Do you know what is the most popular news in the social networks of Nezalezhnaya since the beginning of hostilities? You will never guess: “China is the leader of an unstoppable blow to Russia.” That is, “China dealt an unexpected blow to Russia” (yes, that’s right – through the lowercase “r”). In the four days since its publication, the article on the Ukrainian site has gained almost one and a half million views and a third of a million reposts. And this is very sad news – but not for Russia, but for Ukraine.
Because she continues to live in a fictional world, but the most important role here is no longer played by “the West will help us,” but “China has turned its back on Russia.” In other words, there was only one hope left to defeat Russia : a neighbor’s cow would die, that is, the Chinese would quarrel with the Russians, and this would lead to the defeat of the Russian army.
In this fictional world, objective reality does not matter. Is it not clear that in any case Russia will complete the operation in Ukraine not earlier than the implementation of the minimum program: the complete and unconditional surrender of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the change of orientation of the Independent? And even if Russia found itself in complete isolation, this would not change the fate of the Ukrainian authorities. This is not understood in Kiev ? They understand, but try to maintain empty hopes.
Not to mention that there is no chance that China will stab Russia in the back – in the geopolitical sense. Because it was Beijing that a few years ago began to use the expression “we stand back to back” to characterize Russian-Chinese relations, and it doesn’t take much intelligence to understand what this means in modern geopolitical alignments.
But China is under pressure with all its might, the States are not shy in expressions. After all, the news that cheered up Ukrainian readers was that he refused to supply spare parts for American and European aircraft to Russia in order to comply with the sanctions imposed by the West. This news came from Russia from one of the employees of the Federal Air Transport Agency, but was later refuted. Yes, Russia will have problems obtaining spare parts, yes, China will look for convenient schemes to get around the bans, but there is no question of any betrayal on its part.
Although the pressure on Beijing will only grow, all this was predictable and calculable. Yesterday, for example, a meeting was held in Rome between member of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee, curator of foreign policy Yang Jiechi and Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Affairs Jake Sullivan. Considering that contacts between the American and Chinese leadership are rather rare, the interest in it is heightened. An emergency meeting. Because of Ukraine? This is how the Americans want to present the situation, but here is what they say in Beijing:
“China and the United States have been in contact on this issue since the end of last year, kept in constant communication about the meeting, and set the time in accordance with the schedule of both sides.”
The same goes for the agenda: Beijing indicates that “the main subject of discussion at the meeting will be the implementation of the important consensus reached by the two heads of state during the virtual summit in November last year,” and “the parties will discuss Sino-US relations and exchange views on international and regional issues of mutual interest.
What are the Americans talking about? They are almost openly threatening China, promising to “take action” if it refuses to comply with Western sanctions against Russia. The same Sullivan, on the eve of the meeting with Yang, said that Beijing was waiting for the consequences:
“We are closely monitoring the extent to which China actually provides material and economic support to Russia. We have conveyed to Beijing that we will not tolerate or allow any country to try to compensate Russia for its economic losses.”
That is, the United States is transparently hinting at the possibility of introducing secondary sanctions – a situation where America introduces restrictions against those countries and companies that provide financial services or trade “banned” with a country that is under restrictions. The States have already applied similar sanctions against Chinese banks that worked with Iran and North Korea, but it was on a different scale and, as they say, in general in a past life. The scale of the changes now taking place is such that America simply cannot afford to hit China.
Why? Because, having started to spin a full-fledged financial and trade war with China, the States will shoot themselves in the head. And the point is not even that the trade turnover between the two countries is 755 billion dollars (with a positive Chinese balance of 400 billion): China has accumulated foreign exchange reserves of more than three trillion dollars, and it is easy to imagine that now, after the West has blocked Russian reserves ( 300 billion), Beijing thinks about their reliability. With its actions against Russian assets, the United States has already condemned the wo-rld financial system it created (including the petrodollar), and even a small hint of the possibility of such measures against China will not only bring its death sharply closer, but will lead to the collapse of global finance and trade. And, given that industrial production and resources are concentrated in the East,
Does the US need it? Of course not. But what do they expect then? The fact that there is no full-fledged alternative to the world financial system they control, and therefore, not wanting its collapse, China will behave very carefully and restrainedly in the Russian direction. That is, he will trade with Russia and come up with various schemes to circumvent Western sanctions, but will not take risks, running into full-fledged secondary sanctions, believing that the Americans are able to impose them.
But here we need to answer two simple questions. First, does Beijing admit that Washington is really ready to resort to secondary sanctions, that is, to unleash a full-fledged economic war? Rather no than yes, because the consequences will be extreme for the US as well.
The second question is: do Beijing trust the Americans? Of course not. Including seeing what the States did with Russian foreign exchange reserves. And most importantly, the Chinese do not have the slightest confidence in the United States in geopolitics: having declared China an enemy and the main threat to themselves, they do not hide their intention to restrain the PRC by all available means. Military and economic, in the Pacific region and Taiwan, in the world in general and Europe in particular. The clash with China has long been regarded by the Americans as the main upcoming event of the 21st century, so what should Beijing do in these conditions?
Try to delay this moment as long as possible in order to prepare, among other things, your military power, trade logistics, financial and economic resources and strengthen your position on the world stage. An alliance with Russia is China’s conscious geopolitical choice, not only because it provides it with a reliable rear, but also because Russia pursues the same goals on the world stage as the Celestial Empire.
National revival through the strengthening of one’s own state and liberation from Western influence, the construction of a new – multipolar – world order, the end of the era of Western domination. China is absolutely not interested not only in defeat, but even in the weakening of Russia: after all, it will be much more difficult for it to resist the States, including in the Pacific region, and it will be almost impossible to fight them for influence on Europe.
There is nothing complicated in understanding these alignments, but the Americans have lost touch with reality. Although the Chinese have repeatedly tried to return them to her. So it was at the first meeting of Sullivan and Yang Jiechi a year ago in Alaska : then the new Washington administration organized the first contact with their Beijing colleagues (foreign ministers were also at the talks). At the same time, the Americans did not come up with anything better than to start publicly chastising Beijing. Secretary Blinken said the US will not stop holding China accountable for its actions against Hong Kong, economic pressure on other countries, “human rights violations” against the Uighurs, and so on.
The Chinese, in response, not only demanded not to interfere in their internal affairs, but also directly accused the States of hypocrisy. Yang Jiechi said that Washington, which uses its financial and military power to intimidate other countries, has no right to speak to China in a condescending tone:
“Most countries in the world do not recognize that US values are international values, do not recognize that what the US says represents international public opinion, and do not recognize that rules formulated by several countries represent international norms.”
At the time, Yang expressed the hope that “the American side will change its zero-sum mentality, abandon wrong practices such as long-term jurisdiction, and not abuse the concept of national security as an excuse to interfere in trade between the two countries.”
But what have Americans been up to in the year since the meeting in Anchorage? They combed the Taiwan issue in every possible way, convened an anti-Chinese “summit for democracy”, formed the anti-Chinese Anglo-Saxon military bloc AUKUS and hoped to use the QUAD four (together with Japan, India and Australia ) to contain Beijing.
That is, China was hard-wired from different sides. And now they also want to threaten consequences for supporting Russia? The United States has long done everything to strengthen the Russian-Chinese alliance (which, however, would have been strong without that), and now they are trying to blackmail China, requiring it, in fact, to join Western pressure on Russia. Do the Americans really think that geopolitical babies or idiots are in power in Beijing? Or suicidal – those who will act to the detriment of their own interests and contrary to their own strategy, will begin to play along with the enemy?
It doesn’t really matter what Washington thinks anymore. It is important that they commit ill-conceived actions that do not meet their own interests (as was the case with Russian assets), and at the same time they also take others for fools, trying to convince them of their ability to “punish” and “teach a lesson” for supporting Russia. The Chinese can only laugh – or marvel at the American madness that borders on geopolitical masochism.