China Out On a Limb
China has a limited amount of time in which to assert its dominance over Asia. It must begin with East Asia, since that is its pathway to the blue Pacific and a larger projection of naval power over East, Southeast, and South Asia. But the International Court in the Hague has thrown a monkey wrench into China’s neo-imperial plans.
Today… the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague determined in a case brought by the Philippines that there is “no evidence” under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of any historical justification for Chinese dominion over the South China Sea.
[A] big part of China’s self-image is that it’s not an aggressive nation. And while some peoples on China’s territorial fringes, such as the Tibetans and the Uighurs, might beg to differ, it’s generally true that China has [in the past] been far less interested in conquest and colonization than just about any other major power.
… An international court has determined that there is no legitimate way for China to lay claim to most of the South China Sea. Chinese officials have been asserting the legitimacy of that claim domestically for so long and with such conviction that there’s really no way they can back down. __ Bloomberg
China Sea Militant Aggressiveness Echoed by Russia in Eastern Europe
Putin’s Kremlin is eager to assert Russian power in Eastern Europe, in an echo of the infamous Soviet expansion westward before, during, and after WWII. Rapid demographic decline in Russia is forcing the Kremlin’s hand, despite many unfavourable omens hanging over Russia Today.
[A] a quarter of a century after the end of Soviet totalitarianism, we Russians still face the problem of Russia.
Yes, many of the other former Soviet republics are hardly utopias—but they are also not angry expansionist powers with nuclear weapons and nervous neighbors. The Baltic states are by now fairly well integrated into Europe and the world economy. So is virtually all of Eastern Europe, which once was under Soviet sway. Most of these countries have made a transition to some form of democratic rule. Not coincidentally, most of them had a memory of such institutions to build on, as well as a thick and never-quite-eradicated weave of private, religious, and social groups—“civil society,” to use political-science jargon.
Russia lacks that memory, and civil society was largely supplanted by grim state-controlled substitutes over a period of seven decades. __ Russia’s Problem with Russia
This simultaneous, mirror-image militant imperialism by China and Russia is reminiscent of many parallels between Communist China and the Soviets, and between the rise of modern military technology in Russia, and China.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia was in need of money and held a fire sale of its state of the art Sukhoi Su-27 fighter. China bought two dozen of the fighters but later negotiated for a license to assemble additional planes domestically using key components imported from Russia. Within a few years China claimed that the fighter no longer met their needs and canceled the contract. To the fury of the Russians, the Chinese soon debuted the indigenously built and equipped Shenyang J-11B fighter that looks identical to the Su-27.
Russia continued to use Chinese money from arms sales to develop new technology, which China then stole. After several deals in which the Chinese quickly reversed engineered Russian weapons to produce their own versions, Russia finally wised up and began to reject Chinese requests to purchase single examples of their most advanced systems on a “trial” basis.
China has a well-deserved reputation for technology theft in general. Many western corporations that built factories in China to take advantage of a cheap but capable labour force, later discovered that their Chinese “partners” had been ripping them off at every turn. That is one of the many reasons why foreign investment and legitimate technology transfer to China has been in decline.
A similar collapse of foreign investment has taken place inside Russia, although for largely different reasons.
It makes for an interesting chain of technology theft: the Soviet Union stole from the west, China steals from Russia and the west, etc. Who will next steal from China?
More on China’s technology theft from Russia and ongoing ramifications:
China has a large inventory of SU-30MKKs, but it’s less than they contracted to produce. They’re also pressing ahead with their own J-11B, which substitutes Chinese electronics, radars, and engines in an SU-27 family airframe. Russia is very upset by this theft of its intellectual property __ Russia’s China Problem
Russia is So Dependent and Indebted to China that the Kremlin’s Options are Limited
China may be in serious economic trouble, but Russia is growing increasingly desperate. The Putin government is selling precious shares in energy companies and diamond mines to Chinese investors, and is turning a blind eye to stealth Chinese annexation of the Russian Far East. Putin can do nothing but paste on the ghoulish grimace he uses in place of a smile. Russia is on life support, and China controls the oxygen and power supplies.
Both Nations are Vulnerable to Disintegration; But Russia Will Go First
… when the Putin regime disappears, as inevitably it must, its ideology may simply crumble, creating an opening for … pragmatic politics of good people and good governance.
__ Vanity Fair
Contrary to Kremlin propaganda, the US has bent over backward to avoid direct confrontation with Russia. Russia’s coming disintegration will be a case of suicide by Putin.
Despite Russia’s deep paranoia that America is trying to break it up, such a scenario is one of the West’s worst nightmares. It opens the question of control over Russia’s nuclear arms. Although the command centre would remain in Moscow, securing missiles spread across Russian territory could be harder than it was after the collapse of the Soviet Union. At the time, the Russians and Americans worked successfully together to move the nuclear arsenal from Ukraine and Kazakhstan to Russia. Ukraine was given a piece of paper—called the Budapest memorandum and signed by Russia, America and Britain—which guaranteed its territorial integrity in exchange for giving up its nuclear arms. Now, Russia’s annexation of Crimea has made any such assurance worthless. __
Many persons who are deeply familiar with the inner workings of all parts of Russia have begun to predict a collapse of Russia similar to what happened to the Soviet Union in 1991 — except much worse, and far more permanent.
… over five to ten years, the regime could certainly collapse, and if that happened, Kasparov said, one “quite probably scenario” would involve its collapse being followed by the disintegration of Russia, something that would entail far more dangers than did the falling apart of the USSR. __ http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2015/03/putins-collapse-could-spark-russias.html
Russia Will Disintegrate — Vladimir Bukovsky
Former GRU officer Viktor Suvorov predicts that it will take Russia about 10 years to disintegrate.
More on the disintegration of Russia at Stratfor’s 10 year forecast, 2015-2025
Even before Putin “jumped the shark” over 2 years ago, Russia was in rapid decline on several fronts. Putin has merely greased the skids.
All indications show that the Russian Far East is fast becoming (if it has not already become) economically dependent on China. Its future is in the hands of the local Chinese, not Russian local authorities. The Chinese cultivate the land, which the Russians are not motivated to do on their own. Local authorities and businessmen don’t complain about dwindling Russian manpower beyond the Amur River as they can easily replace native workers with Chinese who are willing to work 12 hours a day or more.
These short-term economic benefits for individual Russians are accompanied by tangible social trends. In the late 1990s, Russians found it unthinkable to marry Chinese, but today, Russian women hardly hesitate to take Chinese husbands, who are perceived as harder workers and softer drinkers than Russians.
… Russia may soon become a raw material appendage to China should the present trend continue. ___
Analysis of China’s Future in Siberia
And so the Great Game plays on, with China exerting ever greater control over the Russian backyard of Central Asia, and moving ever closer to a de facto annexation of the Russian Far East. At the same time, China is becoming more closely tied economically with nations to Russia’s west including Ukraine, Poland, the Baltics, Finland, and more.
Russia is experiencing encirclement by China at the same time as it is growing critically dependent upon the dragon for its financial, technological, military, and international political assistance.
Another fine mess you’ve gotten Russia into, Mr. Putin!
China Seas do not belong to China any more than the Indian Ocean belongs to India. Any escalating insistence of ownership by China is likely to lead to escalating war. This is how world wars begin.
http://strategypage.com/qnd/russia/articles/20160714.aspx — Still the same old Russia