June 8, 2012

Russia and China - Partnership of "Rabbit and Boa"

Russia-China Anti-Western Friendship Leads to Global Chaos and Russia's Takeover 

By Irina Severin | 07.06.2012

Putin's three-day visit to China after his demonstrative refusal to participate in the Summit of the developed countries in the United States says that he does have something to discuss with the Chinese leadership. Moreover, this is an opportunity to demonstrate to the West that Putin has an alternative. There is no doubt that he feels more comfortable there where nobody recalls of human rights and democracy, what Putin calls unnecessary "ideologization" in relations with the West.

Russia and China signed a dozen of papers during the visit. But it is unlikely to rely on any breakthrough or making public the agreements. In the energy sector, China is willing to offer only half of the price of the gas from the EU countries pay.  China's proposition to invest in the development of the Far East includes a precondition that the established companies should employ only Chinese, who should obtain the freedom of movement to Russia.

It is unlikely that Beijing had softened its terms at a time when the third comeback of the Putin -president caused a visible disappointment in the West - led to a marked cooling between the West and Russia, whose relations have reached a new historic low. Quite the contrary:  the requirements of China, carefully following the developments,  only grow.
Putin himself has repeatedly acknowledged that unlike the Western negotiators, Chinese are very tough and are not inclined to give in.  Demonstrating chutzpah in dealing with the predictable West, in China, he has to keep mom, smile, and bow in response.

Moscow is bluffing, expressing the sense of the threat from the West. But Russia does is afraid of the Chinese, whose unpredictability and stratagem-like approach was cultivated for centuries as a military and state valor.

"Creeping Takeover" as prospect of partnership 

Russia is not anymore China's communist  "big brother." It is neither a source of a 'scientific and technological progress' nor a successful economic model. For China, Russia is a neighboring country, whose natural resources is enough for another couple of decades, given the appetite of Chinese industry.  Russia is a possessor of the vast vacant territories at the Far East which China views as its potential lands.  From the political point of view, Russia is a convenient tool to fight "the dictate of the West."
Putin should understand that the partnership with China on Beijing terms means for Moscow a"creeping takeover" by the disciplined and well-organized Chinese. There is no need even for special arrangements - Russia's  corruption and lack of control over the territory are enough.

Tough Beijing's reaction to the closure of the Cherkizovsky Market in Moscow, where about 60 000 Chinese worked, made clear to the Kremlin that it is no longer in control of the situation even in Moscow, not only in the Far East, where the Chinese presence is more significant.

Moscow had to give in to the Beijing pressure and offer to the Chinese the best trading platforms in Moscow in exchange for the Cherkizovsky market closure, designed as a way to combat the massive smuggling by the Chinese and their overwhelming presence on the market. 

All this can hardly signify a "thaw in relations between the two giants," as reported on the  Russia's visit to China by the Western newspapers. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, whose Summit took place these days, only intensified the competition between Russia and China for influence over the former Soviet republics in the Central Asia, which the Kremlin regards as its fiefdom. 

Russia's threat to withdraw from the dollar and move to the contracts with China in the regional trade using local currencies, in practice, can only mean a shift to the Chinese Yuan,  strengthening of the Chinese position, and making the Yuan a regional currency. Russia and the Russian ruble would win nothing. 
Until now, Russia abstained from the Chinese investment proposals. However, when not only relations with the West does not add up, but oil prices are falling, it is likely that Putin will give up to the Chinese conditions.  

This would allow to strengthen Putin's regime inside the country and continue increasing his covert influence in the West, reflected in the destabilization of Western democracies, corrupting the media and the change of elites for loyal politicians, willing to weaken the West.

Putinization of the West 

The West has noticed the "Putinization of Hungary and Ukraine" as a copying of Putin's rule model by the countries' authorities. However, the West does not see rapidly gaining strength Putinization of the West itself, where the West is a passive object of Putin's modifications. The process is persistently ignored by the West because of the peculiarities of the Western political culture.

In particular, in the West, it is considered bad manners to discuss what is known as the "hidden agenda" and what, in essence, is the basis of the foreign policy of the former KGB agent now president of Russia Vladimir Putin.

'Putinizaton' of the West is carried in a covert way following the Russian "politics of fait accompli" approach until the moment the necessary critical mass of change achieves a point of no return. In particular, this explains the reluctance of Putin to visit the U.S., where the process of "creeping Putinization" is particularly active.

"New geopolitical reality"

Bringing to power the passionate fringe politicians, loyal to Putin, whose support converts them to the political mainstream, takes Putinisation from the covert phase into the open. 

An example of the transition from a  'creeping Putinisation" into the open is Greece. Emerged out of nowhere after a continued destabilization in Greece, radical left SYRIZA ranked second in the May elections and promises to lead in the June reelections, threatening with further political and economic upheaval in the Europe. The leader of the SYRIZA Alexis Tsipras' vows to cancel the Greece agreement with the EU and the IMF, what is the basis of Russian foreign policy, actively promoted not only in Greece but also in other countries.

Bringing into the power loyal political outsiders in the most influential Western countries would lead to the situation when anybody would challenge Putin on human rights or call to democracy in Russia or China. In essence, this is the "new geopolitical reality', coming of which the leaders of Russia and China announced after the first day of talks in Beijing. 

Syria as symbol of Russia and China "leadership"

Undermining the West, which could contribute to a real political and economic modernization of Russia and strengthen its sovereignty, Putin, in fact, serves the interests of China, sacrificing Russia and the Russians to the potential dominance of the huge neighbor.

However, the problem is that China is far from being able to provide the world leadership - a burden, which now is carrying the USA. Leadership involves more than just Chinese ability to generate economic growth, which is also based on the Western investments and the Western consumption.

A clear result of the Russian-Chinese "leadership" today is the situation in Syria, which offers a preview of its potential for the future. Putin's partnership with Beijing, based on the anti-Western ideology, leads to a chaos of a global scale, the first victim of which, ironically, will be Russia itself. The Law of the Jungle as a practical expression of the Russian "Sovereignty Ideology," replacing the international order led by the Western democracies, won't protect Russia from a stronger neighbor.

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