East Asian Affairs · Russian Affairs

Sino-Soviet War Thesis

With the American Economy at the strongest it has ever been and no end in sight I think that it’s important to take a step back from all of this prosperity and focus on the geopolitical implications of the growth of what I like to refer to as second tier Super Powers or regional Hegemony’s. I want to zero in on two in particular: Russia, and China; in what I believe are in a fateful dance which could culminate in what I’m calling the Sino-Soviet War. The following is a rough analysis of the variables that I see at play in what could become a very dangerous time for the non-free world.

Russian Intransigence:

Russia intends on building up its military capacity rapidly despite the fact that sanctions and low crude oil prices have taken a hold of their economy. And according to Dr. Stephen J. Blank in a white paper entitled “POLITICS AND ECONOMICS IN PUTIN’S RUSSIA: WHAT DO THEY MEAN FOR THE U.S. ARMY?” he goes on to say that:

Currently, there is a huge defense buildup that aims to spend $716 billion between now and 2020 to make the Russian armed forces a competitive high-tech armed force, with 70 percent of its weapons being modern (whatever that category means to Moscow). Yet this system already has shown repeatedly that it cannot deliver the goods and that the attempt to remilitarize at this relatively breakneck speed (relative to other comparable powers) is failing to produce the weapons Moscow wants.[1]

Russia as recently as this week (11/24/14) proclaimed itself as the most powerful country in the world. However development is lagging terribly behind all advanced economies and a lot of middle income countries (MIC’s). in fact according to Dr. Zibigniew Brezezinski the OECD has:

projections by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development for the year 2020 (that) envisage not only Chinas gross domestic product as approximately four times larger than Russias, but with India ahead of Russia as well.[2]

When Russia and China signed an economic agreement earlier this year which basically stipulated oil to china for Russian rubles it was before the U.S. had applied sanctions in response to Russia’s illegal war in the Ukraine, and before the Russian separatist downed flight MH17 over Ukrainian airspace. This is extremely important from the Russian point of view since according to the World Bank, Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for the Russian Federation:

 

Russia’s economy is dominated by natural resource extraction under-taken by a few large corporations, a concentration reflected in its output and export structures and its fiscal dependence.[3]

 

And in fact it is dominated so much so by natural resources that Dr. Zibigniew Brezinski in the Washington Quarterly goes on to stipulate that:

No wonder that the World Bank reported in 2005 that fuels, mining products, and agriculture accounted for 74 percent of Russia’s total exports, while manufactures accounted for 80 percent of Russia’s total imports.[4]

 

China: Ascendancy onto the World Stage

The previous quote can be extrapolated to mean that though the size of the deal helps assure Chinese stability the Russians may in the end receive a raw deal in the exchange of oil for rubles with China. And with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ascendant in the region and much of Asia, and Africa this has the potential to cause much friction in the relationship between the two countries as regional Hegemonic status is jockeyed for in the coming years.

As Russia enters what is in all probability a recession in their economy due to sanctions, China will begin to cement the exact terms of their historic oil and gas agreement just as oil prices begin to ebb all throughout the world. This I find in particular will become a strong point of contention between the two powers. For you see as per the agreed upon terms of the initial contract the Russians will be paid in rubles. This means that a strong Dollar pegged Yuan will not fit the bill but instead a Yuan-Ruble conversion will take place further cheapening the price that China pays for Russian oil and gas.

China in my estimation will reach a critical mass and will attempt to “do something” about the issues of Formosa (Taiwan) and the Senkaku’s in Japan. Once all attempts have been frustrated and America’s resolve has been tested this will be an embarrassment for the PLA and they will need to do something to assert that they are still the most dominant actor in Asia… this I believe are the fruits of the Sino-Soviet war.

America:

Engagement or Rigidity

For its part America must wade into these difficult times with caution and a combination of carrots and sticks for all parties involved. America Must stand strong against possible aggression from all parties named, response to crises on periphery more important than at first observed, response to events crucial, must regain global respect for America, leave the big wars for the rest while we prepare for the big test, prepare for counterpoised organizations to the U.S. new world order, do not let others dictate American narrative, be prepared for parts of the world to be hostile to the U.S. for the long term, prepare for war but don’t initiate it, so long as U.S. maintains moral high ground domino effect is obsolete (Russia in Afghanistan). We should, however, prepare for large parts of Asia, and Africa to be in world conflict which will be Sino-Soviet in nature and will have absolutely nothing to do with U.S. North Korea is a victim of their own system, toxic alliances such as Syria, and possibly China will a negative mitigating effect on North Korea as a whole. If there is no rapprochement with South Korea there could be much suffering in North Korea and eventual undoing from Sino-soviet war. Expect for North Korean trend of celebrities engaging in politics to continue; expect mostly celebrities from Hollywood, and the American and European Political intelligentsia, to be disgruntled by new administration in U.S., will take to spying and openly soliciting foreign governments (besides North Korea) with expertise a la Edward Snowden, should not be a problem so long as U.S. has positive narrative.

[1] Stephen J. Blank Politics in Putin’s Russia, POLITICS AND ECONOMICS IN PUTIN’S RUSSIA: WHAT DO THEY MEAN FOR THE U.S. ARMY? p. 7-8.

[2]  Zbigniew Brzezinski, “Putin’s Choice,” The Washington Quarterly, Vol. XXXI, No. 2, Spring 2008, p. 109.

[3]  POLITICS AND ECONOMICS IN PUTIN’S RUSSIA

Stephen J. Blank Editor December 2013 RUSSIAN ECONOMIC REFORM 2012: “DÈJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN” Steven Rosefielde p. 39. 21. World Bank, Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for the Russian Federation.

[4]  Zbigniew Brzezinski, “Putin’s Choice,” The Washington Quarterly, Vol. XXXI, No. 2, Spring 2008, p. 109.

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