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The Russia-China strategic partnership is a sham
Hey everybody, Peter Zeihan here coming to you from Lake Te Anau in southern New Zealand. The news that happened over the last few days is pretty straightforward. Vladimir Putin of Russia entertained President, or Chairman, Xi Jinping of China and they had one of their big hoity-toity summits where they pledged their unending support for each other. The reality, of course, is nothing of the sort. Putin used the magic phrase “Strategic Partnership,” which for the uninitiated sounds really important and like an alliance, but … this is the phraseology that the Russians have been using for centuries, when they want to say that they want a partnership with a country that they don’t trust, and they expect the other country to pay for everything. And they expect to stab that other country in the back at the earliest opportunity.
So Putin has had multiple strategic partnerships with the United States, with France, with Germany … the Soviets did one with the United States back in the day, and it even dates back to the Czars’ time. So that’s the magic phrase that you know that they really, really, really truly despise each other, and that this is only an alliance of convenience. It has to do with getting out from under some of the sanctions that have to do with Ukraine War. So let’s put that in the box.
The more important thing is, within hours of leaving Russia, Jinping of China invited the leaders of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to a summit with just him — not the Russians. Now the Russians and the Chinese have this security organization called the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. It’s kind of build as a central Asian NATO. It’s really more of a talk shop. But that is a place where Russian and Chinese interests are kind of counterbalanced. But this is something completely different.
This is the Chinese making a naked power play for control of Russia’s backyard. Now, for those of you who have been following me for a bit, you know that my rationale for why the Russians are doing this has always been that they’re trying to plug certain geographic access points to their lands, places like Poland and Romania, where other greater powers on the other side of those gaps have historically invaded Russia through. And their position is, if they can forward position military forces in those access points, then they’ll be able to preemptively prevent invasions. This sort of thinking has driven Russian security decisionmaking for centuries. It’s not limited to that Western periphery. There are other access points that the Russians are really paranoid about.
Two of them are in the caucusus that go down to Turkish … and Persian territory. And one of them is the Altai Gap that leads straight to China. So when the Russians see the Chinese making this sort of naked power play to get on the other side of that gap and position themselves politically, economically, maybe militarily, with countries that are on the wrong side of that line while the Russians are occupied in Ukraine, the Russian mind immediately falls into kind of this revanchist position, where they realize that they are now under assault from all possible angles.
And this is like the worst case scenario for the Russians. and there’s not a damn thing they can do about it, because they have completely committed their entire conventional forces to the western periphery in the war with Ukraine. The gaps that Ukraine encroaches — Poland and Romania — those are by far the two most important. Those are the ones where the most of the invasions have come from. But now that the Chinese are actually nibbling on the eastern periphery, we know that this relationship is now in its dying years because the Russians know the Chinese absolutely cannot be trusted. And I can’t say for the rest of it, that’s really a realization. Anyway, I’ll be keeping an eye on this from the other side of the planet. I’ll let you know more when I know more.
Not all allies benefit from a US-Australia minerals deal
with the US About 53 percent of raw lithium is mined in Australia, and almost all of that is sold to China, where it eventually becomes lithium-ore batteries used in our phones, computers and electric vehicles. But now, the U.S. has reached an agreement with Australia that will help build up a parallel supply chain,
Control of Ukrainian canal is key to safety at nuclear power plant
After invading Ukraine in 2022, Russia quickly blew up a Ukrainian-constructed dam that blocked the water supply to the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula. The canal is of vital strategic importance to Moscow as it provides drinking water and contributes to irrigation systems in the area. Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan argues that Ukraine has its
Ethnic Russian groups pose new threat to Putin in Ukraine War
A raid across the Ukraine-Russia border by a group consisting of anti-Putin Russians and Ukrainian citizens is raising new questions about Moscow’s defense strategy. The border raid in the city of Belgorod in southwestern Russia comes just a few weeks after drones attacked the Kremlin. Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan says the involvement of
Here are the hard facts about de-dollarization
Is the U.S. at risk of losing its global currency status? Given the Russian sanctions, tension with China, and most pressing, a looming deadline to raise the debt ceiling, the question is particularly relevant these days. Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan outlines the key characteristics that define a global currency, and argues most other
Is Saudi Arabia ditching the US dollar for the Chinese yuan?
For decades, the U.S. dollar has been the primary medium of exchange for international trade, but recent developments are impacting the dollar’s global dominance. China has been making efforts to replace the U.S. currency with its own, the yuan. Now Saudi Arabia is helping accelerate those efforts by agreeing to sell its oil to China
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The opinions published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.
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