Russian leadership is doing its country a disservice. In many ways but one that is not getting any attention is the geopolitical situation with China. Russian leadership should be striving to join NATO rather than oppose it as an enemy because who is going to come to Russia’s aid of China comes calling for resources on their vast Eastern border.
China needs resources. It is scouring Africa and Latin America for them spending tens of Billions of dollars to secure them. But some of the world’s greatest resources are right next to it, controlled by an ever weakening former superpower which is foolishly picking fights on its Western border.
What if one day President for life Xi decides that he is not really into paying for gas from Siberia if he can just have it? Who is going to stop him?
Some 50 years ago Russia and China shared an ideological kinship, a comradeship if you will. They were the two countries spreading Communism around the world. And 50 years ago China was a poor country with occasional famine while the USSR was a nuclear superpower.
Today both countries have nuclear weapons but China’s military budget has surpassed Russia’s in about 2005 and now is triple that of Russia. In addition it has 10 times as many people which allows it to have a standing army of 2.3 Million compared to Russia’s 1 Million. And Russia is heavily engaged on its Western flank while also pursuing “military tourism” in places like Syria while China has no active military conflicts under way.
The border between Russia and China is 4,000 km or about 25% longer than the border of USA and Mexico. What part of that border do you chose to protect as a priority. And China has a massive and growing naval presence.
China has also shown willingness to stake claims to territories from taking over Hong Kong to aggressive territorial expansion in the South China Sea. Essentially everywhere it can, China is “into” territorial expansion. It’s its thing.
If, hypothetically, China 5 years from now decides to take Eastern Siberia for its resources, like Iraq did with Kuwait, who is going to come to Russia’s aid? Is NATO going to risk helping Russia with untold potential loss of life and treasure? For what? How is it in strategic interest of NATO to prevent China from “having” Siberia? Yes, it is not ideal to have China be even more powerful but only up to a point. India? That is not going to happen. Japan? Definitely not and Japan does not have the military to do it with. Who else is left?
By silly temper tantrums in and with the West, Russian leadership is leaving its Eastern flank more exposed than ever in recent history. All in some mistaken belief that “China is a friend of Russia”. Based on what — long shared cultural traditions? There were wars between China and Russia before and high tensions and there almost inevitably will be some again. In those, Russia will be completely on its own. As a result of failure of its leadership to realistically consider Russia’s geopolitical circumstances.
Popular posts from this blog
One reason that the birth of our children is as momentous as it is is that it makes us realize, not always immediately, what “unconditional love” is. We feel it ourselves towards our children and then at some point we realize that we were loved like that by our parents. Before we experienced it in ourselves, we had no idea what that was like and it sure is great to know that somebody at some point loved us that way.
All the recent debates about sexual harassment and misconduct made me try to define what I really think would be the “best practice” of men towards women which I could subscribe to and wish everyone else did the same. And my preliminary conclusion is that the best thing I’ve heard so far is the notion of “enthusiastic consent” as the standard. I am guided here by 3 principles — what would I today consider in my past behaviours to be OK and something I don’t need to apologize for. And because I have both male and female grown children, what would I consider behaviour that I would wish men exhibited towards my daughter and that my son exhibited towards women. To make things as clear as possible, “enthusiastic consent” means verbal consent or the woman (apologies to my same sex dating friends — I just feel I am unqualified to opine on your dating mores) initiating physical contact. If an awkward kiss turns into a passionate one, that is fine. But if an awkward hug turns into a kiss whic…