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Unpacking the Russian-Chinese joint statement

Source: The Saker by Andrei

Introduction:

First things first, this is a very long statement (5300 words).  It is also an extremely important one since it deals primarily with grand strategy issues (it discusses the “whats” not the “hows”).  To put it succinctly, this is a common vision of the future shared between Russia and China.  It is therefore also a common goal setting document.  Considering its scope and objective, this is most definitely a crucial historical document.

Next, it is really important to understand who the target audience of this statement is.  By definition, the target audience of such a document is the entire planet, but by its language I would argue that it is pretty clear that this is not a document addressed to anybody in the West (for one thing, it is too long for the average western reader and it is too long to be reprinted or read in full in the general press).  There is a saying which all Russians know: “the East is a delicate/refined matter” (it comes from a famous Soviet movie).  The style and contents of this joint statement shows that it is primarily aimed at the Russian and Chinese public, especially those in position of power: to a typical western reader the text itself looks long-winded and full of well-meaning platitudes.  The Russians and the Chinese understand each other much better, and not only can they read between the lines and they can evaluate what is said and what is only suggested.  The fact that some things are only alluded to does in no way make them less crucial.  Again, the audience here is most definitely not a western one.

Having said all that, I want to pick, roughly in order, some key parts of that speech and try to unpack what this joint statement really says.  This is a somewhat arbitrary selection, in reality, word letter and comma matter here, but for the sake of brevity, I won’t comment on the full text.  I do, however, recommend that you take the time and read it here: http://thesaker.is/joint-statement-of-the-russian-federation-and-the-peoples-republic-of-china-on-the-international-relations-entering-a-new-era-and-the-global-sustainable-development/

Key excerpts from the RU-CH Joint Statement: (emphasis added)

Some actors representing but the minority on the international scale continue to advocate unilateral approaches to addressing international issues and resort to force; they interfere in the internal affairs of other states, infringing their legitimate rights and interests, and incite contradictions, differences, and confrontation, thus hampering the development and progress of mankind, against the opposition from the international community.

Translation into plain English: the USA and a few of its vassal states want to maintain a world hegemony and ignore international law.  This is a threat to the peace and security of our entire planet.  We oppose this.

There is no one-size-fits-all template to guide countries in establishing democracy. A nation can choose such forms and methods of implementing democracy that would best suit its particular state, based on its social and political system, its historical background, traditions, and unique cultural characteristics. It is only up to the people of the country to decide whether their State is a democratic one.

Translation into plain English: there is no one way to establish real people power, and outsiders are, by definition, disqualified from judging the degree of “democracy” of any nation.  Each nation has the right to decide how it wants to live, how it wants to formally structure its people power and only the people of that nation can decide whether their country’s organization faithfully expresses and upholds their national values.  Outsiders cannot think of themselves as “teachers of democracy”.

The sides reaffirm their focus on building the Greater Eurasian Partnership in parallel and in coordination with the Belt and Road construction to foster the development of regional associations as well as bilateral and multilateral integration processes for the benefit of the peoples on the Eurasian continent. The sides agreed to continue consistently intensifying practical cooperation for the sustainable development of the Arctic.

Translation into plain English: we, the locals, are (and have been) building a Eurasian community which will encompass the entire Eurasian landmass and its adjacent Arctic waters.  This Eurasian landmass will be sovereignly ruled by those nations who compose it.

The sides are gravely concerned about serious international security challenges and believe that the fates of all nations are interconnected. No State can or should ensure its own security separately from the security of the rest of the world and at the expense of the security of other States.

Translation into plain English: security is always and by definition collective.  There cannot be security for some at the expense of the security of others.  The AngloZionist Empire’s notion of unilateral security is basically putting a gun to the head of each nation on the planet with the very explicit threat to pull the trigger if that nation dares to resist this typical act of imperialist aggression.

The sides reaffirm their strong mutual support for the protection of their core interests, state sovereignty and territorial integrity, and oppose interference by external forces in their internal affairs.

Translation into plain English: we are, and will, be standing side by side and we will jointly defeat those forces who are trying to prevent us from achieving and maintaining true, full, sovereignty.

The Russian side reaffirms its support for the One-China principle, confirms that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and opposes any forms of independence of Taiwan.

Translation into plain English: Russia will support the Chinese efforts to reintegrate Taiwan.  Russia has got China’s back.

Russia and China stand against attempts by external forces to undermine security and stability in their common adjacent regions, intend to counter interference by outside forces in the internal affairs of sovereign countries under any pretext, oppose color revolutions, and will increase cooperation in the aforementioned areas.

Translation into plain English: China will support Russia in her efforts to prevent the USA/NATO/EU to turn the Ukraine into an anti-Russia or to overthrow governments friendly to Russia.  China has got Russia’s back.

The sides believe that certain States, military and political alliances, and coalitions seek to obtain, directly or indirectly, unilateral military advantages to the detriment of the security of others, including by employing unfair competition practices, intensify geopolitical rivalry, fuel antagonism and confrontation, and seriously undermine the international security order and global strategic stability. 

The sides oppose further enlargement of NATO and call on the North Atlantic Alliance to abandon its ideologized cold war approaches, to respect the sovereignty, security and interests of other countries, the diversity of their civilizational, cultural and historical backgrounds, and to exercise a fair and objective attitude towards the peaceful development of other States.

Translation into plain English: the West is trying to destabilize, subvert, control and destroy any country which is not willing to become a US vassal state.  NATO is an aggressive, violent and totalitarian superstructure whose aim is to prevent any country from achieving sovereignty.  It is just the latest iteration of Anglo imperialism.  It’s ideology is based on hate and projection of its own hateful worldview and ethos unto others.  It’s nature is imperialist and its motto divide et impera.  We will oppose that geostrategic malignant tumor together.

The sides are seriously concerned about the trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom (AUKUS), which provides for deeper cooperation between its members in areas involving strategic stability, in particular their decision to initiate cooperation in the field of nuclear-powered submarines. Russia and China believe that such actions are contrary to the objectives of security and sustainable development of the Asia-Pacific region, increase the danger of an arms race in the region, and pose serious risks of nuclear proliferation.

Translation into plain English: AUKUS is yet a further iteration of Anglo imperialism.  It is dangerous and we will oppose it together.

The sides call on the United States to respond positively to the Russian initiative and abandon its plans to deploy intermediate-range and shorter-range ground-based missiles in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe. The Chinese side is sympathetic to and supports the proposals put forward by the Russian Federation to create long-term legally binding security guarantees in Europe.

Translation into plain English: China fully backs the Russian ultimatum to the West.  The West’s rejection of the Russian demands also affects to Asia-Pacific region and, therefore, it affects and even threatens China’s national interests.  Russia and China have a common goal to resist the West’s imperialistic policies.

The sides note that the denunciation by the United States of a number of important international arms control agreements has an extremely negative impact on international and regional security and stability. The sides express concern over the advancement of U.S. plans to develop global missile defense and deploy its elements in various regions of the world, combined with capacity building of high-precision non-nuclear weapons for disarming strikes and other strategic objectives.

Translation into plain English: Russia will not allow the US to militarily encircle China and China will not allow the US to militarily encircle Russia.  Russia and China stand back to back and will protect each other, thereby foiling any Anglo plans to encircle either one, or both, of these nations.

The sides oppose attempts by some States to turn outer space into an arena of armed confrontation and reiterate their intention to make all necessary efforts to prevent the weaponization of space and an arms race in outer space. They will counteract activities aimed at achieving military superiority in space and using it for combat operations.

Translation into plain English: Russian and Chinese space programs will make a joint effort to defeat the Anglo attempts at militarizing space, both countries will help each other to develop future space capabilities and to create and deploy the means to prevent the US from threatening them from space.

The sides emphasize that domestic and foreign bioweapons activities by the United States and its allies raise serious concerns and questions for the international community regarding their compliance with the BWC. The sides share the view that such activities pose a serious threat to the national security of the Russian Federation and China and are detrimental to the security of the respective regions.

Translation into plain English: the USA clearly has an active biowarfare program.  Russia and China feel threatened by this and they will act together to stop the USA from developing illegal and dangerous bioweapons.

The Russian side notes the significance of the concept of constructing a ”community of common destiny for mankind“ proposed by the Chinese side to ensure greater solidarity of the international community and consolidation of efforts in responding to common challenges. The Chinese side notes the significance of the efforts taken by the Russian side to establish a just multipolar system of international relations.

Translation into plain English: Russia and China agree that the new, post Western, world order they want to achieve will be based on the brotherhood and solidarity of all those countries who, rather than exploiting the entire planet for the benefit of a few, want to see an international systems based on shared values rather than on greed and the oppression of the weak by the strong.  In that system, relations between countries will be based on international law and the United Nations as its cornerstone and not by some ad hoc “alliances of the willing” or any other such illegal nonsense.

They reaffirm that the new inter-State relations between Russia and China are superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War era. Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ”forbidden“ areas of cooperation, strengthening of bilateral strategic cooperation is neither aimed against third countries nor affected by the changing international environment and circumstantial changes in third countries.

Translation into plain English: “relations between Russia and China are superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War era” is pretty darn clear:  Russia and China are more than allies or “just” symbionts, the alliance they have formed is not a western-style peace of paper which can be revoked or ignored.  Russia and China have decided to establish a true “friendship which knows no limits“, that is a brotherhood that is much bigger in scope and much deeper in nature than any formal alliance.  The two countries see a common future and will stand by each other as two loving brothers. 

Note: the choice of words “friendship with no limits” has been carefully crafted to not make sense to a western audience which will see it only as “pious and vague platitudes with no binding obligations” but which will be very clear to those who come from the Russian and Chinese civilizational realms. 

Simply put: nobody in the West truly believes in “friendship” between states, only situational allies and personal interests.  The concept of friendship has a very different meaning in China and Russia.  Furthermore, “no limits” is also nonsensical in western geopolitics.  Again, to a Russian or Chinese audience the paragraph above means and expresses much MORE than any “alliance”, “treaty” or “agreement”.  Western political leaders simply cannot fathom or imagine what Russia and China are saying here – their minds simply cannot comprehend what is being said here.

Russia and China aim to comprehensively strengthen the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and further enhance its role in shaping a polycentric world order based on the universally recognized principles of international law, multilateralism, equal, joint, indivisible, comprehensive and sustainable security. They consider it important to consistently implement the agreements on improved mechanisms to counter challenges and threats to the security of SCO member states and, in the context of addressing this task, advocate expanded functionality of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure.

Translation into plain English: China and Russia will develop their full-spectrum security cooperation.  Just as the CSTO recently, the SCO will soon grow more powerful “teeth” and bare them if/when needed.  And don’t be fooled by the reference to “anti-terrorism” choice of worlds.  The recent CSTO operation in Kazakhstan was also an “anti-terrorist” one :o)

Conclusion:

The release of this joint statement is the geostrategic equivalent of Putin’s famous speech in which he described the new Russian weapons systems: it will initially be dismissed by western politicians who will then slowly undergo the five Kübler-Ross stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance).  This “limitless friendship” working towards a “community of common destiny for mankind” is the absolute worst nightmare of western imperialism and it is only made worse by the fact that there is absolutely nothing which the West can do to foil, oppose or even slow the progress of Russia and China towards their common goal and future.

Far from “attacking” the West or from invading anybody,  Russia and China have been doing something for years already and now what that “something” is is quite clear (at least to those with the sobriety and intelligence to see it):  Russia and China are simply leaving the united West behind, letting it do its own thing (political, cultural, economic, military and even spiritual suicide) while they built an alternative.

You could say that Zone B does not want to destroy or bring down Zone A.  Zone B want to offer an alternative to Zone A and then let each nation decide for itself what zone it wants to live in.

There is one word which is missing from this statement.  That word is “Iran“.

It is not missing because China or Russia don’t care about Iran or don’t realize how important Iran will be for the future of the Middle-East and even our entire planet.  They know that very, very well.  The reason the word “Iran” is missing is simple: while Iran is most definitely a friend and ally of both Russia and China, Iran does not share a “limitless friendship” or brotherly symbiotic relationship with either country.  Neither is Iran a full member of the SCO, yet (but will be soon). Talk about true diversity!  These countries have completely different cultures, histories and political systems, yet they fully support each other.  That is the “there is no one-size-fits-all template” model already being built before our eyes!  I also believe that Iran’s bid to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was approved but in needs to be formalized.  Yet both China and Russia understand that Iran is crucial, not only as a gateway for Russia and China into the Middle-East, but also as a crucial member of the supra-ideological system of alliances Russia and China want to create.  In fact, these countries have been helping each other for years already.  But there is more, look at this:

  • Russia is a democratic and “social” state, with a weird, and changing, mix of capitalism and traditional Russian collectivism.
  • China is a unique mix of capitalism and Communist state control
  • Iran is an Islamic Republic.

Talk about true diversity!  These countries have completely different cultures, histories and political systems, yet they fully support each other.

This model will attract and easily include those Latin American countries which will chose “21 century socialism” (primarily developed by Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia) ideology.  It will also be far more attractive to many African countries than the “western imperialist boot” (examples include Mali, Burkina Faso, Congo and, potentially many others).

The map below shows the current situation.

The Russian-Chinese joint statement tells us all we need to know about how this map will change in the near future.