Chinese industrial colonies have been moving wholesale into Africa, Latin America, and Central Asia for several years now. This time, it is Russia’s turn to be overrun by China’s debt-propelled never-ending industrial bubble.
Moscow is going ahead with a program that Moscow analyst Leonid Radzikhovsky says is “the hybrid surrender of the Far East to the Chinese” (ng.ru/blogs/leorad/o-gibridnoy-sdache-dalnego-vostoka-kitaytsam.php).
China proposed relocating enterprises in 12 key sectors of economy, including metallurgy, power engineering, machinery, shipbuilding, chemical industry, textile industry, cement industry, telecommunications and agriculture.
What does it mean when large numbers of Chinese enterprises across a wide range of key sectors begin to move factories and workers into relatively unpopulated parts of East Russia?
… the economy of that Russian region is so small that any introduction of outside players will have a disproportionate set of consequences. And on the other, “where there are enterprises, there will be infrastructure, and where there is a labor force … Chinese workers in large numbers will become simply INEVITABLE.”
The result, he suggests, will follow the formula: “economics plus demography equals a province of the Chinese Peoples Republic, with ethnic Russian enclaves.” The flag, shield and hymn will remain Russian, but these will be the symbols of “rollback” rather than of the defense of national territory and national interest.
Chinese business has an additional advantage in this situation, the Moscow commentator says. Its Russian competitors are opposed by the Russian state, but the Russian state in deference to the Chinese state gives Chinese businesses advantages that Russian businesses can only dream of. Consequently, this “hybrid” surrender will be faster than many imagine.
“And so,” Radzikhovsky says, “Chinese DOMINANCE in the economy of the Far East is GUARANTEED” by the economic and demographic advantages of China in the region and “by the POLICY of the Russian state” toward China and its economic and political interests. Clearly, he says, the Kremlin “’needs China. It doesn’t need the [Russian] Far East.” __ Making Russia a Vassal to China
Joint Russia : Chinese projects are being formed and more proposed. But who will be blamed when the bridges, tunnels, and buildings collapse?
Asia’s other great game:
Relations between Russia and China, even over economic ties that should benefit both, will be tense at the best of times. If China’s economy weakens, Beijing may seek more access to Siberia than Moscow is willing to give.
Alternately, a repulse of Putin’s designs in Ukraine could push him to show strength somewhere else, perhaps in Russia’s far eastern borderlands, where public opinion already fears China.
In either case, uncertainty over the future could morph into instability, fueled by historical distrust. Asia’s other Great Game is far from over. __ http://www.thecommentator.com/article/6022/russia_and_china_fuel_asia_s_other_great_game
Western media sources studiously ignore the enormous byplay taking place between Russia and China in the Far East. They have no narrative into which such realities would fit cleanly. But the Russians and the Chinese have a long and antagonistic history, and both sides are watching these developments very carefully.
… the Kremlin “’needs China. It doesn’t need the [Russian] Far East.”
Russians can thus [say] “adieu” to that region which is being surrendered in a “hybrid” fashion to China with “rollback and taxes” leading directly to “the Chinese colonization of the Far East,” a colonization that works as do Moscow’s other hybrid operations for the Kremlin but not for the Russian people. __ http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2016/04/moscow-pursuinghybrid-surrender-of-far.html
Putin cares about Putin, and maintaining his own power and grandiose wealth. China is a means to that end, and the Russians living in the far east are mere pawns in the game to promote Putin.
China Does Not Need to Invade or Attack
This is a stealth colonisation by an overly populous China, of a distant part of Russia’s empire that is being rapidly depopulated of its ethnic Russians. Putin has made his choice to focus on the empire’s western frontier, and hope that by the time the world understands his surrender in the east, that he himself will be long dead.
By moving large numbers of workers, factories, and other business enterprises into a relatively depopulated Far East, China sets the stage for quasi-colonisation of entire regions that are nominally claimed — but no longer controlled — by a neighboring nation.
Is Russia Becoming the Vassal of an Unstable Foreign Government?
… China has established itself on a shaky foundation, placing more emphasis on the appearance of its economy than on its economy’s foundational strength. For long, the Chinese have been able to fool actors in the global economy into believing that their economy is completely shock resistant and risk averse. However, the crash in the Chinese stock market was a rude awakening to government officials as well as investors, who now realise that further investment in the country could be risky.
Expansion of Chinese enterprises into the “Russian” Far East is likely to be a trigger for more massive borrowing and credit expansion. China’s debt is growing faster than its economy, and if not for the building of ghost infrastructure, China’s GDP would be shrinking. Extending the ghost economy to as many other nations and regions as possible may be the only option that China’s communist party leadership can envision.
… Chinese debt levels … have grown to $28 trillion over the last nine years from a relatively benign US$7 trillion. As a percentage of GDP, those numbers are far higher than debt levels in the United States.
… Chinese growth fell to 6.9 percent in 2015 and is expected to drop further to 6.3 percent this calendar year. These are small numbers for a developing country, more so in China where more than 200 million people still live below the poverty line when judged by international standards. __ Uneasy in China
The ballooning of China’s ghost economy to include Africa, Latin America, Central Asia, and now Russia, is in line with other grand bubble infrastructure announcemnts from Beijing — including the announcement of grand phantom projects such as a trans-global high speed rail project and a trans-global high-voltage power grid project. These are all desperate attempts to inject large amounts of global capital into the never-ending expansion of China’s corrupt state-owned enterprises.
It is not surprising that Putin would allow his beleaguered and depopulating nation to fall under the China debt mountain just before the great landslide. All for a lousy fistful of roubles and a few more minutes of tyranny.
25 years to obsolescence for Russia and China? If they’re lucky.
China and Russia are both powerful nation-states whose power and influence is proportional to the amount of national pride each population feels about its country. But they are also very different, separated geographically by formidable distance and barriers, and with different strategic priorities. Though recent international developments have brought Sino-Russian relations to a relatively high point, there are still plenty of stumbling blocks to the further advancement of those relations and geopolitical constraints stifling a super alliance that could theoretically challenge U.S. power. Perhaps the single element that the two countries have most in common is that both face very serious internal issues – foundational challenges that we forecast will lead to their obsolescence as regional powers over the next 25 years. Neither can help the other avoid those forces. Misery in this case cannot abide company.
China might not have much interest in territorial expansion into the sparsely populated Far East and Siberia, but it could (and already does) colonise these regions economically. Vladivostok and Khabarovsk, two of the largest cities in the Far East, are more economically integrated with China and South Korea than they are with the European part of Russia.
Drug abuse balloons in Russia and China. Rising rates of HIV, TB, Hep C, etc. make demographic situations even worse, and makes recovery from the Putin recession so much harder.