is how “Ukraine’s integrity and defense must be supported.”

All of the above perfectly ties in with Erdogan, back from Kiev with all rhetorical guns blazing, blasting that the West wants to “worsen” the Ukrainian crisis. Erdogan media frames it as “a game is being set to drive Turkey against Russia.” 

Erdogan so far never really challenged the ‘rules-based international order.’ He always made a point of addressing two different messages to East and West. To Asia, the emphasis was on anti-imperialism, the dire consequences of colonialism, the Israeli apartheid state and western Islamophobia. To the West, he impressed his own version of dialogue of civilizations (and was branded as “an autocrat”).

Ultimately Erdogan is not west-toxified, much to the contrary. He sees the US-led order as a neocolonial power only interested in pillaging the resources of the lands of Islam. Of course he’s handicapped culturally – adhering, at best, to memorizing Quranic verses, listening to Ottoman military music and having his photo taken with the odd Turkish pop star. He doesn’t read; it’s all about instinct.

A conversation about Erdoganian neo-Ottomanism in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar beats any think tank analysis. Bazaaris tell us it’s something in constant flux. In foreign policy terms, it migrated from pro-EU to frustration for being excluded, coupled with the certainty that Turkey is fed up with being a US client state. It’s as if Erdogan, instinctively, has grasped the collective west’s current, abysmal strategic debacle – thus his effort, now, to build some strategic cooperation with Russia-China.

Has he undergone a conversion though? Considering his legendary volatility, all bets are off. Erdogan has a long memory, and has not forgotten that Putin was the first world leader to condemn the – botched – 2016 coup attempt by the usual intel suspects, and support him personally.

It’s still a long way for Erdogan’s Turkey to become a strategic partner to Russia. Yet he has a knack of knowing which way the geopolitical winds are blowing – and that points to Eurasia integration, the Russian-conceptualized Greater Eurasia Partnership, and the primacy of the Russia-China strategic partnership manifested through BRI, EAEU and the SCO.    

There’s even an Eurasianist mini-boom in Turkey. They are secular; anti-NATO – just like Russia-China; consider the Empire as the undisputed troublemaker in West Asia; and want closer ties with Moscow and Tehran.

In Nostalgia for the Empire: The Politics of Neo-Ottomanism, M. Hakan Yavuz argues that “neo-Ottomanism constitutes a web of interrelationships between the dominant discourse of Islamism, the residual memories of Ottoman grandeur, and the prominent desire to reconstitute the Turkish nation as a regional power with historic roots.”   

The money quote is “regional power”. Why not a strong “regional power” deeply integrated into a strong Greater Eurasia – instead of a mere (decaying) western vassal? No wonder Erdogan is dying to hang out with Putin in Ankara.

Lavrov’s Remarks Following Putin-Xi Talks In Beijing

February 04, 2022

The primary focus was the tensions that the West has been deliberately escalating around Russia and China, Sergey Lavrov said following talks between Vlsdimir Putin and Xi Jinping, which took place on Friday in Beijing. “The President of Russia described once again our position at the talks with the United States and NATO on the need to work out clear security guarantees in Europe. The PRC President reaffirmed support for Russia’s stand on this problem. He emphasised that it reflected the fair aspirations of

Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development

February 04, 2022

Source

At the invitation of President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir V. Putin visited China on 4 February 2022. The Heads of State held talks in Beijing and took part in the opening ceremony of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games.

The Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, hereinafter referred to as the sides, state as follows.

Today, the world is going through momentous changes, and humanity is entering a new era of rapid development and profound transformation. It sees the development of such processes and phenomena as multipolarity, economic globalization, the advent of information society, cultural diversity, transformation of the global governance architecture and world order; there is increasing interrelation and interdependence between the States; a trend has emerged towards redistribution of power in the world; and the international community is showing a growing demand for the leadership aiming at peaceful and gradual development. At the same time, as the pandemic of the new coronavirus infection continues, the international and regional security situation is complicating and the number of global challenges and threats is growing from day to day. Some actors representing but the minority on the international scale continue to advocate unilateral approaches to addressing international issues and resort to force; they interfere in the internal affairs of other states, infringing their legitimate rights and interests, and incite contradictions, differences and confrontation, thus hampering the development and progress of mankind, against the opposition from the international community.

The sides call on all States to pursue well-being for all and, with these ends, to build dialogue and mutual trust, strengthen mutual understanding, champion such universal human values as peace, development, equality, justice, democracy and freedom, respect the rights of peoples to independently determine the development paths of their countries and the sovereignty and the security and development interests of States, to protect the United Nations-driven international architecture and the international law-based world order, seek genuine multipolarity with the United Nations and its Security Council playing a central and coordinating role, promote more democratic international relations, and ensure peace, stability and sustainable development across the world.

I

The sides share the understanding that democracy is a universal human value, rather than a privilege of a limited number of States, and that its promotion and protection is a common responsibility of the entire world community.

The sides believe that democracy is a means of citizens’ participation in the government of their country with the view to improving the well-being of population and implementing the principle of popular government. Democracy is exercised in all spheres of public life as part of a nation-wide process and reflects the interests of all the people, its will, guarantees its rights, meets its needs and protects its interests. There is no one-size-fits-all template to guide countries in establishing democracy. A nation can choose such forms and methods of implementing democracy that would best suit its particular state, based on its social and political system, its historical background, traditions and unique cultural characteristics. It is only up to the people of the country to decide whether their State is a democratic one.

The sides note that Russia and China as world powers with rich cultural and historical heritage have long-standing traditions of democracy, which rely on thousand-years of experience of development, broad popular support and consideration of the needs and interests of citizens. Russia and China guarantee their people the right to take part through various means and in various forms in the administration of the State and public life in accordance with the law. The people of both countries are certain of the way they have chosen and respect the democratic systems and traditions of other States.

The sides note that democratic principles are implemented at the global level, as well as in administration of State. Certain States’ attempts to impose their own ”democratic standards“ on other countries, to monopolize the right to assess the level of compliance with democratic criteria, to draw dividing lines based on the grounds of ideology, including by establishing exclusive blocs and alliances of convenience, prove to be nothing but flouting of democracy and go against the spirit and true values of democracy. Such attempts at hegemony pose serious threats to global and regional peace and stability and undermine the stability of the world order.

The sides believe that the advocacy of democracy and human rights must not be used to put pressure on other countries. They oppose the abuse of democratic values and interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states under the pretext of protecting democracy and human rights, and any attempts to incite divisions and confrontation in the world. The sides call on the international community to respect cultural and civilizational diversity and the rights of peoples of different countries to self-determination. They stand ready to work together with all the interested partners to promote genuine democracy.

The sides note that the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights set noble goals in the area of universal human rights, set forth fundamental principles, which all the States must comply with and observe in deeds. At the same time, as every nation has its own unique national features, history, culture, social system and level of social and economic development, universal nature of human rights should be seen through the prism of the real situation in every particular country, and human rights should be protected in accordance with the specific situation in each country and the needs of its population. Promotion and protection of human rights is a shared responsibility of the international community. The states should equally prioritize all categories of human rights and promote them in a systemic manner. The international human rights cooperation should be carried out as a dialogue between the equals involving all countries. All States must have equal access to the right to development. Interaction and cooperation on human rights matters should be based on the principle of equality of all countries and mutual respect for the sake of strengthening the international human rights architecture.

II

The sides believe that peace, development and cooperation lie at the core of the modern international system. Development is a key driver in ensuring the prosperity of the nations. The ongoing pandemic of the new coronavirus infection poses a serious challenge to the fulfilment of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is vital to enhance partnership relations for the sake of global development and make sure that the new stage of global development is defined by balance, harmony and inclusiveness.

The sides are seeking to advance their work to link the development plans for the Eurasian Economic Union and the Belt and Road Initiative with a view to intensifying practical cooperation between the EAEU and China in various areas and promoting greater interconnectedness between the Asia Pacific and Eurasian regions. The sides reaffirm their focus on building the Greater Eurasian Partnership in parallel and in coordination with the Belt and Road construction to foster the development of regional associations as well as bilateral and multilateral integration processes for the benefit of the peoples on the Eurasian continent.

The sides agreed to continue consistently intensifying practical cooperation for the sustainable development of the Arctic.

The sides will strengthen cooperation within multilateral mechanisms, including the United Nations, and encourage the international community to prioritize development issues in the global macro-policy coordination. They call on the developed countries to implement in good faith their formal commitments on development assistance, provide more resources to developing countries, address the uneven development of States, work to offset such imbalances within States, and advance global and international development cooperation. The Russian side confirms its readiness to continue working on the China-proposed Global Development Initiative, including participation in the activities of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative under the UN auspices. In order to accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the sides call on the international community to take practical steps in key areas of cooperation such as poverty reduction, food security, vaccines and epidemics control, financing for development, climate change, sustainable development, including green development, industrialization, digital economy, and infrastructure connectivity.

The sides call on the international community to create open, equal, fair and non-discriminatory conditions for scientific and technological development, to step up practical implementation of scientific and technological advances in order to identify new drivers of economic growth.

The sides call upon all countries to strengthen cooperation in sustainable transport, actively build contacts and share knowledge in the construction of transport facilities, including smart transport and sustainable transport, development and use of Arctic routes, as well as to develop other areas to support global post-epidemic recovery.

The sides are taking serious action and making an important contribution to the fight against climate change. Jointly celebrating the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, they reaffirm their commitment to this Convention as well as to the goals, principles and provisions of the Paris Agreement, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The sides work together to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, remain committed to fulfilling the obligations they have undertaken and expect that developed countries will actually ensure the annual provision of $100 billion of climate finance to developing states. The sides oppose setting up new barriers in international trade under the pretext of fighting climate change.

The sides strongly support the development of international cooperation and exchanges in the field of biological diversity, actively participating in the relevant global governance process, and intend to jointly promote the harmonious development of humankind and nature as well as green transformation to ensure sustainable global development.

The Heads of State positively assess the effective interaction between Russia and China in the bilateral and multilateral formats focusing on the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, protection of life and health of the population of the two countries and the peoples of the world. They will further increase cooperation in the development and manufacture of vaccines against the new coronavirus infection, as well as medical drugs for its treatment, and enhance collaboration in public health and modern medicine. The sides plan to strengthen coordination on epidemiological measures to ensure strong protection of health, safety and order in contacts between citizens of the two countries. The sides have commended the work of the competent authorities and regions of the two countries on implementing quarantine measures in the border areas and ensuring the stable operation of the border crossing points, and intend to consider establishing a joint mechanism for epidemic control and prevention in the border areas to jointly plan anti-epidemic measures to be taken at the border checkpoints, share information, build infrastructure and improve the efficiency of customs clearance of goods.

The sides emphasize that ascertaining the origin of the new coronavirus infection is a matter of science. Research on this topic must be based on global knowledge, and that requires cooperation among scientists from all over the world. The sides oppose politicization of this issue. The Russian side welcomes the work carried out jointly by China and WHO to identify the source of the new coronavirus infection and supports the China – WHO joint report on the matter. The sides call on the global community to jointly promote a serious scientific approach to the study of the coronavirus origin.

The Russian side supports a successful hosting by the Chinese side of the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2022.

The sides highly appreciate the level of bilateral cooperation in sports and the Olympic movement and express their readiness to contribute to its further progressive development.

III

The sides are gravely concerned about serious international security challenges and believe that the fates of all nations are interconnected. No State can or should ensure its own security separately from the security of the rest of the world and at the expense of the security of other States. The international community should actively engage in global governance to ensure universal, comprehensive, indivisible and lasting security.

The sides reaffirm their strong mutual support for the protection of their core interests, state sovereignty and territorial integrity, and oppose interference by external forces in their internal affairs.

The Russian side reaffirms its support for the One-China principle, confirms that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and opposes any forms of independence of Taiwan.

Russia and China stand against attempts by external forces to undermine security and stability in their common adjacent regions, intend to counter interference by outside forces in the internal affairs of sovereign countries under any pretext, oppose colour revolutions, and will increase cooperation in the aforementioned areas.

The sides condemn terrorism in all its manifestations, promote the idea of creating a single global anti-terrorism front, with the United Nations playing a central role, advocate stronger political coordination and constructive engagement in multilateral counterterrorism efforts. The sides oppose politicization of the issues of combating terrorism and their use as instruments of policy of double standards, condemn the practice of interference in the internal affairs of other States for geopolitical purposes through the use of terrorist and extremist groups as well as under the guise of combating international terrorism and extremism.

The sides believe that certain States, military and political alliances and coalitions seek to obtain, directly or indirectly, unilateral military advantages to the detriment of the security of others, including by employing unfair competition practices, intensify geopolitical rivalry, fuel antagonism and confrontation, and seriously undermine the international security order and global strategic stability. The sides oppose further enlargement of NATO and call on the North Atlantic Alliance to abandon its ideologized cold war approaches, to respect the sovereignty, security and interests of other countries, the diversity of their civilizational, cultural and historical backgrounds, and to exercise a fair and objective attitude towards the peaceful development of other States. The sides stand against the formation of closed bloc structures and opposing camps in the Asia-Pacific region and remain highly vigilant about the negative impact of the United States’ Indo-Pacific strategy on peace and stability in the region. Russia and China have made consistent efforts to build an equitable, open and inclusive security system in the Asia-Pacific Region (APR) that is not directed against third countries and that promotes peace, stability and prosperity.

The sides welcome the Joint Statement of the Leaders of the Five Nuclear-Weapons States on Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races and believe that all nuclear-weapons States should abandon the cold war mentality and zero-sum games, reduce the role of nuclear weapons in their national security policies, withdraw nuclear weapons deployed abroad, eliminate the unrestricted development of global anti-ballistic missile defense (ABM) system, and take effective steps to reduce the risks of nuclear wars and any armed conflicts between countries with military nuclear capabilities.

The sides reaffirm that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is the cornerstone of the international disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation system, an important part of the post-war international security system, and plays an indispensable role in world peace and development. The international community should promote the balanced implementation of the three pillars of the Treaty and work together to protect the credibility, effectiveness and the universal nature of the instrument.

The sides are seriously concerned about the trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom (AUKUS), which provides for deeper cooperation between its members in areas involving strategic stability, in particular their decision to initiate cooperation in the field of nuclear-powered submarines. Russia and China believe that such actions are contrary to the objectives of security and sustainable development of the Asia-Pacific region, increase the danger of an arms race in the region, and pose serious risks of nuclear proliferation. The sides strongly condemn such moves and call on AUKUS participants to fulfil their nuclear and missile non-proliferation commitments in good faith and to work together to safeguard peace, stability, and development in the region.

Japan’s plans to release nuclear contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean and the potential environmental impact of such actions are of deep concern to the sides. The sides emphasize that the disposal of nuclear contaminated water should be handled with responsibility and carried out in a proper manner based on arrangements between the Japanese side and neighbouring States, other interested parties, and relevant international agencies while ensuring transparency, scientific reasoning, and in accordance with international law.

The sides believe that the U.S. withdrawal from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, the acceleration of research and the development of intermediate-range and shorter-range ground-based missiles and the desire to deploy them in the Asia-Pacific and European regions, as well as their transfer to the allies, entail an increase in tension and distrust, increase risks to international and regional security, lead to the weakening of international non-proliferation and arms control system, undermining global strategic stability. The sided call on the United States to respond positively to the Russian initiative and abandon its plans to deploy intermediate-range and shorter-range ground-based missiles in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe. The sides will continue to maintain contacts and strengthen coordination on this issue.

The Chinese side is sympathetic to and supports the proposals put forward by the Russian Federation to create long-term legally binding security guarantees in Europe.

The sides note that the denunciation by the United States of a number of important international arms control agreements has an extremely negative impact on international and regional security and stability. The sides express concern over the advancement of U.S. plans to develop global missile defence and deploy its elements in various regions of the world, combined with capacity building of high-precision non-nuclear weapons for disarming strikes and other strategic objectives. The sides stress the importance of the peaceful uses of outer space, strongly support the central role of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in promoting international cooperation, maintaining and developing international space law and regulation in the field of space activities. Russia and China will continue to increase cooperation on such matters of mutual interest as the long-term sustainability of space activities and the development and use of space resources. The sides oppose attempts by some States to turn outer space into an arena of armed confrontation and reiterate their intention to make all necessary efforts to prevent the weaponization of space and an arms race in outer space. They will counteract activities aimed at achieving military superiority in space and using it for combat operations. The sides affirm the need for the early launch of negotiations to conclude a legally binding multilateral instrument based on the Russian-Chinese draft treaty on the prevention of placement of weapons in outer space and the use or threat of force against space objects that would provide fundamental and reliable guarantees against an arms race and the weaponization of outer space.

Russia and China emphasize that appropriate transparency and confidence-building measures, including an international initiative/political commitment not to be the first to place weapons in space, can also contribute to the goal of preventing an arms race in outer space, but such measures should complement and not substitute the effective legally binding regime governing space activities.

The sides reaffirm their belief that the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BWC) is an essential pillar of international peace and security. Russia and China underscore their determination to preserve the credibility and effectiveness of the Convention.

The sides affirm the need to fully respect and further strengthen the BWC, including by institutionalizing it, strengthening its mechanisms, and adopting a legally binding Protocol to the Convention with an effective verification mechanism, as well as through regular consultation and cooperation in addressing any issues related to the implementation of the Convention.

The sides emphasize that domestic and foreign bioweapons activities by the United States and its allies raise serious concerns and questions for the international community regarding their compliance with the BWC. The sides share the view that such activities pose a serious threat to the national security of the Russian Federation and China and are detrimental to the security of the respective regions. The sides call on the U.S. and its allies to act in an open, transparent, and responsible manner by properly reporting on their military biological activities conducted overseas and on their national territory, and by supporting the resumption of negotiations on a legally binding BWC Protocol with an effective verification mechanism.

The sides, reaffirming their commitment to the goal of a world free of chemical weapons, call upon all parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention to work together to uphold its credibility and effectiveness. Russia and China are deeply concerned about the politicization of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and call on all of its members to strengthen solidarity and cooperation and protect the tradition of consensual decision-making. Russia and China insist that the United States, as the sole State Party to the Convention that has not yet completed the process of eliminating chemical weapons, accelerate the elimination of its stockpiles of chemical weapons. The sides emphasize the importance of balancing the non-proliferation obligations of states with the interests of legitimate international cooperation in the use of advanced technology and related materials and equipment for peaceful purposes. The sides note the resolution entitled ”Promoting international Cooperation on Peaceful Uses in the Context of International Security“ adopted at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly on the initiative of China and co‑sponsored by Russia, and look forward to its consistent implementation in accordance with the goals set forth therein.

The sides attach great importance to the issues of governance in the field of artificial intelligence. The sides are ready to strengthen dialogue and contacts on artificial intelligence.

The sides reiterate their readiness to deepen cooperation in the field of international information security and to contribute to building an open, secure, sustainable and accessible ICT environment. The sides emphasize that the principles of the non-use of force, respect for national sovereignty and fundamental human rights and freedoms, and non-interference in the internal affairs of other States, as enshrined in the UN Charter, are applicable to the information space. Russia and China reaffirm the key role of the UN in responding to threats to international information security and express their support for the Organization in developing new norms of conduct of states in this area.

The sides welcome the implementation of the global negotiation process on international information security within a single mechanism and support in this context the work of the UN Open-ended Working Group on security of and in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) 2021–2025 (OEWG) and express their willingness to speak with one voice within it. The sides consider it necessary to consolidate the efforts of the international community to develop new norms of responsible behaviour of States, including legal ones, as well as a universal international legal instrument regulating the activities of States in the field of ICT. The sides believe that the Global Initiative on Data Security, proposed by the Chinese side and supported, in principle, by the Russian side, provides a basis for the Working Group to discuss and elaborate responses to data security threats and other threats to international information security.

The sides reiterate their support of United Nations General Assembly resolutions 74/247 and 75/282, support the work of the relevant Ad Hoc Committee of Governmental Experts, facilitate the negotiations within the United Nations for the elaboration of an international convention on countering the use of ICTs for criminal purposes. The sides encourage constructive participation of all sides in the negotiations in order to agree as soon as possible on a credible, universal, and comprehensive convention and provide it to the United Nations General Assembly at its 78th session in strict compliance with resolution 75/282. For these purposes, Russia and China have presented a joint draft convention as a basis for negotiations.

The sides support the internationalization of Internet governance, advocate equal rights to its governance, believe that any attempts to limit their sovereign right to regulate national segments of the Internet and ensure their security are unacceptable, are interested in greater participation of the International Telecommunication Union in addressing these issues.

The sides intend to deepen bilateral cooperation in international information security on the basis of the relevant 2015 intergovernmental agreement. To this end, the sides have agreed to adopt in the near future a plan for cooperation between Russia and China in this area.

IV

The sides underline that Russia and China, as world powers and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, intend to firmly adhere to moral principles and accept their responsibility, strongly advocate the international system with the central coordinating role of the United Nations in international affairs, defend the world order based on international law, including the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, advance multipolarity and promote the democratization of international relations, together create an even more prospering, stable, and just world, jointly build international relations of a new type.

The Russian side notes the significance of the concept of constructing a ”community of common destiny for mankind“ proposed by the Chinese side to ensure greater solidarity of the international community and consolidation of efforts in responding to common challenges. The Chinese side notes the significance of the efforts taken by the Russian side to establish a just multipolar system of international relations.

The sides intend to strongly uphold the outcomes of the Second World War and the existing post-war world order, defend the authority of the United Nations and justice in international relations, resist attempts to deny, distort, and falsify the history of the Second World War.

In order to prevent the recurrence of the tragedy of the world war, the sides will strongly condemn actions aimed at denying the responsibility for atrocities of Nazi aggressors, militarist invaders, and their accomplices, besmirch and tarnish the honour of the victorious countries.

The sides call for the establishment of a new kind of relationships between world powers on the basis of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation. They reaffirm that the new inter-State relations between Russia and China are superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War era. Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ”forbidden“ areas of cooperation, strengthening of bilateral strategic cooperation is neither aimed against third countries nor affected by the changing international environment and circumstantial changes in third countries.

The sides reiterate the need for consolidation, not division of the international community, the need for cooperation, not confrontation. The sides oppose the return of international relations to the state of confrontation between major powers, when the weak fall prey to the strong. The sides intend to resist attempts to substitute universally recognized formats and mechanisms that are consistent with international law for rules elaborated in private by certain nations or blocs of nations, and are against addressing international problems indirectly and without consensus, oppose power politics, bullying, unilateral sanctions, and extraterritorial application of jurisdiction, as well as the abuse of export control policies, and support trade facilitation in line with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The sides reaffirmed their intention to strengthen foreign policy coordination, pursue true multilateralism, strengthen cooperation on multilateral platforms, defend common interests, support the international and regional balance of power, and improve global governance.

The sides support and defend the multilateral trade system based on the central role of the World Trade Organization (WTO), take an active part in the WTO reform, opposing unilateral approaches and protectionism. The sides are ready to strengthen dialogue between partners and coordinate positions on trade and economic issues of common concern, contribute to ensuring the sustainable and stable operation of global and regional value chains, promote a more open, inclusive, transparent, non-discriminatory system of international trade and economic rules.

The sides support the G20 format as an important forum for discussing international economic cooperation issues and anti-crisis response measures, jointly promote the invigorated spirit of solidarity and cooperation within the G20, support the leading role of the association in such areas as the international fight against epidemics, world economic recovery, inclusive sustainable development, improving the global economic governance system in a fair and rational manner to collectively address global challenges.

The sides support the deepened strategic partnership within BRICS, promote the expanded cooperation in three main areas: politics and security, economy and finance, and humanitarian exchanges. In particular, Russia and China intend to encourage interaction in the fields of public health, digital economy, science, innovation and technology, including artificial intelligence technologies, as well as the increased coordination between BRICS countries on international platforms. The sides strive to further strengthen the BRICS Plus/Outreach format as an effective mechanism of dialogue with regional integration associations and organizations of developing countries and States with emerging markets.

The Russian side will fully support the Chinese side chairing the association in 2022, and assist in the fruitful holding of the XIV BRICS summit.

Russia and China aim to comprehensively strengthen the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and further enhance its role in shaping a polycentric world order based on the universally recognized principles of international law, multilateralism, equal, joint, indivisible, comprehensive and sustainable security.

They consider it important to consistently implement the agreements on improved mechanisms to counter challenges and threats to the security of SCO member states and, in the context of addressing this task, advocate expanded functionality of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure.

The sides will contribute to imparting a new quality and dynamics to the economic interaction between the SCO member States in the fields of trade, manufacturing, transport, energy, finance, investment, agriculture, customs, telecommunications, innovation and other areas of mutual interest, including through the use of advanced, resource-saving, energy efficient and ”green“ technologies.

The sides note the fruitful interaction within the SCO under the 2009 Agreement between the Governments of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member States on cooperation in the field of international information security, as well as within the specialized Group of Experts. In this context, they welcome the adoption of the SCO Joint Action Plan on Ensuring International Information Security for 2022–2023 by the Council of Heads of State of SCO Member States on September 17, 2021 in Dushanbe.

Russia and China proceed from the ever-increasing importance of cultural and humanitarian cooperation for the progressive development of the SCO. In order to strengthen mutual understanding between the people of the SCO member States, they will continue to effectively foster interaction in such areas as cultural ties, education, science and technology, healthcare, environmental protection, tourism, people-to-people contacts, sports.

Russia and China will continue to work to strengthen the role of APEC as the leading platform for multilateral dialogue on economic issues in the Asia-Pacific region. The sides intend to step up coordinated action to successfully implement the ”Putrajaya guidelines for the development of APEC until 2040“ with a focus on creating a free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent and predictable trade and investment environment in the region. Particular emphasis will be placed on the fight against the novel coronavirus infection pandemic and economic recovery, digitalization of a wide range of different spheres of life, economic growth in remote territories and the establishment of interaction between APEC and other regional multilateral associations with a similar agenda.

The sides intend to develop cooperation within the ”Russia-India-China“ format, as well as to strengthen interaction on such venues as the East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum on Security, Meeting of Defense Ministers of the ASEAN Member States and Dialogue Partners. Russia and China support ASEAN’s central role in developing cooperation in East Asia, continue to increase coordination on deepened cooperation with ASEAN, and jointly promote cooperation in the areas of public health, sustainable development, combating terrorism and countering transnational crime. The sides intend to continue to work in the interest of a strengthened role of ASEAN as a key element of the regional architecture.

Full text of Putin’s signed article for Xinhua: Russia and China: A Future-Oriented Strategic Partnership

February 02, 2022

Source

President of the Russian Federation

Vladimir Putin

On the eve of my upcoming visit to China, I am pleased to communicate directly with the Chinese and foreign audience of Xinhua, the largest news agency.

Our countries are close neighbours bound by centuries-old traditions of friendship and trust. We highly appreciate that Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, entering a new era, has reached an unprecedented level and become a model of efficiency, responsibility, and aspiration for the future. Last year, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation. The basic principles and guidelines for joint work were defined by our two countries in the treaty, which include first and foremost, equality, consideration of one another’s interests, freedom from political and ideological circumstances as well as from the vestiges of the past. These are the principles we consistently build on year after year in the spirit of continuity to deepen our political dialogue. Despite the difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are striving to build the capacity of economic partnerships and expand people-to-people exchanges.

During the upcoming visit, President Xi Jinping and I will thoroughly discuss key issues on the bilateral, regional, and global agendas. It is symbolic that our meeting will take place during the Spring Festival – the Chinese Lunar New Year. After all, as the Chinese saying goes, “The whole year’s work depends on a good start in spring.”

The development of business ties will certainly be given special attention. There is every opportunity for this as our countries have substantial financial, industrial, technological and human resources allowing us to successfully resolve long-term development issues. Working together, we can achieve stable economic growth and improve the well-being of our citizens, strengthen our competitiveness, and stand together against today’s risks and challenges.

At the end of 2021, the volume of mutual trade increased by more than a third, exceeding the record level of 140 billion U.S. dollars. We are well on the way towards our goal of increasing the volume of trade to 200 billion U.S. dollars a year. A number of important initiatives are being implemented in the investment, manufacturing, industrial and agricultural sectors. In particular, the portfolio of the Intergovernmental Commission on Investment Cooperation includes 65 projects worth over 120 billion U.S. dollars. This is about collaboration in such fields as mining and mineral processing, infrastructure construction, and agriculture.

We are consistently expanding settlements in national currencies and creating mechanisms to offset the negative impact of unilateral sanctions. A major milestone in this work was the signing of an agreement between the Government of Russia and the Government of China on payments and settlements in 2019.

A mutually beneficial energy partnership is being formed between our countries. Along with long-term oil and gas supplies to China, we have plans to implement a number of large-scale joint projects. The construction of four new power units at Chinese nuclear power plants with the participation of Rosatom State Corporation launched last year is one of them. All this significantly strengthens the energy security of China and the Asia region as a whole.

We see an array of opportunities in developing partnerships in information and communication technologies, medicine, space exploration, including the use of national navigation systems and the International Lunar Research Station project. A strong impetus to strengthening bilateral ties was given by the cross Years of Russian-Chinese Scientific and Technological Innovation in 2020-2021.

We are grateful to our Chinese colleagues for their assistance in launching the production of Russian Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines in China and for the timely supply of necessary protective equipment to our country. We hope that this cooperation will develop and strengthen.

One of Russia’s strategic objectives is to accelerate the social and economic development of Siberia and the Russian Far East. These territories are in the immediate neighborhood of China. We also intend to actively develop sub-national cooperation. Thus, the modernization of the Baikal-Amur Mainline and the Trans-Siberian Railway has been started. By 2024, their capacity will increase one and a half times through higher volumes of transit cargo and reduced transport time. The port infrastructure in the Russian Far East is also growing. All this should further enhance the complementarity of the Russian and Chinese economies.

And, of course, the conservation of nature and shared ecosystems remains an important area of local and cross-border cooperation. These issues have always been a focus of our countries’ public attention, and we will certainly discuss them in detail during the meeting, as well as a wide range of people-to-people and cultural topics.

Russia and China are countries with thousands of years of unique traditions and celebrated cultural heritage. Interest in Russian and Chinese cultures is high in both and other countries. It is true that in the last two years the number of tourists, joint big-scale events and direct contacts between our citizens has reduced due to the pandemic. However, I have no doubt that we will catch up and, as soon as the situation allows, will launch new outreach and educational programs to introduce our citizens to the history and present-day life of the two countries. Thus, President Xi Jinping and I have agreed to hold the Years of Sports Exchanges in 2022 and 2023.

Certainly, an important part of the visit will be a discussion of relevant international topics. Foreign policy coordination between Russia and China is based on close and coinciding approaches to solving global and regional issues. Our countries play an important stabilizing role in today’s challenging international environment, promoting greater democracy in the system of international relations to make it more equitable and inclusive. We are working together to strengthen the central coordinating role of the United Nations in global affairs and to prevent the international legal system, with the UN Charter at its centre, from being eroded.

Russia and China are actively cooperating on the broadest agenda within BRICS, the Russia-India-China framework, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as well as other multilateral frameworks. Within the G20, we are committed to taking national specifics into account when formulating our recommendations, be it the fight against pandemics or the implementation of the climate agenda. Thanks to a large extent to our countries’ shared solidarity, following the 2021 G20 Summit in Rome, informed decisions were made on international cooperation to restore economic growth, recognize vaccines and vaccine certificates, optimize energy transition, and reduce the risks of digitalization.

We also have convergent positions on international trade issues. We advocate maintaining an open, transparent and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system based on the rules of the World Trade Organization. We support restoring global supply chains. Back in March 2020, Russia proposed an initiative on “green trade corridors” that excludes any sanctions, political and administrative barriers. Its implementation is a useful aid to overcoming the economic consequences of the pandemic.

The XXIV Olympic Winter Games in Beijing will be a major event of global significance. Russia and China are leading sporting nations renowned for their sporting traditions and have hosted large international sports games more than once. I fondly remember my visit to Beijing in August 2008 to attend the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Guests and athletes from Russia will remember the vivid performance for a long time, and the Games themselves were organized with the exceptional hospitality inherent to our Chinese friends. For our part, we were delighted to host President Xi Jinping at the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Sadly, attempts by a number of countries to politicize sports for their selfish interests have recently intensified. This is fundamentally wrong and contrary to the very spirit and principles of the Olympic Charter. The power and greatness of sports are that they bring people together, give moments of triumph and national pride as well as delight with fair, just and unwavering competition. And these approaches are shared by most of the countries participating in the international Olympic Movement.

Our Chinese friends have done tremendous work to prepare well for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. I am convinced that China’s extensive experience in the excellent organization of representative international competitions will make it possible to hold this global festival of sports of the highest level. I would like to wish the Russian and Chinese teams impressive results and new records!

I send my warmest congratulations to the friendly people of China on the occasion of the Spring Festival, which marks the beginning of the Year of the Tiger. I wish you good health, prosperity, and success. ■

https://english.news.cn/20220203/c11f134fb822487a83a8361d61d9c1af/c.html

George Soros on China, Xi Jinping, and the Threat from Within

February 01, 2022

This guy truly would have been the *ideal* actor to play the role of Satan in any movie.

Instead, he chose to play the role of Satan in real life.

Check him out, this is truly priceless!

Andrei

Chinese Envoy to US Warns of Possible ‘Military Conflict’ over Taipei

January 29, 2022

China’s top envoy to the US has warned of a likely “military conflict” over persistent American efforts to urge officials of Taipei to seek independence from the mainland.

“The Taiwan issue is the biggest tinderbox between China and the United States,” China’s Ambassador to Washington Qin Gang said Thursday during an interview with state-funded National Public Radio (NPR).

“If the Taiwanese authorities, emboldened by the United States, keep going down the road for independence, it most likely will involve China and the United States, the two big countries, in the military conflict.”

China has long considered the nearby island territory as its “sacred” territory and has always vowed of its eventual unification with the mainland even if it has to resort to the use of force.

Qin, however, insisted that forceful measures would be the last resort towards unification, saying, “People on both sides of Taiwan Straits are Chinese, so we are compatriots. So the last thing we should do is to fight with compatriots.”

“We will do our utmost in the greatest sincerity to achieve a peaceful reunification,” he added, noting that since Taiwanese authorities, buoyed by the US, are following a path towards separation from the mainland, “China will not commit to giving up the un-peaceful means for reunification because this is a deterrence.”

The remarks came after Chinese President Xi Jinping also warned earlier this month that a confrontation between major world powers could only lead to catastrophic consequences and will not solve any problems.

While addressing the virtual Davos World Economic Forum on January 17, Xi insisted that countries must abandon Cold War mentality and seek peaceful coexistence and win-win outcomes.

“Our world today is far from the tranquil, rhetoric that stokes hatred and prejudice abound,” Xi declared after warning against all forms of unilateralism, protectionism as well as hegemony. “History has proved time and again that confrontation does not solve problems, it only invites catastrophic consequences.”

Pentagon reaffirms US support of Taipei

Reacting to Qin’s warning about the likelihood of a US-China conflict, some American officials appeared adamant about extending political and military support to the breakaway Chinese Taipei.

“We will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability while also maintaining our own capacity to resist any use of force that would jeopardize the security of the people of Taiwan,” said a Pentagon spokesperson.

The official, however, added that Washington remained committed to its “one China” policy and its commitments under the US Taiwan Relations Act, which officially recognized Beijing instead of Taipei, but also obliges the American military to provide Taipei with the means to “defend itself.”

The US State Department and White House have not yet reacted to Qin’s remarks, which came just hours after American top diplomat, Antony Blinken, discussed with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, the persisting crisis over Ukraine in a telephone conversation.

Wang further warned Blinken to “stop interfering” in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing after a handful of Western countries followed the US to boycott the international sports event.

“The most urgent priority right now is that the US should stop interfering in the Beijing Winter Olympics,” Wang said during the call.

The Chinese envoy to the US also slammed Washington’s so-called “diplomatic boycott” of the upcoming event over propped up human rights allegations, pointing out that the hostile move has added to tensions although it drew little support from American allies — even with US athletes taking part in the major sport event.

Alleged ‘genocide’ against Uyghurs ‘biggest lie’

Qin further rejected as the “biggest lies of the century” the highly publicized US allegations of Chinese “genocide” against the mostly Muslim Uyghur minority in western China, and emphasized that Uyghur people – like ethnic groups across the mainland – “enjoy a happy life.”

“They enjoy the rights and the freedom guaranteed by the constitution of China. They are a member of the big family of Chinese nation,” he then underlined, reiterating that “there is no genocide at all.”

According to NPR, the remarks by the senior Chinese diplomat marked “an unusually direct statement” regarding the US and Taiwan, with observers saying that Beijing often addresses the issue in more general terms, such as saying that the US is “playing with fire.”

The report further points to surging concerns among US officials and analysts over Taiwan’s ability to defend itself amid American focus of attention on a potential war in Ukraine.

The development also came as US President Joe Biden has maintained former president Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese products and American diplomats have continued to trade contentious statements with their Chinese counterparts.

It is widely recognized in Washington that a decades-long US policy of engagement with China produced great wealth for many companies but failed to spark Americanization of the world’s most populous nation.

This is while Qin further insisted during his latest interview that any ideas of “changing China” were always “an illusion.”

Source: Agencies (edited by Al-Manar English Website)

Iran-Russia hit maximum strategy

January 21 2022

Two of the three main Eurasian powers, Iran’s Ebrahim Raisi and Russia’s Vladimir Putin meet in Russia to advance their strategic relations.Photo Credit: The Cradle

Three ain’t a crowd: The Iran-Russia summit this week, concurrent with RIC military drills in the Sea of Oman, in advance of a Xi-Putin meeting in two weeks, suggests a rapidly-advancing strategic vision for the three Eurasian powers.

By Pepe Escobar

The official visit to Russia by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, at the invitation of Vladimir Putin, generated one of the most stunning geopolitical pics of the 21st century: Raisi performing his afternoon prayers at the Kremlin.

Arguably, more than the hours of solid discussions on geopolitical, geoeconomic, energy, trade, agriculture, transportation and aerospace dossiers, this visual will be imprinted all across the Global South as a fitting symbol of the ongoing, inexorable process of Eurasian integration.

Raisi went to Sochi and Moscow ready to offer Putin essential synergy in confronting a decaying, unipolar Empire increasingly prone to irrationalism. He made it clear at the start of his three hours of discussions with Putin: our renewed relationship should not be “short-term or positional – it will be permanent and strategic.”

Putin must have relished the torrents of meaning inbuilt in one of Raisi’s statements of fact: “We have been resisting the Americans for more than 40 years.”

Yet, much more productive, was “a document on strategic cooperation” between Iran and Russia that Raisi and his team presented to Russian officials.

Raisi emphasized this road map “can determine the prospect for at least 20 years ahead,” or at least clarify “the long-term strategic interaction between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation.”

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian confirmed that both presidents tasked their top diplomats to work on the roadmap. This is, in fact, an update of a previous 20-year cooperation treaty signed in 2001, originally meant to last for 10 years, and then twice extended for five years.

A key item of the new 20-year strategic partnership between the two neighbors is bound to be a Eurasian-based clearing network designed to compete with SWIFT, the global messaging system between banks.

Starting with Russia, Iran and China (RIC), this mechanism has the potential to unite member-nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), ASEAN, BRICS and other regional trading/security organizations. The combined geoeconomic weight of all these actors will inevitably attract many others across the Global South and even Europe.

The basis already exists. China launched its Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) in 2015, using the yuan. Russia developed its System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS). To build an independent Russian-Chinese financial system by linking the two should not be a problem. The main question is to choose the standard currency – possibly the yuan.

Once the system is up and running, that’s perfect for Iran, which badly wants to increase trade with Russia but remains handicapped by US sanctions. Iran has already signed trade agreements and is involved in long-term strategic development with both Russia and China.

The new roadmap

When Amir-Abdollahian described Raisi’s visit to Russia as a “turning point in the policy of good neighborliness and looking to the East,” he was giving the short version of the roadmap followed by the new Iranian administration: “a neighbor-centered policy, an Asia-centered policy with a focus on looking to the East, and an economy-centered diplomacy.”

In contrast, the only ‘policy’ de facto deployed by the collective West against both Russia and Iran is sanctions. Nullifying these is therefore on top of the agenda for Moscow and Tehran. Iran and the EAEU already have a temporary agreement. What they need, sooner rather than later, is to become full partners in a free trade area.

While Amir-Abdollahian praised the resolution of disputes with neighbors, such as Iraq and Turkmenistan, and a reconfiguration of the diplomatic chessboard with Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, the UAE, and even Saudi Arabia, President Raisi – in addressing the Duma – chose to detail complex foreign plots to dispatch networks of Takfiri terrorists to “new missions from the Caucasus to Central Asia.”

As Raisi said, “experience has shown that only pure Islamic thought can prevent the formation of extremism and Takfiri terrorism.”

Raisi was unforgiving on the Empire: “The strategy of domination has now failed, the United States is in its weakest position, and the power of independent nations is experiencing historic growth.” And he certainly seduced the Duma with his analysis of NATO:

“NATO is engaged in penetration into the geographical spaces of various countries under the pretext of cover. Again, they threaten independent states. The spread of the Western model, opposition to independent democracies, opposition to the self-identification of peoples – this is precisely on the agenda of NATO. It is only a deception, we see the deception in their behavior, which will eventually lead to their disintegration.”

Raisi’s main theme is ‘resistance,’ and that was imprinted in all of his meetings. He duly emphasized the Afghan and Iraqi resistances: “In modern times, the concept of resistance plays a central role in deterrence equations.”

The Islamic Republic of Iran is all about that resistance: “In different historical periods of Iran’s development, whenever our nation has raised the banner of nationalism, independence, or scientific development, it has faced sanctions and pressures of the Iranian nation’s enemies,” Raisi emphasized.

On the JCPOA, with the new round of negotiations in Vienna for all practical purposes still bogged down, Raisi said, “the Islamic Republic of Iran is serious about reaching an agreement if the other parties are serious about lifting the sanctions effectively and operationally.”

University of Tehran Professor Mohammad Marandi, now in Vienna as a high-level advisor to the Iranian delegation, compares his experience with the original JCPOA negotiations in 2015, when he was an observer. Marandi notes that as far as the Americans are concerned, “it’s the same mentality. We’re the boss, we have special privileges.”

He stresses that “a deal is not imminent.” The Americans refuse to provide guarantees: “The main problem is the scope of the sanctions, they want to keep many of them in place. In fact, they don’t want the JCPOA. Basically, it’s the same attitude as during Trump.”

Marandi offers practical solutions. Remove all maximum pressure sanctions. Accept “a reasonable verification process if you have no intention of cheating Iranian people again.” Provide assurances so “Iranians know you won’t violate the deal again. Iran won’t accept threats or deadlines during negotiations.” It’s unlikely the Americans will ever accept any of the above.

The contrast between the Raisi and Rouhani administrations is stark: “In the hope of getting something from the West, the previous administration wasted serious opportunities with both China and Russia. Now it’s a completely different story,” says Marandi.

The Chinese angle is quite intriguing. Marandi notes how Amir-Abdolliahan has just returned from China; and how the only nation in West Asia that the Chinese can reliably depend on is Iran. That is inbuilt in their 20-year strategic deal, many positive facets of which should be adopted by the Russia-Iran mechanism.

The lineaments of a new world

The gist of Raisi’s exposé to the Duma is that Iran has been winning battles on two different fronts: against Salafi-jihadi terrorism and against the American campaign of maximum economic pressure.

And that places Iran in a very good position as a Russian partner, with its “extensive economic potential, especially in the fields of energy, trade, agriculture, industry and technology.”

On its geoeconomical position, Raisi noted how “the privileged geographical location of Iran, especially in the north-south corridor, can make trade from India to Russia and Europe less expensive and more prosperous.”

Way back in 2002, Russia, Iran and India signed an agreement to establish the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), a 7,200 km multi-modal ship/rail/road cargo network linking India, Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Russia and Central Asia all the way to Europe as an alternative transportation corridor to the Suez Canal. Now Putin and Raisi want maximum impetus for the INSTC.

Raisi’s visit happened just before a crucial joint drill, codenamed  ‘2022 Marine Security Belt,’ started in the Sea of Oman, actually the north of the Indian Ocean, with marine and airborne units of the Iranian, Chinese and Russian navies.

The Sea of Oman connects to the ultra-strategic Strait of Hormuz, which connects to the Persian Gulf. Pentagon denizens of the ‘Indo-Pacific’ strategy will be hardly amused.

All of the above spells out deeper interconnection. The Putin-Raisi meeting precedes by two weeks the Putin-Xi meeting at the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing – when they are expected to take the Russia-China strategic partnership to the next level.

A new Eurasia-led order encompassing the vast majority of the world’s population is a work in fast progress. China using Eurasia as the larger stage to upgrade its global role, in parallel to the fast-evolving Sino-Russian-Iranian interaction, carries larger than life implications for the Western gatekeepers of the imperial ‘rules-based order.’

The de-Westernization of globalization, from a Chinese point of view, does involve a completely new terminology (‘community of shared destiny’). And there are hardly more glaring examples of ‘shared destiny’ than its deeper interconnection with both Russia and Iran.

One of the crucial geopolitical questions of our time is how an emergent, supposedly Chinese hegemony will articulate itself. If actions speak louder than words, then Sino-hegemony looks loose, malleable and inclusive, starkly different to the US variety. For one, it concerns the absolute majority of the Global South, which will be involved and vocal.

Iran is one of the leaders of the Global South. Russia, deeply implicated in de-Westernizing global governance, holds a unique position – diplomatically, militarily, as an energy provider – as the special conduit between East and West: the irreplaceable Eurasian bridge, and the guarantor of Global South stability.

All of that is at play now. It is no wonder that the leaders of the three main Eurasian powers are meeting and holding discussions in person, within just a matter of days.

As the Atlanticist axis drowns in hubris, arrogance, and incompetence, welcome to the lineaments of the Eurasian, post-Western world.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

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Address by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 2022 World Economic Forum Virtual Session

January 17, 2022

Forge Ahead with Confidence and Fortitude to Jointly Create a Better Post-COVID World

Special Address by H.E. Xi Jinping

President of the People’s Republic of China

At the 2022 World Economic Forum Virtual Session

17 January 2022

Professor Klaus Schwab,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Greetings to you all! It is my pleasure to attend this virtual session of the World Economic Forum.

In two weeks’ time, China will celebrate the advent of spring in the lunar new year, the Year of the Tiger. In Chinese culture, tiger symbolizes bravery and strength, as the Chinese people often refer to spirited dragon and dynamic tiger, or soaring dragon and leaping tiger. To meet the severe challenges facing humanity, we must “add wings to the tiger” and act with the courage and strength of the tiger to overcome all obstacles on our way forward. We must do everything necessary to clear the shadow of the pandemic and boost economic and social recovery and development, so that the sunshine of hope may light up the future of humanity.

The world today is undergoing major changes unseen in a century. These changes, not limited to a particular moment, event, country or region, represent the profound and sweeping changes of our times. As changes of the times combine with the once-in-a-century pandemic, the world finds itself in a new period of turbulence and transformation. How to beat the pandemic and how to build the post-COVID world? These are major issues of common concern to people around the world. They are also major, urgent questions we must give answers to.

China Xinhua News

As a Chinese saying goes, “The momentum of the world either flourishes or declines; the state of the world either progresses or regresses.” The world is always developing through the movement of contradictions; without contradiction, nothing would exist. The history of humanity is a history of achieving growth by meeting various tests and of developing by overcoming various crises. We need to move forward by following the logic of historical progress, and develop by riding the tide of development of our times.

Notwithstanding all vicissitudes, humanity will move on. We need to learn from comparing long history cycles, and see the change in things through the subtle and minute. We need to foster new opportunities amidst crises, open up new horizons on a shifting landscape, and pool great strength to go through difficulties and challenges.

First, we need to embrace cooperation and jointly defeat the pandemic. Confronted by the once-in-a-century pandemic, which will affect the future of humanity, the international community has fought a tenacious battle. Facts have shown once again that amidst the raging torrents of a global crisis, countries are not riding separately in some 190 small boats, but are rather all in a giant ship on which our shared destiny hinges. Small boats may not survive a storm, but a giant ship is strong enough to brave a storm. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the international community, major progress has been made in the global fight against the pandemic. That said, the pandemic is proving a protracted one, resurging with more variants and spreading faster than before. It poses a serious threat to people’s safety and health, and exerts a profound impact on the global economy.

Strong confidence and cooperation represent the only right way to defeat the pandemic. Holding each other back or shifting blame would only cause needless delay in response and distract us from the overall objective. Countries need to strengthen international cooperation against COVID-19, carry out active cooperation on research and development of medicines, jointly build multiple lines of defense against the coronavirus, and speed up efforts to build a global community of health for all. Of particular importance is to fully leverage vaccines as a powerful weapon, ensure their equitable distribution, quicken vaccination and close the global immunization gap, so as to truly safeguard people’s lives, health and livelihoods.

China is a country that delivers on its promises. China has already sent over two billion doses of vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations. Still, China will provide another one billion doses to African countries, including 600 million doses as donation, and will also donate 150 million doses to ASEAN countries.

China Xinhua News

Economic globalization is the trend of the times. Though countercurrents are sure to exist in a river, none could stop it from flowing to the sea. Driving forces bolster the river’s momentum, and resistance may yet enhance its flow. Despite the countercurrents and dangerous shoals along the way, economic globalization has never and will not veer off course. Countries around the world should uphold true multilateralism. We should remove barriers, not erect walls. We should open up, not close off. We should seek integration, not decoupling. This is the way to build an open world economy. We should guide reforms of the global governance system with the principle of fairness and justice, and uphold the multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its center. We should make generally acceptable and effective rules for artificial intelligence and digital economy on the basis of full consultation, and create an open, just and non-discriminatory environment for scientific and technological innovation. This is the way to make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all, and to fully unleash the vitality of the world economy.

A common understanding among us is that to turn the world economy from crisis to recovery, it is imperative to strengthen macro-policy coordination. Major economies should see the world as one community, think in a more systematic way, increase policy transparency and information sharing, and coordinate the objectives, intensity and pace of fiscal and monetary policies, so as to prevent the world economy from plummeting again. Major developed countries should adopt responsible economic policies, manage policy spillovers, and avoid severe impacts on developing countries. International economic and financial institutions should play their constructive role to pool global consensus, enhance policy synergy and prevent systemic risks.

Third, we need to bridge the development divide and revitalize global development. The process of global development is suffering from severe disruption, entailing more outstanding problems like a widening North-South gap, divergent recovery trajectories, development fault-lines and a technological divide. The Human Development Index has declined for the first time in 30 years. The world’s poor population has increased by more than 100 million. Nearly 800 million people live in hunger. Difficulties are mounting in food security, education, employment, medicine, health and other areas important to people’s livelihoods. Some developing countries have fallen back into poverty and instability due to the pandemic. Many in developed countries are also living through a hard time.

No matter what difficulties may come our way, we must adhere to a people-centered philosophy of development, place development and livelihoods front and center in global macro-policies, realize the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and build greater synergy among existing mechanisms of development cooperation to promote balanced development worldwide. We need to uphold the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, promote international cooperation on climate change in the context of development, and implement the outcomes of COP26 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Developed economies should take the lead in honoring their emissions reduction responsibilities, deliver on their commitment of financial and technological support, and create the necessary conditions for developing countries to address climate change and achieve sustainable development.

Last year, I put forward a Global Development Initiative at the UN General Assembly to draw international attention to the pressing challenges faced by developing countries. The Initiative is a public good open to the whole world, which aims to form synergy with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and boost common development across the world. China stands ready to work with all partners to jointly translate the Initiative into concrete actions and make sure that no country is left behind in this process.

China Xinhua News

Fourth, we need to discard Cold War mentality and seek peaceful coexistence and win-win outcomes. Our world today is far from being tranquil; rhetorics that stoke hatred and prejudice abound. Acts of containment, suppression or confrontation arising thereof do all harm, not the least good, to world peace and security. History has proved time and again that confrontation does not solve problems; it only invites catastrophic consequences. Protectionism and unilateralism can protect no one; they ultimately hurt the interests of others as well as one’s own. Even worse are the practices of hegemony and bullying, which run counter to the tide of history. Naturally, countries have divergences and disagreements between them. Yet a zero-sum approach that enlarges one’s own gain at the expense of others will not help. Acts of single-mindedly building “exclusive yards with high walls” or “parallel systems”, of enthusiastically putting together exclusive small circles or blocs that polarize the world, of overstretching the concept of national security to hold back economic and technological advances of other countries, and of fanning ideological antagonism and politicizing or weaponizing economic, scientific and technological issues, will gravely undercut international efforts to tackle common challenges.

The right way forward for humanity is peaceful development and win-win cooperation. Different countries and civilizations may prosper together on the basis of respect for each other, and seek common ground and win-win outcomes by setting aside differences.

We should follow the trend of history, work for a stable international order, advocate common values of humanity, and build a community with a shared future for mankind. We should choose dialogue over confrontation, inclusiveness over exclusion, and stand against all forms of unilateralism, protectionism, hegemony or power politics.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Last year, the Communist Party of China (CPC) celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding. Through a century of tenacious struggle, the CPC has rallied and led the Chinese people in accomplishing remarkable achievements in the advancement of the nation and betterment of people’s lives. We have realized a moderately prosperous society in all respects and won the battle against poverty, both according to plan, and found a historic solution to ending absolute poverty. Now, China is marching on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in all respects.

— China will stay committed to pursuing high-quality development. The Chinese economy enjoys a good momentum overall. Last year, our GDP grew by around eight percent, achieving the dual target of fairly high growth and relatively low inflation. Shifts in the domestic and international economic environment have brought tremendous pressure, but the fundamentals of the Chinese economy, characterized by strong resilience, enormous potential and long-term sustainability, remain unchanged. We have every confidence in the future of China’s economy.

“The wealth of a country is measured by the abundance of its people.” Thanks to considerable economic growth, the Chinese people are living much better lives. Nonetheless, we are soberly aware that to meet people’s aspiration for an even better life, we still have much hard work to do in the long run. China has made it clear that we strive for more visible and substantive progress in the well-rounded development of individuals and the common prosperity of the entire population. We are working hard on all fronts to deliver this goal. The common prosperity we desire is not egalitarianism. To use an analogy, we will first make the pie bigger, and then divide it properly through reasonable institutional arrangements. As a rising tide lifts all boats, everyone will get a fair share from development, and development gains will benefit all our people in a more substantial and equitable way.

— China will stay committed to reform and opening-up. For China, reform and opening-up is always a work in process. Whatever change in the international landscape, China will always hold high the banner of reform and opening-up. China will continue to let the market play a decisive role in resource allocation, and see to it that the government better plays its role. We will be steadfast in consolidating and developing the public sector, just as we are steadfast in encouraging, supporting and guiding the development of the non-public sector. We will build a unified, open, competitive and orderly market system, where all businesses enjoy equal status before the law and have equal opportunities in the marketplace. All types of capital are welcome to operate in China in compliance with laws and regulations, and play a positive role for the development of the country. China will continue to expand high-standard opening-up, steadily advance institutional opening-up that covers rules, management and standards, deliver national treatment for foreign businesses, and promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. With the entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) on 1 January this year, China will faithfully fulfill its obligations and deepen economic and trade ties with other RCEP parties. China will also continue to work for the joining of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA), with a view to further integrating into the regional and global economy and achieving mutual benefit and win-win results.

— China will stay committed to promoting ecological conservation. As I have said many times, we should never grow the economy at the cost of resource depletion and environmental degradation, which is like draining a pond to get fish; nor should we sacrifice growth to protect the environment, which is like climbing a tree to catch fish. Guided by our philosophy that clean waters and green mountains are just as valuable as gold and silver, China has carried out holistic conservation and systematic governance of its mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands and deserts. We do everything we can to conserve the ecological system, intensify pollution prevention and control, and improve the living and working environment for our people. China is now putting in place the world’s largest national parks system. Last year, we successfully hosted COP15 to the Convention on Biological Diversity, contributing China’s share to a clean and beautiful world.

Achieving carbon peak and carbon neutrality are the intrinsic requirements of China’s own high-quality development and a solemn pledge to the international community. China will honor its word and keep working toward its goal. We have unveiled an Action Plan for Carbon Dioxide Peaking Before 2030, to be followed by implementation plans for specific sectors such as energy, industry and construction. China now has the world’s biggest carbon market and biggest clean power generation system: the installed capacity of renewable energy has exceeded one billion kilowatts, and the construction of wind and photovoltaic power stations with a total installed capacity of 100 million kilowatts is well under way. Carbon peak and carbon neutrality cannot be realized overnight. Through solid and steady steps, China will pursue an orderly phase-down of traditional energy in the course of finding reliable substitution in new energy. This approach, which combines phasing out the old and bringing in the new, will ensure steady economic and social development. China will also actively engage in international cooperation on climate and jointly work for a complete transition to a greener economy and society.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Davos is known as a heaven for winter sports. The Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will open soon. We are confident that China will present a streamlined, safe and splendid Games to the world. The official motto for Beijing 2022 is “Together for a Shared Future”. Indeed, let us join hands with full confidence, and work together for a shared future.

Thank you.

Nato in Russia’s crosshairs?

December 26, 2021

By Noel Monteiro

Many comments have been written about Russia’s proposals to Nato, for a new defense framework in the west of Russia, and the Saker website has done a very good job of portraying it all from the Russian viewpoint, including the whole series of comments on/about Russia’s unambiguous and bluntly hard-worded proposals. There is no doubt, that the meaning of the words used, can be read as an ultimatum to Nato, the military-economic arm of the Anglo-Zionist empire. But to my mind, there seems to be more going on.

NEAR ABROAD OF RUSSIA, CHINA, AND IRAN: Russia is part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, like China and Iran, which espouse the principle of multi-polarity, and so we must take a step back and try to discern what else is going on in the Near Abroad of these three states of the main island of Asia, and between the collective rimland West, as per Mackinder. The situation may appear complex, but then a very simple scenario emerges. First what happened on Dec 15, 2021.

RUSSIA: These are only some of the events being recounted, of which we, armchair analyst types, will never know everything, although the Russias know everything happening around their borders, as they should.

— Putin and Xi had a meeting at 11.20AM Moscow time, on Wednesday Dec 15 and some sort of a decision was finalised.

— Ultimatum Papers were handed to US Assistant Secretary of State Karen Donfried on the same Wednesday morning in another part of Moscow, but announced on Friday.

— Tehran Times newspaper published their Israel targetting map on Dec 15.

The situation on Russias western border has been destabilising for the last few months, with reports of chemical weapons being prepared by Ukraine to be used in Donbass; US weapons removed from Afghanistan and appearing in the Ukraine theatre; a build up of all types of military weapons, including nuclear, to bases in Italy, Romania, Poland, and Ukraine; provocations along Russia’s borders, with western aircraft flying straight at Russia’s border to provoke AD radars, so more could be learnt about air defences, really the electronic version of probing attacks; and in the Black Sea, an American battle management ship operational while a British destroyer, sailing off Crimea, played possum.

The HMS Defender was offered sacrifically to Russia for capture (or sinking), but Russia declined the gambit. In any event, it would have been small potatoes, or small change for Russia, which wanted to know what Nato was really brewing in Eurasia’s west.

From the Geographical context, the Ukraine-Black Sea region exists in close proximity to Russia, similar to Syria’s position in 2014, to southern Russia and Iran, as well as the Rzhev area in winter of 1941-42 to the Moscow region. In all three cases, these proximate regions are temporary collection and staging areas, for stockpile of troops and weapons to launch future proximate attacks. From the Russian standpoint, in Rzhev east of Moscow, to enable the German Wehrmacht to be able to launch future attacks on Moscow. In Syria 2014, the 80-nation western coalition to be able to stage attacks on Russia or Iran. And in the present day from western Ukraine, for the Nato coalition to also stage threats of attack on Russia. This is exactly how Russians view their developing situation, and their response to Nato has been naturally, no less blunt and harsh.

IRAN: On Dec 15, 2021, Iran’s Tehran Times English language newspaper put out a map graphic, showing tens or scores of target roundels in red color all over Israel. The main newspaper headline simply read “Just One Wrong Move!”. The graphic image message conveys much more than what words can say. The image appeared on Twitter.

The Tehran Times is an 8-page broadsheet, a small newspaper. It will not have a very large circulation in Iran because the national language is Farsi, not English. As print media in a country where English is not the first language, any simple Farsi language newspaper will have a circulation ten times more than any English language publication. This was the print newspaper situation in Pakistan too where I worked. Therefore my opinion is that the Tehran Times with its small English circulation has been used to pass a simple message to the collective west.

The words “Just One Wrong Move!” and the attendant map can be read as an ultimatum, or a declaration of war, to Israel, framed in simple graphic terms with four blunt words. Very unlike the long-winded, hard-worded message of the Russian proposals.

Units of messages or signals are dynamic things. Thus this headline communication traversing from Iran to the English language West, implicitly could be telling/informing, that we, Iran, are now policing Israel; or have moved on from dealing with Saudi Arabia and its war in Yemen, and our objective has shifted to minding the Israeli heartland itself; or it could mean that Saudi Arabia has thrown in the towel, to SCO, and the world must be informed accordingly; or that the conflict between proxies (USA) Saudi Arabia and (Iran) Yemen is now over, it has been won. Unless the West/Nato, using their own armies, would like to forcibly take over the Saudi oilfield network. The deeper question here is whether Dr. H. Kissinger’s financial mechanism to link the US dollar economy to Saudi oil production output, is still viable after the dollar was delinked from the Gold standard. Or does this Kissenger US dollar/Saudi oil output arrangement, hang on a knife-edge? This Iranian graphic may contain an economic dimension or warning.

In saying this I do not wish to cover Israel’s intentions and actions over Iran, already heavily covered in the western MSM.

CHINA: In the first week of October, a surprisingly emphatic news report in the Pakistan media announced, that a US submarine had been seriously damaged, not sunk, in the near abroad of the South China Sea, and had been sent packing. But nothing appeared in the MSM news for days, except for some propaganda shadow boxing about China wanting to invade Taiwan; China flying 150 aircraft and being warned by a Western armada to the east of Taiwan not to invade Taiwan.

“Oh!” I thought to myself. “There are several fleets gathered east of Taiwan. Why?”.

Then a Russian fleet left Vladivostok port and fired a missile from the Sea of Japan. Then some photos appeared of the damaged submarine on the Sub Brief YouTube channel. “Ahh-ha…. Military tensions rising east of Eurasia, reflects a mirror image of rising military tensions, recently west of Eurasia. But to what end? “

Then sudden news about a hypersonic missile gauntlet, thrown by China into the sea, in front of the accumulated western armada. The missile was reported to have landed “inaccurately” 40 miles from the nearest military ship. But here is the technical rub. It took less than 20 minutes from launch into space, to hypersonic glide splashdown from directly above the armada. Astoundingly fast. A new Chinese weapon was demonstrated for which no western defense existed. The armada could just watch and do nothing. But US navy FONOPs east of Eurasia are unstoppable.

In late November, riots against Chinese nationals, businesses, and interests erupted in the Solomon Islands, with, most peculiarly, video showing the rioters carrying Israeli flags. A Global Times editorial blamed Australia for fomenting the riots. Fijian and Australian military were sent to police the troubles. One month later Australian media reported China would send an ad-hoc police advisory group to help the island administration. The Solomon Islands finds itself now in the contested geopolitical influence area, between where the Eurasian grinding wheel, and the Western grinding wheel turn.

The most intense, interesting and numerous developments have been along the India-China-Pakistan border, where slowly and surely, in many small ways, India is being methodically tied down, as if into a small straitjacket. I can only write about a couple.

In mid-October, China and Bhutan agreed on a three-step roadmap, to settle their 400km common border issues. There had been 24 rounds of talks since 1984. Pakistan media reported that the deal permits China to station troops legally on its own territory, in a balcony position overlooking India’s Siliguri Corridor (The Chicken’s Neck area). In exchange, Bhutan gets a larger land area from China, attached to itself facing the relatively peaceful north, bordering China. India is now the only state left, not to have finalized a border agreement with China.

A Chinese BRI infrastructure and military buildup continue all along the northern border in Ladakh, Utarakhand, and Arunachal Pradesh, which keeps India subdued. India is peculiar. Too large that it cannot be ignored, nor can it be permitted to get away from Asia, to cause trouble further on, or make unreasonable demands, and, a careful watch must be kept over India as much as possible.

MACROECONOMIC BACKGROUND: This is a very short description of the current western economic situation and background, as described by Alastair Crooke. I would recommend you read his full article, to obtain a whiff of an idea of the rising fear and desperation, all over the western woke camp, against which real political events are unfolding. He says that the window of opportunity to accomplish “The Great Reset” economic program may be closing faster than anticipated or planned, and a visible panic contagion has begun to set, in Zone A.

I think the window of opportunity opened too late, as a result of the general mismanagement of all aspects of the Covid outbreak.  But so too did the Inflation Ogre arrive unexpectedly early, and is marching in lockstep with the Reset. Did the lord money managers, churning out the money, not take inflation into consideration? Maybe not.

Populations all over the Western world have become restive. This special and particular smell of fear, the dry mouth, grows as it is beginning to become apparent that the various “transitions” planned under the garb of “The Great Reset”, may never come to fruition.

Outside in Zone B, the SCO states have now got wind of this fear contagion in the West. It is the kind of pit of the stomach fear, where, in the blink of an eye, the tables are turned, and the Nato predator now becomes the hunted. Maybe Russia realizes that this is the correct timing to clean up the Ukraine situation.

CONCLUSION: These messages and events seem to indicate a shift in the geopolitical dynamics, where previously the SCO states hunkered down in defensive consolidation posture in the previous 20 years. Now they are stirring towards a stronger pro-active defensive posture. Metaphorically we see China in Eurasia’s east, holding a strong forearm keeping at bay an untrustworthy India, Australia, and western navies. In the center of Eurasia, Iran, with its thousands of missiles, locks down and immobilizes the main western outpost of Israel. While to the west of Eurasia, we really can’t tell what Russia will do, or when. On the other hand, we may just see Russia delivering at the operational level, a delicately precise PIT maneuver, or a karate chop, to derail and despatch Nato felons and its Article 5. In Syria between September 2015 and June 2016, Russia in concert with other states similarly derailed an 80-state coalition, hell-bent on a path to Persia. Today, it is the Nato coalition that may unravel. I am deliberately understating the situation, as I know, it will not be all hunky-dory. The timing is just about right, and Russia feels it must make haste.

Here I have to pause and ask. Is this the Multi-Polarity Doctrine running in breathtaking dynamic operation, for all to witness?

Myself, I have a sneaking suspicion, (and I fear greatly) that this Russian ultimatum, will turn out, at the geopolitical financial level, to have delivered a crack shot PIT maneuver, with the correct timing, to completely unhinge the collective Western economy from its present state, even as the MSM orchestra, sings the Covid and Reset Symphony to us all in superb propaganda distraction.


References:

——PIT Manoeuvre Technique, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PIT_maneuver

——-Crooke, Alastair, Dec 1, 2021, Now or Never, The Great Transition Must Be Imposed.

Exit Nord Stream 2, Enter Power of Siberia 2

THURSDAY 23 DEC 21

Military superpower Russia, having had enough of U.S./NATO bullying, is now dictating the terms of a new arrangement.

PEPE ESCOBAR 

Coming straight from President Putin, it did sound like a bolt from the sky:

“We need long-term legally binding guarantees even if we know they cannot be trusted, as the U.S. frequently withdraws from treaties that become uninteresting to them. But it’s something, not just verbal assurances.”

And that’s how Russia-U.S. relations come to the definitive crunch – after an interminable series of polite red alerts coming from Moscow.

Putin once again had to specify that Russia is looking for “indivisible, equitable security” – a principle established since Helsinki in 1975 – even though he no longer sees the U.S. as a dependable “partner”, that diplomatically nicety so debased by the Empire since the end of the USSR.

The “frequently withdrawing from treaties” passage can easily be referred to as Washington in 2002 under Bush Jr. pulling out of the ABM treaty signed between the U.S. and the USSR in 1972. Or it could be referred to as the U.S. under Trump destroying the JCPOA signed with Iran and guaranteed by the UN. Precedents abound.

Putin was once again exercising the Taoist patience so characteristic of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: explaining the obvious not only to a Russian but also a global audience. The Global South may easily understand this reference; “When international law and the UN Charter interfere, they [the U.S.] declare it all obsolete and unnecessary.”

Earlier, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko had been uncommonly assertive – leaving nothing for the imagination:

“We just make it clear that we are ready to talk about switching over from a military or a military-technical scenario to a political process that will strengthen the security of all countries in the area of the OCSE, Euro-Atlantic and Eurasia. If that doesn’t work out, we signaled to them [NATO] that we will also move over to creating counter threats, but it will then be too late to ask us why we made these decisions and why we deployed these systems.”

So in the end it comes down to Europeans facing “the prospect of turning the continent into a field of military confrontation.” That will be the inevitable consequence of a NATO “decision” actually decided in Washington.

Incidentally: any possible, future “counter threats” will be coordinated between Russia and China.

Mr. Zircon is on the line, Sir

Every sentient being from Atlanticist shores to Eurasian steppes by now knows the content of the Russian draft agreements on security guarantees presented to the Americans, as detailed by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.

Key provisions include no further NATO expansion; no Ukraine admission; no NATO shenanigans in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Transcaucasia and Central Asia; Russia and NATO agreeing not to deploy intermediate and short-range missiles in areas from where they can hit each other’s territory; establishment of hotlines; and the NATO-Russia Council actively involved in resolving disputes.

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs extensively reiterated that the Americans received “detailed explanations of the logic of the Russian approach”, so the ball is in Washington’s court.

Well, National Security advisor Jake Sullivan at first seemed to kick it, when he admitted, on the record, that Putin may not want to “invade” Ukraine.

Then there were rumblings that the Americans would get back to Moscow this week with their own “concrete security proposals”, after de facto writing the script for their NATO minions, invariably conveyed in spectacularly mediocre fashion by secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg.

The Ukraine narrative didn’t change an inch: “severe measures” – of an economic and financial nature – remain in the pipeline if Russia engages in “further aggression” in Ukraine.

Moscow was not fooled. Ryabkow had to specify, once again, that the Russian proposals were on a bilateral basis. Translation: we talk only to those with deciding power, not to minions. The involvement of other countries, Ryabkov said, “will deprive them of their meaning.”

From the start, NATO’s response had been predictably obvious: Russia is conducting a “substantial, unprovoked, and unjustified” military buildup along its border with Ukraine and is making “false … claims of Ukrainian and NATO provocations”.

That once again proved the point it’s a monumental waste of time to discuss with yapping chihuahuas of the Stoltenberg variety, for whom “NATO expansion will continue, whether Russia likes it or not.”

In fact, whether U.S. and NATO functionaries like it or not, what’s really happening in the realpolitk realm is Russia dictating new terms from a position of power. In a nutshell: you may learn the new game in town in a peaceful manner, civilized dialogue included, or you will learn the hard way via a dialogue with Mr. Iskandr, Mr. Kalibr, Mr. Khinzal and Mr. Zircon.

The inestimable Andrei Martyanov has extensively analysed for years now all the details of Russia’s overwhelming military dominance, hypersonic and otherwise, across the European space – as well as the dire consequences if the U.S. and NATO minions “decide that they want to continue to play dumb.”

Martyanov has also noted that Russia “understands the split with the West and is ready to take any consequences, including, already declining, shrinkage of trade and reduction of the supply of hydrocarbons to the EU.”

That’s where the whole ballet around the security guarantees intersects with the crucial Pipelineistan angle. To sum it all up: exit Nord Stream 2, enter Power of Siberia 2.

So let’s revisit why the looming energy catastrophe in the EU is not forcing anyone in Russia to lose his/her sleep.

Dancing in the Siberian night

One of the top takeaways of the strategic Putin-Xi video conference last week was the immediate future of Power of Siberia 2 – which will snake in across Mongolia to deliver up to 50 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually to China.

So it was hardly an accident that Putin received Mongolian President Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh in the Kremlin, the day after he talked to Xi, to discuss Power of Siberia 2. The key parameters of the pipeline have already been set, a feasibility study will be completed in early 2022, and the deal – minus last-minute pricing tune-ups – is practically clinched.

Power of Siberia 2 follows the 2,200 km long Power of Siberia 1, launched in 2019 from Eastern Siberia to northern China and the focus of a $400 billion deal struck between Gazprom and China’s CNPC. Power of Siberia 1’s full capacity will be reached in 2025, when it will be supplying 38 billion cubic meters of gas annually.

Power of Siberia 2, a much bigger operation, was planned years ago, but it was hard to find consensus on the final route. Gazprom wanted Western Siberia to Xinjiang across the Altai mountains. The Chinese wanted transit via Mongolia straight into central China. The Chinese eventually prevailed. The final route across Mongolia was decided only two months ago. Construction should begin in 2024.

This is a massive geoeconomic game-changer, totally in line with the increasingly sophisticated Russia-China strategic partnership. But it’s also supremely important geopolitically (Remember Xi: China supports Russia’s “core interests”).

The gas for Power of Siberia 2 will come from the same fields currently supplying the EU market. Whatever demented concoctions the European Commission – and the new German government – may apply on stalling the operation of Nord Stream 2, Gazprom’s main focus will be China.

It doesn’t matter for Gazprom that China as a customer in the near future will not fully replace the whole EU market. What matters is the steady business flow and the absence of infantile politicking. For China what matters is an extra, guaranteed overland supply rote boosting its strategy of “escaping from Malacca”: the possibility, in case Cold War 2.0 turns hot, that the U.S. Navy would eventually block maritime shipping of energy sources via Southeast Asia to China.

Beijing of course is all over the place when it comes to buying Russian natural gas. The Chinese have a 30% stake in Novatek’s $27 billion Yamal project and a 20% stake in the $21 billion Arctic project.

So welcome to 2022 and the new, high stakes realpolitik Great Game.

U.S. elites had been terrified of playing Russia against China because they fear this would lead Germany to ally with Russia and China – leaving the Empire of Chaos out in the cold.

And that leads to the “mystery” inside the enigma of the whole Ukrainian face: use it to force the EU away from Russian natural resources.

Russia is turning the whole show upside down. As an energy superpower, instead of an internally corroded EU dictated by NATO, Russia will be mostly focused on its Asian customers.

In parallel, military superpower Russia, having had enough of U.S./NATO bullying, is now dictating the terms of a new arrangement. Lavrov confirmed the first round of Russia-U.S. talks on security guarantees will be held in early 2022.

Are these ultimatums? Not really. Seems like Ryabkov, with notable didacticism, will have to keep explaining it over and over again: “We do not speak in the language of ultimatums with anyone. We have a responsible attitude towards our own security and the security of others. The point is not that we have issued an ultimatum, not at all, but that the seriousness of our warning must not be underestimated.”

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