Monday, March 25, 2013

Russia between Cyprus and China

The last couple of days have been truly of immense, historical, importance for Russia, first because of the hugely important visit of  Xi Jinping, the President of the People's Republic of China, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission. During this visit the Chinese side stressed that it was highly symbolic that Xi Jinping had chosen Russia as the first country to visit following his election.  The Russians responded with their own highly symbolic gesture - they invited Xi Jinping to visit the Operational Control Center of the Russian Armed Forces, something no other head of state had ever done before.

Xi Jinping visits the Operational Control Center of the Russian Armed Forces
Both sides insisted that what took place was absolutely unprecedented.  For example, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin spent a total of seven hours in direct, face to face, consultations.  Both heads of state declared that the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership was of the highest possible importance for both countries and that the two nations would closely collaborate on all levels including long term energy and defense issues.  A large number of strategic agreements and contracts were signed and both Putin and Xi Jinping announced that Russia and China would also closely work together and support each other in all international questions.  Both leaders stressed that the past was forever gone and that the nature of the new relationship between their two countries will have no historical precedent.

While the western corporate press went out of its way to minimize the importance of this meeting, the Russian and the Chinese press stressed the truly tectonic shift such a close partnership represents for the future of the planet.  While everything was said in the most diplomatic language, it is rather clear that what we witnessed over the past few days is the birth of a new strategic alliance which is rather clearly aimed against the West both in economic and even military terms.  The goal of Russia and China is not to trigger some kind of confrontation with the West as much as it is to globally counter-act Western imperialism.  This is why both delegations insisted on the respect of international law in a multi-polar world were no one country or block can dictate its will.

It will be interesting to see what the impact of this strategic alliance will be upon the SCO, the CSTO and the BRICS countries.  My personal sense is that Russia and China will use their combined power to strengthen all these institutions.  I also see this strategic alliance as yet another manifestation of the new power of the "Eurasian sovereignists" inside the Kremlin who are now clearly pushing Russia towards a deeper integration with the East.

It is ironic that while this new strategic partnership between Russia and China was finalized in Moscow, the West found nothing better to do than to basically commit and act of pure highway banditry towards Russia.  I am referring, of course, to what is happening in Cyprus.

To make a long story short I will sum up what is taking place in the following sentence.  The EU bankers and their US sponsors have basically decided to rob Russian bank account holders of about 30% of  their money in Cyprus in order to repay the banks which gave dirty loans to Cyprus, in other words, to pay themselves.  Not only is such an action a direct violation of all possible laws and regulations pertaining to banking, but it is done against a background of vicious anti-Russian propaganda which basically claims that all the Russian money in Cyprus is dirty money from the Russian Mafia.  What the EU leaders are basically telling Russia is "yes, fuck you, we will simply take your money and dare you to do something about it".

Interestingly, the Russia media is very much aware of who is really pulling the strings of this entire operation and no Russian politician spoke out against the Cypriots themselves who are, in reality, as much the victims of the international banking cartels as the Russian investors.  The line chosen by Russian politicians and the media is the same one: what is happening here has little or nothing to do with Cyprus and everything to do with the entire EU zone becoming dangerous for Russian investors. 

The Russian economy will not suffer from any of that.  First, because Cyprus is way too small to matter.  Second, this situation only strengthens the position of the "Eurasian sovereignists" who have always been warning against placing money in Western banks.  Third, this act of banditry by the EU will only further fuel anti-Western sentiments in the already very hostile Russian public opinion and it will hurt all the pro-Western parties and movements in Russia.

The vast majority of the people in Russia see what is happening in Cyprus as yet another manifestation of the Western anti-Russian racism which appears to be the prime motivator of current Western policies towards Russia.  For example, Russian journalists were quick to remember that the last time somebody in Europe simply seized the bank accounts of foreigners was Hitler who did so to grab more money to finance his policies.  While I find this parallel a little far fetched, it is, I believe, very indicative of the mood in Russia which is deeply disgusted with the West.  This is hardly surprising: after the NATO expansion to the East (which it has promised not to do!), the support by the West for all the anti-Russian regimes, including the most aggressive (Georgia) and racist (Latvia), following the deployment of the US anti-missile system, the support for Jewish oligarchs like Berezovsky or Khodorkovsky, the support for Chechen separatists and their atrocities, the adoption of anti-Russian laws like the Magnitsky Act, the support for Pussy Riot and the homosexual parades in Russia, now the big Cypriot robbery.  It is hardly a wonder that the Russians are globally disgusted with the West and its seemingly infinite capability for hypocrisy and lies.

Still, the creation of this strategic partnership between China and Russia is excellent news for the world wide resistance against the US-run international global new world order and its turbocapitalist ideology.  Both Russia and China clearly and unambiguously stand for the ideas of sovereignty and social solidarity, in other words, what is arguably the most powerful alliance on the planet is clearly anti-capitalist in its ideological basis.  Sure, this is not the anti-capitalism of Stalin or Mao, and both Russia and China are more than happy to play the corporate game to their own benefit, but it remains that they are not willing to surrender their sovereignty to the trans-national banking interests and nor are they willing to give up the core value of social solidarity (what most Americans think of as "socialism") in their society.

At a time when Latin America is clearly wobbling and unsure about its future course and when Africa is becoming the next hunting ground for Western predators, it is extremely encouraging to see the emergence of a strategic alliance between the two most powerful countries to resist Western imperialism and the New World Order.

The Saker