Russia-China Alliance May Not Break when There Is No US ThreatPosted: October 2, 2016
At the end of my previous post, there is the question “Will the alliance break when the threat from the US has been removed?”
No one can foresee the future; therefore, I can only make analysis based on historical facts. US Russia expert Stephen Blank believes that “every alliance has a horse and a rider.” That is indeed Cold War alliance. Both superpowers were riders and their allies were respectively their horses that must follow their rider’s instructions.
Soviet rider was stricter than American rider. It demanded that the horses had to follow its political and economic system without deviation. When they have deviated from Soviet norms, the Soviet Union sent tanks into them to correct them. Hungary and Czechoslovakia have experienced such military correction.
Compared with the Soviet Union, the US seems defensive rather than aggressive. It fought in Korea to defend South Korea from North Korean invasion and in Vietnam to defend South Vietnam from North Vietnamese invasion. Perhaps, it was defensive because it lacked confidence in its ability to dominate its allies for fear of Soviet intervention.
When the US became the only superpower, it began to act like the Soviet Union and began to treat others, not only its allies but also non-allies as the horses it might ride at will. It sent its world strongest military to bring about regime changes in order that other countries switch to the political and economical systems it advocates. It acted as rider and regarded Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, etc. as horses.
Therefore, Mr. Blank’s description of the relations between allies is but the relations between a hegemon and other countries whether they are the hegemon’s allies or not. They have to obey the hegemon’s instructions like a horse obeying its rider.
For example, the US has told China not to militarize the artificial islands it has built on its reefs or to build artificial island on Scarborough Reef. Otherwise, there will be consequence! China is not US ally, but it has been told that it has to obey US instructions.
Fortunately, the US is not strong or rich enough to attack any of the countries it treats as horses as in spite of its world strongest military, it has been unable to achieve its strategic goals in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Otherwise, we will see US military everywhere punishing the countries that fail to obey its instructions.
Now, even the Philippines, a very weak US ally, is not willing to be horse. It proves such rider-horse relations are not popular even among US allies, let alone non-allies.
In Blank’s recent article on September 9 titled “A Crystallizing Russo-Chinese Alliance”, he says that in Russia-China alliance, “China will be the rider and Russia the horse” based on the fact that “Putin has openly adopted China’s positions on the South China Sea and North Korea while piling on the difficulties for a Russo-Japanese rapprochement.”
If that is true, I don’t think there will be the alliance if US threat has been removed. I have pointed out that Russia-China alliance is first of all an alliance of necessity. However, friends in needs may become best friends. If China and Russia maintain their friendship for years, if China like what it did in history treats Russia well and if Chinese immigrants have merged into Russian communities and helped Russia develop its Far East like what Overseas Chinese have done in Southeast Asia, there may be lasting friendship and alliance between China and Russia.
Human race has seen too many wars, fights and confrontations among themselves. It is time for human race to be united and focusing on their common welfare. I hope that if China has grown much stronger than the US and really replaced the US as world leader, it shall not act like the US in forcing its values and system on others with its military force. It shall use its economic strength to make friends and help others develop their economy. Have as many friends as possible and no enemy whatever. That is my elders’ teaching. It is also the teaching lots of my friends have received from their elders.
Article by Chan Kai Yee