China has appeared on the world stage as a “Global Power” with military might and the world’s fastest growing economy. The Chinese leadership has not only curtailed the US’ dirty game to prevent China from becoming world power, but they also proven that China has the potential to repair, through development, the damage dealt by the US striving to maintain hegemony. Russia’s struggle to re-enter onto the world stage as a superpower as it was during the Soviet era has been successful under the leadership of Vladimir Putin. The leaderships of both countries, China and Russia, have realized that the only way to defeat the unipolar world is through constituting the institutions of a new multipolar world by shifting the centers of power. In fact, Sino-Russian strategic partnership is introducing a new world order based on peace and development.
Last year, both leaders celebrated the 70th anniversary of victory in World War II together by inviting multipolar world leaders to Red Square and Tiananmen Square’s military marches of the world’s armies. Nearly the whole world and their armies participated, except the US and Europe. The US and the Western NATO bloc who boycotted the Russian and Chinese celebrations of victory over Nazism and fascism are those very ones dragging the world towards total war, while both Russia and China have joined efforts to make the world safer from this emerging threat of war. The all-embracing partnership between Moscow and Beijing has hinted that both are ready to defend the world from this US-sponsored dirty game. Hence why both of the multipolar world’s super powers are not only constituting a joint security mechanism for multipolar world security, but both are also preparing to team up against the common foe from the Black Sea to the South China Sea.
The multipolar world order led by China and Russia assures global prosperity through peaceful regional integration. Hence why the US and its vassal states are attempting to prevent this multipolarity from becoming global by encircling Russia with NATO and containing China with an Asian-NATO like project. In this emerging scenario, the world is witnessing a new shift in the geopolitical jigsaw. Turkey, a NATO member, is preparing to join China and Russia while India, who is part of the Sino-Russian led BRICS and SCO, is on the way to joining US containment policy against China. Experts previously believed that it would be Pakistan, who was the closest US ally, that would team up with Russia and China.
This essay aims to focus on the Sino-Russian-led mechanism of Asian-Pacific security aimed against the American thrusting of war upon Asia by highlighting the US-led containment policy against these emerging superpowers constructing a multipolar world order to end unipolar hegemony over the world.
Xi’s vision and Chinese preparation for war
Media reports suggest that China has ordered its citizens to prepare for a coming World War 3. This self-protective step was taken by the Chinese high command to protect its sovereignty after the ruling of the so-called International Tribunal of Arbitration on the South China Sea dispute. China has not only rejected the biased ruling of the tribunal on the South China Sea case, but has vowed to take measures for safeguarding its territorial claims and maritime routes. The current leadership of China is committed to turning China’s dream into reality. Thus, President Xi Jinping has offered his vision revealing the ancient Silk Road through modernized Belt Road initiatives aimed at connecting the whole world with land bridges and maritime routes.
Following Xi Jinping’s announcement of the Belt Road initiatives, the USA accelerated “Hybrid War” against China aimed at blocking its trade routes by fueling territorial disputes between China and its neighboring countries. For this purpose, the US is attempting to make its own Asia-Pacific security pact with the current ruling regimes in Japan, South Korea, and Australia, while they are also engaging the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Association of South Asian Nations (SAARC). In South Asia, Washington has succeeded in aligning New Delhi with itself to counter Beijing in South Asia while the Indian point of view on South China Sea remains unclear. India’s current tilt towards the US hints that it will join the US-led Asian NATO-like project against China. Despite being a member of multipolar world institutions, India under Modi’s government has become a bridge for unipolar world hegemony. As the author of an article titled “Russia in SAARC” wrote: “India was also on board with Russia and China as a member of BRICS and SCO but unfortunately, Modi’s current move to bring India into a line of unipolar well-wishers seems dangerous for multipolarity of the globe.”
The current tension between the US and China concerns how Washington expected to use these states against Beijing. In fact, the US is working to form a NATO-like project in Asia against China. But this does not mean that this anti-Chinese initiative will enjoy any success since it will bring destruction and war to the world while, on the other side, China has to offer very attractive development and regional integration aimed at solving all territorial and regional disputes. This is compounded by the fact that Russia has now joined China in Asia in intending to turn the slogan “the Future is Asia” into reality.
Russia as a referee in Asia
Under the leadership of president Putin, Russia has regained the status of a world superpower since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Russian successes in Syria prove that Russia is ready to fight for world peace. In fact, Russia has become the symbol of resistance against the unipolar hegemony because it is the only country pushing back the Cold War mentality of the US from 70 years ago and now, in the upcoming scenario of world war, Russia has become the hope of the multipolar world with the potential to defeat the US/NATO. Therefore, the US is portraying Russia as a large threat to European security and is striving to encircle Russia with NATO forces. Under the command of Uncle Sam, NATO forces have reached near Russia’s borders through fueling the Ukraine issue. Although they also tried to chain the Russian bear through European sanctions, Russia used the opportunity presented by these sanctions to adjust its economy and look forward to Asia as an alternative to Europe.
Now Russia has become the one of the largest trade and strategic partners of Asian countries. In fact, Russian multipolar diplomacy is engaging Asian nations to achieve its dream of the Greater Eurasia project. Recently, during the Russia- ASEAN summit in Sochi, the Southeast Asian Association showed its interest in signing a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) while Russia has also proposed closer economic and strategic ties between the EEU, ASEAN and SCO.
Russian full scale engagement with Asian nations guarantees a “mediator” status for Russia in solving conflict and territorial disputes. As Russia is playing its role to minimize dispute between China and Vietnam, Russia is also acting as a referee between China and India by providing them with the platform of BRICS and SCO to resolve border disputes. Under the umbrella of the SCO, Pakistan and India have the opportunity to resolve conflicts through peaceful integration.
Russian control over the Ring of Fire in the Pacific
After realizing the potential American threat to China over the dispute on the South China Sea, Russia decided to build up its military near Japan’s mainland on the Kuril Islands, which are also known as the Ring of Fire due to their volcanic nature. The Russian Kuril Islands chain in the heart of Pacific has increased Russia’s role in the security of the Pacific. Military buildup and the installation of coastal missile systems has become a game changer. In the meantime, Russia is also planning to create a Pacific fleet based on the Kuril Islands.
In fact, it is Japan’s new militarization which is the main reason behind Russian military builds up on the Kuril Islands, seeing as how Japan’s increasing drive towards militarization comes as part of the US’ ‘Asia Pivot.’ Japan, under the Abe government, has become a US’ ‘vassal state’. Japan’s ruling regime has approved controversial bills allowing the country’s military to engage in overseas combat. In other words, for the first time since World War II, the Japanese Army can take part in overseas missions, i.e. NATO’s war, especially since Japan is considered to be one of the founding member of the Asian NATO-like project at the behest of USA to counter China.
Although Japan has claimed some of these islands, according to international treaties these islands belong to Russia. This dispute is the main hurdle in the way of a peace treaty between Russia and Japan since World War II and in the currently unfolding f World War III scenario. Russian military installations on these Pacific islands has become favorable for China as an ally of Russia and this strategic act seems to play a balancing role in the Asia-Pacific region.
Multipolar Asian Pacific Security
China and Russia are working to construct a multipolar world security framework and new mechanisms for international relations featuring win-win cooperation by defeating the “law of the jungle” which was imposed by the US/NATO on the world.
Last year in August, the Russian foreign minister wrote an article regarding the formation of a new multipolar (polycentric) world which was published in Russian and Chinese media with the title “Attempts to falsify history of WWII undermine foundations of modern world order.” In this article, Foreign Minister Lavrov said that “Russia and China adhere to equal or close approaches on key modern problems, consistently stand for forming a new polycentric world order with reliance on international law, respect to self-identity of different peoples , their right to choose independently the way of development,” Hence why Chinese President Xi Jinping, during his address to 70the session of UN General Assembly, issued a loud warning in saying that the “law of the jungle” should not be the way for countries to conduct relations – warmongering will backfire. Now the international community is observing how Russia and China are repairing global relations by creating new multipolar institutions aimed at developing a better, more secure future.
Put simply, Russia and China have created a new window of opportunities for the world by zipping together their respective dreams of “Grand Eurasia” and “Modernization of the Ancient Silk Road.” Therefore, they are shaping the future of the new world through extending and strengthening multipolar world institutions i.e. BRICS, SCO and AIIB as alternates to unipolar institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, NATO and ADB. In fact the US’ global Hybrid War strategy against China’s Silk Road and Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union has brought Russia and China closer together in establishing an alternative security system resisting the US/NATO-led Cold War mentality. Both Moscow and Beijing have promised to cover each other’s backs from the Black Sea to the South China Sea by framing joint security mechanisms.
The Alliance vs. NATO and the Asian NATO project
Russia’s successes in repelling NATO-sponsored conflicts in Ukraine and Syria has attracted China to accrete the Sino-Russian-led New Global Security Model. China has not only rejected NATO’s expansion in the Balkans but has also called upon the international community to reject the Cold War mentality of NATO, just as China reacted to Montenegro’s possible accession to NATO in December of last year. China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman said at that time during a press briefing: “We believe that NATO is a product of the Cold War <…> We are convinced that the international community must move away from the Cold War mentality.”
Sino-Russian cooperation in the field of defense indicates that both are formulating mechanisms for global security. With backing from Russia, China has drawn a red line in front of US and Japanese establishment of a NATO-like project for Asia. Russia is not only utilizing its influence in Asia to solve territorial disputes between China and Asian nations, but has also taken counter balance measures in favor of China, for example, when Russia demonstrated its concerns over the installation of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD system on South Korean soil which China declared to be an act of war against it. Although the US argued that American system was needed to counter a North Korean missile attack, China and Russia both considered this move an open threat to the security of the Asian-Pacific region.
71 years since it defeated Nazism in World War II, Russia has now Russia moved towards Asia to help China against Japan’s fascism, a scenario which is repeating itself across the world due to the American-inculcated Cold War mentality. Both Russia and China are forging a collective defense shield for the multipolar world, extending the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (RATS SCO) to secure the Silk Road and Grand Eurasia, in response to the US’ dirty game of pushing the world towards total war.
In fact, SCO is considered to be the safeguard of both China’s Silk Road and Russia’s great Eurasia project. It has been observed that one of the main purposes of the SCO was serving as a counterbalance to NATO and in particular to constitute a multipolar mechanism for repelling the US-led conflicts in areas bordering Russia and China. As one writer mentioned in an article, Russia fought a war with ISIS in Syria on behalf of SCO because ISIS was a potential threat to the organization’s home region. Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asian states were on the target list of ISIS. In ISIS literature, these territories, including China’s Xinjiang, are considered “KHURASAN”, a branch of the Islamic State. It was the unipolar forces that created ISIS in the Middle East by taking advantages of the US intervention. The hidden purpose of this new form of militancy was containing China’s grand strategy of establishing the Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road, (One Belt, One Road) across Eurasia.
Now, as Russia is defeating terrorism in Syria, China has joined Russia to rebuild Syria. Both countries are now going to team up to secure Silk Road branches in the Middle East through supporting secular Arab nationalism discouraging sectarianism. With the SCO, they are going to engage Syria, Turkey, Iran, Egypt and Israel, as all these nations have applied to join Shanghai group. Moreover, all South Asian nations are the part of SCO, while Pakistan and India can acquire full member status in 2017. Beside this, Russia and China are working to interlink the SCO with ASEAN and desire to enlarge the organization’s anti-terrorist structure to contain member and observer states, a move aimed, once again, at countering US-led containment policy.
Here it is necessary to mention that the SCO is ready to take on any responsibility to secure the world according to the UN charter. Joint military exercises and its peacekeeping missions indicate that the SCO has now become an alternative bloc for global security while Russia is also interested in linking the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the powerful military alliance in Central Asia, with the SCO.
Tayyab Baloch is a Pakistan based journalist and regional security expert. He keenly observes developments regarding world affairs, especially China’s Belt Road initiatives, US-Russia relations, Eurasian integration, and BRICS/SCO.
Originally published in Katehon.