China Policy From The Perspective of Hamiltonian Regionalism

Imperial Energy asks

It would be good to see you do a piece on China given this:

http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2017/10/31/chinas_expansionist_view_of_geopolitics_112609.html

http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2017/10/19/who_controls_americas_china_policy_112590.html

And this:

http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2017/10/delaying-chinese-global-dominance.html

A great challenge!

So, if you were Trump’s NSA what would advise?

 

The only advice to give is one compatible with America’s type of world power.

America is the world’s first Regionalist world power, a unique power system defined as –

  • A Realist strategy where a great Capitalistic power uses regional alliances with other Capitalistic states to check any threat from a hostile power to either the physical security or commercial interests of the allied Capitalists. Minor powers  have the option of being part of this alliance, neutral outside of it, or hostile. Regardless whether minor powers join or not, the great power is able to exercise this strategy so long as other advanced powers agreed to the system.

 

The Regionalist response to any Chinese expansionism is suitable to the task because the major advantages of Regionalism are applicable as part of a deterrence posture by America and, if necessary, direct conflict.

Those deterrent advantages are leveraging our regional alliances in the Asia-Pacific to keep them well enough armed to at least make China hesitate before making aggressive moves, deploying our own forces in a reserve posture, and holding logistical hubs and military bases scattered across allied territory so our forces can be moved and supplied wherever needed.

Maintaining strong regional alliances is essential to deterring war from happening in the first place because China’s actual regional position is rather inhospitable to wars of expansion.

Consider China’s situation from their own vantage point and one quickly observes China has no attractive areas to expand into.

The first thing to keep in mind is that Asian geography greatly favors defensive operations over offensive ones.  To China’s Southeast there are vast jungles; their Southwest is obstructed by the Himalayan mountains; their ports face formidable navies controlled by America and its allies; to their North is the harsh land of Siberia.

Geography alone makes invasion through any one of these directions difficult for any attack.  Fighting through multiple directions would be still more taxing given how each particular geography demands different types of military forces, supplies, and strategies be prepared and used simultaneously.

This geographic hurdle is complemented by the occupants of those terrains, none of whom are hesitant to fight dirty.  China directly borders two nuclear powers, Russia and India.  India is a close American ally and Russia would soon become at least a tactical American ally if China displayed aggressive tendencies.

Japan is protected by not only the Sea of Japan and American seapower but by its own underrated navy and capacity to develop nuclear weapons.

Smaller powers like Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, and South Korea have their own geographic and native militaries.

At this moment China does not appear to be engaging in serious expansionism.  At most they are testing the waters.  They are mostly keeping to themselves because their neighbors by themselves are not pushovers.

For the United States, what deters China today – strong regional powers allied with the United States – should be the situation America seeks to maintain.

Each regional ally should be given additional indirect American support that best fits their own geographic strengths – though our support should not be so excessive that it encourages an arms race:  India should gradually receive more land, sea, and naval weapons from the United States and be encouraged by us to further economically develop.  Japan should be should be encouraged to bulk up its naval and airpower but refrain from developing nuclear weapons that would excessively alarm China.  Relations with Russia should be improved.

As a deterrence strategy that upholds a balance of power which incentives major powers not to fight, Asia is ideal grounds to implement Hamiltonian Regionalist offshore balancing.

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29 thoughts on “China Policy From The Perspective of Hamiltonian Regionalism”

  1. I’ve never been overly impressed with the so-called Chinese threat. From what I read in the Forward, jingoism abounds in their intellectual class. Many believe in the Great Jewish Conspiracy, supposedly ruling over the West. For this we are celebrated and admired. One must wonder whether a ruling elite so obtuse could pose a serious threat to foreign interests over whom they have not asserted direct control.

  2. I’ve never been overly impressed with the so-called Chinese threat. From what I read in the Forward, jingoism abounds in their intellectual class.

    It’s not jingoism. China is a threat that’s bottled up because it has no obvious route to expand. But most of the reason for that is because of our Asia-Pacific alliances.

    To keep China contained requires maintaining the military industrial complex in a well funded condition. Without the military industrial complex there would be a power vacuum that would quickly invite Chinese aggression.

  3. I have little doubt that a China would take any opportunity that the Americans gave them. My point was simply that America would have to hand it to them. The existing containment policy of the Americans appears to work. Further escalation would strain the relationship between America, Israel, and China. The latter is a more important diplomatic avenue and, as I suggested before, diplomatic policy explicitly advantages the Americans due to the Chinese ineptitude at understanding foreign cultures.

  4. My point was simply that America would have to hand it to them.

    Maintaining the status quo is complex and dangerous. To uphold it requires acknowledging China is a potential threat even if China hawks exaggerate how advanced that threat is.

    Further escalation would strain the relationship between America, Israel, and China.

    I’m not seeing any connection between America’s China policy and Israel.

  5. At the moment, USG has all the advantages, especially military.

    However, it is the geo-economic challenge here that needs to be addressed.

    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoeconomics )

    Consider if OBOR is a success. It means that, in effect, China will have bought up the most important part of the monopoly board.

    See:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Cattle_Road

    China is building an alternative to the Tranzi world order and it will be a conservative, state driven capitalistic order.

    However, its comparative advantage will be its “conservatism” and respect for religions, traditions and customs.

    Russia’s political formula and foreign policy is the same.

    Unsurprisingly, Russia and China are aligned.

    The Grand Chessboard is changing.

    Russia has played an outstanding game, given its position and the challenges and threats it faces.

    Here is an emerging, conservative bloc: Russia and China as the big two. Pakistan, Iran and Turkey in the next circle. Now, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt may find themselves working more and more with this circle even though their cooperation may simply be pragmatic. For instance, Russia and increasingly China, can act as a broker between Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    The reason why Israel may come to work more with this bloc is the need to diversify its interests in order to check the increasingly hostile tone coming from Europe and America (because of the Democrats).

    Now, this is when things get interesting.

    Israel, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt (not to mention all the rest) have a common interest in working together to support Red over Blue here….. Russia because it cannot work with Blue but it can with a “Trumpian” (Hamiltonian.)

    However, the problem is that USG cannot do “foreign policy” because democracies cannot think strategically.

    See this vid:

  6. China is building an alternative to the Tranzi world order and it will be a conservative, state driven capitalistic order.

    A Chinese economic order that includes projects such as OBOR will be a shell operation to enrich China at the expense of its neighbors; and every last one of China’s neighbors knows it.

    They’ll get a much better deal with America acting as offshore guarantor of their own Capitalistic interests than they ever would from a Mercantilist China, regardless of whatever disadvantages there may be in the current arrangement.

    However, its comparative advantage will be its “conservatism” and respect for religions, traditions and customs.

    Not a selling point to their neighbors. All of them are already quite Nationalistic and Conservative by Western standards.

    Unsurprisingly, Russia and China are aligned.

    Neither trusts the other. Russia for its part is fully aware China is a territorial threat to underpopulated Siberia (you can ask Russians themselves whether they trust America or China more).

    On Youtube there is a video of Russian citizens watching what was later confirmed as a small meteor shower rain down on their area. Initially they thought it was a missile strike from China. It is interesting their first reaction was that the explosions were a Chinese missile attack instead of an American one.

    Putin & his crew spar more openly with the US and the West because they know we will tolerate them shooting their mouths off. But what Russia really fears is what they talk less about, China.

    Pakistan, Iran and Turkey in the next circle.

    India, ahem, “Trumps” Pakistan.

    Iran is weak if its embryonic nuclear program is defused by either an Israeli or American airstrike.

    I’m within a whisker of calling for Turkey to be expelled from NATO – somewhere Ataturk is weeping. But even if our buffer in Constantinople fails, we still have Athens (currently on loan from the German finance ministry)…

    Now, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt may find themselves working more and more with this circle even though their cooperation may simply be pragmatic.

    All of those Middle Eastern states are out of theater and irrelevant for whatever goes on in Asia-Pacific aside from oil contracts. Russia also has oil interests in the Near East and they wouldn’t be inclined to view a Chinese move for oil routes favorably.

    Israel, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt (not to mention all the rest) have a common interest in working together to support Red over Blue here….. Russia because it cannot work with Blue but it can with a “Trumpian” (Hamiltonian.)

    All wrong because Russians don’t trust the Chinese (ask Russians if you don’t believe me).

    However, the problem is that USG cannot do “foreign policy” because democracies cannot think strategically.

    The annihilation of the Progressive monstrosity is in progress….

  7. Russia because it cannot work with Blue but it can with a “Trumpian” (Hamiltonian.)

    Btw, as far as this blog is concerned with color schemes Hamiltonian Republicanism is navy blue (because of Lincoln’s blueshirts).

  8. “The annihilation of the Progressive monstrosity is in progress….”

    I think this is the contextual puzzle piece which is confounding the commentary. My observation is that the Progressives are in a very unfavorable position for the short-term; however, little of what’s transpired in the fallout of the ’16 election suggests to me that their Hamiltonian opposition is prepared to dispose of them in a manner that would preclude their resurgence in the near future.

    Speaking frankly, and without the intention of offense, Israelis aren’t betting on Hamiltonians to win this internal struggle despite the fact we would love it to be so. To that end, we consider it important to have a strategic relationship with China and would not appreciate Americans ruining that without providing assurances that we will not have to make a future geopolitical pivot based on Progressive hostility.

  9. My observation is that the Progressives are in a very unfavorable position for the short-term; however, little of what’s transpired in the fallout of the ’16 election suggests to me that their Hamiltonian opposition is prepared to dispose of them in a manner that would preclude their resurgence in the near future.

    Patience, patience, patience. In 2015 you would have told us the Hamiltonian candidate had no chance in the Republican primary. But look what we were able to do with the Twitter account of a single madman…

    Speaking frankly, and without the intention of offense, Israelis aren’t betting on Hamiltonians to win this internal struggle despite the fact we would love it to be so.

    I believe the source of our disagreement is in what role the Israelis are playing in all this. All they can do is watch from the sidelines (unless they have some intelligence on a certain uranium transaction) and wait for the titanic conflict between the Old and New Structures playout.

  10. Here is the main point we want to make here: how secure are your assumptions here, how confident are you in them?

    I don’t layout arguments like this unless I’m confident in my reasoning.

    Is there a flaw in my argument I need to be made aware of?

  11. Was thinking about how to reply.

    Below is an extract from an early, rough draft of a post on (Reactionary) World Order. It will provide you – hopefully – with some targets to aim at.

  12. China’s Grand Strategy: One Belt, One Road.

    No other state and no other civilizational bloc has a plan that is a visionary, ambitious or as world changing as China’s One Belt, One Road initiative.

    China’s grand strategy is GRAND.

    It is a coherent, all of government plan that merges China’s political, economic and military power into a long-term investment with an incredible pay-off: Empire.

    While China’s empire will formally only pertain to its borders, the projected, informal Chinese empire will reach, in time, all across Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

    The road and train lines are arteries that will not only import and export goods and services, but will allow China to politically, economically and demographically colonise the world-Island.

    The world-Island will be connected up together but it will be plugged into one source: Beijing.

    There is a story from Chinese history (Stone Cattle Road) that goes as follows. Once there were two kingdoms (Qin and Shu). King Huiwen of Qin coveted the kingdom of Shu. King Huiwen, instead of directly invading his neighbour, developed an indirect plan of conquest.

    Huiwen’s strategy involved the use of deception, diplomacy, greed and surprise.

    Firstly, he ordered that five stone cows be made which were decorated with gold. Then, he invited the ambassadors of Shu and made sure that would be able to see the stone cows.

    Later, after the ambassadors had reported the miraculous cows to the king of Shu – which aroused his fascination and greed, who thought the golden cowpats would swell his treasury – he sent a message to Huiwen asking if he could have some of the cows.

    Huiwen agreed but replied that because of the delicate nature of his cows, they would only be able to travel if a road was built between the two kingdoms.

    The foolish king of Shu agreed.

    The king of Qin did not send cows down the road – he sent armies instead and soon conquered the kingdom.

    This is the potential of OBOR.

  13. Cont

    While China will not literally send armies down the road (though it could) what it will do is enmesh its neighbours in a web of relationships from which, once they are caught in them, cannot escape.

    Suppose a country attempts to muscle China out of more money – China could bribe his underlings to remove him. If that does not work, China could raise the price of the goods he needs or even cut him off.

    If that fails and if a Chinese expat community exists in the country, then using a false flag (provocation) attack or stoking up tensions against local Chinese expatriates, the Chinese government could send troops to “defend Chinese and restore order” (like what Russia has done in Georgia and Ukraine).

    Of course, the Chinese would want to avoid this. What they would do is support, sponsor and supply local leaders with all the men, money and materials they need to suppress any challengers to them (and Chinese interests). This will be particularly important when dealing with Muslim regions.

    Finally, China’s demographic power will increase the road will allow China to send out Chinese immigrants to establish “outposts” across the continent. These colonists will live like most Chinese expatriates (peacefully) with their businesses; however, it will allow China to send out spies, government workers and “private” security guards. Indeed, in some regions the local rulers may invite the Chinese military to help with security against local trouble-makers and regional rivals.

    Unlike the Americans, the Chinese will provide cash but ask no questions and will make no (cultural) demands upon the local people.

    This is how China used to practice its imperial diplomacy. First, it begins with equality and provides goods and services to the barbarian. Then, once the barbarian comes to rely on the goods that China sends, China is able to assert a junior-senior relationship between them. Then, finally, China is able to reduce them to vassals by removing the goods and services or by threatening to do so.

    Of course, countries like Pakistan, Russia, Iran, Turkey and others can see China coming – but it will not make any difference. China’s dominance is only hypothetical and would be far off in the future. Right now, China is offering cold hard cash – no questions asked. Furthermore, if one player does not take the deal, someone else will and if they have to ask for it later, they might get less but have to give up more.

  14. Avoid America’s naval might and closing of Malacca straits.

    One very simple strategic benefit of OBOR is that it would negate any naval supremacy that the U.S and its allies have in the Pacific. As we argued above China is vulnerable to USG closing the Mallacca strait via its navy, but if China can obtain its good and services via land transport and not just via maritime transport, then USG’s leverage over China will be greatly diminished.

    Furthermore, instead of China directly competing with America and building up its navy, the OBOR approach does not directly challenge the U.S or its allies. Thus, China will not set off a naval arms race – a race it would only lose. China would not just have to outcompete America in a naval arms race but also the combined effort of Japan and Australia but probably also South Korea, India, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia.
    This is clearly unfeasible and the attempt to do so would also create a coalition against China that would also affect its economic interests.

    OBOR has none of those problems.

    The Logistic Advantages.

    Logistically speaking, OBOR is a huge project – the biggest in human history. Yet, China has the logistical ability to pull it off. They have spent decades pulling off similar projects within China and thus have the men, materials and money to do it. In addition, the Chinese will not be alone. The Chinese will certainly go into partnership with local players and offer their people jobs and their investors and producers opportunities. As the Chinese say, it will be a “double win” (win-win).

    Why America Cannot Stop It.

    America cannot stop this project – at least directly.

    They cannot oppose it militarily, for there is no justification to do so. Even if they came up with one, they would not only have to face the Chinese on land (a tricky proposition) but they would probably have to fight against regional powers as well. Simply put, if America bombed the roads, train-lines and transport hubs, they would be declaring war on the regional players as well.

    America could sponsor Muslims Jihadis to attack the Chinese, however. Nevertheless, the Chinese would efficiently deal with such threats – especially as they would have the support of local powers and the likely backing of Russia, India and Iran.

    Indeed, if America tried to replay the cold war but this time with China, it is likely that America would end up losing support of much of the world.

    Even if China suffered an economic crash or slowdown (which America may well have had a hand in), this will only be a temporary set-back on a plan that will not be completed by 2049. Even if that date is missed there is always 2089 or 2149.

    And this is the central problem for USG: for while USG is here today and gone tomorrow, China is forever. USG could abandon Japan for example because it is an ocean away and the geopolitical facts have changed. China, however, is a permanent geopolitical fact for Japan. The same will be true for India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Iran, Turkey and Europe – in time.

    The strategic reply of USG should be twofold. Firstly, they should not oppose it but join it and invest as much capital as desirable and try to have as much influence as possible.

    Second, USG should not compete directly with China on the world island, USG should control the world island by controlling the world – from space.

  15. What they would do is support, sponsor and supply local leaders with all the men, money and materials they need to suppress any challengers to them (and Chinese interests). This will be particularly important when dealing with Muslim regions.

    This would very probably lead to counter-balancing by China’s neighbors because no other Asian power trusts China not to convert the whole scheme into a self-serving, mercantilistic, enterprise that threatens their own country’s strategic interests.

    Russia would worry China is making a move into the Soviet Union’s old Central Asian clients, which the Russians still consider to be their sphere of influence.

    India would consider Chinese outreach to Muslims to be a threat to their border with Pakistan.

    Japan would, rightly, fear they could be cut out of a Chinese dominated trade network at any time.

    For most of the rest of Asia, American Regionalism would become an even more attractive alliance system to tie themselves to because Regionalism is more mutually beneficial to all members, American offshore balancing is far less likely to make territorial claims on its members than nearby China, and Regionalism asks little in return from its members.

  16. Let’s not overlook the challenges here.

    This blog, from a former security – NATO – wonk has good stuff. We spent some time there and the situation is worse than one thought.

    His Russia “sit rep” is a good link fest, but it has a good overall interpretative frame with it.

    One more thing and this is something that a reactionary analysis can appreciate in a way no other can: trust.

    Putin has seen three administrations in his time. He has learned that USG cannot be trusted “not agreement capable”.

    Even if Trump played a perfect Hamiltonian game, the next administration might reverse whatever rapprochement was undertaken.

    Thus, Putin and other powers are moving away – to China.

    The question is not “can we trust China?” but “can we trust China more than America?”

  17. See this for background:

    https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2017/10/26/how-i-got-here/

    A good lay of the land here:

    https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2017/11/02/russian-federation-sitrep-2-november-2017/

    See the “strategic nightmare” happening here:
    https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2017/07/27/russian-federation-sitrep-27-july-2017/

    USG has pushed Russia, China, Iran and Turkey all into one camp.

    Or this:

    https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2017/07/13/russian-federation-sitrep-13-july-2017/

    Here is a taste:

    “Or maybe the really important meeting was the other G2 with Putin and Xi in Moscow. Both of them can deliver on their promises. The “Chinese-Russian comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation” grows deeper and stronger. Europe sings “Freude, schöner Götterfunken” to the thump of Molotov cocktails and the pop of car windows blowing out. The world is changing.”

    https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2017/06/22/russia-us-relations/

    And this:

    https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2017/06/01/russian-federation-sitrep-1-june-2017/

    “ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI is dead but he lives on in three ways. He didn’t invent jihadism or takfirism but he gave it a key lift by supporting the mujahidin in Afghanistan in order to entice the USSR to intervene: the disastrous policy of encouraging jihadism in one place arrogantly thinking you could stop it spreading to another. This is something he apparently never regretted (at least not in 1998: “What is more important in world history? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire?). His obsessive anti-Russian stance remains embedded in the USA as this absurd Time magazine cover shows. He had some influence on Obama and one can legitimately ask whether his silly view about the importance of Ukraine to Russia was a prime mover in the Ukrainian catastrophe. There are some indications that he was beginning to realise how dangerous (and unsuccessful) this policy was becoming. But, probably, the longest-lasting legacy, though neither to his liking nor wishing, is the resistance to US hegemony taking concrete form in many places but most powerfully in Beijing and Moscow. As he said in his key book in which he thought to lay out the game plan to keep the USA on top forever: “the most dangerous scenario would be a grand coalition of China, Russia… Averting this contingency, however remote it may be, will require a display of U.S. geostrategic skill…” Neither remote nor skilful enough I guess. He should have paid more attention to Newton’s Third Law of Diplomacy: if you push countries around, they will push back. An exceptional failure all round.”

  18. Broadly speaking, you foreign policy is correct, but it would require not only doing away with demotism but the fourth branch; putting leakers and their enablers in jail and stacking the administration with people who have not had their minds fried by Harvard.

  19. The question is not “can we trust China?” but “can we trust China more than America?”

    Stop reading American “reactionary” blogs because they are usually wrong; although this was not necessarily the case about 5 years ago, it is certainly true today. In the case of China-Russia relations their analysis is spectacularly, entirely, wrong and stupid even by their low standards.

    China-Russia is not the modern equivalent of the German-Japan Axis the reactionaries dream of.

    China-Russia is a modern Molotov-Ribbentrop.

    There will be no alliance between China and Russia because there is no inverse relationship between how much or little Russia trusts America and how much or little Russia trusts China.

    “We trust neither America nor China” is a perfectly workable assumption for Russia to base their geostrategy on.

    Neither is “Nationalism” a basis to organize Russia-China relations. All of China’s neighbors are solidly Nationalistic. Therefore none of them have a need to have Nationalism “protected” by Chinese Nationalism. If China goes to them with that pretense their neighbors will interpret their offer of “protection” as “invasion”.

    Broadly speaking, you foreign policy is correct, but it would require not only doing away with demotism but the fourth branch; putting leakers and their enablers in jail and stacking the administration with people who have not had their minds fried by Harvard.

    Minor obstacles in the way to inevitable Hamiltonian supremacy.

    Trump’s governing on my foreign policy preferences and we’ve just gotten started.

    Besides, what are the diplomatic accomplishments of the American reactionary right?

    These are the same numbskull “reactionaries” who think Putin is going to be just delighted to see China build up “infrastructure” (i.e., bases to invade Russia from) in the Soviet Union’s old sphere of Central Asia because Xi isn’t enamored with transgender bathrooms.

  20. “Stop reading American “reactionary” blogs because they are usually wrong; although this was not necessarily the case about 5 years ago, it is certainly true today. In the case of China-Russia relations their analysis is spectacularly, entirely, wrong and stupid even by their low standards.”

    They are not reactionaries. The first is ex-Army; the second is an ex-NATO security scholar and the third is a ex-NSA man.

    “China-Russia is not the modern equivalent of the German-Japan Axis the reactionaries dream of.”

    Who said anything about dreaming?

    “China-Russia is a modern Molotov-Ribbentrop.”

    Is it really though? Who is who in this relationship?

    “Neither is “Nationalism” a basis to organize Russia-China relations. All of China’s neighbors are solidly Nationalistic. Therefore none of them have a need to have Nationalism “protected” by Chinese Nationalism. If China goes to them with that pretense their neighbors will interpret their offer of “protection” as “invasion””

    Or as the lesser of the two evils.

    “These are the same numbskull “reactionaries” who think Putin is going to be just delighted to see China build up “infrastructure” (i.e., bases to invade Russia from) in the Soviet Union’s old sphere of Central Asia because Xi isn’t enamored with transgender bathrooms.”

    Again, lesser of the two evils here. China has already pissed off people in the Pacific and it will not want to piss of Putin. Thus, its own self interest will constrain it.

  21. They are not reactionaries. The first is ex-Army; the second is an ex-NATO security scholar and the third is a ex-NSA man.

    The idea of a Russia-China axis has been circulating around our nutty reactosphere, and I’m not impressed with standard foreign policy thinkers either.

    You, and similar thinking people, are getting this all wrong by drawing connections between matters that have nothing to do with each other.

    Just because Putin does not trust the United States does not mean there is a connection between Putin trusting China or not.

    If he joins China in some sort of alliance Russia would be the weaker, junior partner and as a consequence of that partnership place its territory and influence over the oil and gas rich nations of Central Asia in jeopardy.

    There is nothing for him to gain by partnering with China.

  22. Again, lesser of the two evils here.

    Lesser of two evils is applicable only if those are the only two alternatives.

    So far you haven’t established why those two are the only options.

    China has already pissed off people in the Pacific and it will not want to piss of Putin. Thus, its own self interest will constrain it.

    We return again to option #3 – none of the above.

    If China is already militarily constrained by America and its Asian allies regardless of what Russia does, then Russia’s best play is to preserve the status quo. It is certainly not in its interest to tip the scales in favor of China by forming a Russia-China alliance.

  23. Here are the (developing) Alternatives:

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54491

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/by-date/26.04.2017

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54979

    https://sputniknews.com/world/201701251049985784-russia-mfa-china-relations/
    (Russia-China partnership)

    The following is a Tranzi analysis that looks at what the Chinese analysts are thinking:

    http://www.ecfr.eu/publications/summary/china_and_russia_gaming_the_west7166

    Fairly even-handed analysis.

    Additional:

    http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN1522OS

    From American establishment:

    https://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/04/17/toward-a-global-realignment/

    http://grahamefuller.com/global-disorder-what-are-the-options/

    Analysis:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-reverse-kissinger/

    Putin’s statesmanship:

    http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/a-bearish-economy-the-economics-of-russian-aggression

    We believe their conclusions are wrong, however.

    The challenge is real and the challenge is great, but it need not be. What is needed is a modern day concert of Vienna.

  24. Russia-China partnership

    Based on your links the thinking of Russian and Chinese analysts about the feasibility of a deep alliance is the same as what I’ve been saying it is and will continue to be: Russia and China will cooperate on an issue by issue basis but there is too much mistrust and misalignment of power between them for a close relationship to be stable. As China becomes more powerful the odds of Russia joining an alliance diminish because Russia will be the weakest member.

    The Russians and Chinese like to occasionally publicly hold out the possibility of an alliance with military exercises to deter the West.

    But it is always a bluff.

    The risks that would come with Russia trusting China closely are too high and the benefits too low for it to happen.

    It is much more likely the Russians will eventually enter a close alliance with the United States as China rises because the United States poses less of a threat (relatively) than China does.

  25. What is needed is a modern day concert of Vienna.

    That’s not going to make Russian relations any easier.

    Metternich was the greatest diplomat who ever lived and even he found it exceptionally difficult to keep Russia from deviating from the Concert’s principles.

  26. At the moment, everything in the West is in a state of flux. Russia and China need only continue their pragmatic cooperation. However, there is an opportunity for them to forge an entirely different conception of world order that isolates America and Western Europe. The danger is real.

    This is where we differ. You seem to accept democracy but with correct the correct governing principles. But it is democracy that is the problem.

  27. At the moment, everything in the West is in a state of flux.

    This may be an opening for Russia to exploit in Europe.

    But China’s strategic environment is Asia. Over there, China has no power vacuum to exploit because Asia’s major powers are Nationalistic and stable.

    However, there is an opportunity for them to forge an entirely different conception of world order that isolates America and Western Europe.

    What exactly is this opportunity and why do you think China needs Russia (or vice versa) to take advantage of it?

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