Putin’s Dirty War, Geopolitical Adjustments, Prospects for Future Wars, Part III | News, Sports, Jobs


This is part three of a six-part chronicle that examines global geopolitical readjustments since 2019 and the strengthening of two allied blocs of authoritarian nations in a stalemate with two blocs of democratic states. I use historical perspectives to assess the likelihood of the spread of war in Europe, Asia and beyond: the dreadful scenario of a Third World War.

CHINESE EXPANSIONISM

With 3.383 million barrels per day, China is the world’s seventh largest producer of crude oil, but this is far from meeting domestic demand. The second largest economy in the world is also the second largest consumer of oil (15.4 million barrels per day), which means that it must buy the balance of its needs abroad. Last month, Reuters news reported that Russia had overtaken Saudi Arabia for the first time as China’s main source of oil. In May this year, China receives 55% more Russian oil than in 2021.

Unable to leverage oil as part of its diplomatic arsenal, China has for about a decade used the peaceful strategy of building ambitious infrastructure projects around the world. Take, for example, the Belt and Road initiative, a transport system designed to connect the port city of Lianyungang to Rotterdam. Attila’s empire has reached this far west.

Its southern counterpart, the New Eurasian Land Bridge, begins on the Pacific coast of China, crosses several countries including Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Turkey, where it connects to the Mediterranean (a new Bosphorus) and continues to Europe. western. That’s what I meant earlier when I said that the Chinese have a long-term perspective of decades and centuries. If all goes as planned, all roads will lead to Beijing.

China’s other major expansionist tool is what Indian scholar Brahma Chellaney first dubbed (in 2017) “debt trap diplomacy”. There is nothing new in this strategy, skillfully used for centuries by global trading powers as a colonial and neo-colonial weapon to gain influence and power over economically and politically weaker nations. China is familiar with this strategy, having been the beneficiary of the program from the 1870s through the 1940s. The Chinese remember it well, as does the diabolical British plan to force Indian opium imports to get the country addicted to amazing poppy flower extract. Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok has managed to get hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of American children and youth addicted.

High-speed trains, loans and addictive internet platforms, not the recently unveiled hypersonic missile, are China’s most formidable weapons.

A NEW AXIS?

Since the beginning of the 21st century, Russian-Chinese relations have grown closer diplomatically, commercially and militarily. In 1996, China joined Russia and three former Soviet socialist republics in an alliance known as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), to coordinate joint military exercises.

Russia and China have grown even closer since the latter stepped up its anti-Taiwan rhetoric in 2021 and the former invaded Ukraine in 2022. Iran, meanwhile, has established military alliances with both powers. The three nations have a lot in common and share similar geopolitical goals. They belong to the lowest category of the democracy index (authoritarian regimes); all three face heavy sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies; and they want to undermine the economic, diplomatic and military power of the United States. This convergence of interests cemented an alliance that some have dubbed the “New Axis”.

Not so long ago China and the United States were allies, and not so long ago they were enemies. Communist China-US relations grew increasingly hostile after the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. As strained as US-Soviet relations were, President Lyndon B. Johnson saw Beijing as an even greater threat than Moscow and even considered a pre-emptive military strike to stop its nuclear attack. weapons development program. Then came the Vietnam War and Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, which further accentuated Sino-American relations.

The turning point came in the 1970s amid heightened hostilities with the Soviet Union. China and the United States saw rapprochement as a strategy to stem the threat of Soviet expansion. In February 1972, President Richard Nixon visited China and the two countries signed the Shanghai Communique, a plan for the normalization of US-China relations that culminated in the full establishment of diplomatic relations in 1979. China’s threat had diminished to the point that NATO’s Southeast Asian counterpart, SEATO, disbanded in 1977.

To be continued.

Readers can reach him at [email protected]



Today’s breaking news and more to your inbox






Comments are closed.