The increasing Sino-Russian Symbiosis one of the most significant current geopolitical developments is seemingly ignored by both the US mass media and the US State Department whose pronouncements focus separately on Russophobia Sinophobia rhetoric. The only American publication I have come across recently that takes note of the growing Chinese Russian collaboration is the American Spectator of conservative sympathies. Their article is titled “Washington Is Not Serious About Russia-China Rapprochement” and opens with the comment: “Washington’s experts and pundits continue taking Moscow’s pivot to Beijing with a grain of salt, while China and Russia announced yet another joint mega-project that will help to accelerate the formation of what many dubbed the “Eurasian supercontinent.” and lays out the following points:
- From an American perspective, long historical grievances, border wars, and overwhelming mistrust between the two Eurasian powers are seen as permanent factors that will inevitably downgrade the Kremlin’s alignment with China
- Americans have focused only on the difficulties of Moscow-Beijing relations while largely neglecting the incentives that have brought these two powers together.
- Apart from subscribing to China’s 5G network, Russians are positioning themselves as the connecting bridge between China and Europe. The recent announcement of the trans-continental route — the Meridian highway — seeks to accomplish exactly that. This will be a major contribution to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
- The Meridian highway will be a four-lane toll highway consistent with European standards, with a starting point in the Orenburg region near Kazakhstan. Already a 2,000-km highway
- The result is a two-front Cold War-like situation with China and Russia.
- Should Beijing’s pan-Eurasian vision become reality, the United States will face a situation never seen before. And as countries such as India continue resisting China’s expansion while demonstrating extraordinary cautiousness, Russia seems to be sliding into Beijing’s orbit.
- This is what should worry Americans in the long run: a China-dominated Eurasia connected with ports, railways, and roads stretching from the remote corners of Asia to Western Europe.
I would add to those points the following:
Russia’s stated political and economic objective of a “Pivot to the East”, a move to their Asian roots that date back to the 250 year Mongol suzerainty in Russia. As my Russian language instructors once said, “Scratch a Russian and you will find a Tatar”, an expression first coined by Napoleon, “grattez le Russe et Vous trouverez le Tartare”
- Former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski warned in 1997 that the greatest long-term threat to U.S. interests would be a “grand coalition” of China and Russia, “united not by ideology but by complementary grievances.” This coalition “would be reminiscent in scale and scope of the challenge once posed by the Sino-Soviet bloc, though this time China would likely be the leader and Russia the follower.
- They are already members of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation), BRICS (Brasil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank).
- The melding of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Russia’s dream of a Eurasian Economic Union would create an Economic Union that would dwarf the EU, NAFTA and all other trade associations combined
- Joint Vostok military exercises this month. China’s participation in the largest Russian exercises first time since 1981
- Recent joint hi-tech venture in Tushino as part of the RCIF (Russia China Investment Fund).
- An exchange of Russian advanced military equipment and energy to China in return for investment and technical expertise from China.
- In addition tot he existing oil pipelines into China there is the Russian. Power of Siberia Gas pipeline that comes on stream end 2019
- This week Putin announced that Russia would supply advanced antimissile defence technology to China, a technology presently held only by the US and Russia
- Unless the obtuse US comes to terms with the partnership of a resurgent Russian with the technological and economic hyperpower China they will be left wanting in the same way they have done with the AIIB Bank and the TPP, an isolated empire in decline