Zakaj si Kitajska želi močne Rusije

There’s a lot of ridiculous commentary these days on China’s relationship with Russia. When you do not even attempt to understand China’s context, you obviously won’t understand its position. Small 🧵 to put things back into context.

First of all, geographic context. Not only is Russia China’s biggest neighbor in terms of land, they share one of the longest (4133km!) and therefore the most difficulty protectable land border on the planet.

Second, historical context. In most of its millennia old history, China has had difficulties with its neighbors to the North. They didn’t build the great wall for no reason!

Heck as recently as the cold war China and the Soviet Union were often on the hedge of (nuclear) war.

All this to say that for China’s standpoint, peaceful relations with Russia is a very precious and historically rare blessing.

That was the first thing.

Now let’s look at the current geopolitical context.

As we all know it is the primary strategic objective of the US today to derail China’s rise so it remains number 1 and maintains the “US-led rules-based order”. Unclear what the rules are but that’s besides the point…

As such, helping the US defeat Russia would be “dumb as dirt” as it’d basically pave the way for the US to focus a thereby undivided and very ill-intentioned attention on China.

There’s also the economic aspect, and in particular the question of vital supplies like oil and gas in case the US decides to make use of its bases surrounding China and cut the maritime supply route. Friendly relations with Russia, which just so happens to have some of the world’s largest deposit of such supplies, is critical for this. A strategic insurance policy in a scenario of high intensity economic warfare which, as we’re seeing with the war in Ukraine, is something that can happen.

So what’s stopping China from going all the way and becoming a co-belligerent with Russia since the relationship is so critical in today’s context?

A few things.

First of all China has this – probably naive – hope that it can create a wedge within the West, with Europe not fully joining the US in its fight against China. And of course if China starts actively helping Russia, then any hope of this is gone.

Secondly there’s a question of principle. From China’s point of view, if it were to fight alongside Russia it’d undermine its own principle – that of sovereign integrity – with regards to Taiwan.

Indeed, for China and – despite the rhetoric – almost all the countries in the world, Taiwan isn’t an independent country, it’s part of China. As such China views attempts to meddle on Taiwan as attacks on its sovereign integrity.

So it’d be a repudiation of its own principle if it were to start helping Russia in Ukraine in what is an attack on a country universally recognized as sovereign, however provoked that attack was by the West.

Lastly China joining in would make the conflict take on a whole new dimension, with immense consequences for the world and the global economy. The Chinese population would suffer alongside everyone on the planet so it isn’t something China would do unless it didn’t have a choice.

I do however believe that there is a tiny chance it could find itself in such a scenario, where it didn’t have a choice. That is in case Russia faces collapse or regime change with a hostile (from China’s viewpoint) pro-west government taking over.

In that scenario there’s just no way China would stay idle if it could prevent it from happening, for all the reasons we just saw.

Taking a step back, there is one obvious solution here: for the US to accept the rise of China and the advent of a multipolar world, which is likely inevitable anyhow given how much more populated China is.

This would obviously completely change China’s context and its position as a result.

But sadly this definitely isn’t the trend and therefore the world will remain in conflict for the foreseeable future…

Vir: Arnaud Bertrand, via twitter

En odgovor

  1. Osnovna napaka v predpostavkah in tem razmišljanju je, da ni Rusija tista, ki ji grozi kolaps, kolaps grozi Evropi, Ameriki pa zaradi globokih nestabilnosti v makroekonomskem sistemu, mednarodnih financah in zaradi notranjega ideološkega razkola, pa že nekaj časa.

    Nobene vojaške pomoči, razen poceni in množičnih taktičnih dronov, Rusi ne rabijo od Kitajcev. Tako lokalno vojno kot je ta v Ukrajini lahko s svojim logističnim sistemom in vojaško industrijsko bazo, ki sta dizajnirana za spopad z Ameriko in ne lokalno silo kot je Ukrajina, udobno obvladujejo.

    Potrebujejo pa seveda Kitajsko kot substitucijo evropskega (zahodnega) uvoza na mnogih industrijskih področjih. Glede na skokovito rast medsebojne menjave (več kot 200 milijard USD v 2022) jim to več kot uspeva.

    Všeč mi je

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