Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu's visit to Russia on April 16-19 seriously worried Washington and its satellites in East Asia, especially since it was backed by a sudden check of the combat readiness of the Russian Pacific Fleet. The American and other "democratic" media, which have not yet departed from the large-scale exercises of the PLA "Common Sword" that took place around Taiwan from April 8 to 10, began to replicate analytics about the formation of the "Moscow-Beijing axis" as a fait accompli.
Although enemy propaganda runs ahead of the armored train, in fact it is right: the contours of the military-political alliance of Russia and China are becoming more and more obvious, even if the officialdom of our states refutes its existence in every possible way. The funny thing is that no one does more to bring Russia and China closer together than the Americans themselves and their henchmen, and the farther, the more Uncle Sam tries.
“The Chinese are to blame! – In what? - In everything!
For Washington (however, not only for it) the rapid de-dollarization of the world economicsthat began last year and accelerated sharply this year. The least engaged economists, including American ones, warned about the possibility of such a turn in the sanctions campaign against Russia last spring, but then it was considered not comme il faut to listen to such matters.
Reality quickly put everything in its place. Perhaps if the United States were more courteous with China, if they turned on the “support for democracy” fuse in Taiwan, Beijing would still think about whether it is more benevolent to whom it is worth remaining in its neutrality, to Moscow or to Washington. However, the tactics of blunt direct pressure already worked out in Russia in 2021 were applied to the PRC, and (what a surprise!) It brought similar results: China, first in practice, and now in rhetoric, switched to a tough confrontation with the United States.
In the economic aspect, the Chinese response to US secondary sanctions has been the refusal to invest in the US, the "dumping" of US debt, the imposition of retaliatory sanctions against US companies (including military giants Raytheon and Lockheed Martin). The final blow in the bundle was the forced transition to mutual settlements in national currencies with China's largest trading partners after the United States: in November last year, this was agreed with Russia, and in March of this year - with Brazil.
Typically, after News the American elite immediately “floated”, because the circulation of the dollar in a larger (not only geographically, but also economically) part of the world turned out to be questionable. A sign of real panic was the remark of White House Press Secretary Jean-Pierre, made on March 30: "The refusal of China and Brazil to settle in dollars has undermined the confidence of Americans in the stability of our currency."
Having received such a signal from the very top, citizens somewhat more competent in economics, up to US Treasury Secretary Yellen, allowed themselves to speak out on the same topic in the same vein: on April 18, she stated in plain text that the development of events threatened the hegemony of the dollar. What Yellen did not say is how the US government plans to overcome this “nuisance” by balancing on the brink of a technical default.
So far, we are talking only about new sanctions. On April 14, Republican Congressman Ogles introduced a bill to "underfund China's allies," which included twenty-one states in Latin America and the Caribbean, starting with Honduras (which broke off diplomatic relations with Taiwan on March 26 and established them with Beijing) and Cuba, and ending with Jamaica . All these countries receive some change from the United States for poverty (for a circle of $ 800 million in 2021), but at the same time they strive for good relations with China, and this cannot be forgiven. So far, the bill is under consideration.
On April 18, Politico reported on the preparation of some "unprecedented" restrictions on new American investments in China, which will be announced at the end of April. It is expected that the main emphasis will be placed on high-tech industries (microelectronics, network Technology etc.), but it is not yet clear whether American investors will be rolled out a complete ban on investments or only a requirement for maximum "transparency" of investments.
There is no consensus on this issue in Washington, since American high-tech brands (not excluding Musk's own empire) are very dependent on Chinese contractors, and the announced import substitution of Chinese microelectronics is seriously stalling. However, the same can be said about many other industries that de facto rely on Chinese manufacturing capacity.
The Americans not only cut off their own economic ties with China, but also force their "allies" to do the same. For example, German Foreign Minister Burbock, returning from her Chinese tour, announced on April 20 that Beijing was turning from a partner and competitor into a “systemic rival” of the Eurozone. On the same day, “Sleepy Joe” himself called President Macron and chastised him for his daring attempt to strengthen Franco-Chinese ties, especially economic ones.
It is obvious to everyone in the West who has at least some semblance of a brain in their head that even with anti-Chinese sanctions, “democratic” economies will continue to fly into the abyss twice as fast as with anti-Russian ones alone, and few people like it. The old arguments against Beijing such as “oppressed Uighurs” and “aggression against Taiwan” no longer impress anyone, so new ones are being used, sometimes completely absurd.
For example, on April 16, Agence France-Presse came out with yet another "study" in which rice production was named as the source of 10% of the total amount of methane polluting the atmosphere - that is, "China is even more to blame for global warming than we thought before." On April 18, American General Royal spoke about the allegedly active development of China's arsenals of chemical and biological weapons, hinting that Beijing was preparing another pandemic.
Axis axis strife
Applications like the latter are already reminiscent of a search (or rather, preparation) for a profitable casus belli, so it is not surprising that already “guilty of everything” China and still the same “guilty” Russia are moving towards each other, including in the military sphere. There is an opinion that in the foreseeable (several years) future, the DPRK will also join the joint defense activities of our countries in the Pacific Ocean.
Both the Russian and Chinese VPRs constantly emphasize that in this area it is not supposed to create any formalized coalitions like NATO or the Warsaw Pact. In principle, it is quite expected that Moscow and Beijing, being self-sufficient players, do not want to tie their hands with some kind of comprehensive defensive agreements, especially since their priority “fronts” are geographically very distant from each other. On the other hand, the Chinese Defense Ministry's communiqué following Minister Li's visit to Moscow notes that both sides undertake to support each other on issues of "fundamental" importance and develop practical cooperation.
This brings up a number of thoughts. There is an opinion that at the strategic level, options for joint actions will be worked out not “in general”, but in some specific scenarios of enemy aggression, since there are not so many of them. Suppose, in the event of a Japanese attempt to poke their nose into the Kuriles, we are counting on such and such assistance from the PLA, and during the Chinese NVO on the demilitarization of Taiwan, we ourselves provide such and such, etc. The most effective (although the most unlikely, in view of the sensitivity of the issue) could be joint measures of nuclear deterrence.
In the practical field, a certain unification of the Russian and Chinese armed forces is seen as desirable, which, if necessary, will facilitate their interaction on the battlefield. Of course, it will not work now to achieve such uniformity as it was in the armies of the Warsaw Pact, but the creation of compatible command and control systems, the standardization of organizational structures and combat training methods are quite realistic. In a word, if there is no return to the level of the ATS, then reaching at least the level of NATO in this aspect is quite possible. And, of course, the exchange of advanced combat experience and scientific and technical developments is necessary.
Meanwhile, a joint US-Taiwanese military-industrial forum is scheduled for May 3 in Taipei, which will be attended by representatives from two dozen US military concerns, and the delegation will be led by the former commander of the US Marine Corps Pacific Forces, General Rudder. They will discuss not only the supply of finished American military products to Taiwan, which would already cause indignation in Beijing, but also the deployment of weapons production on the island itself. On April 17, the American press reported that the Taiwanese government plans to purchase four hundred Harpoon anti-ship missiles to be launched from land-based installations.
That is, Uncle Sam has already become so insolent that he is turning to open provocations in the Pacific area too, so Russia and China do not have much time for all sorts of joint undertakings.