Tag Archives: China

China’s success in reconciling Saudi Arabia and Iran huge blow to US hegemony

Reconciliation opens the path for Saudi Arabia and Iran to join BRICS.

Ahmed Adel, Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher

After agreeing with Saudi Arabia in December to buy its oil for Chinese yuan instead of just US dollars, while at the same time Russia is successfully cooperating with Saudi Arabia and Iran in the oil sector, Beijing is helping a historic reconciliation between the two major Muslim countries.Chinese efforts are all the more impressive when consideringthe persistent efforts of the US to cause conflict between thetwo countries instead of reconciliation.

It is hoped that reconciliation will lead to a huge blow to the hegemony of the US dollar. In Beijing on March 17, followingnegotiations in Iraq and Oman during the previous two years, China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia announced an agreement which includes the restoration of diplomatic relations, a confirmation of respect for the sovereignty of states and non-interference in their internal affairs, and agreements on security, economy, trade, investment, science and culture.

In short, with the mediation of China, the two regional powers, often framed as having a Sunni-Shi’a rivalry, made it official that they are embarking on a new path of improving relations instead of further spoiling them for the sake of serving Western interests that are contrary to the interests of the Islamic World. 

Therefore, it is quite clear who the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had in mind when it announced that overcoming differences between Iran and Saudi Arabia will have a “beneficial effect on freeing the countries of the region from external interference” – evidently this is in reference to the US. As Beijing highlighted, these two countries have now “taken their own destiny into their own hands,” adding that their agreement “corresponds to epochal development trends.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who was recently in Moscow and confirmed that Russia-China relations are reaching new frontiers in building a multipolar world,emphasised that the agreement between Riyadh and Tehran represents “a victory for dialogue and peace.”

In a China Global Television Network (CGTN) article published on March 13 and titled: “Why Iran and Saudi Arabia trust China?”, the author highlights that “dialogue between Tehran and Riyadh has unfolded as negotiations took place in Iraq, where the two countries reached an important consensus. Meanwhile, the main regional

allies of Iran and Saudi Arabia, such as the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, have restored diplomatic relations in 2022. Hence, the resumption of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia also is only a matter of time.”

The author’s belief in the resumption of diplomatic relations proved to be true only days after the article’s publication. The resumption signifies that a new era has dawned in the Middle East, and even more broadly when we consider the effects this could have on the hegemony of the US dollar. 

The US has been the dominant force in the Middle East since the end of British and French colonialism in the 1940’s. The region has been in a constant state of war since then, with the US now maintaining 30 military bases in the Middle East – five of them in Saudi Arabia.

For the US that relies on its global network of military bases to maintain hegemony, Beijing is showing non-Western countries how a multipolar world can function with great power diplomacy based on agreements and reconciliation, and not rooted in the idea that “might is right,” like Washington adopts.

It is noted that the day before the reconciliation in Beijing, the head of Saudi diplomacy, Prince Faisal bin Farhan al Saud, visited Moscow unannounced. And a week earlier, on March 6, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi, who visited Beijing in mid-February. After that, Wang Yi was in Moscow. This suggests that although China was the main broker of peace between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Russia certainly played a role in reconciliation efforts. 

Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are three leading oil and gas producers and are accelerating their search for payment mechanisms to bypass the US dollar. China, for their part, is already discussing such arrangements with Saudi Arabia and Iran. 

The decline of the US dollar as a world currency will weakenthe American economy and military power. This in turn willcripple the US’ ability to wage perpetual wars abroad and impose its global hegemony.

Just as importantly, reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran can be seen as a precursor to eventually joining BRICS in the near future. It is recalled that BRICS plans to decide this year whether to admit new members and under what conditions. 

Although BRICS collectively accounts for 42% of the world’s population and 24% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), they collectively hold less than 15% of voting rights in both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which are Western dominated. By admitting Saudi Arabia and Iran, BRICS’s global status will be elevated even higher as a symbol of not only peace and reconciliation, but also a path to prosperity independent of Western domination. 

AUKUS furthers China containment strategy with new nuclear-powered submarine deal

China says the US, UK and Australia completely disregard the concerns of the international communities and the agreement will lead to “error and danger”.

Ahmed Adel, Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher

Beijing accused the AUKUS alliance (US, UK, and Australia) of embarking on a “path of error and danger” when responding to the announcement that Australia will be supplied with nuclear-powered submarines. The multibillion-dollar deal, seen as a step to counter China’s rise in the Indo-Pacific region, was announced during a trilateral meeting between US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in San Diego on March 13.

Although Albanese did not mention China explicitly in his announcement of the AUKUS program, Australian Vice Admiral Jonathan Mead did directly mention China’s actions when speaking about the submarine deal.

“We recognise that there has been reclamation of land in the South China Sea and the military modernization of islands there,” Vice Admiral Mead said. “A whole bunch of factors have played into this.”

However, even if there was no acknowledgement of China by AUKUS leaders, it is beyond obvious that the AUKUS alliance and the nuclear-powered submarines deal is with the intent of limiting Beijing’s soft and hard power in the region.

“The latest joint statement from the US, UK and Australia demonstrates that the three countries, for the sake of their own geopolitical interests, completely disregard the concerns of the international communities and are walking further and further down the path of error and danger,” Beijing’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said during a regular press briefing on March 14.

The spokesperson’s comment came after the Chinese delegation to the UN tweeted a statement which accused the three countries of fuelling an arms race. The tweet said the deal was a “textbook case of double standard.”

Biden rejected the accusation, saying the submarines would be “nuclear-powered, not nuclear-armed.” For her part, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said the Chinese criticism was “not grounded in fact.”

Despite Beijing’s retaliatory response, the US president said he was expecting to speak with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping soon but declined to elaborate. Perhaps he did not do it because the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said his country did not want to “communicate for the sake of communicating” and that “the US side should come forward sincerely, with practical actions to promote China-US relations.”

Unsurprisingly, the foreign ministry of Taiwan, which Beijing considers a rebel province, said it “welcomes the continued advancement of the AUKUS partnership,” adding that Taiwan is “at the forefront of the fight against authoritarian expansion.” Although no announcements have been made, it is also likely that South Korea and Japan will welcome the latest deal as it is part of their collective effort to contain China.

Therefore, it is undeniable that Australia’s attainment of such a weapon is an example of the Anglo Alliance pursuing an anti-China policy. Washington has been conducting this policy in an aggressive manner since the Donald Trump presidency, with Biden only escalating it. The US and Britain for the better part of two centuries have dominated world affairs, and although the Soviets failed to dislodge this arrangement, today, it is China posing the greatest threat to their hegemony.

For this reason, they are empowering Australia as a junior partner in the Anglo alliance. New Zealand, another Anglo country that is even more isolated than Australia, warned Canberra that it will not tolerate Australian nuclear submarines in its territorial waters.

Both New Zealand’s ruling government and the opposition announced that Australia’s increasing nuclearization will not change their longstanding ban on nuclear-propelled vessels from entering New Zealand’s waters. The New Zealand government also reminded Australia of a 1980s treaty it signed to establish a nuclear weapons-free zone in the South Pacific.

According to Biden, the submarines “will not have any nuclear weapons of any kind of them.”

This of course cannot be fully trusted as Washington has a long and distinguished history of breaking agreements, such as not expanding NATO any further towards Russia, a key promise broken that eventually led to the current conflict in Ukraine.

Australia’s partnership with the US and UK in the AUKUS format began in September 2021. Under the recently signed AUKUS agreement, the Virginia-class submarines will be ready in the 2030s, meaning that US and UK submarines will be based in Australia on a rotating basis until then.

However, it is recalled that the AUKUS deal was brokered in secret and led to the 2021 cancellation of a $106 billion contract for a French-built fleet of conventional submarines. The cancellation sparked a diplomatic row within the Western alliance and re-imposed Anglo dominance over Europe, just as the EU’s self-destructive policies against Russia demonstrate.

Beijing argues that the AUKUS deal violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and says that the transfer of nuclear weapons materials from a nuclear-weapon state to a non-nuclear-weapon state is a “blatant” violation of the spirit of the pact.

Now that outrage has been expressed, the question is how Beijing chooses to respond because Australia will certainly not back away from the AUKUS deal like it did with the French one. China would have once considered Australia as a mid-country that regarded its economic interests as a priority; however, the consistent actions of Canberra demonstrates that it is fully integrated into the Anglo alliance.

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By rejecting China’s peace plan West pushes Beijing closer to Russia

Now, the Chinese government is absolutely certain that its Western adversaries want war, not peace and diplomacy.

Lucas Leiroz, researcher in Social Sciences at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.

On the first anniversary of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, China presented a peace plan, aimed at re-establishing diplomacy and bilateral negotiations. Consisting of twelve points, the proposal reflects the stance of neutrality of the Chinese government, which has refused to support anti-Russian resolutions at the UN, maintaining a strong direct dialogue with Moscow which allows it to develop more realistic proposals, unlike the Western unilateral demands of Russia’s retreat. However, the West does not seem interested in peace, havingimmediately rejected Beijing’s project.

Beijing calls for an end to hostilities and for the two parties to return to peace talks immediately. Defense of civilians and prisoners of war (POWs) is also a central topic of the project, as well as the safety and stability of the nuclear power plants. In addition, Beijing also advocates the banning of all unilateral sanctions, thus enabling the resumption of economic cooperation and the possibility of a rapid reconstruction of the zones affected by the conflict.

The points of the proposal are: 1. Respecting the sovereignty of all countries; 2. Abandon the Cold War mentality; 3. Ceasing hostilities; 4. Resuming peace talks; 5. Resolving the humanitarian crisis; 6. Protecting civilians and prisoners of war (POWs); 7. Keeping nuclear power plants safe; 8. Reducing strategic risks; 9. Facilitating grain exports; 10. Stopping unilateral sanctions; 11. Keeping industrial and supply chains stable; 12. Promoting post-conflict reconstruction.

As we can see, China proposes a broad diplomatic platform, indicating essential topics for achieving any peaceful solution to the conflict. It is not possible to point out any biased aspect to either side during the analysis of the proposal. These are points that, despite the proximity between Russia and China, reveal a true position of neutrality, seeking to meet, as much as possible, the interests of both sides.

However, as expected, the plan did not please Western governments, which rejected the measure without even establishing forums for prior discussion. According to several Western politicians and experts, the Chinese objective was simply to propose a “pro-Russian peace”, ignoring Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.

For example, according to Clayton Allen and Anna Ashton, analysts linked to the Eurasia Group, a consulting agency and think tank that advises several Western governments, the Chinese twelve points are biased in favor of Moscow and echo the “Russian justifications for the invasion”.

“Although several of the 12 points revealed Chinese concerns over actions primarily associated with Russia, it continued to echo Russia’s justifications for invasion and can largely be framed by Russia as supporting Moscow’s positions (…) China’s approach suggests that they are walking a diplomatic tightrope of strengthening ties to Russia – a key geostrategic ally and counterbalance to the West – while avoiding a position that is seen as openly hostile to Western aims”, they said.

This assessment seems extremely exaggerated. Proposing peace means seeking the best solution for both sides, but obviously also involves meeting the interests of the winning side, which, in this case, is the Russian one. The fact that Moscow seems to “benefit” from this plan is due to the evident reality that Russian troops have an advantage on the battlefield and it would be absolutely unrealistic to think of “peace” seeking to fulfill the Ukrainian objective of withdrawing Russian forces from the liberated regions. What Ukraine and the West understand by “peace” is the recapture of Russian territories, including Crimea, which obviously will not be accepted.

However, worse than that, NATO members and allies not only refused to consider the proposals but began to spread rumors about a possible Chinese intention to send weapons to Russia. According to the Western narrative, the Chinese peace project was a mere excuse to advance cooperation with Moscow and boost bilateral military relations, with plans to supply Russia with weapons in case of rejection of the proposal.

Beijing has denied the allegations, calling them “disinformation”, but at the same time Chinese officials seem aware of the danger caused by Western bellicoseness. In a recent statement, Mao Ning, the spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, informed that the Chinese attitude towards Ukraine is completely peaceful, but recalled that while supplying the Kiev regime with weapons, Washington also acts in a destabilizing way in Taiwan, thus posing a security risk to both Russia and China.

“On the Ukraine issue, China has been actively promoting peace talks and the political settlement of the crisis (…) [However] In addition to pouring lethal weapons into the battlefield in Ukraine, the US has been selling sophisticated weapons to the Taiwan region in violation of the three China-US joint communiqués”, Mao said.

What seems to be happening is yet another “self-fulfilling prophecy” on the part of the West. Believing in its own baseless narrative that China wants to send weapons to Russia, the US takes unnecessary preventive measures whose side effects can be precisely the increase of Russian-Chinese military cooperation. If before there was no plan on the part of Beijing to send arms to the Russian side, it is possible that this will happen now, since the peace proposals have been exhausted and the Chinese are aware that these same forces that push Ukraine towards a proxy war against Russia may soon act against Beijing in Taiwan.

In their anti-Russian and anti-Chinese paranoia, the US and the EU make the wrong decisions and put global peace at risk. Beijing is trying to resolve the situation diplomatically, but Western forces also need to prioritizepeace.

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Munich Conference signals Western isolation, advent of multipolarity

The Munich Conference not only failed to produce the desired results (Russia supposedly isolated), but it even strengthened the multipolar world, as neither India nor China proved malleable in any way, showing their sovereignty is untouched by the political West’s pressure. 

Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst

Although it has been only 16 years since President Putin’s historical speech at the 2007 Munich Conference, that event now seems like a distant past of a long-lost world. Back then, Russia was warning the political West that further NATO aggression would inevitably lead to the revival of the Cold War

However, Washington DC and Brussels seem to have wanted exactly that. The political West has tried to present the 2023 Munich Security Conference as some sort of a groundbreaking global event that “sent a strong signal” and showed “just how isolated” Russia is. However, nothing could be further from the truth, given the comments of some of the most prominent participants, including NATO and EU member states.

For instance, during a Saturday meeting with US State Secretary Anthony Blinken, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated that Beijing finds Washington DC’s attempts to threaten Sino-Russian relations completely unacceptable, emphasizing that the relationship between the two superpowers is their sovereign right and that it is not aimed against any third party.

“We will never accept the instructions of the United States and even threats to put pressure on Russian-Chinese relations,” Wang was quoted as saying in a statement published on Sunday by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. “The Sino-Russian relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation are based on non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-targeting against third parties. They are within the framework of the sovereignty of two independent states,” he added.

The comments were made in response to US accusations that China will “increase its support for Russia”. Wang also warned his American counterpart against the continued melodramatic reaction to the “balloon controversy”, which the US has been (ab)using lately to ensure detente between the two countries is virtually impossible. Beijing said that American high-altitude balloons have illegally entered China’s airspace many times over the last several decades, but the government chose not to cause panic and simply used existing diplomatic channels to communicate with their US counterparts.

“If the US continues to use this as an excuse, to promote further escalation and aggravate the situation, then China will definitely go to the very end. All the consequences of this will be borne by the American side,” Wang said.

China also called on the US to stop escalating the Ukrainian crisis and start promoting a peaceful settlement. Wang said that “Washington DC should stop adding fuel to the fire”. He noted that China’s position is constructive and called for the negotiation process to continue.

“Being a great power, the United States should contribute to the political settlement of the crisis, and not add fuel to the fire and look for opportunities to extract its own benefits,” Wang was quoted as saying.

Hungary also called for the de-escalation of the crisis and insisted on maintaining economic relations with Russia. During the traditional annual address to his fellow citizens, Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated that “the only way for Hungary to live peacefully is to stay out of the conflict, as it is not our war”.

“We will maintain our economic relations with Russia, and we advise the entire Western world to do the same, because without relations there will be no ceasefire or peace talks,” Orban said.

On the other hand, the European Union is doing exactly the opposite. The bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrel called Russia “an existential threat” and urged all member states not to continue supporting the Kiev regime, but “help more”. He also insisted that “the EU should start an industrial techno-blitzkrieg to produce more weapons“, effectively nullifying the claim that the bloc was an economic union. Borrel added that member states will spend an additional €70 billion on defense by 2025.

“In the next two years, the EU countries intend to spend an additional €70 billion on defense. France will increase defense spending by 40%, while Poland will double it,” he stated.

Interestingly, India was also targeted. George Soros, a controversial oligarch infamous for providing financial backing for various groups responsible for destabilization and undermining of countries the political West sees as “uncooperative”, stated the following:

“India is an interesting case. It’s a democracy, but its leader Narendra Modi is no democrat. Inciting violence against Muslims was an important factor in his meteoric rise. Modi maintains close relations with both open and closed societies. India is a member of the Quad (which also includes Australia, the US, and Japan), but it buys a lot of Russian oil at a steep discount and makes a lot of money on it… …Modi and business tycoon Adani are close allies; their fate is intertwined. Adani Enterprises tried to raise funds in the stock market, but he failed. Adani is accused of stock manipulation and his stock collapsed like a house of cards. Modi is silent on the subject, but he will have to answer questions from foreign investors and in parliament. This will significantly weaken Modi’s stranglehold on India’s federal government and open the door to push for much-needed institutional reforms. I may be naive, but I expect a democratic revival in India.”

In response to the accusations, India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar brushed Soros off and (quite accurately) described him as “old, rich, opinionated and dangerous”. Considering Soros has a history of Nazi collaboration, it can be argued that his attack could even be considered a compliment of sorts for Prime Minister Modi and India as a whole.

In essence, the Munich Conference not only failed to produce the desired results (Russia supposedly isolated), but it even strengthened the multipolar world, as neither India nor China proved malleable in any way, showing their sovereignty isuntouched by the political West’s pressure. On the other hand, many Europeans are extremely unhappy by the EU’s militarization. According to varying estimates, the huge crowd of protesters in Munich numbered up to 50,000 people. In conclusion, while there are massive differences between Munich 2007 and Munich 2023, the latest conference is somewhat similar to the 1938 Munich Agreement between Nazi Germany and Western allies. Considering how that ended (along with any other invasion of Russia), the political West’s prospects against Moscow look rather grim, to say the least.

Russia, China and South Africa engage in joint naval exercises

The measure shows that there is an interest in raising BRICS partnership into military cooperation, but India and Brazil seem hesitant.

Lucas Leiroz, researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.

The BRICS countries seem interested in advancing cooperation beyond mere economic partnership. Now, Russia, China and South Africa engage in joint naval exercises, taking a significant step towards the creation of an axis of military collaboration between the countries of the group. However, India and Brazil seem hesitant about the bloc’s direction, as they have interests and alliances that are still very much linked to the West.

South African, Russian and Chinese naval exercises, codenamed Mosi II, began in the Indian Ocean on February 17. According to official information from the Russian Defense Ministry, the drills are to take place along the coast of the African nation for ten days. It was also reported that the drills are a platform for the three nations to share military knowledge, skills and operational experience, and prove that Moscow is not globally “isolated”, contradicting what the western media irresponsibly claims. During the exercises, navies will combine their operational naval systems and improve joint command and control systems.

It is important to remember that this is the second trilateral exercise between South Africa, Russia and China. The previous one was held in November 2019 near Cape Town, in the southwest of South Africa, in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The case demonstrates a constant interest on the part of these three countries in raising the intra-BRICS partnership to a military level, surpassing mere the economic alliance. This is extremely significant for the group to play a prominent role in the current process of geopolitical transition towards a multipolar world.

In January, the White House stressed that the US would always express “concerns” about any country training with Russia in the current context – where there is a strong effort on the part of NATO to “isolate” Moscow in the international arena. South Africa assures that it maintains neutrality in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, using the argument that it intermittently carries out similar maneuvers with other countries, including Russia’s rivals, such as the US and France. However, despite South African diplomatic discourse, there is an undeniable move towards the political and military cooperation among the BRICS being represented by the current drills.

The possibility of the BRICS becoming a military alliance has been discussed for a long time. Some pro-multipolarity experts suggest that this would be an important step to combat NATO interventionism and encourage the process of geopolitical decentralization. However, many challenges arise in the face of these attempts, such as Western sanctions and constant pressure from NATO countries for Moscow to be isolated and kept without international alliances.

Although the mere execution of military exercises does not mean a major geopolitical change, the mere fact that they are being operated at the moment of height of Western sanctions shows that these BRICS countries are solidly united in order to strengthen diplomacy with Russia. In practice, this shows the failure of attempts to make Moscow an international pariah, evidencing the victory of diplomacy over hostility.

Regrettably, however, Brazil and India remain the two most ambiguous countries in the group. Trying to maintain a strong dialogue with the West, Brasilia and New Delhi seem undecided about occupying their role within the BRICS. In fact, their absence from the current exercises shows how many opportunities are being lost due to this ambiguity.

Although India is cooperating strongly with Russia on economic issues and has even withdrawn troops from the border with China, there is still a kind of distrust in the country regarding the possibility of engaging in military cooperation projects that also involve Beijing. The country has largely evolved towards overcoming its alliance with Washington, but there are still some steps to be taken for New Delhi to definitively prioritize the BRICS in its foreign policy.

In the same sense, the absence of Brazil arouses suspicion. When the military cooperation project between Russia, China and South Africa emerged, in 2019, Brasilia was under the most pro-US phase of the Bolsonaro government, when there was a policy of automatic alignment with Trump, which is why Brazil’s distance from BRICS initiatives was expected. Now, however, Lula is expected to take a more sovereign and pro-BRICS stance.

For Brazil, as well as for India, it would be extremely interesting to participate in the current military exercises, since a lot of combat experience would be passed on to soldiers, preparing them for an eventual conflict scenario in the future. However, more than a merely military issue, this is an essentially geopolitical maneuver. It is necessary that Brazil and India contribute more actively with the other partners, so that the BRICS take a step beyond mere economic collaboration.

If the BRICS start to engage in mutual military support projects, the greater will be the reciprocal trust between the members, as knowledge and data will be shared, making them equally strong to deal with common challenges. If the consolidation of a multipolar world is really an objective of all BRICS members, it is essential that internal rivalries and disagreements are overcome and that all cooperate for a common objective.

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Overburdened Washington might bet on Sweden and Finland NATO membership to pivot to the Pacific

US dual containment policy will increasingly count on proxy actors and proxy wars, but Washington cannot reconcile its Middle East and European goals.

Uriel Araujo, researcher with a focus on international and ethnic conflicts

This week, global leaders will attend the Munich Security Conference ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine. As the so-called “Ukraine’s fatigue” persists in the West, US-China tensions are expected to feature prominently at the event. Although overburdened and in decline, the US still insists in pursuing its dangerous “dual containment” policy goals aimed at “encircling” and “countering” two great powers at the same time, namely China and Russia. To do so, Washington might need to increasingly bet on proxy actors and proxy wars, 

Jonathan Askonas and Gill Barndollar, two researchers at the Catholic University of America’s  Center for the Study of Statesmanship, argued in July 2022 that, having Sweden and Finland in NATO, the US could then pivot to the Pacific. Their argument remains relevant: they reasoned that the Baltic states are a flash point for the Atlantic Alliance, and so Finland and Sweden’s membership could turn the Baltic Sea into a “NATO lake”, from an American perspective, as also reasons Andreas Kluth’s (a journalist who writes for the Economist), thereby giving the Alliance the means to better “defend” Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Both aforementioned Nordic states have tremendously increased their defense spending over the last years.

Basically, Askonas and Barndollar write that, in this scenario, although America’s “nuclear umbrella” would remain, the “burden” of “conventional deterrence and warfighting” in Europe would be up to the European NATO members. Then, with the two Scandinavian countries in NATO, a somewhat less overstretched United States could also pivot to the Pacific. 

I have written on how here are signs  today that the US world order is declining: even its military power has unprecedentedly been found to be “weak” by the Heritage Foundation “2023 Index of U.S. Military Strength” report. Meanwhile, China’s trade, diplomatic and military influence is on the rise in Latin America, in the context of the new Cold War.

The United States still uses the dollar as a weapon, often described as the “dollar bomb”. However, an international de-dollarization process has started, marked by Moscow’s March 2022 decision pertaining to the use of rubles to pay for Russian gas. Other signs of this process include Chinese-Saudi Arabia cooperation and even the OPEC+ decision to cut oil output mark, which can impact the petro-dollar, yet another pillar of the Western financial system, according to M. K. Bhadrakumar, former Indian diplomat.

Historian Stephen Wertheim, in an interview with Foreign Policy editor in chief Ravi Agrawal, made an excellent point about Washington’s being “overburdened”, as it has to overextend its power today. That being so, Wertheim, as well as many foreign policy “realists” (such as Harvard University professor of international relations Stephen M. Walt), argues that the United States should, as I have also written on, exercise “restraint”, the so-called “offshore balancing”, in Taiwan and Ukraine, among other places.

The problem is that Washington sees being the world’s sole superpower as its role and raison d’être, and therefore any threat to American unipolarity is perceived by the US Establishment as an existential risk, according to Andrew Latham, a professor of international relations and political theory at Macalester College in Saint Paul. This view is rooted in American exceptionalism and can be traced back to the Puritan’s biblical metaphor about the “city upon a hill”, as Thomas E. Woods Jr., senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, brilliantly argued in a 2012 piecewhich is still relevant today.

This being so, it would appear that Washington, in a kind of “plan B”, would prefer to push for a new bipolarity rather than welcoming the emergence of any new multipolar world order. 

However, in 2022, many American voices were already expressing doubts about the US ability to “counter Russia” while, at the same time, focusing on China, as Daniel W. Drezner,  professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, wrote in May 2022.

In this sense, the US might indeed have to rethink its current dual containment policy and “choose” a focus. Washington has pushed for further militarization and nuclearization of Europe, as seen in its re-scheduled sending of upgraded B61-12 air-dropped thermonuclear gravity bombs to Europe, in December 2022. In the aftermath of the 2022  NATO Summit in Madrid, US President Joe Biden claimed his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin should expect to see the “NATOization of Europe”. Thus, Askonas and Barndollar’s speculations are increasingly making sense as a possible scenario Washington could bet on – especially in light of the recent escalation of Chinese-American tensions over the issue of supposed Chinese espionage balloons, in a clear US attempt to prevent any detent with its Asian rival.

Such an European scenario, in any case, would still depend on a number of factors, one of them being obviously the very feasibility of the Sweden and Finland bid to join NATO. So far, Turkey has been “stubbornly” blocking it, and in order to reverse the Turkish stance on this issue, Washington would have to rethink its Middle East policies regarding Kurdish groups in Syria. As I wrote on February 10, American goals in Europe and in the Middle East cannot be reconciled. This is yet another dilemma the US faces, and as the slow global wave towards multipolary and de-dollarization advances, such challenges and contradictions, from an American perspective, should only increase.

Alexa Predicts WW3 Start Date, Iran Hit Multiple Times as Media is Silent and Ukraine War Escalates

All of that and more is in today’s video report. The links are below.

General predicts war with China by 2025

British Army is a Mess

Low Yield Blast Over Germany

Pentagon Wants to Send F16s to Ukraine

Attacks in Iran

Alexa WW3 Germany

Rumble Version of my video

Bitchute Version of my video

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Pentagon’s prediction of ‘inevitable’ conflict with China in 2025 shows war is America’s primary ‘export commodity’

Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst

For a country constantly chest-thumping about the size of its economy, the United States is remarkably over-reliant on one form of “export” – war. For decades, the American-led political West used proxy wars to hurt its geopolitical adversaries. While most of these weren’t a direct existential threat to US rivals and were relatively limited in scope, recent years brought a major shift to this strategic approach.

Washington DC has become more bellicose than at any point in its history, aggressively attacking the very heartlands of its opponents. In the case of Russia and China, the only reason America isn’t directly attacking either of the superpowers is their ability to immediately “return the favor“. And yet, the US keeps fanning up conflicts that are pushing the world ever closer toward another global conflict.

Ukraine and Taiwan are the two most prominent examples of America’s strategy of “accelerated escalation”, obviously designed to cause “irrational decision-making” in both Moscow and Beijing, according to the Pentagon-funded RAND Corporation. With Ukraine reaching a boiling point and Russia forced to intervene, Washington DC is determined to do the same with China in Taiwan. In recent years, top American officials, including several military commanders, have been warning about the “inevitability of war with China”.

However, the latest statement is quite concerning, issued in the form of a memo by an active four-star general and circulated with an official order. This is particularly dangerous, especially when taking into account the fact that the general took the step of conveying it through the official chain of command. According to NBC News, General Mike Minihan sent it to his subordinate officers:

“A four-star Air Force general sent a memo on Friday to the officers he commands that predicts the U.S. will be at war with China in two years and tells them to get ready to prep by firing ‘a clip’ at a target, and ‘aim for the head’. In the memo sent Friday and obtained by NBC News, Gen. Mike Minihan, head of Air Mobility Command, said, ‘I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me will fight in 2025.'”

According to various sources, the US Air Force general commands approximately 50,000 US servicemen and nearly 500 planes, making his comments all the more concerning. This is particularly true when taking into account that USAF is in direct control of two arms of America’s thermonuclear triad – its land-based ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) and nuclear-armed strategic bombers.

Perhaps the most alarming part of the grisly prediction is that it instructed commanders under him to “consider their personal affairs and whether a visit should be scheduled with their servicing base legal office to ensure they are legally ready and prepared.” Minihan claims this is because China is allegedly “determined to make a move” against its breakaway island province of Taiwan within the next two years and that this would trigger a direct US military response.

He further called for “a fortified, ready, integrated, and agile Joint Force Maneuver Team ready to fight and win inside the first island chain.” Minihan also issued an order that all steps in preparation for war with China were to be reported to him directly by February 28. As to why he thinks this is “inevitable” by 2025, NBC claims he stated the following:

“Minihan said in the memo that because both Taiwan and the U.S. will have presidential elections in 2024, the U.S. will be ‘distracted,’ and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have an opportunity to move on Taiwan.”

The wording is quite concerning, especially when coming from a high-level military commander. General Minihan directed all Air Mobility Command personnel to “fire a clip into a 7-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most. Aim for the head.” Using such phrases when talking about the “coming war” with a nuclear-armed China is unwise, to say the least, not to mention the complete disregard for the most basic diplomatic etiquette. Additionally, China’s conventional capabilities are very different in comparison to just a decade ago. Beijing has invested heavily in technological advances that rival or even surpass America’s, particularly hypersonic weapons, in which Washington DC significantly lags behind.

Still, China has spent decades trying to resolve the Taiwan issue peacefully, especially through close economic ties with the island, but the US has been undermining these efforts, particularly in recent years. Beijing’s attempts to achieve nonviolent political reunification with Taiwan have been severely compromised by American arms deliveries, with Taipei spending dozens of billions on weapons, most of which haven’t even been delivered due to the current US focus on Ukraine. China has been warning Washington DC against fomenting the independence ambitions of its breakaway island province. However, the US hasn’t only ignored this, but it seems it’s already planning yet another war with another superpower.

Wars and Rumors of War 1-24-23

Russia, Iran, Israel and NATO are all part of today’s war report. Links will be below.

Situation for Kiev is Very Difficult

Russia Preparing to end the war while the Pentagon wants to prolong it

Russia Boots Estonian Ambassador

Ukraine Losing Hundreds of troops per day

NATO Tanks going to Ukraine

US Will allow F16s to go to Ukraine

Poland Insists on Germany Releasing Tanks

Russian Air Defenses Moscow

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US-China unlikely to find breakthrough during Blinken’s upcoming visit to Beijing

Ahmed Adel, Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will try to prevent China from deepening its cooperation with Russia during his visit to Beijing. Although it will not succeed, Blinken hopes that perhaps other topics could de-escalate the trade war and lessen tensions over the Taiwan issue, and in this way, also incentivise Beijing’s move away from Moscow.

Politico reported that Blinken will visit China on February 5-6, where he will meet with his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang. This meeting was later confirmed by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It does raise the question why Blinken is seemingly desperate to meet with the Chinese foreign minister in Beijing. The US Secretary of State will likely try to divide Russia and China by raising the issue of Ukraine. Specifically, the US envoy may condemn the growing partnership between Moscow and Beijing, as it has done many times before, but offer incentives to move the Asian country away from Russia.

None-the-less, it is unlikely to work since China’s position is very firm and fully sympathises with Russia’s concerns about NATO’s encroachment and encirclement.

It is also speculated that during Blinken’s visit, the Americans would try to tactically reduce the extent of the trade war launched by former US president Donald Trump. Although the US are in public denial about it, policymakers in Washington are undoubtedly frustrated that the trade war against China and sanctions on Russia have failed to weaken them. In fact, this two-pronged American economic aggression has instead deepened trade ties and cooperation between the #2 (Russia) and #3 (Chinese) ranked military powers.

The visit will also relate to Taiwan. The US wants to find out if there is any possibility of a compromise or move following the victory of the staunchly “anti-China” Republicans in November’s midterm elections. They are even stepping up their military aid program to Taiwan and preparing for a visit by new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The visit is expected to take place in February or March.

Perhaps the Biden administration, along with Blinken, are trying to soften the future actions of the Republican-held House of Representatives. The problem for Washington is that the Chinese do not distinguish between Congress and the Office of the President. For Beijing – both offices are considered the official position of the US, even if it is contradictory.

It cannot be overlooked that Blinken’s visit will come before Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow in March. For this reason, it is expected that the Secretary of State will try to conduct exploratory activities to find out what will happen when the Russian and Chinese leaders meet.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on January 17 that Beijing hopes for the US to adopt a correct perception, stick to dialogue rather than confrontation, and pursue win-win results rather than a zero-sum game.

“It is hoped that the US can work with China to fully deliver on the important common understandings reached between the two heads of state, and bring China-US relations back to the track of sound and steady growth,” Wang stressed.

Politico said in a report that Blinken’s “much-anticipated” trip to Beijing is a follow-up to the meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping had with his US counterpart Joe Biden in Indonesia in November 2022. At the time, Biden pledged to “maintain open lines of communication” with China despite worsening bilateral tensions.

According to Politico, some US observers, like former deputy assistant secretary of state Susan Shirk, believe that the visit will test China’s “moderate” foreign and domestic policies to satisfy the US. However, such a notion is ridiculous and unhelpful in recovering bilateral ties as it once again signals to China to compromise on its values and instead adhere to Western liberalism.

In fact, it is the US who is more desperate to repair relations with China, especially considering their own economic problems. The problem Washington has is that it does not want to compromise on the tensions it has created for itself.

“The Biden administration needs to bring back economic confidence, so what the US needs to do at the moment is to make full use of engagement with China to fix the damaged supply chains and save its own economy which is certainly in trouble. For instance, they should cancel the restrictions and sanctions that target China’s development but in fact harm the US economy as well,” The Global Times reported.

As mentioned though, despite the US needing to overcome this impasse, it is also stubborn and uncompromising in its endeavour to limit Chinese influence and preserve a unipolar world system.  Biden has described China as the US’ only long-term competitor for global leadership and is orientating US foreign policy around this challenge, even whilst simultaneously attempting to contain Russia.

Although Blinken’s trip will also be the first by a top US official to China since Washington accused the country of perpetrating genocide against the Muslim Uyghurs, a charge rejected by Beijing, there is unlikely to be a major breakthrough during Blinken’s meetings with Chinese officials.

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