If I were a NATO loyalist (can’t imagine that, but try to pretend) I think I would have noticed the signs and portents, going way back, of a historical shift in Russia-Chinese relations. With collaboration evolving almost to the level of an actual alliance against NATO. I think I would have tried to sound the alarm to my NATO bosses: “Please try to be nice to China! We can’t afford to have 2 major enemies all at once!”
Instead the imperialist analysts seem to have been living in a world of slumber and fantasy. They blinked and missed the whole China-Russia alliance thing. If they really wanted to destroy Russia, then they needed to keep China neutral. Let the Chinese look on with impotent concern as the imperialists rip Russia to shreds and create 30 NATO Princedoms out of the former Empire. Instead of antagonizing China and driving it into Russia’s court. Well, what can I say? Those imperialist “thinkers” are pretty dumb. Or maybe they just lack basic people skills. Even a five-year-old on the playground knows that if you want to defeat Billy, then you need to entice Bobby onto your side. Instead of trying to take both of them on at the same time.
Ukrainian Nationalists are also (and especially) known for their coping skills and resorts to simple fantasy. If they see something happening that they don’t like, they simply close their eyes and try to wish it away.
All of this in the way of introduction to this interesting op-ed written by Petr Akopov on the theme of Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit (possibly next week) to Moscow. Akopov is what you might call a “conservative” patriotic Russian commentator. The gist of his argument is that the alliance between Russia and Chinese is a completely serious one, based on the existence of a common enemy; and that the Ukrainians are fooling themselves if they really believe they are powerful enough to drive a wedge between these two great nations.
Akopov: Even the Americans are showing great interest in the upcoming meeting in Moscow. For many years the American propaganda machine kept playing the same old record over and over: “They are getting closer, to be sure, but the potential differences are still so great that a strategic alliance between these two states is impossible. Sooner or later they will quarrel. And thus America can always remain a divisive factor in this triangle Washington-Moscow-Beijing.”
But recently even the propagandists themselves started to realize that this old playbook is too worn out. But they still attempt to give it new life with the Ukrainian theme. For example, the Wall Street Journal consoles itself with the news that, immediately after meeting with Putin, Xi will meet with Zelensky. (Downplaying that the meeting will probably be via Zoom and not in person, as with Putin.) In the minds of the WSJ editors, this ascribes an equality in importance between Putin and Zelensky, the leaders of the two states; it also indicates that Xi may try to act as peacemaker between them. If Beijing were able to broker a peace (like it recently did between Iran and Saudi Arabia), then this will raise its status in the world as a diplomatic broker, the WSJ notes hopefully. They hope is that Xi will pressure Putin to make concessions to Ukraine, in order to craft a peace deal.
One still hears the old rubrics, especially coming from the Russian Liberal intelligentsia, and even from some ultra-patriotic circles: “The Chinese can never be our allies or partners. All they want to do is use this conflict to rope in a weakened Russia. They will be able to dictate their terms, and the result will be a repeat of the Golden Horde and the Mongol yoke.” Sinophobia is alive and well in post-Soviet Russia. The majority of the Russian people are patriotic, so the goal of the Sinophobes is to recruit them into the anti-Chinese position. By any means necessary, including fake news. They want ordinary Russians to believe that the Chinese will stab them in the back.
Such gambits are understandable, given the sheer geopolitical significance of the China-Russia alliance. In order to preserve and cultivate this alliance, it is necessary for the two parties to employ objectivity, to get to know each other very well, and to rely on their own analyses of global processes taking place. If they are able to maintain this alliance and stick together, then literally nothing can stop them. There are no limits to what they can accomplish together.
This is where the Ukrainian Leitmotif comes in. Unfortunately for the Ukrainians, China’s purposes are served (objectively) by the strengthening (not weakening) of their neighbor, Russia. China understands this, which is why Ukraine has no objective meaning for the Chinese. The Chinese elites understand that the Ukrainian elite are simple marionettes of the West; and they see Ukraine mostly as a Russian internal problem.
Which is another reason why China cannot really be an impartial mediator in this conflict, since the two sides are Russia vs the Anglo-Saxons. And those same Anglo-Saxons demonize the Chinese, just like they demonize the Russians, only not quite as strongly, just yet. But that day is coming.
To be sure, China has proposed its own peace plan for the Ukraine conflict. But this is just a way of raising its own stature in the world, as a force for international diplomacy. The Chinese understand that they are next on the Anglo-Saxon hitlist, but they would like to buy some time before that conflict gets really hot.
In conclusion: Whatever online conversation should take place between Xi and Zelensky, will not change anything neither in China’s tactics, nor strategy in regard to the Ukrainian issue. China understands that the Russians regard Ukraine as an “internal” matter, and Xi will not do or say anything that the Russians could interpret as a double-cross. These two seasoned leaders, Xi and Putin, have been playing this chess game for a very long time. They understand every single thing about their own relationship, and also have a deep knowledge of their common enemy.
As the Mexicans say, “you talk to mules, not to ticks”, and if Zelenski is just a Western puppet, what can Xi care about dealing with the straw man? Maybe just sound on the media wave.
The Chinese won’t openly declare support for Donbass mostly because it might look badly on the Taiwan position (i.e. openly supporting a breakaway province would look kind of bad with Taiwan and the One China agreement) and I think the only thing the Chinese actually worried about in Ukraine was an end to the conflict so the belt and road projects and trains can continue. But otherwise China can and will provide any goods Western countries to give Russia before the sanctions. The nonsense that the Sino-Soviet split still exists and that China is going to backstab is crazy. For one, if Russia is gone, than China will be fully encircled and not have that huge Russian nuclear arsenal on its side. The other is that if you look at Chinese 5 year plans, they have this revitalize the northeast movement where there is quite a bit of heavy industry. Northeastern China is really cold in the winter, so much so, that lots of people leave for southern provinces in the winter and lots just move away. If they are having issues encouraging people to stay and come back to the northern provinces, do people really think it’s realistic for them to want to grab parts of Siberia which are even colder and have even more difficulties attracting people there? To me, it looks like this partnership has Russia taking the political and military lead here while China provides the economic one which looks to be working out with regards to countries outside the collective West.
Those are good points, leaf. Especially reminding us to look at the Chinese 5-year plan. The plan gives us a good idea of their plans!
At Liborio, above…
I recall a statement, I think it was attributed to Lavrov when explaining why he would talk to the US, but not with Zelensky, was that “I talk to the organ grinder, not his monkey”
3 wars – E vs W Ukraine, Nato vs Russia and US vs China (aka US vs Germany)
China is just cruising right now. it is no longer accurate to predict that China will soon be the dominant country in the world. It already is. See the amazing Saudi-Iran deal, done with Chinese negotiation and motivated by Saudi wanting to join BRICS and give up the US as its “roof”.
That must have been some quarrel between the U.S. and the Saudis. I wonder what happened behind the scenes?
You don’t have to look behind the scenes. First, there was the murder and bone-sawing of Jamal Kashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Turkiye. Biden talked tough about what he was going to do to the MBS (colloquially known as Mohammed Bone Saw) because of that, since Kashoggi was writing for the CIA’s house organ, the Washington Post. Then Biden had to back down on his threat when it came time to beg the Saudis to pump more oil when the price went up last year, as a way of hurting Russian revenues. To which they replied “Eff off.” There have been other issues relating to Iran and Yemen where the US and KSA have been at cross purposes, but I won’t bloviate too much about all that. Long story short — the Saudi head-choppers can see which way the wind is blowing, and they’re going to attach themselves to an upcoming power that can bail them out of the trouble they so richly deserve from the neighbours they’ve hacked off. What’s amusing to me is to read the reactions of American commentators, especially the Democratic ones, about how making peace between KSA and Iran is a BAD. “Peace is war,” to invert the Big Brother aphorism.
Thanks for the history, that makes sense. So, I reckon neither the Chinese nor the Persians are overly bothered about dealing with a monster like Bone Saw. Oh well, these are practical-minded peoples.
I think quite simply MBS has seen the light and recognised that the 21st century belongs to China and its Asian supporters. India has also seen the light. Pakistan under Imran Khan also saw the light (which is why Imran Khan was removed in yet another US backed coup – for now). Thailand is following Pakistan towards a similar crisis.
MBS might be a complete bastard, but he is smart.
Of course the US has lost already, so it adds little to say they are big losers from the deal. But Israel – for Israel this is a disaster.
Khashoggi has nothing to do with it – if the US state and media are prepared to turn a blind eye to what Saudi does in Yemen, you can be pretty sure that Khashoggi means not a damn thing. Every column inch on Khashoggi was a column inch NOT written on Yemen.
However, for a dead corpse, the U.S. is still surprisingly sprightly when it still manages to pull off Color Revolutions everywhere in the world. Is Thailand next? Is Gruzia next?
“for Israel this is a disaster…”
I hope you’re right. It couldn’t happen to a nicer country, as they say.
Everything Biden, and before him Clinton/Bush/Obama, has been doing is to China’s benifet. The elites in DC/London chose to force Russia into an alliance with China…and I’d add the idea of creating an enemy that would usher the US off the imperial throne is largely English.
As an American, unlike elitists in DC/London, I would have worked with the post Gorbachev USSR [to be clear, post dissolution of the east European satellites] to insure stability in eastern/southern Europe and the Asiatic “stans”. I would want access to Russia’s resources and would have made a hard bargain to get them but, PAID money to get them…you know, enterprise, trade, capitalism? Not shoplifting, not embezzlement, not racketeering, raping, robbery…just making money the old fashion way.
But all the folks in DC/London could come up with is some cockamamie, now completely off the tracks, plan to swindle the Ruskies out of all their resources. DC/London ruling Russia? Oh for God’s sake, they can’t even run their own respective countries in a prudential manner.
In the process of implementing this “cockamamie plan” the elitists in DC/London have impoverished US & Europe, have brought the specter of WW III into full view. As Churchill said in praise, I say in condemnation “never have so few done so much to so many”. All that has taken place under our clownish “elites” is to embellish China’s power which…makes sense since most of them are on the CCP’s payola.
Oh, here’s a snapshot of a US foreign policy maker….
…surely he could do a better job than Putin running Russia eh? DC/London’s “elite” are depraved parasites….end of story.
Yeccchhh! that is one ugly dude. Who is that? Oh wait! Is that Baby Hunter?
Here’s your proimised drone cartoon:
I have health problems on top of work exhaustion. See you tomorrow.
Thanks for the chuckle, Raghead!
I am really sorry to hear that you have some health problems.
Please take care of yourself, the world needs your art!
(Try to get a lot of sleep, for example.)
P.S. – can you explain why Colonel Kommunistov sprayed the drone with his toxic lubricants? Was there a practical reason, or just for fun?
By the way, re the Golden Horde, the Mongols colonised both Russia and China. Trying to equate the Golden Horde to China is idiotic on more levels than one.
I know (sigh). But try telling that to the Sinophobic morons. (Who are also Russophobic, and also Mongolophobic, and never studied history!)
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Buy some time but mainly buy some kinzhal which are way more reliable and with extended range compared with their own copies to deter american naval strike groups located on a line between Japan and the Philippines… sounds like putin has all reasons to feel like the real boss