China-Russia Cold War Camp Prevails while Western Camp Disintegrating


A vessel belonging to a Chinese naval group docks at the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas last Wednesday. Photo: Handout

I have quite a few posts on the emergence of the new Cold War between Russia-China autocratic camp and Western democratic camp consisting of US, EU and Japan.

There has been much media talks about the US losing Asia, which in facts means US losing Southeast Asia.

Previously US was Asian leader but in East Asia consisting of Japan and South Korea and in Southeast Asia, the ASEAN.

Now, the US has lost ASEAN due to ASEAN’s economic dependence on China and US military’s failure to protect Philippines’ interests in the South China Sea.

In recent Shangri-la Dialogue, only the US, Japan and Australia criticized Chinese moves in the South China Sea, but ASEAN remained silent. Some ASEAN members have contending claims against China but they prefer silence as they know that they will suffer in confronting China as the US will not and is unable to help them either economically or militarily.

Western media blames Trump for that. However, US losses were caused by Obama administration’s failures.

First, US pivot to Asia aimed at containing China gave Russia the impression that the US was also containing Russia when Putin was making great efforts to improve Russia-US relations.

Obama thus gave China the opportunity to win over Russia, China’s historical enemy.

Unexpectedly, Russia has become China’s close ally as China can be the largest market for Russia’s natural resources especially oil and gas. The US, however has greatly reduced its import of energy even from the Middle East let alone Russia as it has developed the technology to extract gas from shale. China has also been able to provide Russia with funds for Russia’s development.

Certainly, the alliance is first of all political as they have to combine forces in resisting the US.

Being strategy illiterate, US politicians and military intensified pressure on both China and Russia respectively in the South China Sea and Ukraine. That has turned China and Russia into close allies and their Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) into their new Cold War camp against the Western camp led by the US.

SCO’s recent expansion to include Pakistan and India has made the China-Russia camp much stronger. Now it seems that SCO will soon accept Iran as its new member as Iran has been applying to join SCO.

SCMP’s report today “China and Iran held a joint naval exercise near the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf amid rising tension in the region” shows China and Iran’s joint efforts in developing military ties.

The report says “the drill on Sunday included an Iranian warship and two Chinese destroyers, a logistics ship and one helicopter.”

The timing of the drill is especially important as SCMP says that it was carried out “amid heightened tension between Iranian and US warships in the Gulf. Washington has accused Iran of sending fast-attack boats to harass US warships passing through the Strait of Hormuz. The US Navy also held a drill with Qatar on Saturday.”

In fact, close relations with Iran will enable China to have a new Silk Road through Pakistan to Iran for secure export of Iranian oil and gas to China. As India, Pakistan and potentially Iran are all SCO members, there is possibility for Iran to export oil to India safely through Pakistan.

The great economic interests will make China and Pakistan Iran’s close military allies in countering the US and protecting China’s trade sea route from Pakistan to the Middle East.

On the other hand, Trump’s “America first” has given rise to serious split between EU and the US while his scrap of TPP and improvement of US ties with China has made the US Japan’s fierce competitor in China’s huge market.

US-EU-Japan Cold War camp is disintegrating while China-Russia camp is growing larger and stronger.

American world leadership? In the new Cold War, America cannot even lead its Western camp.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2098898/china-and-iran-carry-out-naval-exercise-near-strait.

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7 Comments on “China-Russia Cold War Camp Prevails while Western Camp Disintegrating”

  1. Combo Jaxx says:

    On the global context, there are absolutely no so-called “Autocratic” or “Democratic” camps. That’s a subjective and suppositious issue you may well want avoid. After all every state on earth cares about its own survival & welfare whilst pursuing its own interests. Such inflammatory labeling evokes baleful connotations. You ought to choose your words cautiously!

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    • chankaiyee2 says:

      Autocratic government can be good if it takes good care of its people while a democratic government can be bad if it takes care of the vested interests that have it elected! That is why I do not avoid the term “autocratic”.

      You see a Chinese autocratic government taking good care of its people and has widespread support from almost all its people. You also see democratic American government that has wasted its human and financial resources in fighting wars for vested interests resulting in economic difficulties for its people including unemployment, lack of funds to maintain delapidated infrastructures vital for people’s safety, etc. US democracy is in chaos making the country a split nation.

      A country has to keep on reforming its political system for the benefit of its people. China needs democracy to avoid the emergence of tyranny while the US needs some autocracy to make its political system able to serve its people.

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      • Steve says:

        Excellent commentary.

        But, I do believe the days of a Chinese tyrant chairman is long gone. Chairman Mao would not have survived in todays leadership spill in China. People including the PLA are far better educated today in science technology and advanced education. Mao as you know was a despot who believes that political power grows from the barrel of a gun.He truly admired military leaders and exploits. His heroes included not just past great Chinese warrior emperors, but also Napolean and George Washington. He was truly a tyrant. With China’s 1.3 billion people, democracy will send China to a point of no return. Corruption will be endless or a bottomless pit. The Asian country that has perform well economically and politically is Singapore and now China, both are non Western democracies. If China is a fully fledged western style democracy, it would be similar to Sth Korea, Japan and probably worst due to it’s huge competing population. China will eventually become the new US of Asia.

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        • Steve says:

          should read ‘barrel of a gun’. He truly admired military leaders ….

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        • alking1957 says:

          I agree fully. One man one vote only leads to sociopathic natural born liars to rise to the top, selling sweet little lies to the electorate. The only certain result is what you see in democratic countries like Greece, France, italy, brazil, and usa – slow degradation and eventual bankruptcy

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          • Steve says:

            I agree too. Benevolent leadership can be found in an Autocratic government. Democratic governments are more eager to form military alliances seeking self benefit. I cannot imagine one billion Chinese voting in election booths for phantom characters like Bush, Obama, Trump, Clinton, Abe, Aquino, Park, etc. In Australia, there were 5 Prime Ministers in 5 years, some of which are recycled because ordinary voters are dumbfounded and hoodwinked by electoral promises. It’s troublesome for democratic leaders to implement policies due to opposition parties. Just look at EU, US, UK, Australia. Western democratic leaders are famous for their genocide, invasion of sovereign countries on the pretext of lies and freedom of democracy.

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  2. Steve says:

    To put it simply, our current state of unstable world affairs, requires a powerful stable China. China’s Autocratic government will prevail over All other political governments. Democratic governments especially Western will experience upheavals, instability, change of governments due to multi party policies, people are hoodwinked by the hollywood style democratic elections and competing leadership.

    Just take a brief review on the past three US Presidents – George Bush’s pack of lies, mass murder, looting of Iraqi oilfields, US sponsored genocide and his legacy is still present to the growth of Iraq terrorist cells.

    One of the first agenda on Obama’s list was the invasion of Libya, ousting Gaddafi and again creating and sponsoring the growth of terrorism to Syria.

    And now the US has old head Trump with his America first and protectionism policies. In his first 100 days in office he has intensified the attack in Iraq, invaded Yemen, the poorest African state causing almost 3,000 deaths including civilians according to independent observers.

    Whether it’s Bush, Obama, Trump, they are all part of a hydra belonging to the same killing machine.

    The governance of China Russia Autocratic camp will, without doubt outshine the demon-cratic camp of US, EU and Japan. SCO will grow and emerge to become a powerful and economically very Rich member states whilst the EU may self destruct into very poor states, except for Germany and France.

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