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Post time 2015-12-1 03:21:54 |Display all floors
This post was edited by abramicus at 2015-12-1 11:11

The loss of Turkey for Russia, nay, the transformation of Turkey from a part time ally to a full time enemy, may spell the end of Russian international power, as the pincer movements from Kiev and from Ankara may crack the Easter egg, not at the round or pointed end, but rather at its weaker underbelly, just as any chef would crack an egg.  Hold it at both ends, and strike quickly with the edge of a spoon on its belly, and it cracks up into two and spills out in short order.
With China skating on the edge of a military conflict herself over her South China Sea islands, Russia cannot but spread out her forces to cover her eastern territories, in case China needed help to avoid defeat.

This recreates the situation prio rto Operation Barbarossa, with the exception that instead of the actual thrust of Hitler directly towards Moscow, the more deadly meltdown on the underside of Russia, where Stalin expected the attack to occur initially, might now be the theater of operations.  And whereas Japan had refrained from attacking Russia in 1941, China might instead involve Russia in a major military conflict in the South China Sea and in Diaoyudao that would tie down Russian forces in the East.

Although Russia may achieve temporary success in defeating the anti-Assad rebels in Syria, the broader picture is not sanguine for Russia.  Its victories are likely to be temporary, and its ultimate defeat, likely to be permanent.

China, on the other hand, is struggling with its own version of Perestroika that is almost certain to destroy its economy, as it had done to the Soviet Union.  The "structural change" of consumption to generate growth with concurrent reduction in production is a sure formula to mass starvation and collapse, no different from the Great Leap Forward, when the implements of production were consumed to make iron ore, a reversal of how mining and smelting should be done, just as now, China is putting the cart before the horse, and promoting consumption while neglecting and even suppressing manufacturing on purpose, in the name of the other nonsense, creating a service industry without a manufacturing foundation.  And thus, not only is Russia geopolitically surrounded, it is going to be economically isolated, as the China it is counting on, will soon impoverish itself on the advice of its Ivy League-educated economic hit men.

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Post time 2015-12-1 08:39:51 |Display all floors
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Post time 2015-12-1 11:18:15 |Display all floors
This post was edited by abramicus at 2015-12-1 11:25
HailChina! Post time: 2015-12-1 08:39
Western nations do not have manufacturing bases. The USA especially.

China needs to increase consum ...

The argument that if the West can do it, so is China entitled to, is unrealistic, because the reason the West can consume more than what it produces is because it has the global military might to impose its fiat currency as the main international reserve currency, which is used to pay for its consumption.  If China cannot buy oil with Yuans, and iron, and copper, or wheat with it, then China has no choice but to produce in excess of what it needs to consume.  There is no way around it.  Just appealing to "justice" does not give China the ability to consume in excess of its production.  China will try, and is trying, and in the process will end up impoverishing herself, use up her foreign currency reserves, and lose its manufacturing capability, as factories are forced to shut down because the OVERVALUED YUAN denies them the market, domestically and globally, to sell their products to, and thus to cover their expenses, and generate surplus capital for future growth.

This appeal to "I am a Chinese and I have every right to consume more than what I produce," is not an appeal to reason, but to unreason and will result in the collapse of the Chinese economy, as is now happening - don't you see this is the replay of the Great Leap Forward?

Until the day comes when China can tell Japan, Australia, India, and OPEC, accept my Yuans as payment for the imports I get from you all, or face regime change, then China can prop up the value of the Yuan all it wants, as long as it has dollar reserves to buy the Yuans with, but the moment the dollars run dry, China will be unable to import anything, and thus, its industry will collapse, as would its social stability that depends on an adequately fed population.

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Post time 2015-12-29 12:14:33 |Display all floors
abramicus Post time: 2015-12-1 11:18
The argument that if the West can do it, so is China entitled to, is unrealistic, because the reaso ...

If Russia decides to embrace freedom, they can join the great West and also become glorious.

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Post time 2017-8-14 06:00:49 |Display all floors
The Russian position is precarious.

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Post time 2017-8-17 18:59:26 |Display all floors
The air was starting to change. Summer heat giving way to a palpable coolness presaging the imminent arrival of a welcome autumn.

He had walked blocks. From nowhere to everywhere. The pair of eyes were like lens clicking frame after frame, forming an ever growing mosaic that seemed to echo a story from the past into some future already visible in the present.

Seeing a welcome bench on the pavement, he walked briskly to it and sat down at one corner. She was at the other end, absorbed in her mobile. Vehicles whizzed by. A clover leaf of Shanghai gently dropped from the canopying tree above and landed on the bench. For a while, electric silence.

Then, voices of gaiety in a language from afar. They were coming out from the small mall across the road. In their hands, bundles of things which they had bought. The men were trundling large tv screens. The women, bags of things which only women would buy.

Russian traders, he thought. She too looked up and turned to him with a smile that was half a smile such as only a woman or a child would be able to form. He smiled back but with sad eyes for one who had detached from life.  She broke the ice.

S: They seem happy with their purchases.
H: Shopping therapy, perhaps.

S: More like doing business. Only locals would be expected to know of such a mall.
H: Where one can get bulk buys? Yes, you could be right.

S: It seems not so long ago there was nothing. Nothing to eat, even less of money, let alone things to sell and buy. Not even benches like this and tree-lined boulevards and endless malls and pristine motorcars and well-dressed peoples.
H: (looking intently at her)..many in other countries take such changes for granted. Because they themselves have never faced life-distorting dilemmas and dangers, destitution and devastation and death.

S: (now her turn to look intently at him...their eyes finally meet). Maybe that's why there is still so much tension in the world today.
H: Everyone is the same as everyone else in what all want in their lives.

S: So all should coexist harmoniously one with the rest. But why is it otherwise from time to time in so many places in the world and between countries?
H: Not everyone will remember to follow the golden mean. Some will only want to win all the time whatever the final result.

S: Anyway, i am happy our Russian friends are happy here. They have a chance to make a trade and earn some money back home. Probably they have families to support.
H: And that's how we should look at everyone in the world - what is the weight of responsibility on his or her shoulders?

S: Do you think things will change, events will disrupt, life will claim price tomorrow for prosperity today?
H: Everything has a price. What is therefore important is balance. And balance can only be maintained when there is control. First centrally, then at all corners and levels.

S: (looks away at nothing in particular) Naysayers in the west have said the BRIC is getting bricks.
H: (both eyebrows rise imperceptibly). It is easy to say that at first sign of a slowdown but after a banquet, anyone needs time to digest. How can the BRIC fail when there are still so many to feed and grow and groom for the future of the world?

S: But how can they help themselves up when the tide is receding back into the ocean?
H: By helping one another as much as helping themselves. A whole can be made bigger than the sum of its parts. For instance, our Russian friends probably knew of that mall from asking locals and that by friendly networking free from the mistrust and the artifacts of division between men of the same humanity.

S: Yes, networking is the beginning of soft diplomacy. But one also wonders how the trade was made. They would have changed their rubles for the renminbi to make their purchases. But what about other countries? What about locals buying when overseas? The US dollar as reserve currency can whimsically affect the two critical rates of any economy - exchange rate and interest rate.
H: (squints eyes, takes out a hand-rolled ciggie and lights it, holding it as he would imagine how Deng would have done, seeing the wisps of sweet fragrance curl up to the branches above).

S: (hides disapproval with an inviting girlish smile showing very even teeth)
H: (peers into the amber of the embers) You know the Hong Kong Exchange has announced that gold contracts can be settled in renminbi. In one stroke, the global monetary system that has for too long been under the thumbs of US dollar-backed policies and sanctions can gain a new fillip that frees ordinary businesses to grow more profitably everywhere around the world. As a small example, Russia can sell its oil and gas to China for renminbi to buy gold futures in Hong Kong without the intervention of the US dollar anywhere in the transaction chain.

S: (grins) Yes, it's like barter using a third and international medium. If only other countries follow likewise, the renminbi can quickly grow to give the buck a run for its money, as one may say, furthermore in trades backed by the ICBC which is the world's biggest public company.
H: (pretends to look astonished) Everyone wants to get up in life. But effort is needed to adopt new ways that can displace the old ones which have outrun their usefulness because of i-win-u-lose beliefs of modern-day recolonization through financialization in all but name. For instance, there are many poor in countries of the Belt-Road. They can be helped up to find their own unique and noble place of worth in the brotherhood of humanity long neglected because of inaccessibility and financing, not because they are unable to make, sell, buy and trade but because of the inertia of history and geography. But winds of change are blowing today...

(a strong wind gusts by, swirling the leaves on the pavement)

S: (eyes light up) Yes, i forgot about the Belt-Road projects. But i fear some will make mischief to see that they do not materialize.
H: Then let them be exposed for the edification of the poor and downtrodden in all those countries which could otherwise be benefiting from the single biggest and most important contribution to all-men-are-brothers in the history of this world. (inhales deeply).

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Post time 2017-8-17 18:59:48 |Display all floors

S: Why would these mischief-makers want to do what they want to do when they too can benefit from new economies and markets formed by the projects? If poor become rich, then rich can be good consumers. Could it be because of some other reasons? Geostrategic, perhaps?
H: (jaw drops, ciggie falls onto pants, burns a small hole, smoke emanates; grits teeth, brushes off the ash expertly, clears throat). Geostrategic? Well, let's see what has been said. What is the situation today?

Let's see. First, the world's GDP comes from three regions. One is North and South America of which north became a maritime and military empire after the last world war. Second is the European continent which is big in economy and technology but with the exception of Russia is small in military. Third is Asia which has emerged as a re-surging wave of humanity of which China has attained within one generation pole position as a new superpower in all aspects, economy, technology, maritime and military.

S: By such a division are you saying geostrategies are always economic in intent?
H: Pride of ideology too comes into play. Which method is better to achieve better bigger economies faster? is a question few have asked, even less attempted to answer.

S: But isn't there another way of looking at it based on age? In the past, the US for instance was new world to the European old world. And today China and rest of Asia is new world to the US old world?
H: Ahem, allow me to say your beauty and grace are only exceeded by your intelligence and perspicacity.

S: (blushes) Can i treat you dinner afterwards?
H: (heaves chest) Of course, if heaven so mandates.

S: So which countries are important for the new geostrategy of the world axial and open with China?
H: One, the subject of this thread. Russia. It is the land bridge between China and Europe, whose two-way trade can also benefit Russia.

S: Surely the US post-cold war would have seen that and befriend Russia more?
H: What post-cold war? It never ended with perestroika. It has in fact continued to this very moment. Else why would the US in a North American islandic continent separated by large oceans on both sides from any invasion continue to spend so much above its annual budget on military expansion and excursions if not to neutralize Russia's military capabilities?

S: Ah! I see. Its military budget of USD800 Billion would not sit pretty with its own citizens who have a USD Trillion household debt, the largest in their financial history since the subprime crisis.
H: (jaw drops again, eyes glint merrily with appreciation) Yes. That's why the US needs a bogeyman. If not Russia, then the other commie, China. Any commie will do. In fact, it will take it out on Cuba as well if it could but that's just a small touristy island with rusty oldsmobiles.

S: But hasn't the US found that making China its scapegoat has been resisted by its very own corporations which have huge interests in China's economy present and future whereas they have none in Russia especially now that they have shale gas and thus fuel-freedom?
H: Which is why Russia must align with China globally to crimp the US eagle's wings. In fact we have another point here. It's the Middle East. Despite Israel and the jewish lobby in Washington, the US has backed Saudi Arabia of the sunni wahhabi tribe while Russia has backed Iran of the shia tribe.

As we know, both tribes want to be the sole gatekeeper to the door of the heaven of their common religion which is also paradoxically abrahamic in origin but that's another topic. Both tribes are carving their spheres of influence in that region, all the way up to Syria it seems. Which therefore pivots to Turkey which is a Nato member hosting US missiles pointing at Russia while its Ukraine is starting to speak Polish.

Let's say one day the house of Saud implodes because shale ruins its budget and its Yemen,Qatar excursions have refluxed. Oil price will then rise which will benefit Russia as supplier to Europe.

Meanwhile, let us remember that Saudi Arabia is only important to the US, UK and France as a major arms buyer. Its collapse will denude their industrial-military complex. Similarly, the US, UK and European oil companies have existing oil buying contracts with that wahhabi state which will be torn up.

So, one may expect the US to continue backing Saudi Arabia whatever the downside on its shale producers. But that will inconvenience Iran, Qatar and Russia further which means Middle Eastern states not convinced of a US-backed Saudi state can realign their monetary policies to use the renminbi as a new default trading currency which in turn will facilitate Central European/Asian-African continent-South Asian trade via the Belt Road routes, land-based or blue-waters.

S: I also understand China wants to buy Saudi oil but only using her currency. If Saudi Arabia demurs, then it will have surplus oil that has to be dumped at US-influenced forward prices which will be too low for it to maintain its budget which means it will lose its youths-dependent and lifestyle-addicted economy in exchange for continued military protection by the US. Unless it embraces China and others, won't it return to the desert from whence it came?
H: The house of Saud should therefore ask itself whether it wants to buy more US arms but at the expense of its peoples being unemployed and its government without means to provide livelihood into the future. There's also the matter of theological underpinnings and implications for over a billion believers worldwide.

S: By a similar ken of reasoning, one can see how Germany can also detach from its historical link to the war-wrought US-backed alliance and engage in a new global market ripened by the Belt Road initiative. It should start now that the US is adopting an isolationist posture in Europe but maintaining a military posture in Asia. What with Germany, therefore so too with France. What about the UK?

H: The Brits whose mischief onto countless nations around the world was nurtured on the playing fields of its Eton and Charterhouse? They can stew in their mulligatawny brexit soup and conduct tourist tours for gate money on their two new aircraft carriers.

(a momentary and uncomfortable silence)

S: Shall we?
H: Lead the way. There's a nice noodle shop down the road.

S: Will it be errhh ...alright?
H: I can't think why not. Already detached.  From life.

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