US Strategy Illiterates Waken Up by Sino-Russian De Facto Alliance


See how close Chinese and Russian presidents are. Image: Wikimedia Commons/Kremlin.ru

See how close Chinese and Russian presidents are. Image: Wikimedia Commons/Kremlin.ru

US National Interest’s article “How Russia Made America Pivot Back to Asia” on December 22 shows that some US strategy illiterates have been waken up by the grim reality of Sino-Russian de facto alliance (which the article refers to as Sino-Russian entente).

The article says, “In light of this newfound entente and Russia’s strategic shift eastward, the Asia-Pacific presents new challenges that were not as salient when the United States first announced the rebalance.”

It fails to see that it is precisely US rebalance that give rise to the entente that has turned the scale of balance to the side of China and Russia. This blogger has been teaching US strategy illiterates in his quite a few posts since his first post on June 6, 2012 titled “The beginning of a new Cold War: On Putin’s Beijing”. After his diplomatic blunder in pushing China to the Russian side by his rebalance in Asia, US President Obama is now trying to improve relations with Russia, but does not seem to have made any achievement.

The article says, “From a security perspective, Beijing and Moscow are taking actions that could threaten American interests and those of its allies and partners. In particular, Russia plays a key role in China’s military modernization, providing the country with advanced missiles, radar and other systems that are central to Beijing’s acquisition of anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities. Just last year, both countries finalized a deal on a long-range S-400 surface-to-air missile system…”

The writer of the article knows well that “For years, Beijing lobbied Moscow unsuccessfully to acquire the S-400 and was rebuffed by Russian officials due to concerns over China’s track record of reverse-engineering other weapons systems”, but does not know why “Within the last few weeks, however, Russian media reported that Moscow will deliver the system to China in either twelve or eighteen months.”

He had better read my post “China-Russia Arms Deals Are Political for Cold War Partnership” on March 31, 2013.

Comments by Chan Kai Yee on National Interest’s article “How Russia Made America Pivot Back to Asia”.

Full text of the article can be viewed at http://nationalinterest.org/feature/how-russia-made-america-pivot-back-asia-14710.


Chinese-Russian S400 Contract Filled with Most Earnest, Genuine Friendship


S400 air-defense system

S400 air-defense system

According to what military experts have told huanqiu.com in a recent interview, Russia’s S400 air-defense system is one of the most advanced air-defense systems in the world. Russia sells China the system to extend Chinese air defense to the area of dispute between China and Japan, especially to Taiwan that the US has obligation to protect. Experts believe, the sale deals a heavy blow at US pivot to Asia and gives the US the signal that Russia has a lot of means to make the US uncomfortable if the US makes Russia uncomfortable in Ukraine.

The report describes S400’s capabilities of all-round defense covering super-low to high altitude and short and long distance. It can track hundreds of targets and hit 36 targets at the same time. Only F-35 stealth fighters the US is developing are able to counter S400 defense system. However, there are still quite a few technical problems to be resolved in developing F-35 and so far the US has never sold Taiwan its most advanced aircrafts.

The import of S400 does not mean a simple import of some missiles. It is an import of a system that will integrate with China’s existing S300 and HQ-9 air-defense systems to enable China to have much more advanced air defense.

S400 is very reliable and can operate for 10,000 hours without overall. Moreover, it is more cost effective than similar systems of any other countries.

Informed source says that the discussion on the sale of S400 is the most earnest one filled with genuine friendship. It is not a mere sale of weapon. It is military cooperation including the transfer of some technology.

During the discussion, the differences of air-defense situation and requirements between Russia and China have been studied so that some modifications of S400 are to be made to make it better suit Chinese needs.

As for future military cooperation between China and Russia, the experts believe that there will be joint development of advanced weapons to replace the two countries’ best weapons when they become outdated. The two countries each has its advantages and resources to make up the other’s weak points and shortages. Together, they will become a much stronger force in weapon development.

This blogger once said that their cooperation in weapon development would add wings to two tigers. It seems such cooperation will soon be a reality.

In fact, Russia has already sent some experts to China to conduct joint development of large airliners and heavy helicopters.

The airliner project aims at grabbing a large airliner market share from Boeing and Airbus. Such cooperation will indeed make the US uncomfortable!

Source: huanqiu.com “Experts: S400 is the weapon contract between Russia and China filled with the most earnest, genuine friendship in history” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

Related posts:

  • Putin Approves Export to China of Russian S-400 Air Defense Missiles dated March 31, 2014
  • Russia Decided to Sell S-400 Surface-air Missiles to China dated July 1, 2013
  • China’s Multi-layer Anti-missile System with Copies of Russian Anti-missile radar dated July 16, 2013

Obama Strengthening Russian-Chinese Ties


U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement while at the White House in Washington, August 1, 2014.  Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement while at the White House in Washington, August 1, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

While US talented statesmen and diplomats want both US- Chinese and Russia relations to be better than Russian-Chinese relations, Obama is pursuing the contrary.

Reuters report today titled “Obama: ‘Russia doesn’t make anything,’ West must be firm with China” describes not only his lack of diplomatic skill but also his ignorance of the reality.

Obama is concerned about China’s rise and has responded with his pivot to Asia to contain it, but he fails to see that not only his allies Japan and South Korea but also Russia and India are concerned. He would have had good opportunity to rally Japan, Russia, India and South Korea around the United States in dealing with China if he had had the skill to be world leader.

Among the four potential allies, Russia, though declining, is the strongest militarily. It still has the technology very useful for China’s military modernization but due to Russia’s concern about China’s rise, Russia refuses to transfer the most advanced military technology China wants. It only wants to sell China advanced weapons to fund its own military ambition.

Obviously, Russia did not want to live under the threat of a militarily powerful neighbor; therefore, US containment of China will benefit Russia.

It is a common mindset that a powerful country or family has an earnest desire to restore its past glory. Putin knows that well. He knows his autocracy is unpopular but by his efforts to restore the past glory of the collapsed Soviet Union, he will make himself popular.

That is why he has drawn up an ambitious plan to establish a powerful navy to restore Russia’s position as a superpower.

China has the traditional wisdom of allying with remote states to attack neighboring states. It was Fan Sui’s well-known strategy adopted by the State of Qin to gradually conquer all other states and unify China.

The strategy is so well-known in China that when Mao decided to improve relations with the US in early 1970s, nearly everybody who had had some knowledge about Chinese history commented that Mao adopted Fan Sui’s strategy of “allying with remote states to attack neighboring states”.

In Zhisui Li’s memoir about Mao, he says Mao told him Mao’s move was based on Fan Sui’s strategy of “allying with remote states to attack neighboring states”.

It is very clear Chinese leaders adopted that traditional strategy when they supported the West’s military actions in Libya that would weaken Russian influence in the Middle East.

With such background of Russia’s concern about China’s rise and China’s traditional strategy, an alliance between Russia and China was highly impossible. However, Obama has made it possible.

When Obama has announced his pivot to Asia and begun to make things difficult in China’s maritime territorial disputes with its neighbors, China began to regard Russia as the only possible ally with enough strength to counter the US.

China filled Putin with joy when it joined Russia in vetoing the UN resolution proposed by the West

The two countries began to establish a Cold War alliance. To show the importance attached to mutual relations, Putin and Xi Jinping each chose the other’s country as the first destination of their visit abroad after they were elected. However, due to lack of mutual trust, quite a few deals during the visits have not been completed until Putin’s recent visit to Beijing. For example, Russian sales of Su-35 fighter jets, Lada class submarines, S-400 air defense missiles, and Sino-Russian cooperation in making large airliners and heavy helicopters.

In my post “The emergence of a new Cold War” on March 25, 2013, I said, “Close cooperation between China and Russia in weapon development will have the consequence of adding wings to tigers for both countries. That will be what the US fears most.”

But Obama did not fear, the US squandered lots of opportunities to break the fragile alliance at its burgeoning stage.

Now, Russia is sending experts to Shanghai for joint development of aircrafts. The project, if successful, will grab a large market share of airliner market from Boeing and Airbus. However, there will be lots of problems related to sharing of technology, pricing, sales and distribution of profits. No one can be sure the project and other major projects between Russia and China will succeed. However, Obama came out to help Russia and China.

In its report on Obama’s recent interview with Economist magazine, Reuters quotes Obama as saying, “I do think it’s important to keep perspective. Russia doesn’t make anything,”

For Russian people who want to restore their country’s past glory, Obama’s contempt is the greatest insult. Nothing Obama has ever said may better enhance Russia’s desire to ally with China.

Russia really doesn’t make anything? It makes Su-35, S-400 and Lada class submarines to help China to shoot down US fighter jets and sink US warships if there is a war between US and China.

If the US decides to use nuclear weapons, how can it be sure that after its first strike at China, Russia will no conduct first strike at the US followed by Chinese second strike.

Regarding China, Obama told the Economist that the US has to be pretty firm with China to make China “meet resistance” and stop pushing hard. He is pushing China hard to Russia’s side.

I do not know why Obama almost devoted entire interview in strengthening Russian-Chinese alliance. For example, he said, “Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity…. The population is shrinking.”

Chinese people are rushing into Siberia in search of opportunity but Russia restricts their entries. What if in response to Obama’s insult, Russia allows Chinese people to become Russian citizens in Siberia if they help Russia exploit the rich resources there. Russia can precisely provide an outlet for China’s surplus population to make up for its shrinking population.

How can the leader of a superpower be such an illiterate in diplomacy?

Japan, South Korea, Russia and India are sufficient to counter China’s rise even without US pivot to Asia if only the US can rally them together.

Besides pushing Russia and China together to form an alliance, the US failed to prevent Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine that has caused South Korea to sever its relations with Japan. This has provided China opportunity to win over South Korea to its side.

China and India have been enemies since the war between them in 1960s. It provides the US good opportunity to win over India to its side. However, India is close to Russia. Russia is trying hard to form a Russia-India-China alliance.

To put an end to enmity, China has been trying hard to improve relations with India while Russia is helping it do that. The US however failed the bet on both sides. It snubbed Indian opposition party’s leader Modi for a long time. Now, it is very difficult for the US to improve its relations with Modi when Modi has become Indian Prime Minister.

China, however, received Modi as if he were state leader during Modi’s four visits to China. This will facilitate resolution of the border disputes between the two countries.

If the disputes have been resolved, Russia-India-China alliance may become a reality to greatly reduce US influence in Asia.

The following is the full text of Reuters’ report today on Obama’s interview:

Obama: ‘Russia doesn’t make anything,’ West must be firm with China

President Barack Obama dismissed Russia as a nation that “doesn’t make anything” and said in an interview with the Economist magazine that the West needs to be “pretty firm” with China as Beijing pushes to expand its role in the world economy.

Obama has tried to focus U.S. foreign policy on Asia, a response to China’s economic and military might. But for months, that “pivot” has been overshadowed by a flurry of international crises, including Russia’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Russia is the world’s third-largest oil producer and second-largest natural gas producer. Europe relies heavily on Russian energy exports, complicating the West’s response to the Ukraine crisis.

Obama downplayed Moscow’s role in the world, dismissing President Vladimir Putin as a leader causing short-term trouble for political gain that will hurt Russia in the long term.

“I do think it’s important to keep perspective. Russia doesn’t make anything,” Obama said in the interview.

“Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The life expectancy of the Russian male is around 60 years old. The population is shrinking,” he said.

Obama told Putin last week that he believes Russia violated the 1988 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty designed to eliminate ground-launched cruise missiles.

Speaking of Russia’s “regional challenges,” Obama said in the interview: “We have to make sure that they don’t escalate where suddenly nuclear weapons are back in the discussion of foreign policy.”

Obama described U.S. tensions with China as “manageable.”

China is engaged in territorial disputes with its neighbors in the oil-rich South China Sea, and frequently skirmishes with the West over intellectual property issues.

“One thing I will say about China, though, is you also have to be pretty firm with them, because they will push as hard as they can until they meet resistance,” Obama told the Economist.

“They’re not sentimental, and they are not interested in abstractions. And so simple appeals to international norms are insufficient,” he said.

Obama said he believes trade tensions will ease when China shifts “from simply being the low-cost manufacturer of the world” and its companies begin making higher-value items that need intellectual property protections.

“There have to be mechanisms both to be tough with them when we think that they’re breaching international norms, but also to show them the potential benefits over the long term,” he said.

Source: Reuters “Obama: ‘Russia doesn’t make anything,’ West must be firm with China”

Related posts:

  • The beginning of a new Cold War: On Putin’s Beijing visit dated June 6, 2012
  • The emergence of a new Cold War dated March 25, 2013
  • Tigers Will Have Wings, China to buy Russia’s Best Fighters, Submarines dated March 25, 2013
  • Russia-China ties at highest level in history – Putin dated May 20, 2014
  • China & Russia Solidify Alliance, Issue Joint Statement Condemning US Tinkering dated May 23, 2014
  • Putin Declares Cold War against the US after Shanghai Meeting dated May 25, 2014
  • Obama Strengthening Russia-China Cold War Alliance by His Recent Speech dated May 29, 2014

Obama Strengthening Russia-China Cold War Alliance by His Recent Speech


President Barack Obama arrives to deliver the commencement address to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's Class of 2014. (AP/Susan Walsh)

President Barack Obama arrives to deliver the commencement address to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point’s Class of 2014. (AP/Susan Walsh)

As soon as China learnt America’s plan to contain it, it switched to Russia’s side by joining Russian veto over Syria issue.

Subduing the enemy by stratagem is the best of best; by diplomacy, the second best, by fighting in the field, the third alternative; by attacking cities, the last resort.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

China has adopted the stratagem to subdue the United States since 2004 when it decided to obtain integrated space and air capabilities for its air force. It was disclosed in China’s Air Force Encyclopedia a year later, but when China’s Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping recently urged the air force to obtain such capabilities, foreign media regarded it as something new. It proves people outside China’s ignorance about China.

Such ignorance may lead to underestimate of China’s determination and strength that decades ago caused the defeat of the best equipped US troops by the poorest equipped Chinese troops at the beginning of the Korean War.

Due to such ignorance American strategists proposed the Air-Sea Battle to deal with China, but are not aware that it is an outdated strategy adopted by the US in the 1940s in defeating Japan.

Are they really ignorant that we are living in the space era now?

Are they recently unearthed terracotta warriors?

Regarding the second best, China adopts the diplomacy of establishing a Cold War alliance with Russia. It requires mutual trust for such alliance.

First, who should be the leader of the alliance?

By passing Snowden to Russia, Xi Jinping gave Putin a clear signal, Putin is the preferred leader of the alliance as Xi believed that Putin was not afraid of challenging the United States, the target of their alliance.

Putin proved his qualities as the leader and did infuriate the US by protecting Snowden.

There was still inadequate mutual trust to make the alliance a real one.

Due to lack of trust, the two countries have not been able to conclude a contract on sales of natural gas until now in spite of a decade of negotiations.

Due to lack of trust, they have not been able to cooperate in developing large aircrafts and heavy helicopters for nearly two years until now since they signed an agreement on that.

Due to lack of trust, Putin had been trying hard to improve relations with Japan in spite of the intensifying tension between China and Japan over some small islands and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine.

Fortunately for China, the EU and United States ignored the clear indications by Xi’s busy visits to Russia of his desperate efforts to form a close alliance with Russia. They initiated the Ukraine crisis that provided China with the opportunity to prove China is Russia’s trustworthy ally.

In my book “Space Era Strategy” soon to be released, there is the following description:

Putin is so pleased that before his Shanghai visit on May 20-21, he said in an interview to major Chinese media including Chinese Central Television, Xinhua news agency, China News Service, The People’s Daily and China Radio International, “Now Russia-China cooperation is advancing to a new stage of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction. It would not be wrong to say that it has reached the highest level in all its centuries-long history.”

Putin meant: Russia and China are closer allies than they were in the early 1950s when Russia was a part of the Soviet Union. However, there was a treaty of alliance between China and Soviet Union at that time, but there is none now. But perhaps treaty is not so important for the allies. In the 1960s, China and the Soviet Union became bitter enemies in spite of the treaty.

In order to win Russia’s support in China’s dispute with Japan, Xi Jinping said in a speech he gave when he visited Russia in March 2013, that China and Russia shall jointly preserve the achievements of the victory of World War II and maintain the international order after the War.

Xi meant that as Russia got the four islands in dispute with Japan due to World War II, China supported Russia in the dispute. On the other hand, as Japan returned Taiwan to China due to its defeat in World War II, it shall give back to China the Diaoyus (called Senkakus by Japan) as the Diaoyus are a part of Taiwan while Taiwan is a part of China. But Russia failed to respond as Putin was trying to improve Russian relations with Japan.

However, due to closer alliance, this time Putin gave favorable response.

To reporter’s question: In 2015, our countries will celebrate the 70th anniversary of Victory over fascism. What is the impact of joint Russian-Chinese efforts to oppose the attempts aimed at challenging the results of World War II?

Putin said in his reply. “Next year we will hold a range of joint events to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory both in the bilateral and the SCO format. During these events, youth will be in the focus of our work.

“We will certainly continue to oppose attempts to falsify history, heroize fascists and their accomplices, blacken the memory and reputation of heroic liberators.”

What he said has been written into the first part of his joint statement with Chinese President Xi Jinping on May 20, 2014.

Obviously due to Chinese support for Russian actions in Ukraine, the Cold War alliance between Russia and China has been firmly established. However, instead of breaking the alliance, US President Barack Obama said in his major speech at West point on May 28, “Regional aggression that goes unchecked – whether it’s southern Ukraine, or the South China Sea, or anywhere else in the world – will ultimately impact our allies, and could draw in our military,”

Did he really believe that the US was strong enough to fight both Russia and China?

At least, we should say that China’s diplomacy is an unqualified success. The US wanted to switch its focus to China by its pivot to Asia. Now, China has diverted the pivot to Russia by its diplomacy. On the other hand, Obama proves his miserable lack of diplomatic skill by his speech.

Here, I have to point out the importance of the South China Sea to China. Let me quote my book again:

Precious Legacy

What is the precious legacy left by Chinese people’s predecessors? The vast land, the culture, philosophy, knowledge, technology, experience in their long history, etc.

What people often neglect is the vast sea area within the nine-dash line.

What is the use of the waters? No crops can grow there. Fishery, fish farming and alga farming may be more profitable than agriculture on the small proportion of land for agriculture on China’s land area, which is mostly deserts, mountains and very high plateaus. Only less than 10%, i.e. 0.96 of the 9.6 million square km, of China’s land area can be used for farming.

The sea within the nine-dash line has an area of 3.5 million square km that can all be used for fishery and fish and alga farming.

In addition, we all know that there are rich oil and gas resources there.
However, we still do not know what rich mineral resources there are at the bottom of the sea.

Chinese people certainly have to keep the rich legacy left by their ancestors.

Shall China Fight Six Wars for “Reunification”?

Amid surge of nationalism due to maritime territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas, a naïve girl Li Qiuye wrote an article entitled “Six Wars China Is Sure to Fight In the Next 50 Years”. Unexpectedly, the foolish article was quite popular and lots of Chinese media accept Li’s views.

The six wars are: The war to take Taiwan for reunification; with Russia for recovery of 2 million square km ceded to Russia by a treaty, the war with Mongolia to annex it as it was a part of China before 1924 and gained independence due to Soviet influence; the war with India for disputed land areas of some 100,000 square km, the war with Japan for disputed uninhabited small Diaoyu (known as Senkaku in Japan) Islands; and the war for disputed islands in the South China Sea that may involve Vietnam and the Philippines.

Li regards the six wars as wars for reunification, but only the war with Taiwan was really for reunification while the wars with Russia and Mongolia are for recovery of lost territories and those with Japan, India, Vietnam, etc. are to resolve territorial disputes.

France and Germany fought for nearly a century for the disputed Alsace-Lorraine area, which was even one of the causes of world wars. Neither France nor Germany is so stupid as to fight on. They finally decided to set up the EU to put an end to the dispute forever.

Is China wise to fight wars to turn most of its neighbors into its enemies?

What will China get even if it wins all the wars?

First, the most important issue–the reunification with Taiwan.

Reunification by force will bring China no benefit as Taiwan has little resources and no cheap labor. The damage done by the war will cause China not only to lose a substantial market but incur the heavy burden of feeding 20 million Taiwan people and maintaining their high living standards. Moreover, Taiwan is an island full of hills favorable for guerilla wars. The financial burden and the guerilla wars will make the Chinese regime unpopular and even collapse.

Li does not understand that the driving force is interest instead of the lofty slogan of reunification.

Russia, Mongolia, India and Japan will make every effort to recover the territories taken by China. There will be no end of wars with them. China will get nothing from those recovered barren territories and islands, but will incur lots of expense in defending the recovered territories.

Obviously the third alternative battles in the field and the last resort of attacking cities will not bring any benefit to China.

Taking Back Islands and Waters by Diplomacy

Of the six wars, four will be fought against or involve very strong countries: Russia, India, Japan and the United States who has obligation to protect Taiwan. If China fought the four countries within the said five decades, China will have troubles for centuries.

Taking back the islands and waters in the South China Sea is quite different. The countries that contend with China for the islands and waters are all small and militarily weak. Even if China fight wars with them to take back the islands and waters, China will not have much trouble after the wars.

The country that may interfere is the United States, which has adopted its pivot to Asia to contain China, but China has so far successfully countered it with the establishment of the above-mentioned Cold War alliance with Russia.

Foreign media are fond of listing Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei as contenders for the islands and waters. They treat Taiwan as a country separate from China as they hope so to make China less strong; therefore, they just ignore the fact that both China and Taiwan hold that there is only one China. Taiwan regards itself as China and the China on Chinese mainland as a part of it while China regards itself as China and Taiwan as a part of it. If those contenders are willing to return to Taiwan what they have taken from China, China will certainly welcome such moves. Then the maritime territorial disputes with those contenders will become an issue of the reunification of China.

Certainly, however, those contenders will never take such moves.

It is easy for Chinese navy to defeat all the navies of Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines at the same time to recover those islands and waters, but that will be the third alternative.

“Subduing the enemy without fighting is the best of best,” said Sun Tsu in his The Art of War.

I believe that China shall certainly choose diplomatic instead of military solution of the problems. It shall first reach an agreement for sharing resources with one or two of the four contenders. It seems that Malaysia and Brunei may be willing to accept such a solution. With the satisfactory examples set by the two contenders, Vietnam under Russian influence may follow suit. Then there is only the Philippines left. Simple naval blockade of the islands occupied by the Philippines will do. There is no need to fight.

The South China Sea within the nine-dash line involves too great interests, China certainly shall not cede even one inch of it. However, as alliance with Russia may prevent US interference, China can resolve the issues at will. It needs not wait till it has integrated space and air capabilities to surpass the US.

China claimed the sea area within its nine-dash line long before the Law of the Sea Convention was adopted by the United Nations. The line appeared in China’s map published in the 1940s and the US has not had any objection until now when it wants to contain China.

Obama may think that he has justified reason to interfere, but the United States has not even ratified the Law of the Sea Convention. How can it act on the basis of the law?

The following is the full text of Channel News Asia’s report:

Obama warns against “aggression” in South China Sea

President Barack Obama warned that the US was ready to respond to China’s “aggression” toward its neighbours at sea, but said Washington should lead by example by ratifying a key treaty.

WEST POINT, United States: President Barack Obama warned on Wednesday that the United States was ready to respond to China’s “aggression” toward its neighbours at sea, but said Washington should lead by example by ratifying a key treaty.

In a wide-ranging speech on foreign policy to US military cadets at West Point, Obama said that the United States should shun isolationism and that its military must be prepared for crises.

“Regional aggression that goes unchecked – whether it’s southern Ukraine, or the South China Sea, or anywhere else in the world – will ultimately impact our allies, and could draw in our military,” Obama said.

But Obama emphasised caution on any decision to use force and said: “American influence is always stronger when we lead by example.”

“We can’t try to resolve the problems in the South China Sea when we have refused to make sure that the Law of the Sea Convention is ratified by the United States – despite the fact that our top military leaders say that the treaty advances our national security,” Obama said, not naming China directly as he diverted from his prepared text.

“That’s not leadership; that’s retreat. That’s not strength; that’s weakness,” Obama said.

Senators of the rival Republican Party have refused to ratify the treaty, saying that the United Nations (UN) convention would override US sovereignty.

Tensions have been rising for months between China and its neighbours at sea, with Vietnam on Tuesday accusing Beijing of ramming and sinking one of its fishing boats in the South China Sea.

Japan and the Philippines also have tense disputes at sea with China. Japanese commentators have voiced concern that the US failure to prevent Russia from annexing Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in March sent the wrong signal to China.

In another reference to policy toward Asia, Obama again cited the democratic reforms in Myanmar as a success story.

The administration upon entering office in 2009 opened a dialogue with the then military-ruled nation earlier known as Burma, whose relations have improved with the United States have improved dramatically.

“Progress there could be reversed. But if Burma succeeds, we will have gained a new partner without having fired a shot,” Obama said.

Myanmar has freed political prisoners, eased censorship and welcomed foreign investors, but human rights groups have voiced alarm over violence against the Rohingya minority.

-AFP/rw/fl

Source: Chan Kai Yee “Space Era Strategy”

Source: Channel News Asia “Obama warns against ‘aggression’ in South China Sea”

Related posts:

  • Putin Declares Cold War against the US after Shanghai Meeting dated May 25, 2014
  • China & Russia Solidify Alliance, Issue Joint Statement Condemning US Tinkering dated May 23, 2014
  • Sino-Russian USD400-billion Gas Deal—Milestone of Cold War Alliance dated May 22, 2014
  • China’s Offensives in South China Sea: Coordinated with Russia’s in Ukraine? dated May 21, 2014
  • Russia-China ties at highest level in history – Putin dated May 20, 2014
  • China restates opposition to sanctions on Russia over Ukraine dated April 28, 2014
  • China Is Definitely on Russia’s Side but Refrains from Making Its Stance Clear dated March 5, 2014
  • The beginning of a new Cold War: On Putin’s Beijing visit dated June 6, 2012

Putin Declares Cold War against the US after Shanghai Meeting


Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Investment Forum, May 23, 2014. Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti Kremlin/Presidential Press Service/AP Photo

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Investment Forum, May 23, 2014. Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti Kremlin/Presidential Press Service/AP Photo

Having strengthened Russia’s ties with China through the natural gas deal with China, with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) behind him, Putin declared Cold War against the United States on May 23, 2014.

His typical denial of US leadership is shown by what he said about US President Obama “Who Made Him a Judge?”

His statements that the U.S.-led world order “has failed” and that, “The world is really changing rapidly. We see colossal geopolitical, technological and structural shifts. The unipolar model of the world order has failed,” mean that the U.S. can no longer dominate the world and there is Russia and the Cold War camp led by Russia against the U.S.

The following is the full text ABC’s report on Putin’s speech titled “Putin on Obama: ‘Who Made Him a Judge?’”:

MOSCOW — A defiant Vladimir Putin declared today that the U.S.-led world order “has failed.” Speaking to business leaders a at a forum in St Petersburg, the Russian president railed against U.S. sanctions and dismissed allegations that Russia is meddling in Ukraine, which he said was in the midst of “civil war” thanks to the West. He also rejected accusations by President Obama in unusually pointed terms.

The Russian president was addressing the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russia’s answer to World Economic Forum in Davos. This year fewer Western executives were in attendance after the White House leaned on them not to attend as the Obama administration seeks to isolate Russia over its policy in Ukraine and Crimea.

He urged investors “not to give in to pressure and blackmail” as the West tries to isolate Russia.

What he said about

ON PRESIDENT OBAMA:

When asked by a moderator about President Obama’s accusations that the Kremlin was lying when it claims it is not meddling in Ukraine, President Putin brushed aside the very notion with sarcasm.

“Who made him a judge?” he bristled, though he quickly added that he thinks Obama has a better opinion of him than was suggested.

ON EDWARD SNOWDEN:

Putin dismissed allegations that American intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, who received asylum in Russia last year after being stranded in a Moscow airport for weeks, was a Russian spy.

“He’s not an agent of ours. He hasn’t given us any secrets. He hasn’t leaked anything,” Putin said.

ON US-RUSSIA RELATIONS:

Putin blamed the failure of the “reset” in U.S.-Russia relations on “unilateral moves” by the Obama administration.

“We didn’t damage these relations. Despite the harsh rhetoric and contradictory approaches, we continue cooperation,” he said.

“We are not going to engage in self-isolation,” Putin added. “But you cannot force someone to love you.”

ON UKRAINE:

Putin says that Ukraine is in the midst of a “civil war.” He said it was not a “revolution,” but rather a “coup” that deposed former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich in February.

He rejected Western claims that the unrest in Ukraine is due to Russian meddling, saying an American-backed “coup” resulted in “chaos and full-scale civil war.”

Asked if Russia will recognize the results of this Sunday’s presidential election in Ukraine, Putin said Russia “will respect the will of the people” and will work with whoever wins. His comments, however, afford him some wiggle room to declare that the election did not reflect the will of the people since separatist-held regions in southeastern Ukraine are rejecting the vote.

Putin also demanded that Ukraine pay the $3.5 billion Russia says Ukraine owes it for past gas deliveries.

He called Europe “snobs” for ignoring Russia’s concerns about the economic deal they offered Ukraine last year. President Yanukovich ultimately rejected the offer in favor of a Russian loan, leading to the street protests that led to his ouster.

ON CRIMEA:

Putin defended Russia’s intervention in Crimea, which the West and the leaders in Kiev have denounced as an illegal land grab.

“We just ensured the free will of the people,” Putin said of the hastily-arranged referendum that led to the region’s annexation by Russia.

“If we had not done that there would have been worse than in Odessa where people were burned alive,” Putin argued, referring to a fiery clash in the Ukrainian city last month that left dozens dead.

ON SANCTIONS:

Putin defended his friends who were sanctioned by the United States last month over Russia’s actions in Ukraine and Crimea.

“Those people are my friends and I’m proud to call them my friends. They are patriots,” Putin said. “Their business have been directed towards cooperation with our country. Have their sanctions harmed their business? Definitely so. But they are experienced entrepreneurs. They took their money out and moved it to Russia so they haven’t sanctioned too much, but their businesses have been damaged by sanctions. This is unlawful and unfair.”

A visibly angry Putin noted that the United States is threatening more sanctions and asked what the justification will be.

“What have we done this time? There has recently been an earthquake in Thailand. Would you like to sanction Russia for that as well?” he asked sarcastically. “There is a civil war in Ukraine. What does Russia have to do with that?”

He suggested the United States only imposed the sanctions to gain a trade edge over European competitors who do more business with Russia.

Putin conceded that the sanctions have taken a toll on the Russian economy, which is hemorrhaging money and on the brink of recession. He argued, however, that it has not caused any lasting damage.

ON THE WORLD:

“The world is really changing rapidly. We see colossal geopolitical, technological and structural shifts. The unipolar model of the world order has failed,” Putin said. “Today this is obvious to everyone, even to those who are still trying to act in their habitual coordinate system.”

ON THE INTERNET:

Putin claimed that Russia had no plan to restrict the internet, despite widespread fears to the contrary.

“We have no restrictions over individual self-expression or the use of modern technologies for personal or business development,” Putin said.

He suggested any restrictions were similar to measures imposed in the West.

“Restrictions were introduced, so what do they consist of? Banning the propaganda of pedophilia, child pornography, methods of suicide. Excuse me, there are plenty of such restrictions in the legal systems of all other countries, including Europe and the United States,” Putin added.

Source: ABC “Putin on Obama: ‘Who Made Him a Judge?’”

Related posts:

  • China & Russia Solidify Alliance, Issue Joint Statement Condemning US Tinkering dated May 23, 2014
  • Putin ally expects flurry of China deals in new role dated May 23, 2014
  • Sino-Russian USD400-billion Gas Deal—Milestone of Cold War Alliance dated May 22, 2014
  • The beginning of a new Cold War: On Putin’s Beijing visit dated June 6, 2012
  • China Is Definitely on Russia’s Side but Refrains from Making Its Stance Clear dated March 5, 2014
  • China restates opposition to sanctions on Russia over Ukraine dated April 28, 2014
  • Russia-China ties at highest level in history – Putin dated May 20, 2014
  • China’s Offensives in South China Sea: Coordinated with Russia’s in Ukraine? dated May 21, 2014

China & Russia Solidify Alliance, Issue Joint Statement Condemning US Tinkering


China-Russia Alliance

China-Russia Alliance

On May 20, scgnews.com pointed out in its post “China & Russia Solidify their Alliance and Issue Joint Statement Condemning US Tinkering” Washington’s blunder in bringing China and Russia together. The following is the full text of its report:

Washington’s use of strong arm tactics with China and Russia at the same time was a serious strategic error.

Right now Putin is in China meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Shanghai. Though the talks are ongoing, they have already released a joint statement which takes several jabs at U.S. foreign policy. Specifically, the two countries committed to “reject unilateral sanctions rhetoric”. Putin and Xi also agreed to expand military cooperation and expressed “grave concern” over the crisis in Ukraine, and condemned the funding of regime change. The U.S. government was not named explicitly in the condemnation, but the inference was very clear.

“The sides noted the need to respect historical heritage of countries, their cultural traditions and independently chosen public and political system, the system of values and ways of development; counteract interference in domestic affairs of other countries, give up the language of unilateral sanctions, organize aid, fund or encourage activity aimed at changing a constitutional system of a foreign country or its involvement in any multipartite association or union” the document stated.”

The statement also called for “universal rules of behavior in information space,” saying that some communication technologies run “contrary to international stability and security, damaging countries’ sovereignty and violating personal privacy.”

On one hand, this shot is obviously directed at the NSA, but on the other it seems to signal Russia and China’s agreement on issues of online speech. As we reported earlier Russia has recently passed new laws regulating bloggers and requiring them to register with the government.

Related: Russia and China Announce Joint Naval Drills as NATO Declares Russia an Enemy

Some pro-Western analysts are watching the emergence of this Russia-China Alliance with alarm, insisting that it will have a disastrous impact if allowed to continue, and calling for diplomatic efforts to disrupt it. Incidentally these are often the same people who avidly pushed for tougher sanctions against Russia during the Ukrainian crisis, and who refused to report on the overwhelming evidence of U.S. involvement in the coup.

Western opposition to the Sino-Russia alliance is understandable. With China firmly in Russia’s corner, the U.S. and Europe have no leverage over Moscow. However, less understandable is the fact that these pundits didn’t see this coming.

Related: Why Rebellion Is Spreading In Ukraine

What on earth did the Obama administration expect would happen when they injected themselves into territorial disputes between China and their neighbors, while at the same time saber rattling in eastern Europe, and imposing punitive ‘sanctions’ against Putin’s inner circle? Then, to top it all off, the U.S. government filed charges against China this week for corporate espionage. Taken as a whole it would be difficult to come up with a more effective way to push these two countries together if one tried.

The outcome of these moves was so obvious that I’m hesitant to chalk it up to gross incompetence.

Related: The Lines of Economic Warfare Are Being Drawn & The U.S. Is Not Going to Win

At any rate, the idea that John Kerry or anyone in the U.S. State Department has the diplomatic skill (or the leverage) to pit China against Russia on the global scale is patently absurd.

Source: scgnews.com “China & Russia Solidify their Alliance and Issue Joint Statement Condemning US Tinkering”

However, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry does not seem to realize the serious effect of the completion of the gas deal between Russia and China. He said it was a deal that the two countries have discussed about for a decade and there was nothing new. However, he fails to realize the mutual trust the two countries have built in the past decade to enable them to conclude that difficult deal.

The conclusion of the deal signifies the removal of lots of tricky obstacles to their firm alliance.

It indicates their final realization that in the face of their common enemy the United States, they have to put their differences behind for their common good.

The following is the full text of Reuters report on Kerry’s response:

Kerry says Russia-China gas deal not linked to Ukraine

A $400-billion gas supply deal signed between Russia and China on Wednesday was the result of 10 years of negotiations and is not tied to diplomatic tensions in Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.

“We don’t see any relationship whatsoever to an agreement with respect to gas and energy supplies between Russia and China that they’ve been working on for 10 years, for 10 years,” Kerry told a news conference during a visit to Mexico City.

“This isn’t new. This isn’t a sudden response to what’s been going on,” he added.

Kerry also noted that Washington was paying close attention to whether Russia would fulfill its pledge to bring troops near the Ukrainian border back to their bases.

“If that happens, and we’re watching carefully, that’s extremely constructive,” Kerry said. “It’s positive.”

Source: Reuters “Kerry says Russia-China gas deal not linked to Ukraine”

Related posts:

  • Putin ally expects flurry of China deals in new role dated today
  • Sino-Russian USD400-billion Gas Deal—Milestone of Cold War Alliance dated yesterday
  • The beginning of a new Cold War: On Putin’s Beijing visit dated June 6, 2012
  • China Is Definitely on Russia’s Side but Refrains from Making Its Stance Clear dated March 5, 2014
  • China restates opposition to sanctions on Russia over Ukraine dated April 28, 2014
  • Russia-China ties at highest level in history – Putin dated May 20, 2014
  • China’s Offensives in South China Sea: Coordinated with Russia’s in Ukraine? dated May 21, 2014

Putin ally expects flurry of China deals in new role


Gennady Timchenko, who has had sanctions imposed on him by the United States, said on Thursday he expects a flurry of deals between Russia and China following his appointment as what he called Moscow’s point person for business relations with China.

The sanctions imposed on Timchenko are part of a broader drive by the West to put pressure on President Vladimir Putin and business and political leaders loyal to him over Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

“You know what Putin said? He introduced me (to Chinese businessmen) by saying now Mr. Timchenko is the head of our (China-Russia) business council. In other words – it is my words here – he is our main man for China. From the point of view of business relations. That was yesterday,” said Timchenko, who accompanied Putin on a trip to China.

His appointment, as head of the Russian side of an officially approved Sino-Russian business body, was confirmed by the lobby group.

In his first meeting with reporters since sanctions were imposed in March, Timchenko – who until a few years ago had not given a single interview – was brimming with confidence, smiling and joking.

Russian gas giant Gazprom this week clinched a long delayed gas deal with China in a major pivot of Russia energy flows to Asia.

“I think the Gazprom contract is probably the most important economic event of the last decade,” he said. “This deal will allow us to balance between Europe and Asia and thus increase the competitiveness of our gas.”

Timchenko said he anticipated new deals with China soon, including the companies he co-owns such as gas producer Novatek. He also expected Russia to increase purchases of high tech equipment from China as U.S. firms scale back supplies due to sanctions.

Timchenko was co-owner of Swiss oil trading giant Gunvor, in which the United States said Putin also had investments. Timchenko has denied Putin had any role or even helped Gunvor.

Hours after the United States imposed sanctions on Timchenko, Gunvor said he had sold out a day earlier to another co-founder, Torbjorn Tornqvist.

“There are no legal grounds to have sanctions against me. So clearly it is a fight against the Russian president. Well, I’m ready to suffer for that cause,” said Timchenko.

Source: Reuters “Putin ally expects flurry of China deals in new role”

Related posts:

  • Russia, China veto UN bid to refer Syria to international court dated today
  • Sino-Russian USD400-billion Gas Deal—Milestone of Cold War Alliance dated yesterday
  • The beginning of a new Cold War: On Putin’s Beijing visit dated June 6, 2012
  • China Is Definitely on Russia’s Side but Refrains from Making Its Stance Clear dated March 5, 2014
  • China restates opposition to sanctions on Russia over Ukraine dated April 28, 2014
  • Russia-China ties at highest level in history – Putin dated May 20, 2014
  • China’s Offensives in South China Sea: Coordinated with Russia’s in Ukraine? dated May 21, 2014

Russia, China veto U.N. bid to refer Syria to international court


 China's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Wang Min looks at a photo of himself voting in he United Nations Security Council against referring the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court. Credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

China’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Wang Min looks at a photo of himself voting in he United Nations Security Council against referring the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court.
Credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

 Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari (R) speaks to China's deputy U.N. Ambassador Wang Min during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council at the U.N. headquarters in New York May 22, 2014. Credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari (R) speaks to China’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Wang Min during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council at the U.N. headquarters in New York May 22, 2014. Credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

 Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari (R) speaks to Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council at the U.N. headquarters in New York May 22, 2014.  Credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari (R) speaks to Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council at the U.N. headquarters in New York May 22, 2014.
Credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Russia and China vetoed on Thursday a resolution to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court for possible prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the country’s three-year civil war.

This was the fourth time Russia – a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government – and China have blocked U.N. Security Council action on Syria during the three-year civil war that has killed more than 150,000 people.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said the victims of the conflict “deserve to have history record those who stood with them and those who were willing to raise their hands to deny them a chance at justice.”

“Our grandchildren will ask us years from now how we could have failed to bring justice to people living in hell on earth,” Power told the council after the vote.

There were more than 60 co-sponsors of the French-drafted resolution, diplomats said. The resolution was put to a vote with the knowledge that it would be vetoed. The remaining 13 members of the council voted in favor of the resolution.

“If members of the council continue to be unable to agree on a measure that could provide some accountability for the ongoing crimes, the credibility of this body and of the entire organization will continue to suffer,” U.N. Deputy-Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told the council on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The ICC prosecutor cannot investigate the situation in Syria without a referral from the 15-member Security Council because Damascus is not a member of the Rome Statute that established The Hague-based court a decade ago. The Security Council has previously referred Libya and Darfur, Sudan to the ICC.

‘SAD DAY’

Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin questioned why the resolution was put to a vote when it would again expose disunity in the council, which had previously been able to agree resolutions on the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons and demanding greater humanitarian aid access in the country.

“The draft resolution rejected today reveals an attempt to use the ICC to further inflame political passions and lay the groundwork in the end for eventual outside military intervention,” Churkin told the council.

“We’re convinced that justice in Syria will eventually prevail. Those guilty of perpetrating grave crimes will be punished but in order for this to happen peace is first needed,” Churkin said.

French U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud dismissed Churkin’s explanation. “It’s a very say day,” he said. “Russia has not explained really well why it was opposing this referral.”

Chinese Deputy Ambassador Wang Min defended China’s veto, saying Beijing long had reservations about the council referring conflicts to the International Criminal Court.

Lithuanian Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaite called the double veto “an endorsement of impunity.” Australian Ambassador Gary Quinlan warned of the cost of the deadlock: “When we fail, as we have again on Syria today, the consequences can be devastating.”

Rwanda, which has been one of the fiercest critics of the ICC and international war crimes tribunals, voted in favor, saying the Security Council cannot be inured to mass atrocities of the kind the Rwandans faced in the 1994 genocide.

Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari told the council the resolution was a bid to undermine a June 3 presidential poll.

EVIDENCE OF CRIMES

U.N. investigators said in March that they had expanded their list of suspected war criminals from both sides in the civil war and that the evidence was solid enough to prepare any court indictment.

U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay told the Security Council last month that human rights violations by Syrian government forces “far outweigh” those by armed opposition groups.

“The perpetrators of appalling crimes in Syria may be able to hide behind Russian and Chinese vetoes for now, but they will not be able to evade justice forever,” British U.N. Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told the council.

Ja’afari said that the Syrian government had established a national committee at the beginning of the crisis to investigate all crimes perpetrated.

“This confirms the desire and the ability of the Syrian Government to achieve justice and denies any pretext to involve any international judicial body that conflicts with national judiciary’s powers,” Ja’afari told the council.

Although the United States is not a party to the ICC, it agreed to support the draft resolution after ensuring that Israel would be protected from any possible prosecution at the International Criminal Court related to its occupation of the Golan Heights in Syria, U.N. diplomats said.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in a 1967 war and annexed the strategic plateau in a move the world has not recognized. Syrian troops are not allowed in an area of separation – monitored by U.N. peacekeepers – under a 1973 ceasefire formalized in 1974.

Eleven countries on the Security Council are members of the International Criminal Court. Like the United States, Russia, China and Rwanda are not.

Source: Reuters “Russia, China veto U.N. bid to refer Syria to international court”

Related posts:

  • Sino-Russian USD400-billion Gas Deal—Milestone of Cold War Alliance dated yesterday
  • The beginning of a new Cold War: On Putin’s Beijing visit dated June 6, 2012
  • China Is Definitely on Russia’s Side but Refrains from Making Its Stance Clear dated March 5, 2014
  • China restates opposition to sanctions on Russia over Ukraine dated April 28, 2014
  • China Takes the Offensive in South China Sea Disputes by Its Oil Rig Move dated dated May 18, 2014
  • Russia-China ties at highest level in history – Putin dated May 20, 2014
  • China’s Offensives in South China Sea: Coordinated with Russia’s in Ukraine? dated May 21, 2014

Sino-Russian USD400-billion Gas Deal—Milestone of Cold War Alliance


Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) and China's President Xi Jinping attend a signing ceremony in Shanghai May 21, 2014.  Credit: Reuters/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (L) and China’s President Xi Jinping attend a signing ceremony in Shanghai May 21, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

The large gas deal is so tough that it took a decade to complete as the pricing of gas affects the two countries national interest.

Obviously, Putin and Xi Jinping’s personal involvement has enabled the conclusion of the deal. The natural smile on the two leaders’ faces as shown in the above photo proves that both sides are satisfied. Why?

They have the common goal to tighten their Cold War alliance to counter the United States.

The deal is significant far beyond the economic domain. It marks a new high of mutual trust between Russia and China that will enable closer cooperation in weapon development. The two countries will thus be able to surpass the US in military technology in the near future. That will be what I described in my previous post—adding wings to two tigers.

The most worrisome is the cooperation in aviation and aerospace technologies. It will quicken China’s acquirement of integrated space and air capabilities of the space era far superior to US outdated Air-Sea Battle capabilities of the aviation and navy era.

Even more worrisome is US leaders’ lack of vision. Instead of drawing one of the two potential rivals to its side and trying to drive a wedge between the two rivals, US President Obama committed the blunder of containing Russia in Ukraine and China in the South China Sea at the same time. Does the US still believe that it is powerful enough to conduct two major conventional wars at the same time?

The US is now faced with a desperate situation. It fails to have EU as its ally in countering Russia and China as EU has great interests in their trade with the two countries. EU is providing China with advanced military technology in spite of the ban to such activities.

The only alliance the US can form to counter Sino-Russian alliance is its iron triangle with Japan and South Korea, but Japanese Prime Minister’s Yasukuni Shrine visit has made such alliance impossible. On the other hand, Russia has been drawing Japan to its side by attraction of energy supply from Siberia and resolution of the disputes over four islands.

On the other hand there is the potential of serious conflicts between the US and Japan. However, interests are most important in the relations between two countries. There is no conflict of interests between China and the US. On the contrary, Xi Jinping’s reform will enable China to honor its concessions that it gave the US in the fifth round of Sino-US economic talks. There are bright prospects that with China’s vast consumption market resulting from the reform, the US can exploit its advanced technology to develop its manufacture industries at home and provide lots of jobs for its own people and goods for Chinese people.

In this respect, Japan is a fierce competitor to the US. Like the US, it has advanced technology and well-educated surplus labor and can produce products of similar fine quality, but the cost of transport is much lower. Due to the closeness of distance and culture, Japan will be able to know the trends on the Chinese market much earlier than the US.

After China began its reform and opening-up, Japan had always maintained good relations with China while the US always lagged far behind. Current Sino-Japanese tension offers the US a rare opportunity for the US to beat Japan thoroughly in the competition.

However, I believe that the US still can maintain its world leadership if it is able to achieve harmony to make the two rival political parties cooperate with each other to overcome its problems for fast economic growth.

Diplomatically, US-Japanese alliance has been the result of the old Cold War. Japan has made no contribution to the alliance but demand more and more US contribution to benefit Japan. If the US exploits the conflict between China and Japan to improve its relations with China instead of containing China in vain, it will be in a much better position to exploit China’s huge market. Certainly those are only my best wish. It depends on the Americans to improve their country.

The above is the article by this blogger Chan Kai Yee.

Reuter gives a detailed description of Sino-Russian gas deal in its report titled “As Putin looks east, China and Russia sign $400-billion gas deal”. The following is its full text.

China and Russia signed a $400-billion gas supply deal on Wednesday, securing the world’s top energy user a major source of cleaner fuel and opening up a new market for Moscow as it risks losing European customers over the Ukraine crisis.

The long-awaited agreement is a political triumph for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is courting partners in Asia as those in Europe and the United States seek to isolate him over Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula.

Commercially, much depends on the price and other terms of the contract, which has been more than a decade in the making.

China had the upper hand as talks entered the home stretch, aware of Putin’s face-off with the West.

But both sides could take positives from a deal that will directly link Russia’s huge gas fields to Asia’s booming market for the first time – via thousands of miles of new pipeline across Siberia that form part of the package.

“This is the biggest contract in the history of the gas sector of the former USSR,” said Putin, after the agreement was signed in Shanghai between state-controlled entities Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).

“Our Chinese friends are difficult, hard negotiators,” he said, noting that talks went on until 4 a.m.

“Through mutual compromise we managed to reach not only acceptable, but rather satisfactory, terms on this contract for both sides. Both sides were in the end pleased by the compromise reached on price and other terms,” the president said.

Putin and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping applauded as they witnessed the deal being signed before the Russian leader was to leave Shanghai at the end of a two-day visit.

The agreement came in time for a major economic summit in St. Petersburg starting Thursday. About a dozen chief executives and chairmen of major U.S. and European firms have withdrawn from the forum over the Ukraine crisis.

Putin loyalist and senior parliamentarian Alexei Pushkov, who was included on a U.S. list of sanctions imposed in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine, said the gas deal showed Russia could not be isolated.

“B. Obama should abandon the policy of isolating Russia: it will not work,” he tweeted, referring to U.S. President Barack Obama, who has pushed for greater Western punishment of Russia.

QUESTIONS REMAIN

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller declined to say at what price the deal was struck, but sources at the companies involved said Gazprom refused to go below $350 per thousand cubic metres.

That compares to a price range of $350-$380 most European utilities pay under discounted long-term contracts signed in the last two years. Putin said the formula was similar to the European price tied to the market value of oil and oil products.

For China, the implied price is crucially below the Asian cost of importing liquefied natural gas (LNG), an alternative energy source it is developing.

Increased gas imports will also help Beijing in its declared “war on pollution” aimed at reducing its reliance on coal which contributes to the harmful smog shrouding major cities.

Another potential sticking point in talks was whether China would pay a lump sum up front to fund considerable infrastructure costs.

According to Putin, China will provide $20 billion for gas development and infrastructure, but Miller said the two sides were still in talks over any advance.

The gas will be transported along a new pipeline linking Siberian gas fields to China’s main consumption centres near its coast. Russia will begin delivering from 2018, building up gradually to 38 billion cubic metres (bcm) a year.

Russia plans to invest $55 billion in exploration and pipeline construction up to China, and CNPC said it would build the Chinese section of the pipeline.

EUROPE STILL CRUCIAL

The contract with CNPC does not mean Russia is giving up on Europe. Last year, Gazprom supplied western Europe and Turkey with over 160 bcm of gas, dwarfing intended deliveries to China.

And for their part, European consumers cannot easily switch from Russian gas even if they want to.

Beyond supplying China with gas via a pipeline, the 30-year deal opens up an opportunity for Gazprom to become a bigger player in the booming Asian LNG market, a sector it has so far not been involved in on a major scale.

Gazprom is planning to build a new LNG plant on Russia’s Pacific coast near Vladivostok, but so far lacks the infrastructure to supply the facility with the amounts of gas necessary to meet demand in the region.

The pipeline to China would change this, ideally positioning Gazprom’s Vladivostok terminal close to the leading LNG buyers of Japan and South Korea as well as the rising market on China’s eastern coast.

Shares in Gazprom rose nearly two percent after the deal was announced, and were up around one percent by 1520 GMT.

Source: Reuters “As Putin looks east, China and Russia sign $400-billion gas deal”

Related posts:

  • The beginning of a new Cold War: On Putin’s Beijing visit dated June 6, 2012
  • China Is Definitely on Russia’s Side but Refrains from Making Its Stance Clear dated March 5, 2014
  • China restates opposition to sanctions on Russia over Ukraine dated April 28, 2014
  • China Takes the Offensive in South China Sea Disputes by Its Oil Rig Move dated dated May 18, 2014
  • China’s Offensives in South China Sea: Coordinated with Russia’s in Ukraine? dated yesterday
  • Focus on Russia-China gas deal as Putin visits Shanghai dated May 20, 2014
  • Russia-China ties at highest level in history – Putin dated May 20, 2014

U.S. Underestimates China, Sino-Russian Alliance


Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping . (AFP Photo / Alexei Nikolsky)

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping . (AFP Photo / Alexei Nikolsky)

On May 19, a US defense experts said in his article “Are We Underestimating China’s Military?” on thenationalinterest.org, “There is a lagging but growing realization that China’s military capabilities in numerous areas of military competition are rapidly approaching, if not exceeding, those of the United States.”

China’s gifted strategist says in his masterpiece The Art of War, “Subduing the enemy by stratagem is the best, subduing the enemy by diplomacy the next best, fighting in battlefield the third, attacking cities the worst.”

So far, the US underestimated China’s stratagem of the development of integrated space and air capabilities. In our space era, it still sticks the Air-Sea Battle strategy it adopted in 1940s in defeating Japan. In fact, the US is ignorant of what integrated space and air capabilities China wants.

The US also underestimated China’s diplomacy. As soon as the US adopted its policy of pivot to Asia, China realized US aim to contain China. Seeing Russia’s predicament in being contained by the West and need for an ally, China immediately switched to support Russia on Syria issue.

Russia is so pleased that it wants closer partnership with China.

In June 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited China for close partnership with China in economy, trade, energy, culture and technology. In his meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, they signed a joint declaration for further development of the two countries’ strategic partnership. The two presidents also pledged to intensify military exchanges, strengthen co-ordination in Asia-Pacific and co-operate in investments.

That was the beginning of a Cold War partnership between Russia and China.

In March 2013, like Putin, in order to show the importance he attaches to Sino-Russian relations, Xi Jinping chose Russia as the first destination of his foreign visit since he became Chinese president.

At that time, Russia was still bothered by the situation in Syria and Iran as its influence there was quite important if Russia wanted to remain a world power.

In addition, both China and Russia were unhappy at Western criticism of the human rights situation in them; therefore, to please Russia and also for China’s own sake, Xi said in his speech at a Russian international relations school, “We must respect the right of each country in the world to independently choose its path of development and oppose interference in the internal affairs of other countries.”

Xi made the ties between the two countries closer, but there had not yet been a breakthrough in cooperation of weapon development that may add wings to tigers for the two countries.

In August 2013, Russia made the breakthrough.

When China received the ball, i.e. Snowden, it was a good ball, but China did not shoot, as it did not dare to confront the US; therefore, it told Hong Kong to pass the ball to Russia on some faint excuse.

Russia, however, liked the chance to show it was able to be the leader of the autocracy camp of the new Cold War alliance it has been forming with China. In spite of potential US fury, it not only welcomed the ball but also dared to shoot. Alas, it scored.

The US is really furious.

However, bravo, all the autocrats in the world who are anxious to join the camp, acclaimed. As a result, Russia became the leader of the autocracy camp of the new Cold War.

However, the US and the EU still seems unaware of that and supported Ukraine rebels to overthrow the pro-Russian president. Russia surprised the US by its Cold War response to the incident and has taken away Crimea and other two areas of Ukraine.

At that time it dawned on the US and EU that Russia was conducting a new Cold War against the West. However, they did not know without China and the other countries in the autocracy camp behind Russia including central Asian countries, Vietnam, Iran, etc., would Russia had been so bold to challenge the West?

There is also the question: Without Russia and other countries in the autocracy camp behind China, would China have taken the offensives to move its oil rig in the disputed waters with Vietnam and conduct reclamation on the disputed islands with the Philippines?

The West’s offensive in Ukraine made Russia really realize the need for a Cold War alliance with China while US interference in China’s maritime territorial disputes with Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines has had the same effect on China.

Now, Russian President is in China to strengthen Cold War ties with China. If the two countries have succeeded in signing a contract on long-term supply of natural gas and cooperation in weapon development including large aircraft and helicopter, the two tigers will have wings and there will be trouble for the US to deal with.

As for underestimate of China’s stratagem of integrated space and air capabilities and fast weapon development to surpass the US, that is too big a topic. I am writing a book titled “The Winning Strategy” on it. The book will be released within three months.

However, I have to point out it is a pity that the author of the article on underestimate of Chinese military fails to mention the potential of Sino-Russian cooperation in weapon development.

Article by Chan Kai Yee

The article titled “Are We Underestimating China’s Military?” can be found at http://nationalinterest.org/feature/are-we-underestimating-chinas-military-10479?page=2

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