Emerging Eurasian alliance: a new power balance

Silk-Road-Map1

While the attention of the USA is focused on the ISIS terrorists in Iraq and Syria, the most important thing going on in international affairs is the rising power of China, its ties with Russia and the future of the heartland of the Eurasia continent.

Pepe Escobar, the roving correspondent for Asia Times, sums up the situation in a new article for TomDispatch.  If things keep going the way they are now, China will be the world’s strongest industrial power, with Russia as its supplier of oil and gas and maybe Germany as its machinery supplier and India as its back office.

Vladimir Putin has the ambition of restoring Russia as one of the world’s great powers.  To do that, it is to his interest to have good relations both with China and with the nations of the European Union.   But United States and NATO policy are driving him into the arms of China.

New cold wars between NATO and Russia, and between the USA and China, give both Russia and China all the more reason to join forces across the interior of Eurasia.

The framework of a Russian-Chinese alliance is the Shanghai Cooperation Agreement, which includes Russia, China and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.   This is not yet a tight military alliance such as NATO or a formal economic union such as the European Union. but it could become either or both.  India, Pakistan and Iran have expressed interest in joining.

One of the ways the Obama administration seeks to offset a Eurasian alliance is through the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (aka the Transatlantic Free Trade Area).

The two in combination would create a trade area embracing North America, Europe and the Pacific Rim, while locking out China and Russia.  They also would create mechanisms by which global corporations and banks could torpedo national laws.  This is not in the interest of the people of any nation, including the USA.

The main potential threat to a Eurasian alliance would be a democratic rebellion of the peoples on the periphery of China and the “near abroad” of Russia.   The nations of Central Asia are ruled by dictators left over from the old Soviet regime, and the peoples of Xinjiang and Tibet are oppressed by Chinese rule.

In the longer run, the Russian and Chinese regimes feel threatened by the demands of their peoples for more democracy and freedom.   But a democratic Russia and democratic China would still seek closer ties, because this would be in the interest of both peoples.

As an American, I think the U.S. government should pull back from trying to project power into remote parts of the world, and concentrate on rebuilding the sources of American power.

The United States was a leading world power during the 20th century because we were the world’s leading industrial power.  Our nation can’t be a world power if we continue on our present path of de-industrialization and financialization.

The best way to prevent the emergence of an anti-U.S. trade bloc is not to start trade wars in the first place.

Or so it seems to me.  What do you think?

LINKS

A New Future?  How China and Russia (and Maybe Germany) Will Try to Squeeze Washington Out of Eurasia by Pepe Escobar for TomDispatch.  Highly recommended.

Washington’s Nightmare Comes True: The Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership Goes Global by Andrew Korybko for the Oriental Review [added 10/8/14]

Washington’s Nightmare Comes True: The Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership Goes Global II by Andrew Korybko for the Oriental Review.

Hongkongistan!  Democracy and Chauvinism in Hong Kong and Xinjiang by Peter Lee for China Matters (via Asia Times)

China hopes to revive the Silk Road with bullet trains to Xinjiang by Simon Denyer for The Guardian.  Hat tip to Jack Clontz and his friend Marty.

Pipelineistan and the New Silk Road(s) by Pepe Escobar for Asia Times (2013)

Proposed Eurasian rail network

Proposed rail network.  Double click to enlarge.  Source: Oriental Review

China Is Playing Hardball With Russia Over Two Massive Gas Pipeline Projects by Alec Luhn for Vice News.  [added 11/10/14]  Apparently China and not Russia will be the senior partner.

 

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3 Responses to “Emerging Eurasian alliance: a new power balance”

  1. subservientrevolutionary Says:

    Russia do not care about The US or The EU. With plenty more counties willing to do business with them, why would they

    Like

  2. djgarcia94 Says:

    I’m still going to hold off from studying Mandarin.

    Like

  3. Holden Says:

    I love the maps. Keep em coming! Nice commentary too.

    Like

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