The other day there was news on the Financial Times that Russia turned to China for military assistance. Literally immediately, Chinese officials, and then Russia, denied this news.
Is it true or not? And will China help Russia? I will try to answer these questions in this article.
There is no smoke without fire. Given that Biden adviser Jake Sullivan warned China not to do so in an official communication. Like, if they take this step, they will expect very unpleasant consequences.
Nevertheless, I also do not exclude the possibility that Russia really turned to China for help. Moreover, it was China in Russia that was considered as the main ally who would help them in a period of difficulties. And it is certain that China was warned in advance that Russia was going to invade Ukraine. I'm not sure that China, with its traditional neutrality, supported Russia, well, it certainly didn't mind. Therefore, having received tacit support from China at the first stage, Russia expects that it will continue to support it.
And now the main question. Will China help Russia?
You know, before the start of the war, I did not believe that Russia would attack. I believed in their sanity. It turned out that I was wrong.
Now I am afraid to make the same mistake, but I hope that in China there is still a more adequate leadership of the country than in Russia. In addition, China has always prided itself on its strategic acumen. Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger wrote in his book that China is very proud of its history, its great past. And China is very proud of its art of strategy, based on Sun Tzu's The Art of War.
There is one quote in this book: Winning a hundred victories in a hundred battles is not the pinnacle of martial art. To defeat the enemy without a fight is the pinnacle.
I remembered this quote, because it seems to me that this situation with Russia's request opens up very wide opportunities for China. Now China can win without a fight.
I'll explain why. I think everyone knows perfectly well that in recent years, relations between China and the United States have left much to be desired. Yes, so far it has not come to a direct military confrontation, but a trade war is being waged between these countries on the economic front. And many Western experts believe that a military confrontation between the US and China is only a matter of time. In this regard, I liked Graham Alison's book "Doomed to Fight". By the way, the author was an adviser to the Pentagon and the US Secretary of Defense. And Joe Biden called him one of the most astute experts on international politics.
In his book, the author writes about the so-called "Thucydides trap". It is named after the ancient Greek historian Thucydides, who was the first to explain the essence of this trap.
And the essence is quite simple.
Thucydides called the reason for the Peloponnesian War the fear of the then dominant state - Sparta, before the strengthening power of Athens. Simply put, when a new state is being strengthened in the world, which over time can push the current leader, this situation can lead to war.
And the main idea revolves around the rising power of China, which threatens US global leadership. In fact, the author writes only about the likelihood of such a conflict. And what are the reasons for it.
So. There have been many similar situations in world history when a new force challenged an old one. Only the same Alison writes in his book that not all of them ended in war. For example, the British Empire's fear of the growing power of Germany ended in war. However, a similar increase in the power of the United States before that did not lead to war.
Personally, I can assume that, unlike Germany, the United States, with its capabilities, having a stronger industry, did not try to compete in the arms race. For example, In 1897, the German Admiral Tirpitz suggested to the Kaiser that he create such a powerful fleet to challenge Great Britain. At the same time, the US fleet was smaller than that of Italy. Instead, they had the task of defeating the British on the economic front. In addition, there was a very close economic relationship between the United States and the British Empire, despite previous disagreements.
If we draw an analogy, here China reminds me more of the United States, not Germany. They have exactly the same approach. Even if you take militarization, they also do not try to overtake the United States. Yes, they have a powerful army, but let's look at powerful weapons, they don't have as many warheads as the US. They are not trying to challenge the US Navy with the same number of aircraft carriers. I do not know how it will be in the future, but now there is no direct threat to the United States from China.
At the same time, China is also trying to defeat the United States on the economic front. The size of the added value of industry in the Chinese economy is already almost 2 times the size of industry in the United States. And at the same time, China is focusing on the creation of a civilian industry.
I am telling all this in order to show how wrong Russia is if it thinks that China will take its side in a possible conflict with the West. They did not take into account that China may have its own interests.
I can’t say for sure that China expected such a scenario, but Russia’s request plays into their hands. This is his trump card for further negotiations with the West. And China can play it to loosen the same trade restrictions from the West, while not giving up its interests. Given this, I don’t even rule out that the Chinese themselves leaked information to the Americans that Russia had contacted them.
If we sum up, it already becomes clear that Russia, having unleashed this war, miscalculated very much. And China will be one of the main beneficiaries of this stupid war that Russia unleashed.