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Watch China’s next move

Written By: - Date published: 8:03 pm, February 24th, 2022 - 61 comments
Categories: China, Russia, uncategorized, war - Tags:

Why should we in New Zealand give a damn about Ukraine? My answer is: China.

China and Russia together is the geo-strategic realignment we’ve been waiting for; it’s arrived, and it’s bad.

There are plenty around in the United States who can dismiss Russia as simply being a big gas station – as Senator McCain did in 2017 and as ex-Obama advisor and Harvard economist Jason Furman did a few days ago. It’s not helpful.

Russia has so far kept China as its strongest ally with it through its Ukraine crisis. Instead of agreeing with many at the United Nations Security Council to censure Russia for its recent Ukrainian threats and actions, China simply said:

China once again calls on all participants to remain calm, not to do anything to aggravate tensions or hype up the crisis, but to properly resolve their differences through consultations on equal footing.” And: “Russia’s legitimate security concerns should be heeded and addressed.”

China is also directly backing Russia against the very existence of NATO:

As the world’s largest military alliance, NATO should abandon the outdated Cold War mentality and ideological bias, and do things that are conducive to upholding peace and stability.”

China and Russia signed up to oppose any expansion of NATO just weeks ago before the Winter Games.

Who would have thought that in January this year Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a note to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to celebrate three decades of diplomatic ties? Ukraine is after all a key signatory to Xi’s Belt and Road initiative.

China and Ukraine shared over $15 billion in bilateral trade in 2020. Xi said: “I attach great importance to the development of the China-Ukraine strategic partnership,” with a “deepening political mutual trust, fruitful cooperation in various fields and even closer people-to-people and cultural exchanges.”

Yet what may look like China swallowing a remarkably large cold dead rat for the sake of its Russian ‘alliance’, in fact turns out to be China using Russia to try and have Europe for breakfast: Xi can see that that the Ukraine according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, “never had a tradition of genuine statehood.” Then Putin rolled in the tanks. Germany has stopped Nordstream 2 so European reliance on Ukraine-routed gas continues. Keep your customers weak.

The necessary COP26 energy transition across Europe is deeply destabilised as a result.

Xi prefers to keep his own people and businesses in Russian heating gas and coal energy generation rather than stand by diplomatic niceties with Ukraine. Fair call in the short to medium term.

But stupidly for China, its soft alliance with Russia is deliberately aggravating its opponents and firming up European and United States unity against them both. A stronger China-Russia alliance will push stronger US-ally military bases across the Pacific rim from Australia to Japan. This is a bad long term play for China.

China also runs a stronger risk that it will have stronger not decreased trade sanctions against it for aiding Russia. A much higher risk of a full-on global trade war will see China as the loser with companies pulling out and high-end customers choosing competitors. Another bad long term play for China.

There’s no good in this, but China’s making it much, much worse. Watch China’s next move.

61 comments on “Watch China’s next move ”

  1. Infused 1

    Finally someone gets it

  2. Puckish Rogue 2

    This is what happens when you have a weak America, all those who wanted Trump out I hope you're happy because this is what you get

    Own it

    • Muttonbird 2.1

      WTF? Trump just called Putin a genius. You make zero sense.

      • Puckish Rogue 2.1.1

        Context Muttonbird, context matters.

        https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/feb/23/trump-putin-genius-russia-ukraine-crisis

        This is all because Biden is weak, he ran from Afghanistan, he won't stand up to China and now Russia will be able to annex Ukraine with minimal casualties because Biden tipped him off, remember this:

        https://edition.cnn.com/politics/live-news/joe-biden-press-conference-01-19-22/h_f3eff952128dcba7c68000d6b9276d28

        During his news conference marking one year in office, Biden suggested a "minor incursion" by Russia would elicit a lesser response than a full-scale invasion of the country.

        Well done Biden

        • McFlock 2.1.1.1

          Wasn't the Afghanistan withdrawal a commitment set by the cheeto?

          Not sure this counts as a "minor incursion" by the Russians at this stage, so your second claim is irrelevant so far.

          • Puckish Rogue 2.1.1.1.1

            'Wasn't the Afghanistan withdrawal a commitment set by the cheeto?'

            It wasn't that they left, it how they left (which I'm sure you already knew)

            https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/the-uncomfortable-truth-of-bidens-rapid-afghanistan-withdrawal

            'Not sure this counts as a "minor incursion" by the Russians at this stage, so your second claim is irrelevant so far.'

            Theres no such thing as a 'minor incursion', you either invade or you don't.

            Putin got encouragement from Biden to invade.

            This is on Biden and it would never have happened under Trump.

            Own it.

            • Poission 2.1.1.1.1.1

              word on the street is the EU/US is going to cancel the credit cards issued by Russian banks such as Visa/mastercard, and rumours that Russian banks may not be able to settle are seeing lines at Russian ATMS and Banks.

              A run on a bank will become a self fulfilling prophecy.

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                Banks issue credit cards not the brand on them , Visa Mastercard.

                A Bank ATM in Russia has no connection to EU/US anymore than one in Auckland.

                If they try to use them in Europe thats up to the Banks which operate those ATMs

                Thats what happens when pick up chewing gum 'from the street'

            • McFlock 2.1.1.1.1.2

              it would never have happened under Trump.

              bullshit. His damage to the Nato alliance helped enable it. With the US less trusted, the germans dragged their feet longer. Not just him, though – UK being out of EU, a more coordinated response was less likely.

              As for Afghanistan, there's a distinction between the withdrawal and the speed with which the taliban filled what turned out to be a vacuum. But committing to the withdrawal meant there was no backtracking to stabilise the government.

              Nixon/Kissinger got 2 years for South Vietnam, the cheeto barely got 1.

              • Puckish Rogue

                'His damage to the Nato alliance helped enable it. With the US less trusted, the germans dragged their feet longer.'

                Wrong.

                Putin invaded Georgia, Dubya was President

                Putin invaded the Crimea, Obama was President

                Putin invaded Ukraine, Biden is President

                Russia and China were in check when Trump was president.

                'As for Afghanistan, there's a distinction between the withdrawal and the speed with which the taliban filled what turned out to be a vacuum. But committing to the withdrawal meant there was no backtracking to stabilise the government.'

                Ways the with drawl could have gone better:

                Inform your allies

                Ensure all the your people who want to leave can leave before the troops leave

                Remove or destroy all your military equipment

                Leave a small force of 2500 to keep control of Bagram Air Base, for perspective:

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_deployments

                • McFlock

                  Russia and China were in check when Trump was president.

                  lol

                  Ways the with drawl could have gone better:

                  Inform your allies

                  the ones they could trust. Which ones were they, again?

                  Ensure all the your people who want to leave can leave before the troops leave

                  see above

                  Remove or destroy all your military equipment

                  meh. Why? You don't need it no more. And it'll degrade eventually, like the stingers from the 1980s did.

                  Leave a small force of 2500 to keep control of Bagram Air Base, for perspective:

                  WTF were they going to do? Also, see the agreement dolt45 made.

                • Cricklewood

                  To a degree I think that's because Trump was unpredictable. Say what you like but the Strongmen running these countries dont have a death wish. They're planning on appeasement letting them get their way.

                  Ukraine has a large pretty well equipped army, this could get really fucking ugly. The west now has to decide either abandon them to their fate or put a line in the sand. Because Ukraine wont be the last country on Russia's expansionist agenda.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Peace in our time has a nice ring to it

                  • In Vino

                    Trump is gaga and delirious, PR.

                    'Peace in our Time' Chamberlain was far superior to what we have now.

                    He clearly told Hitler that if he invaded Poland it would be war, and that is just what he did. He declared war.

                    Biden told Putin – "Ohh – you'll get real tough sanctions!!" and Putin then knew that Biden would not declare war, so went ahead.

                    Quelle surprise!

                    I am almost relieved that Putin may be in control – he seems to be the only politician with a brain. Our other two English-speaking leaders are nowhere near as elegant and logical when speaking English as Putin is, and even though English is not his first language, he can easily outlast either Boris or Joe when it comes to speaking intelligently off the cuff.

                    A sad commentary on our so-called democracies tendency to put up old, empty-headed puppets as leaders.

                    • vto

                      In Vino, your last two paragraphs are spot on.. Putin is intelligent and can speak in detail for long periods without prompt. In the west there really are "empty-headed puppets as leaders"… Trump? haha, on a par with Putin? heeheehaha… Trump wouldnt have even known Ukraine's history as a foundation part of the Rus people, such is the dolt he is..

                      Russia and Russians have been so vilified by the west forever that we in the west have zero idea of the place or the people..

                • mikesh

                  Putin invaded the Crimea, Obama was President

                  How would he have invaded Crimea ? Did he send gunboats ? I think his takeover of Crimea was more likely a coup by military personnel already stationed in Crimea.

    • North 2.2

      Oh get with it PR. You're saying that an America smashing alliances was respected and strong. No. It was a man-child burning the house down. Surely by now you understand Trump as essentially a carnival barker and a fool?

    • Tricledrown 2.3

      Pootins Robot that's Trump. who pulled out of Afghanistan Biden carried out Trumps initiative.

      Trump is encouraging pootin.

      Own it

  3. Byd0nz 3

    Well a Russian/ China new World Order would be better for the World than the old and crumbling Western versian led by the greatest war monger US Millitary Regime

    • McFlock 3.1

      Ask the Chechens and Uyghurs how they doin'.

      • Blazer 3.1.1

        Well the usual choices the U.S offers are…

        1-we will bomb you back to the stone Age.

        2-we will make your economy ..scream..

        Works well on Cuba,Venezuela,Iraq…etc…but not so effective against China and Russia.

        Democracy,freedom and human rights has never ,ever been an issue with U.S foreign policy.

        'the U.S has no friends or enemies ..only interests'-Henry K.

        • DukeEll 3.1.1.1

          I dunno, Uk, Europe, Australia, Japan, New Zealand. Friendly nations doing well with other friendly nations.

          really what you are saying is if you militantly oppose the states, the Stone Age beckons. I know what side I want to be on. It has freedom as a side, not just the main course

          • Blazer 3.1.1.1.1

            Well Bush reckoned the Iraquis were so jealous of U.S 'freedom' he had to ..bomb them ..to learn them.

            Not sure what 'doing well' means.

            Tell the 37 countries the U.S invaded about…freedom and democracy.

            Its always about resources….might is right.

        • McFlock 3.1.1.2

          'the U.S has no friends or enemies ..only interests'-Henry K.

          You think that approach is limited to the US?

          At least "interests" has wide interpretation. Russia and China want territory – be it the Ukraine or the Spratlys.

          • Blazer 3.1.1.2.1

            I notice those regions are very,very close to their borders.

            Unlike say the U.K and the Falklands/Malvinas and a number of other virtual satellites the west has…acquired.

            • McFlock 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Syria is not so close, and China's looking to be a superpower with it's own bases, e.g. Djibouti (but lots of folks have bases there).

              But the Spratly Islands are about a thousand miles from China, so about the same basis for claim as the UK and the Falklands (our fishing folk done bin there ages so it ours)

            • mikesh 3.1.1.2.1.2

              The US, as far as I know, has no interests in the Ukraine, but it seems to have acquired a number of friends there.

      • Byd0nz 3.1.2

        Better than the Iraqis, Libyans and countless other people who have experienced the US war machine

    • Andrew Miller 3.2

      “So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot.” Orwell

      • In Vino 3.2.1

        Excellent quote! But I think it applies to some Righties as well..

        • Andrew Miller 3.2.1.1

          I for my sins often read stuff at ‘American Conservative’ and it strikes me how similar their Putin apologist line some of their commentators run is similar to the one from some on the left.

          It’s kind of depressing that the type of useful idiot leftist Orwell was denouncing 80 years ago is still so common today and pushing the same repugnant argument from the safety of their liberal democracies.

          If we’re doing quotes there’s Robert Conquest famous request to his publishers that after the Soviet archives were opened and he was proved right about Stalin, that the new edition of his book should be titled “I told you so you fucking fools”.

          I imagine that’s exactly what’s going through Gary Kasparov’s head about now.
          It won’t stop those who’d find a way to blame the West in any situation.

  4. Blazer 4

    The American empire is in decline.

    America has two real allies=Australia and the U.K.

    America has invaded 37 countries since WW2.

    Trump withdrew funding for NATO and basically told the europeans to stand on their own 2 feet.

    It seems they are prepared to do just that.

    France has been alienated by the submarine deal.

    Germany is a reluctant ally ' of the U.S.

    The combined economies of Europe/China/Russia threaten U.S dominance ,and the U.S dollar as the international currency for commerce.

    Russia has already discarded the U.S dollar,and its stance on the Ukraine is a calculated operation that will enhance its regional power.

    China will surpass the U.S in economic muscle as sure as night follows day.

    The U.S are aware and concerned …Covid is a smokescreen for the real weakness of the U.S economy ,a faux construct sustained by endless QE,which means the world subsidises U.S Corporations.

    The sides are chosen on whether you speak English or…not!

  5. Blazer 5

    Well the usual choices the U.S offers are…

    1-we will bomb you back to the stone Age.

    2-we will make your economy ..scream..

    Works well on Cuba,Venezuela,Iraq…etc…but not so effective against China and Russia.

    Democracy,freedom and human rights has never ,ever been an issue with U.S foreign policy.

    'the U.S has no friends or enemies ..only interests'-Henry K.

    • Andrew Miller 5.1

      Cool analysis, I bet your mates in the playground will be super impressed tomorrow when you repeat it.

  6. pat 6

    China and Russia have a common purpose…to end US hegemony.

    The way things are going they may well succeed.

    Meet the new boss?

    • Poission 6.1

      The Moscow index lost 150 billion dollars in 2 hours in morning trading,before halting then reopening with central bank support.The 650 billion central bank reserves wont last long in an economic war, especially a Big Short war.

      • Poission 6.1.1

        Russian markets today: – Ruble at record lows – Moex index down 45 per cent – Gazprom down 48 per cent, Lukoil and Novatek both down more than 40 per cent – Bond prices collapse

        FT reports.

      • pat 6.1.2

        Perhaps…depends on what deals have been done with China…Russia has the energy and China has the manufacturing and tech needed.

        https://www.russia-briefing.com/news/russia-and-china-to-develop-swift-avoiding-international-financial-systems.html/

        • Poission 6.1.2.1

          China has a 15 billion dollar belt and road investment in the Ukraine,who will pay for its servicing?

          • pat 6.1.2.1.1

            I imagine whoever controls the assets….I believe Russia and China have just signed an energy deal.

            How much did the US stock markets lose today?….and Biden cant send disgruntled investors to the gulag.

            • Poission 6.1.2.1.1.1

              US index futures are down around 3%,Russian exchanges have lost around as much as Elton Musks net worth.

              Meanwhile in Moscow the BBC reports fear in the street.

              Shock, horror and bewilderment – three words which could describe the mood of many in the Russian capital Moscow this morning.

              As soon as the news of the military assault against Ukraine emerged, Muscovites began exchanging messages, asking each other what they should be doing – stock up on food or on US dollars?Others question what will happen to the rouble after the Moscow Stock Exchange paused trading.There are queues at banks and currency exchange points and the police presence in the streets has also increased.

              https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-europe-60454795

              In a pandemic ravished economy,the mobilized reserves will be needed to maintain order in the cities,and the smell of revolution will be in the air of the Caucasian republics.

              • pat

                The smell of revolution is not confined to Russia….and Belt and Road in Ukraine?…China may well be happy to have Putin in charge.

                https://www.silkroadbriefing.com/news/2022/01/20/ukraine-proving-an-unreliable-trade-partner-as-china-sourced-goods-to-poland-are-refused-transit/

                The world will do nothing about Ukraine just as they did about Crimea…Putin knows it and so does Xi….another straw on the camels back.

                • Poission

                  Putins needs to watch his own back both from Xi and the Russian Intelligentsia as Vladimir Putin put it.

                  We should all be aware of the fact that when revolutionary—not evolutionary—changes come, things can get even worse. The intelligentsia should be aware of this. And it is the intelligentsia specifically that should keep this in mind and prevent society from radical steps and revolutions of all kinds. We've had enough of it. We've seen so many revolutions and wars. We need decades of calm and harmonious development

                  But they speak when shamed by Caesar.

                  • pat

                    And none of that has stopped the pursuit of power in the past, and nor will it in the future.

                    What the world needs is seldom what the world gets.

            • Poission 6.1.2.1.1.2

              There is another interesting fact to the Big Short war,Europe will buy more gas from Russia for less.

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    Well, did not take long for some of US Imperialism’s toadies to appear on the Standard.

    The working class around the world does not benefit from rivalry and armed conflict between imperialist powers. The resources involved should be devoted to eradicating poverty and dealing with climate change.

    • Poission 7.1

      Yes and at the end of the day,German green party politicians are German.

  8. Well, all of the above provides a nice distraction from the real war the world faces – the battle for human survival.

    Honestly, I despair for homo sapiens!

  9. vto 9

    For my sins I have been checking some russian news websites alongside american news websites.. for quite some time now…

    the difference between the two sides in how this Ukraine situation is being reported is immense … the politics and the history and the everything … world's apart … worlds

    • francesca 9.1

      You'll certainly get a better range of thought

      For instance the Maidan protests are seen as the will of the entire Ukrainian population in the western press.

      Other media will acknowledge the anti Maidan protests in Odessa, Luhansk, Donetsk,Kiev and Crimea

      • Andrew Miller 9.1.1

        I don’t know whether to be pissed off or pity someone who actually thinks that.
        There no ‘range’ of opinion in Russia, there’s what Putin will allow for propaganda purposes.

        The fact that you can freely post stuff like that from the safety of a country like NZ with no sense of irony is nauseating.

        • Blazer 9.1.1.1

          As a very profound thinker (like Orwell and Camuswink),I guess you will know that Ukraine is not a member of NATO is not a…democracy and imprisons political opponents.

  10. SPC 10

    China is supportive of the rights of Ukraine as a recognised sovereign nation state – presumably to differentiate it from Taiwan.

    It presumably questions NATO because they see it as the legacy of "western" colonial imperialism.

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