China Bet on Russia: Why Does the CCP Think It Will Always Win?

Commentary Most people know that Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have a special relationship. China and Russia sealed that relationship by issuing a 5,000-word Joint Statement on Feb. 4 (a few weeks before the Russian invasion of Ukraine). They also signed a $117.5 billion petrochemical deal, and had a photo op at the beginning of the Winter Olympics. There appears to be two possible outcomes regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine: Putin forces Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to renounce any future Ukrainian intent to join NATO or any Western alliance; or Russia fully withdraws. How is it that with either outcome, China wins? Russia Wins—China Wins First, if Russia achieves its objectives in Ukraine, it is clear that severe sanctions against Russia were ineffective because the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) did not enforce sanctions against Russia, due to commitments laid out in the Feb. 4 Joint Statement. Second, Russian reliance on China to mitigate the sanctions effects enabled China to control Russia’s currency. In effect, the CCP will have its hands around Putin and the Russian economy’s neck—a good position for a formerly feudal communist state. To punish China for supporting Russia would probably be too painful for the rest of the world economies to implement because of the many co-dependencies. The only way for Putin to remove the CCP from determining Russian foreign and domestic policy is to withdraw from Ukraine, and to accept harsh sanctions to rebuild Ukraine and the embarrassment of failure—all of which could lead to Putin’s demise or at least loss of power. In other words, in Lorenzo Dow’s famous words, Putin is “damned if you do and damned if you don’t.” Russia Loses—China Wins If Russia is forced to withdraw from Ukraine, Russia will have to continue to deal with the harsh sanctions and, like Germany after World War II, will have to pay costly reparations to Ukraine. This situation will greatly weaken Russia, and China could take advantage of these circumstances by forcing new Russian trade concessions. For example, Russian natural resources could be taken over by the CCP as payment to stabilize the ruble. Other resources, such as the massive water reserves close to the Russia-China border, could be sold to China at a depressed price. Finally, if and when Putin is removed (through natural or unnatural causes), the CCP could install a puppet leader to facilitate Russia becoming subservient to CCP diktats. In this scenario, “greater China” would become mostly self-sufficient (Xi’s dual-circulation economic strategy could be employed to its maximum extent), and the rest of the world would have an uber-superpower to deal with. Needed: Wise Leaders In summary, based on the above analysis, “Russia loses and China wins” appears to be a likely scenario since the Russian military has captured only a small amount of Ukrainian territory since Feb. 24. The Ukrainian military appears to be fighting fiercely and is being resupplied by NATO and others. The rest of the world should ensure that whatever the outcome, Russia does not become a vassal state of China. It is possible that the CCP determined that regardless of the outcome of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it planned to win. We must learn from the mistakes of World War I and prevent Russia from imploding by stabilizing its economy and encouraging it to join the rest of the free world, just as we did to Japan and Germany after World War II. Without some very wise leaders seeing the folly of further humiliating a weakened Russia, we will end up with an over-empowered CCP, which would have disastrous consequences for the foreseeable future of mankind. Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times. Follow Guermantes Lailari is a retired USAF Foreign Area Officer specializing in the Middle East and Europe as well as counterterrorism, irregular warfare, and missile defense. He has studied, worked, and served in the Middle East and North Africa for over 14 years and similarly in Europe for six years. He was a U.S. Air Force Attaché in the Middle East, served in Iraq and holds advanced degrees in International Relations and Strategic Intelligence. He researches authoritarian and totalitarian regimes that threaten democracies. He will be a Taiwan Fellow in Taipei during 2022.

China Bet on Russia: Why Does the CCP Think It Will Always Win?

Commentary

Most people know that Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have a special relationship.

China and Russia sealed that relationship by issuing a 5,000-word Joint Statement on Feb. 4 (a few weeks before the Russian invasion of Ukraine). They also signed a $117.5 billion petrochemical deal, and had a photo op at the beginning of the Winter Olympics.

There appears to be two possible outcomes regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine: Putin forces Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to renounce any future Ukrainian intent to join NATO or any Western alliance; or Russia fully withdraws.

How is it that with either outcome, China wins?

Russia Wins—China Wins

First, if Russia achieves its objectives in Ukraine, it is clear that severe sanctions against Russia were ineffective because the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) did not enforce sanctions against Russia, due to commitments laid out in the Feb. 4 Joint Statement.

Second, Russian reliance on China to mitigate the sanctions effects enabled China to control Russia’s currency. In effect, the CCP will have its hands around Putin and the Russian economy’s neck—a good position for a formerly feudal communist state. To punish China for supporting Russia would probably be too painful for the rest of the world economies to implement because of the many co-dependencies.

The only way for Putin to remove the CCP from determining Russian foreign and domestic policy is to withdraw from Ukraine, and to accept harsh sanctions to rebuild Ukraine and the embarrassment of failure—all of which could lead to Putin’s demise or at least loss of power. In other words, in Lorenzo Dow’s famous words, Putin is “damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”

Russia Loses—China Wins

If Russia is forced to withdraw from Ukraine, Russia will have to continue to deal with the harsh sanctions and, like Germany after World War II, will have to pay costly reparations to Ukraine. This situation will greatly weaken Russia, and China could take advantage of these circumstances by forcing new Russian trade concessions.

For example, Russian natural resources could be taken over by the CCP as payment to stabilize the ruble. Other resources, such as the massive water reserves close to the Russia-China border, could be sold to China at a depressed price.

Finally, if and when Putin is removed (through natural or unnatural causes), the CCP could install a puppet leader to facilitate Russia becoming subservient to CCP diktats. In this scenario, “greater China” would become mostly self-sufficient (Xi’s dual-circulation economic strategy could be employed to its maximum extent), and the rest of the world would have an uber-superpower to deal with.

Needed: Wise Leaders

In summary, based on the above analysis, “Russia loses and China wins” appears to be a likely scenario since the Russian military has captured only a small amount of Ukrainian territory since Feb. 24. The Ukrainian military appears to be fighting fiercely and is being resupplied by NATO and others.

The rest of the world should ensure that whatever the outcome, Russia does not become a vassal state of China. It is possible that the CCP determined that regardless of the outcome of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it planned to win.

We must learn from the mistakes of World War I and prevent Russia from imploding by stabilizing its economy and encouraging it to join the rest of the free world, just as we did to Japan and Germany after World War II.

Without some very wise leaders seeing the folly of further humiliating a weakened Russia, we will end up with an over-empowered CCP, which would have disastrous consequences for the foreseeable future of mankind.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


Follow

Guermantes Lailari is a retired USAF Foreign Area Officer specializing in the Middle East and Europe as well as counterterrorism, irregular warfare, and missile defense. He has studied, worked, and served in the Middle East and North Africa for over 14 years and similarly in Europe for six years. He was a U.S. Air Force Attaché in the Middle East, served in Iraq and holds advanced degrees in International Relations and Strategic Intelligence. He researches authoritarian and totalitarian regimes that threaten democracies. He will be a Taiwan Fellow in Taipei during 2022.