G7 leaders, who are meeting in England, have adopted a rival plan to oppose China’s Belt and Road Initiative by helping build infrastructure in poorer nations in a “values-driven, high-standard and transparent” partnership. The adoption of the US-inspired “Build Back Better World” (B3W) project came after President Joe Biden and leaders met to address “strategic competition with China “.
China retaliated against international sanctions, passing a law believed to provide legal tools for its officials and companies in responding to Western penalties. The law may be a “game-changer as it would provide a mechanism for targeted Chinese entities to file a lawsuit against a foreign company that is complying with foreign-imposed sanctions.
The US Won’t Succeed In Provoking Another Color Revolution In China
9 JUNE 2021
With these impressive socio-economic and security accomplishments in mind, there’s absolutely no way that the US will ever succeed in provoking another Color Revolution in China.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken crossed a red line last week while commenting on the 32nd anniversary of the 4 June 1989 events in Beijing. For all intents and purposes, he sought to provoke another Color Revolution in China through his factually inaccurate description of what happened on that fateful day. The average Western news consumer was likely misled into believing that it was a so-called “bloodbath” of allegedly “peaceful pro-democracy activists” when in reality it was an externally encouraged and highly violent regime change attempt that was thankfully stopped through the authorities’ responsible and timely intervention.
The reasons for why that event happened in the first place are myriad but are largely connected to the manipulative information warfare campaign that foreign forces waged inside of China at the time. The global context was such that the communist countries of the then-Soviet Union’s former Warsaw Pact were experiencing unprecedented unrest of a similar fashion and provoked in a parallel way. Coupled with the activities of foreign agents operating within the People’s Republic under diplomatic and other covers such as humanitarian ones, some citizens were misled into attempting to replicate those scenarios at home.
That was a gross error of judgment on their part as they were, consciously or not, behaving as pawns of a foreign regime change plot aimed at ushering in the West’s complete dominance of International Relations in the last few years of what many now consider in hindsight to have been the Old Cold War (as compared to what quite a few compellingly describe as the ongoing New Cold War). The aftermath of that incident spurred the Communist Party of China (CPC) to prioritize securing the People’s Republic from HybridWar threats, which in turn resulted in the promulgation of decisive policies related to regulating foreign media and organizations.
Concurrent with those security-centric policies was the CPC’s continued focus on comprehensively improving the lives of its citizenry so as to simultaneously build a modern socialist country alongside ensuring that nobody feels neglected and is thus vulnerable to falling under foreign influence. The outcome of these prudent policies is that China achieved historically unprecedented growth and is now the world’s top economy by some metrics. So successful has this forward-looking strategy been that China is now assisting its countless partners across the world in replicating its growth model via its Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) investments.
In recent years, China has also sought to pragmatically counteract foreign cultural influences that have proven themselves to have pernicious consequences for domestic security whenever they uncontrollably spread throughout other societies. The newfound focus on prioritizing China’s unique civilizational attributes and in imbuing its citizenry with associated patriotic sentiments has created a social firewall against these ever-evolving Hybrid War threats without cutting the country off from the rest of the world like some other states have done when attempting to defend themselves from the aforesaid.
With these impressive socio-economic and security accomplishments in mind, there’s absolutely no way that the US will ever succeed in provoking another Color Revolution in China. This isn’t just a boastful statement either but is proven by recent events in the Hong Kong Special Autonomous Region (SAR). America’s attempt to export its cutting-edge Color Revolution technology to that city dramatically failed and represented a major setback for its strategic plans. In fact, one can even say that it was a huge self-inflicted blow to that country’s soft power since the rest of the world now knows that its regime change attempts can be stopped.
The US can no longer wield the Damocles’ sword of Color Revolutions over the heads of sovereign states like it used to since their people are no longer as scared of these scenarios as before after China recently showed that they can be thwarted. With this Hybrid War tool of American policy increasingly becoming irrelevant and the country’s appetite for conventional military interventions declining by the day as it urgently focuses more on resolving its growing number of domestic crises, one can predict that a new era of International Relations might be inevitable whereby the world will soon become much more peaceful than at any time in recent memory.
Growing political and military cooperation between Russia and China poses “new dangers” for NATO, the head of the military alliance said. “Moscow and Beijing are increasingly coordinating their respective positions in decisions taken in multilateral organisations like the UN, and both countries conduct joint military exercises. “China is very active in Africa, in the Western Balkans and the Arctic. It makes massive investments in key infrastructure in Europe. In cyberspace, China is a key player. All this has a huge impact on our security.”
China says its policy toward Myanmar remains unaffected by the country’s domestic situation, bolstering support for a regime that has faced multiple rounds of sanctions from the U.S. and its Western allies following a coup four months ago.
The US Senate approved a sweeping package of legislation intended to boost the country’s ability to compete with Chinese technology and research, in semiconductors and telecommunications equipment, among others. China’s parliament expressed “strong indignation and resolute opposition” to the bill.
The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) is preparing to pass a law to counter sanctions imposed by other countries on China. Beijing wants to give legal status to its countermeasures against the punitive actions taken against China by the United States, the European Union and their allies.
Afghanistan has committed to “deepening cooperation” with China on Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects, during the foreign ministers from Beijing, Kabul, and Islamabad Trilateral Dialogue. The reaffirmation comes against the backdrop of America’s accelerated troop pullout from the region. The US and India have been warning other countries against joining the BRI on account of a range of concerns.
China is hosting foreign ministers from 10 Southeast Asian nations amid heightened competition between Beijing and Washington for influence in the region. Beijing has been building influence with these countries, despite frictions with some of them over rival territorial claims in South China Sea. The U.S. has expressed concerns over China’s growing presence, particularly its impact on security and Beijing’s political influence over fragile democracies.
China’s Promise Of Full Support To Syria Might Be A Geopolitical Game-Changer
4 JUNE 2021
President Xi’s telegrammed promise of full support to Syria after its latest elections could be a geopolitical game-changer if his rhetoric presages a new reality wherein the People’s Republic assists its Arab counterpart with perfecting its tricky balancing act between various powers.
Syria’s Balancing Act
Syria’s been mired in a geopolitical dilemma for quite a few years already whereby it’s been pressured by friendly and hostile powers alike to implement political reforms so as to advance its struggling peace process. This has taken the from of both of the Russian-written “draft constitution” of 2017 which was a much more gentle form of such pressure aimed at encouraging mutual compromises between all legitimate sides of the conflict as well as America’s much more aggressive efforts to force Damascus into unilateral political concessions. Caught between these two rival parties that are in essence pushing for very similar structural outcomes, Syria cleverly deflected by comprehensively strengthening its relations with Iran so as to improve its strategic position and thus buy it more time until a possible breakthrough can occur.
The Iranian vector of Syrian grand strategy isn’t without its challenges though since Russia and the US would both prefer for the Islamic Republic’s military forces to leave the Arab one, albeit for different reasons, despite them being invited to legally operate there by Damascus. Russia envisions a prospectively dignified but phased Iranian withdrawal as providing the impetus for a larger series of diplomatic deals aimed at securing a long-term peace in West Asia whereas the US is always simply against the expansion of Iran’s regional influence in principle. Both Great Powers are also allied with “Israel” to differing extents, which regards the Iranian military presence in neighboring Syria as a serious threat to its national security. Nevertheless, Syria remained loyal to Iran and refused to request its departure despite literally hundreds of “Israeli” bombings over they ears.
The background context is much more complex than described above, but intrepid readers can review the author’s prior analyses on these complicated dynamics if they’re interested in learning more about the particular details and dynamics:
To sum it all up, Syria basically seemed destined to inevitably implement some form of political concessions aimed at decentralization together with requesting Iran’s dignified but phased withdrawal of the country in order to stand any serious chance at removing the US’ unilateral sanctions and thus finally rebuilding.
The Chinese Game-Changer
All the above-mentioned insight was relevant for years but might soon become outdated depending upon whether China’s latest rhetoric presages a new reality. President Xi promised in the telegram that he sent to his Syrian counterpart after the latter’s latest elections that the People’s Republic “will provide all possible assistance…in revitalizing the country’s economy and improving the lives of the population”, among other things such as COVID-19 aid and enhancing bilateral relations. This was always an emerging scenario though one whose likelihood greatly increased over the past half-year as evidenced by the author’s relevant analyses:
In short, the recently clinched 25-year Chinese-Iranian Strategic Partnership enables the People’s Republic to connect with the Islamic one via Pakistan by expanding the Belt & Road Initiative’s flagship project of CPEC westward through the W-CPEC+ vision. This emerging corridor can then expand further westward to Syria. Furthermore, Iran’s deeply entrenched influence and the unquestionable trust that its representatives have with their Syrian counterparts can open up important doors for China there. The end result is that Damascus might not have to implement any compromises if Beijing’s BRI assistance helps reliably rebuild the country.
Up until this point, Russia seemingly took it for granted that China wouldn’t seriously invest in Syria anytime soon owing to the unresolved political-military situation there which could endanger its BRI projects. Nevertheless, the People’s Republic apparently interpreted the latest elections’ successful conclusion as a strong message to the world conveying the fact that everything in the Arab Republic is finally getting back on track enough that China can now consider more comprehensively investing there. Should that transpire as planned, then Russia’s strategic leverage in Syria would comparatively decline as Damascus wouldn’t have any incentive to carry out the compromises that Moscow’s gently encouraged for the past few years, including the one related to requesting Iran’s dignified but phased withdrawal from the country.
Russia’s regional balancing act might therefore become comparatively less balanced if Moscow is no longer able to deliver on the grand diplomatic deals that it envisioned and presumably also at the very least intuited to its new partners like “Israel” and Turkey. In addition, Russia’s previously dominant economic position in Syria might soon be challenged through China’s “friendly competition” there. Syria of course stands to benefit by playing these two Great Powers off against one another in pursuit of the best reconstruction deals possible, but Russia might still be silently displeased at losing some of its strategic leverage over the country. Russia can always indirectly facilitate “Israel’s” bombing campaigns against Iran to reduce the latter’s influence there, but it can’t do anything to counter China’s. This observation suggests that the Kremlin’s Syrian policy might soon change.
From “Monopolization” To “Accommodation”
Russia’s “strategic culture” has a centuries-long tradition of influencing policymakers to “monopolize” the foreign regions in which they operate whereby Moscow becomes the unquestionably dominant power in those places. That started changing after the end of the Old Cold War, especially in areas where Russia used to hold the greatest sway. NATO’s eastward march saw Russia begrudgingly “accommodating” the military bloc in Central & Eastern Europe while BRI’s expansion into Central Asia saw the Eurasian Great Power more enthusiastically do the same there with its top strategic partner. As a result of last year’s KarabakhWar, Russia was compelled to pragmatically “accommodate” Turkey in the South Caucasus, just as it’s seemingly about to do with China in Syria, the crown jewel of Moscow’s Mideast grand strategy, following President Xi’s telegram.
The New Reality
The overarching trend is that Russia is flexibly adapting to the emerging Multipolar World Order, including in the evolving context of WorldWarC, which resulted in it transitioning from its “monopolization” model to its newfound “accommodation” one. In the Syrian case, this will likely see Russia lessening some of the “friendly pressure” that it’s previously put upon Damascus to implement Moscow’s envisioned compromises, including the request for Iran to commence a dignified but phased withdrawal. The Eurasian Great Power might soon realize that Syria could simply replace it with China as the Arab Republic’s preferred strategic partner, understanding that Moscow will militarily remain in the country as previously agreed but won’t be economically rewarded with profitable reconstruction contracts if it doesn’t fully “accommodate” Damascus related interests.
Provided that China carries through on President Xi’s promise and that Iran hasn’t already clinched a secret deal with the US to gradually withdraw from Syria as part of a larger compromise on its nuclear program (which doesn’t seem too likely and would probably become impossible if principalists/conservatives win the upcoming elections later this month), then there’s a very high chance that the geopolitical game has suddenly changed in Syria. Russian-Syrian relations will remain excellent, but their exact nature might somewhat change if Damascus more confidently plays the Chinese card to protect its political and military interests connected with its refusal to implement various compromises as well as request Iran’s dignified but phased withdrawal. The US surely won’t be happy with such a development, but there’s little that it can realistically do to reverse this trend.