Washington’s Geopolitical Nightmare: China and Russia boost economic cooperation

Published on Voltairenet.org, by F. William Engdahl, 11 December 2010.

Whatever internal factional battles might be going on inside Kremlin walls between Medvedev and Putin, there are clear signs of late that both Beijing and Moscow are moving decisively after long hesitation to strengthen strategic economic cooperation in the face of the obvious disintegration of America as the sole Superpower. If the recent trend is deepened it will create Washington’s worst geopolitical nightmare: a unified Eurasia landmass capable of challenging America’s global economic hegemony … //

… Major industrial development projects:

As well there will be intense mutual industrial investment in the remote regions along the 4200 km mutual borders of the two especially between Russia’s Siberia and Far East and China’s Dungbei where in the 1950s and 1960s, before the split in Soviet-Chinese relations, the Soviet Union built hundreds of light and heavy industry facilities in the area. 

They have been modernized and packed with new Chinese or imported technology, but the solid Soviet-era industrial foundation is still there. This will lend to regional cooperation on a higher technological level, especially between the Khabarovsk and Primorye territories, the Chita and Irkutsk regions, the Trans-Baikal Territory and the whole of Siberia and China’s Heilongjiang and other neighboring provinces according to Russian analysts.

As well in 2009 China and Russia signed a program for the co-development of Russia’s Siberia and the Far East and China’s northeastern provinces until 2018, with a clear action plan that includes dozens of cooperation projects between specific regions to develop 158 facilities in Russian and Chinese border areas in the timber industry, chemicals, road construction, social infrastructure, agriculture, and several energy export projects.

Wen’s trip follows Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s three-day visit to China in September, during which he and President Hu Jintao launched the long-discussed cross-border pipeline from Skovorodino in eastern Siberia to Daqing in north-eastern China. By end of 2010 Russian oil will start flowing to China, at 300,000 barrels per day for the next two decades under a €20 billion loan-for-oil agreement made last year.

Russia is seeking to expand into the fast growing Asian and especially Chinese energy market and Beijing wants to improve its energy security by diversifying sources and supply routes. The pipeline will double Russian oil exports to China, now transported mainly via a slow and expensive railway route, and make Russia one of China’s top-three crude-oil suppliers alongside Saudi Arabia and Angola, a geopolitical gain of significance for both.

Chinese Premier Wen said at the St Petersburg press conference that the partnership between Beijing and Moscow has “reached an unprecedented level” and pledged the two countries will “never become each other’s enemy.” Since the Sino-Soviet split during the Cold War Washington geopolitics has sought to drive a deep wedge between the two countries to leverage their influence over the vast Eurasian domain.

As I have stated before, the only power on the planet which even conceivably could offer a credible nuclear deterrent to Washington is Russia, as many economic problems as the country has. The Chinese military capacity is still years away from that as it was developed primarily for self-defense. The only economic power able to pose a challenge to a declining US economic giant is China. The complimentarity of the two seems to have been clearly recognized. Perhaps the next Wikileaks leak will “discover” embarrassing details about that cooperation convenient for the Washington geopolitical agenda. For the moment, however, the Sino-Russian expanding economic cooperation is Washington’s worst geopolitical nightmare at a time when Washington’s global influence is clearly seen to be on the wane. (full long text).

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