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The situation in the world raises the question of whether and when there may be armed confrontation between China and Russia on the one hand and the United States on the other.
Americans have begun to implement the offshore balancing concept which means that local powers, located far away from the US, have to take care of their own security. China’s economic and military activity is very extensive. Through the Belt and Road concept Beijing is striving for domination in Eurasia and the whole world. The conflict in Ukraine is going on, US-Russian relations are strained.
Russia feels encircled by the NATO and so is strengthening its ties with China. We can also talk about a trade war between USA and Russia. Germany and France are in opposition to Trump’s administration and the role of the United States in Europe and in the world. The effectiveness of NATO is questionable. NATO member Turkey has just bought the Russian S-400 air-deference system while Germany has put all major arms exports to NATO ally Turkey on hold. Americans do not want to lose their present dominant position. The political atmosphere in Europe and in the world is highly charged. One more impulse, one more conflict and another global war may break out. Therefore, it is well-founded to analyze forces of the global players: China, Russia and USA.
The world is on the dawn of the outbreak of a major conflict: trade war is being waged between the USA and China and between the USA and Russia, while European countries are lacking any leadership and drifting ungovernable because they have surrendered their currency and with it their sovereignty to bureaucrats. Beijing is not satisfied with the fact that the dollar is an international currency. Along with the rise of its economic power China would like to play an increasing role in financial affairs. Russia, encircled by NATO, is currently implementing a large-scale rearmament program. In 2010 Moscow announced it would have modernized 70 percent of its military hardware by 2020. In 2016 civil defense exercises were conducted, in which allegedly 40 mln people took part. In Moscow anti-nuclear shelters are being built.
The western world, its intellectual circles and academia, have barely a good word for President Donald Trump. To them he is almost a misogynist (look how very few women there are in his administration!), white supremacist (he wants to build the wall, stop the influx of immigration and deport illegal aliens!) and a proponent of autarchy (for him it is preferable to have the businesses inside the country rather than having them outsourced abroad). All the progressive ideas of the western left, like the gender parity in offices, a welcoming (guilt-ridden) culture and a free flow of people seem to have received a hit once Donald Trump has been voted into the highest office.
Since it is the American and European left i.e. epigones of the teachings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, that keeps complaining about the current United States administration, it would not be amiss to have a closer look at their leftist Asian counterparts or comrades in arms, and where should one search for them if not in the People’s Republic of China?
A cursory look at the highest echelons of the Chinese communist party reveals that there are very few women, none at the top positions. There don’t seem to be any gender quotas in the People’s Republic though the country officially pledges allegiance to the egalitarian philosophy which posits that there are no essential differences between the biological sexes and so they can be and are replaceable.
China and Russia both pursue mysterious policies and pose challenges to Western diplomats. Their relations are one of the most important topics in modern international politics.
The Sino-Russian relations did not develop smoothly. In 19th century, the Russian Empire used China’s weakness and seized a great amount of its territory, which caused indelible resentment among the Chinese. Although the Soviet Union helped Mao’s regime to come to power and both countries were communist, it did not averted conflicts in the mutual relations. Following the ideological tensions after Stalin’s death due to more liberal new Soviet policy and border wars in 1960s, China perceived Russia as a bigger enemy than the USA; the latter, by the way, also decided to ally itself with China against the strong USSR. A normalization in the Sino-Russian relations came in 1980s. In 1996 a “strategic partnership” was established and in 2001 a Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation was signed.In September 2016, Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi proclaimed that “the depth and scope of coordination between both countries are unprecedented.” One of the reasons, China sees Russia as a partner is that the latter does not criticize the Chinese political system.
Geopolitically, both countries want to deprive the US of its globalleadership and bring about a multi-polar world with corresponding spheres of influence. China would concentrate on Asia and Russia on Eastern Europe.The two countries have already made steps against the present world order. Russia annexed Crimea and started supporting pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine; China resurrected maritime territorial disputes in the Chinese Sea and makes its military exercises, annoying the USA.An attempt to create a global governance without Western powers was the BRICS group, where Russia and China are the most influential actors.
The People’s Republic has 2,8 million troops at its disposal i.e. the world’s largest army. There are also 3,8 million reservists. For years China has been investing billions in its armed forces: in 2016 it was 216 billion dollars.Only the United States can afford to spend more on armaments. The task that China has set itself is to be able to win regional wars, for China is in conflict with many of its neighbours.
A bone of contention in the high mountains
In July 2016 China’s ground forces encroached upon Indian territory,which was not an isolated event since the 1960 war on the Indian-Chinese border or rather a demarcation line that had been drawn by the withdrawing British Empire. As in 2005, India entered into a nuclear agreement with the United States, China perceived it as a hostile act. On the other hand India did not like the fact that China leased a whole island from the Maldives, where it intended to build a port for nuclear-powered submarines.The border conflict at the foot of the Karakorum should be seen as a part of a broader picture: Pakistan, India’s ally, has been battling against India in Kashmir for years.
China is taking cautious international steps, following its national interests. Much to the Western man’s regret, it did not let itself be dictated to how to respond to the Russian incorporation of Crimea. Still, China kept Ukrainian economy alive in the aftermath, thus strengthening the Ukrainian-Chinese cooperation.
The New Silk Road
As the EU and USA cannot finance all the infrastructural projects in Ukraine, the country is turning to China for help, which in turn is interested in Ukraine as an indispensable part of the New Silk Road. Already in 2013 former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed a number of agreements with China,among them one that with the aid of China’s $13 billion envisaged turning Crimea into a huge transit hub. The Russian military actions thwarted these plans, which were later shifted to Southern Ukraine.
US-centric media report that Japan has become the biggest holder of the US treasuries, surpassing China last month. However, this is true only in regard to single countries. If we consider European Union member states collectively, then they appear to be the biggest holder of the US treasuries. It has been so almost one year long. Unfortunately, the EU’s holdings are artificially overstated because of some financial havens and they are going in the opposite direction to the trend: up rather than down.
According to the latest data from TIC (Treasury International Capital System), the EU was in possession of $1242 billion of US Treasuries in November 2016, $9 billion more than one month earlier. The EU was the only one from three biggest holders that increased its amount of US treasuries in November, while China and Japan continued to lower their holdings.
China is by far the most powerful contestant. Neither the Philippines, nor Malaysia nor Vietnam can compare, though they, especially Hanoi, dare to put up a fight and stave off the encroachment on its sovereignty. China, true, is willing to sit down to the negotiation table, yet insists on bilateral talks; the smaller contestants prefer group talks. An they all look to the United States, if for different reasons. China is trying to expand its regional clout, the smaller countries are defending their rights. And the United States? Failure to respond to the Chinese challenge entails serious consequences such as damage to Washington’s status of the world superpower and loss of American credibility, not only in the eyes of the few South-East Asian nations concerned but also others, like Japan. The eyes of the world are thus focused on the South China Sea.
The time of Kazakhstan’s stability and prosperity is just passing away. And this conclusion does not come from recent protests and shootings in the city of Aktobe, but from the panicky reaction of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. According to the 75-year old declared Leader of the Nation and his officials, latest developments are a “color revolution” aiming at a “coup” made by “pseudo-religious extremists” financed by detained pro-Russian businessmen; the President voices this opinion despite the fact that previously he claimed it was the “fifth column” of undefined third (western) powers that attempted to interfere with Kazakhstan’s internal policy. Madness. As if it were not the sharp decline in oil revenues has nothing to do with that in a country which produces 1.7 million barrels per day.
Making things even worse, it is questionable if the Aktobe event was prepared by Wahhabis or other Islam terrorists. Religious extremists usually do not attack gun shops and military units, but prefer bombings and random mass killings. Moreover, they usually wear beards, whereas most of Aktobe assailants were clean-shaven. Radio Liberty attributes the responsibility for the attack to the “Army for the Liberation of Kazakhstan,” which, according to officials and some other experts, does not even exist. The level of misinformation is enormous.
It took three wars for Rome to destroy Carthage. Carthago delenda est was the catchphrase of the day. Weakened though Carthage was, it was not allowed to exist. It took two wars for the Atlantic Anglo-Saxon alliance to destroy Germany. Germany must perish1 was the catchphrase of the day. And so Germany perished in the firestorms of carpet bombings. Now Germany is an American protectorate with a docile government and a people so re-educated that it has been turned into German self-haters. What will it take to destroy Russia? Because Ruthenia delenda est, Russia must perish, has been the catchphrase of the day for years now. And will be.
A falling industrial demand, falling commodity prices, falling trade, falling sales. This is what we see now in China, Europe and even in the USA. What comes next? Falling employment, falling customers’ demand, falling economy. Global trade gives us clear signals that we cannot ignore.
A crisis is coming and these are the signs:
China: October imports fell 18.8 percent in comparison to the previous year1. It is the beginning of the domino effect, with its coal and iron background.
Taiwan: October orders from China fell 10.6 percent in comparison to the previous year, from Japan 24 percent down. Taiwan’s export orders are seen as an indicator of a demand for high-tech gadgets and for Asia’s exports2.
Japan: first decline in exports in October since August 2014 (2.1 percent in comparison to the previous year). Reasons: China’s slowdown, poor Asia’s demand, the yen not weak enough. Double-digit declines in auto parts and electronic components3.
Germany: a monthly drop in exports in August, due to declines in industrial production and the number of factory orders4.
UK: 40% of respondent-companies are below average in export orders. Reasons: China’s downturn and a strong sterling5.
Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell below 500 for the first time. Baltic’s BDI Index (gauging the cost of shipping) reflects a slower coal and iron ore demand in China. 19-commodity Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB Index reached 13-year lows6.
USA: quiet three busiest U.S. seaports during ‘peak shipping season’. Imports in Los Angeles, Long Beach and New York fell in both September and October for the first time in a decade7.