What do you make of the Russia and China Partnership?
by Mr. Allen for the Saker blog
Over the last few years, we hear leaders from both Russia and China pronouncing that they have formed a relationship where there are “no limits.” But even as they state that, many seem question their sincerity. For example, one of our favorite commentators wrote:
After all, even when the U.S. openly talks about subduing Russia only to go on to defeating China, why are Chinese leaders still so careful about staying “neutral” in the Russia-Ukraine – Russia-NATO-byProxy-US – war? Why doesn’t China embrace Russia more when the European nations are openly threatening to interfere in Taiwan should any conflict occur in that region? Why does China still want to hold out its hand to befriend Europe and U.S. both formally and openly treat China as an enemy?
Why must China abstain in that recent (non-binding) UN vote condemning Russia’s military operations in Ukraine? Why does China want to stay neutral in Ukraine when Ukraine has done so much to harm Chinese interests there, such as the nationalization of Motor Sich despite years of Chinese partnership and investments? When China sees how the West has back-stabbed Russia over the last two decades despite Putin et al.’s full efforts to befriend them, what does China think it can gain from befriending the West today?
Also as one of our favorite commentators Larchmonter445 recently noted:
The China-Russia relationship is elevated to ‘coordination’ of their strategic cooperation. It seems to be uncoordinated in the diplomatic sphere of late. China desperate to save the EU market and the logistical plans it had for BRI to use Ukraine’s geological positions and attributes.
Yet … I don’t think the leaders of Russia and China are lying when they pronounce that their partnership is stronger than traditional military alliances. One key point of the Russia-China relationship, as globaltimes article put it, is there should be “no limits to China-Russia cooperation, no limit to our pursuit of peace and maintaining security, and no limit to our opposition to hegemony.” Another key point in the Russia-China relationship is that neither side intends on pursuing a military alliance between them. These two key characteristics might cause some in the blog-sphere disappointment, but I think the leaders of the countries are much more prescient than meet the common eye.
In my view, the “no limit” and “no alliance” characteristics of Russia-China relationship shows the incredible strength – not weakness – of Russia-China relationship. The two characteristics make clear why the Russia-China relationship is so special – and potentially so powerful.
The two nations have pledged to create a new multipolar world. But they do not plan on conquering hegemony by becoming a new hegemon. They plan on dissolving it by offering an alternative that is so much more just and fair and that offers so much more opportunity for everyone to thrive than available through the current order.
Instead wrestling the hegemon, China and Russia aim to show the world another framework of development – opening new windows of possibilities based not on predatory practices and hegemonic suppression, but on mutual cooperation and mutual respect of differences. If they are successful, the rest of the world will walk away from the current world order. Even forces within the West will want to join. The current hegemonic world order run by the Deep State in the West will collapse, liberating peoples around the world, including those in the West.
Now from a purely a theoretical point of view, at least from the Chinese perspective, hegemony is not necessarily bad. Afterall, an all-powerful emperor – with the Mandate of Heaven – can be good. Rome in its glory days created a peace that enabled an era of prosperity for people throughout large parts of Europe and Middle East. In more recent history, when Russia and U.S. liberated Europe and Asian from Fascism and Militarism, they brought good to the world precisely because they were all-powerful (relatively to rest of the world) – hegemons – that said “no” to certain ideas.
But often bad will arise out of good … and eventually good will arise from the bad.
The key thing to see is that Russia and China must be cognizant that for many in the world, multi-polarity is not necessarily good or bad per se. For many countries, being in the good Graces of the hegemon can bring enormous benefits, too (think India?). What unites Russia and China to fight the current world hegemony must be the depravity, the corruption, the downright immorality of the current hegemony – not simply that multi polarity is per se good.
But how do you fight hegemony without being a hegemon yourself?
Here is a vision. We are at the end of the era for hegemony. We have had a few hundred years of Western hegemony, and while it has brought many good things, it has brought also trails of tears for many. So many peoples, civilizations, histories, and narratives have been subdued. It is time enough for a vast expense of humanity to revive and reawaken, for peoples and cultures to rediscover and regrow their traditions and histories … to build a new, more vibrant and prosperous world.
Whatever progress hegemony has brought to the world, enough is enough. It is time for a change. In the cycle of history, good has followed bad, and bad has followed good. It is time for the dawn of multipolarity yet again.
We are not at the end of history; we have not even seen the epitome of history. As Ghandi once allegedly observed after being asked what he thought of Western civilization: “I think it would be a good idea!”
Allow me a little digression. Many of the basic tenants of Western civilization are a façade. Free market and open economy? Yes … but only as a tool to pillage. When a relative economic peer arise – i.e. China – ideals of free market, free trade, and open economies go out the window.
Rule of law? Only when they are the rule makers and ultimate arbiters of law. But when near peers such as Russia and China arise who can also potentially become rule makers and arbiters of law, they have to be denigrated. There can only be one global judge, one enforcer.
Freedom of speech? Only when they are already safe and have control over the tools and channels of discourse. But when they are not safe or have not control … they trash the paper of speech at the first instance. Ok to incite crowds to march on government buildings in Hong Kong … but not in Washington?
Even democracy, enshrined in the charter of the UN, is not an absolute good, in the Chinese view. Sure democracy can be good when a polity works for the common good of the people. But democracy – as in “votocracy” – can also mean lawlessness, mob rule, special interests power grab, and government capture. Democracy can check on governance, but it can also be a façade for criminal leaders to evade their ultimate responsibility.
My long digression here is to point out that there is no absolute good and bad in hegemony vs multipolarity (or democracy) in general. So when Russia and China want to challenge the West over the decrepit current world order, they must be careful. They must make an example of how to be responsible partners working with each other in a new world order. They must become anchors in a new world order – not hegemons-in-cohort. The two responsible stakeholders must mutually understand each respective interests and demonstrate they can work with each other in a positive, mutually reinforcing, “win-win” fashion, despite inevitable differences.
This is why China will never ask Russia to ditch India or Vietnam vis-à-vis China. China understands Russia has its interests that China will respect. However, China can and will ask Russia to be cognizant of China’s interests too and not to be blindly against China. If big boys China and Russia can work together, others can join and feel safe and be respected.
Europe for now is kicking Russia out of the European family. This is unfortunate and is historically irrational. However, Russia should seize this opportunity to become a true distinct pole independent of Europe. Whenever I hear that Russia wants a united Europe spanning from Vladivostok to Paris (or whatever), I cringe. [side: A united Europe from Vladivostok to Paris is an unmasked form of imperialism from the perspective of Asians.] I hope one day Russia will proudly facilitate a united Eurasia from Vladivostok to London (or whatever). I hope Russia will grow out of the yoke of Europe.
Hard as it may be for Russians to want to work with other Europeans today, I know Russians are still prepared to work with his Ukrainian brothers, so working with Europeans again should not be too hard to imagine…
For now, let China be the ones to seek better relations with Europe even with the Ukraine war in full force. The beauty of multipolarity is that if done right, things will crystallize together into a masterpiece at an opportune time. The world has many currents and rivers of history and peoples. It has been suppressed for far too long. When the rest are allowed to reawaken, a new world order can arise, in a way that is harmonious and stable. If people working together can result in 1+1 being more than 2, think what billions are allowed to work in harmony.
Russia and China must treasure their friendship – as that is the key now to this imagined new world order. A new bright future awaits the world if they can work together – without limits – without having to form a new hegemony (military alliance).
Here is to a new world order. Even for those who have a stake in the current world order and stumbled to this site, understand that it cannot go on. You cannot go on stepping on Russia’s security red lines or trying to suppress China’s technological developments. What of your core interests has Russia or China violated?
I have been a long-time reader of this blog. It is sad that it will have to be shut down – at least for now. I (maybe others, too) will seek to work with the Saker next month to see if there are other incarnations we can do to keep this community alive. I believe that in this darkest of moments, it is important to keep such a community alive. But even if we don’t succeed, I urge everyone to stay strong to their deepest held ideals and beliefs. This is how the best of humanity has always been forged. In that spirit, I will share here two of my recent compositions with everyone – as I too have a musical heart. Disklavier 4, no. 23. Disklavier 5, no. 1 (these are all raw – i.e. no polished for publishing, etc.).
Best wishes … and shall we meet again!
February 28, 2023
即使美国已经公开谈论征服俄罗斯只是为了打败中国，而中国领导人为什么仍然如此小心地在俄罗斯-乌克兰–俄罗斯-北约-俄罗斯-美国战争中保持”中立”？ 当欧洲国家公开威胁，如台湾发生冲突时，它们将干涉台湾，而中国为什么不更多地拥抱俄罗斯呢？ 为什么中国还想伸出手与正式和公开地把中国当作敌人的欧美友好？
为什么中国还在最近的（不具约束力的）联合国谴责俄罗斯在乌克兰的军事行动的投票中投弃权票？ 为什么乌当局在乌克兰做了如此多的事情来损害中国的利益，例如尽管中国多年的合作和投资，但乌当局还是将马达西奇国有化，而中国还是想在乌克兰保持中立？ 当中国看到尽管普京等人尽全力与西方交好，西方还是在过去二十年中在俄罗斯背后捅刀子，中国认为今天与西方交好能有什么好处？
然而……我不认为俄罗斯和中国的领导人在宣布他们的伙伴关系比传统的军事联盟更强大的时候是在说谎。 俄中关系的一个关键点，正如《环球时报》的文章所说的，应该有”中俄合作不设限，我们追求和平与维护安全不设限，我们反对霸权不设限。”俄中关系的另一个关键点是，双方都不打算追求他们之间的军事联盟。 这两个关键特征可能会在这个博客里引起一些失望，但我认为各国领导人比满足共同的眼光更有先见之明。
两国已承诺建立一个新的多极世界。 但他们都不打算为了征服霸权而成为新的霸主。 他们计划通过提供一种更加公正和公平的替代方案来解决这个问题，并为每个人提供比当前订单上的更多的繁荣机会。
中俄不想与霸权展开搏斗。中国和俄罗斯的目标是向世界展示另一个发展框架-打开新的可能性的窗口。这个框架不是基于掠夺性的做法和霸权镇压，而是基于相互合作和相互尊重之间的差异。 如果他们成功，世界其他国家将摆脱当前的世界秩序。 即使是西方内部的势力也会想要加入。 目前由西方“深层国家”Deep State 管理的霸权世界秩序将崩溃，世界各地的人民，包括西方的人民，将得到解放。
现在从纯粹的理论角度来看，至少从中国的角度来看，霸权并不一定是坏的。 毕竟，一个有天堂的授权的全能皇帝可以是好的。 罗马在其辉煌的日子里创造了和平，使欧洲和中东大部分地区的人民能够实现繁荣的时代。 在更近的历史中，当俄罗斯和美国将欧洲和亚洲从法西斯主义和军国主义中解放出来时，他们给世界带来了好处，正是因为他们是全能的（相对于世界当时的其他国家），有霸权的，可以拒绝某些主意。
这是一个愿景。 我们正处于霸权时代的末期。 我们有几百年的西方霸权，虽然它带来了许多美好的东西，但它也为许多人带来了眼泪。 许多民族、文明、历史和故事都被征服了。 现在对人类付出的巨大代价是说够了的时候了，人类需要复兴和苏醒，各国人民和文化需要被重新发现，他们的传统和历史需要重建……建设一个新的、更有活力和繁荣的世界。
霸权给世界带来了的任何进步都足够了。 是时候改变了。 在历史的循环中，好接着坏，坏又接着好。 现在是多极化黎明的时候了。
请允许我说点题外话。 西方文明的许多基本原则都是虚有其表。 自由市场和开放经济？ 是的，但只是作为掠夺的工具。 当一个相对的经济同行出现时–即中国–自由市场、自由贸易和开放经济的理想就会消失。
法治？ 只有当他们是法律的规则制定者和最终仲裁者时。 但是，当像俄罗斯和中国这样的近邻也有可能成为法律的规则制定者和仲裁者时，他们就不得不被诋毁。 只有一个全球法官，和一个执法者。
言论自由？ 只有当他们已经安全并控制了话语的工具和渠道时。 但当他们不安全或无法控制时……他们会一开始就把演讲稿扔掉。 他们可以煽动群众在香港的政府大楼游行……但不能在华盛顿的政府大楼里。
在中国人看来，即使是庄严载入《联合国宪章》的民主也不是绝对的好处。 当一个政体为人民的共同利益服务时，民主肯定是好的。 但像选民作主”votocracy”似的民主，也意味着无法无天，暴徒统治，特殊利益权力攫取和政府夺取。 民主可以制约治理，但也可以成为犯罪领袖逃避最终责任的幌子。
我在这里的长篇题外话是为了指出，霸权与多极化（或民主）在一般情况下没有绝对的好与坏。 因此，当俄罗斯和中国想要在当前破旧的世界秩序上挑战西方时，他们必须小心谨慎。 它们必须以身作则，说明如何成为负责任的伙伴，在新的世界秩序中相互合作。 他们必须成为新世界秩序的锚，而不是队列中的霸权者。 两个负责任的利益相关者必须相互理解各自的利益，并表明他们可以以积极的，相辅相成的，”双赢”的方式相互合作，尽管有不可避免的分歧。
这就是为什么中国永远不会要求俄罗斯抛弃印度或越南对中国的原因。 中国明白俄罗斯有需要中国尊重的利益。 但是，中国可以而且将要求俄罗斯也认识到中国的利益，不要盲目地反对中国。 如果大男孩中国和俄罗斯可以一起工作，其他人就可以加入并感到安全和受到尊重。
欧洲目前正在将俄罗斯赶出欧洲大家庭。 这是不幸的，在历史上是非理性的。 然而，俄罗斯应该抓住这个机会，成为一个真正独立于欧洲的独立极。 每当我听说俄罗斯想要一个从符拉迪沃斯托克到巴黎（或其他什么）的统一欧洲时，我都会畏缩。 [另一个意思：从符拉迪沃斯托克到巴黎的统一欧洲从亚洲人的角度来看是一种未被掩盖的帝国主义的形式。]我希望有一天俄罗斯将自豪地促进从符拉迪沃斯托克到伦敦（或其他）的统一欧亚大陆。 我希望俄罗斯能够摆脱欧洲的枷锁。
很难，因为它可能是俄罗斯人要与其他欧洲人今天工作, 我知道俄罗斯人仍然准备与他的乌克兰兄弟工作, 所以再次与欧洲人工作不应该太难想象…
就目前而言，让中国成为寻求与欧洲更好关系的人，即使在乌克兰战争全面爆发的情况下也是如此。 多极化的美妙之处在于，如果做得对，事情就会在适当的时候结晶成杰作。 世界有许多历史和人民的潮流。 它被压制的时间太长了。 当其他人允许被重新唤醒时，一个新的世界秩序就会以一种和谐和稳定的方式出现。 如果人们一起工作会导致1+1超过2，那么想想数十亿人的和谐工作会产生什么。
这是一个新的世界秩序。 即使对于那些与当前的世界秩序有关并偶然来到这个网站的人来说，也要明白当前的世界秩序不能再继续下去了。 你不能继续踩着俄罗斯的安全红线或试图压制中国的技术发展。 俄罗斯或中国侵犯你的核心利益了吗？
我一直是这个博客的长期读者。 可悲的是，它将不得不被关闭–至少现在是这样。 我（也许其他人也是如此）将在下个月寻求与The Saker合作，看看我们是否可以做其他化身来保持这个社区的活力。 我相信，在这个最黑暗的时刻，保持这样一个社区的活力是很重要的。 但即使我们没有成功，我也敦促每个人都坚持自己最深的理想和信念。 这就是为什么人类最好的东西总是被锻造出来的。 本着这种精神，我将在这里与大家分享我最近的两首作品–因为我也有一颗音乐之心。 迪斯卡维尔4号，23号。 Disklavier5，no.1（这些都是原始的-即没有抛光用于出版等。).