The USA looks for Ukraine for China: America threatens, Japan fluctuates
Washington pushes Beijing and Taipei to the conflict, using the scheme which turned Ukraine into threat for Russia. But the conflict can make losses in economy irreplaceable. Almost, as in power, in a case with Russia.
Square of aggressive and obedient "democracies"
At the same time, the USA threatens China with consequences for the help to Moscow in the conditions of sanctions. The adviser to the American president Biden for national security Jake Sullivan warned that China will face consequences if helps Russia to evade from sanctions, the correspondent of The Moscow Post reports.
Hu Xijin, the former editor-in-chief of the official publication Global Times, wrote on Twitter: "If Sullivan thinks that China will be able to convince to take part in sanctions against Russia, he will be disappointed".
Beijing can't but understand that the next, "postponed" purpose of Washington is in doing much harm to the interests of the People's Republic of China, to constrain further economic strengthening and political impact of China. The White House already uses in a game on "environment" some kind of "east version" of EvroNATOsoyuz. Against China the Indo-Pacific "square of democracies" (QUAD) as a part of the USA, Japan, Australia and, perhaps, India is aimed, in particular.
The design is conceived to be made attractive to other states of the region to counteract China collectively. Over time QUAD will be complemented with military "triangle" of AUKUS as a part of the USA, Great Britain and Australia. Calculation on strengthening positions of the USA and their alliances in Asia due to weakening of a regional role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Beijing and Moscow intend to keep the existing system of regional interaction with ASEAN as kernels.
The USA and Japan set the task to win the countries of the region over. Everything very much reminds actions for involvement of Ukraine in the EU and NATO, with the subsequent isolation of the Russian Federation from Europe. Promises to give money, to begin joint projects, to facilitate investments into infrastructure, to make active aid programs, to provide protection in the field of safety – all this was applied in dialogue of the West with Kiev.
It is an economic part of strategy of collective counteraction to China which Washington dreams to make common regional. Also Taiwan can potentially strengthen West positions, but China considers the island the historical part, and peaceful reunion considers as the major national task. Whether the intriguing on borders of China will strengthen positions of the USA? The question hung in mid-air, but was enshrined in the internal political agenda and America, and Japan.
Asian "version" of Ukraine
The USA uses Taiwan for pressure upon Beijing long ago and actively. Biden's team and also influential republicans intentionally raise tensions in the relations of Beijing with Taipei. Up to that in March the House of Representatives of the U. S. Congress approved the amendment forbidding to State Department to acquire cards on which Taiwan is represented by a part of China. One of authors of the amendment noted that "honest cards" which "will stop a lie of Beijing about uniform China" are necessary.
China extremely sharply reacts to any hints on "independence", condemns the separatist statements of the authorities of the island, intervention in it of external forces. The official position comes down to the fact that "the Taiwan question" is exclusively internal affair of China. It was said by the PRC State Council Premier Li Keqiang, having emphasized that he to Beijing "is strongly committed to the principle of "one China" and consensus of 1992". At the beginning of February the representative the Chinese Foreign Ministry Zhao Lijian said that the USA should stop arming Taiwan. Otherwise for safety and strengthening of sovereignty Beijing will answer.
In the first days of March of the power of Taipei accepted delegation which was headed by Michael Mullen, the former chief of Joint Chiefs of Staff and Mike Pompeo serving as both the U.S. Secretary of State, and the director of the CIA. During Pompeo's visit I tested the idea of recognition of "independence" of Taiwan, referring to him "de facto" sovereignty and "the democratic choice of inhabitants".
The two-party rhetoric of Washington inspires the present management of Taiwan.
The president Tsai Ing-wen said that "the military threat of China to the Taiwan Strait and the region continues to grow". I added, referring to Ukraine that the main thing is a unity of the people and the international solidarity. The USA doesn't maintain the official relations with Taiwan, isn't obliged to defend it, but, despite of protests of Beijing, delivers weapon tons, instructs and trains military, but advises the authorities of the territory to rely on itself!
Japan talks about atomic weapons
In the military-political part of the Indo-Pacific deterrence of China, Japan plays the role of the main henchman. Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has recently increasingly referred to the "threat of attack" by China on Taiwan, says that this will lead to a crisis, calls on the United States to supplement arms supplies with a refusal of "strategic uncertainty," promise the island protection.
Abe, during his premiership, proposed revising the country's peaceful Constitution. The topic of Taiwan's "protection" provides a convenient occasion for a review of Japanese policy in this direction. China is protesting, and the media accuse official Tokyo of trying to revive Japanese militarism. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin invited neighbors to "think deeply" about Japan's history and exercise caution regarding Taiwan, which until 1945 was part of Japanese colonial possessions.
Tensions between Japan and China rose sharply after Tokyo bought from a private owner on September 11, 2012 and nationalized three of the five uninhabited islands of the Senkaku archipelago (Diaoyuidao). With this, the Japanese raised the issue of sovereignty over historically Chinese rocks to the interstate level.
For Japan, however, China is a key economic partner. Japanese exports to China in 2020 amounted to $174 billion, imports reached $142 billion. But the Japanese have cooled to the main partner and the once "adored" neighbor, nationalist sentiment is growing, 86% of respondents treat the PRC poorly.
The Global Times recently noted the "real risk" of Tokyo openly discussing nuclear weapons and their deployment in the country. Signs of such a move to review the restrictions imposed by the Constitution on Japan's self-defense forces appear. The same Abe suggested talking about the possible deployment of nuclear weapons in the country, citing the experience of Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy. They, they say, participate in the program of joint use of American nuclear weapons within the framework of NATO.
True, the party member and current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida rejected the idea, citing the "three non-nuclear principles" - not to create, not to own, not to deploy weapons of mass destruction in Japan. But the gin is released, they will talk about it and write, it may be preparing the electorate to revise the "three restrictions."
What kind of Suk Elya?
The degree of militarization of the region by America, given the military capabilities of Japan, South Korea, and the Pentagon base in their territories, is high. The situation is complicated by the problems of the Korean Peninsula, the "successes" of Pyongyang's nuclear missile program.
The victory of Attorney General Yoon Suk El in the presidential race in South Korea could contribute to the expansion of the Indo-Pacific Square and become an additional element of pressure on China. The president-elect criticized President Moon Jae-in's "balanced" approach to Washington-Beijing relations, and swore allegiance to the values of liberal democracy and human rights. He promised to coordinate efforts to combat threats from North Korea, strengthen the "blood-forged" alliance with the United States, restore ties with Japan, and take a tough stance against China and North Korea.
Yoon Suk El can significantly tighten policy towards the DPRK. But his loud calls for the complete denuclearization of North Korea are in contradiction with statements of a "hard line" against China. In particular, the newly elected president sees "complete and verifiable denuclearization" as a prerequisite for achieving peace on the peninsula. Promises to deploy new THAAD installations. The connection with reality is either lost or disappears.
China for South Korea is a key economic partner. According to the results of 2020, exports to China amounted to 172 billion dollars (a quarter of all exports), imports reached 112 billion dollars. In 2016, Seoul's "reception" of THAAD led to the collapse of Chinese tourism, a drop in sales of cars and goods in China. South Korea announced full support for the US position on the crisis in Ukraine, but secured exceptions for the supply of consumer electronics and cars to Russia.
Senior partners can help Seoul smooth out losses in the markets of China and Russia when political expediency comes to the fore. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida said he intends to improve relations with South Korea, support an international order "based on the rules." True, the President of Kazakhstan is counting on dialogue on the basis of "deep remorse and sincere apologies" of the Japanese for the damage caused to Korea in 1910-45.
It is hoped that these neighboring countries, being in allied relations with the United States, will find a common language. Joe Biden said he spoke with Young to express hope for strengthening the alliance as "the foundation for peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region," said he expects a tripartite meeting. The parties agreed to coordinate efforts to combat threats from the DPRK.
Power tools in relations with North Korea come to the fore. During the election campaign, Yoon criticized the desire of the Moon Jae In government to "declare an end to the war" of the South with the North. After the victory, he said that he would no longer tolerate North Korean provocations and even announced "pre-emptive strikes" if he considered an attack from Pyongyang inevitable.
Fifth Wheel in NATO Cart
Recently, Australia has become an important "strategic" candidate for participation in the US strategy. Canberra plans to host nuclear submarines, the appropriate escort force, on a permanent basis in its ports.
Australia, which is often called the fifth continent, in 2020 ranked fifth on China's list of suppliers, exporting coal and LNG, lamb, beef and iron ore, earning well from this. In 2020, the value of Australian exports to China amounted to $114 billion.
But back in 2018, bilateral relations began to deteriorate when, under pressure from the United States, citing national security considerations, Canberra imposed a ban on 5G equipment and technologies supplied by Huawei and ZTE. Australia supported the United States and the EU in claims on Xinjiang, Taiwan and Hong Kong issues, as well as territorial problems in the South China Sea. The last straw was a proposal to investigate the causes of the pandemic with a hint of the role of the PRC.
Beijing's patience came to an end and Australian exporters began to have problems with batches of wood, cotton, beef, coal, seafood. A duty of 80% on barley and duties on 39% of all Australian wine exports were introduced. Canberra readily adopted the idea of the AUKUS "triangle," the whole point of which is to place two or three nuclear submarines based in Western Australia.
Aggressive ignorance of the Anglo-Saxons
"The main purpose of the sanctions is to undermine the Russian economy," admitted British Foreign Minister Elizabeth Trass, speaking to the Atlantic Council on March 10 and answering a question from the presenter that the G7 countries imposed sanctions and froze the assets of the Central Bank of the G20 country, which is "unheard of."
China and Russia, for a number of historical reasons and cultural differences, know and understand the West much better than Europe and America understand them. Ambitious ignorance gives rise to light-hearted ideas about the possible and impossible, permissible and "red lines." Can aggressive ignorance cause great trouble?
The statements of the Tracks in Washington, and before that in Moscow, could not but arouse serious concern for the future of the world. London's calculation that the threat of economic deprivation will deter Russia from decisive actions to protect its vital interests, the lives of Donbass residents, and counter neo-Nazism has not been justified.
The West's hopes to contain China are equally illusory. Americans should not forget that they are already in a trade and economic "trap." According to 2020 data, the United States exported $135 billion worth of goods to China when importing $452 billion from China. At the end of 2021, the surplus in trade grew to $396.6 billion, increasing by a quarter over the year. Countries and companies of the European Union, which also make the main profits in China, may join, and then suffer, the strategy of economic containment of China. For example, for German exporters, China is as important as the US market (105 billion euros in 2020). You have to think about what the risks are!
Photo: AFP, AP Photo/Andy Wong
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