Washington is Terrified of Russia, China
By Pepe Escobar
The Russia-China strategic partnership, uniting
the Pentagon's avowed top two "existential"
threats to America, does not come with a formal
treaty signed with pomp, circumstance - and a
in layers of subtle sophistication, there's no
way to know the deeper terms Beijing and Moscow
have agreed upon behind those innumerable Putin-Xi
Jinping high-level meetings.
Diplomats, off the record, occasionally let it
slip there may have been a coded message
delivered to NATO to the effect that if one
of the strategic members is seriously harassed
be it in Ukraine or in the South China Sea
NATO will have to deal with both.
now, let's concentrate on two instances of how
the partnership works in practice, and why
Washington is clueless on how to deal with it.
A is the imminent visit to Moscow by the
Director of the General Office of the Chinese
Communist Party (CCP), Li Zhanshu, invited
by the head of the Presidential Administration
in the Kremlin, Anton Vaino. Beijing stressed
the talks will revolve around what else the
Russia-China strategic partnership, "as
previously agreed on by the countries' leaders."
happens just after China's First Vice-Premier
Zhang Gaoli, one of the top seven in the
Politburo and one of the drivers of China's
was received in Moscow
by President Putin. They discussed Chinese
investments in Russia and the key energy angle
of the partnership.
But most of all they prepared Putin's next visit
to Beijing, which will be particularly
momentous, in the cadre of the
One Belt, One Road (OBOR) summit
on May 14-15, steered by Xi Jinping.
General Office of the CCP directly
subordinated to Xi only holds this kind
of ultra-high-level annual consultations
with Moscow, and no other player. Needless
to add, Li Zhanshu reports directly to Xi
as much as Vaino reports directly to Putin. That
is as highly strategic as it gets.
also happens to tie directly to one of the
latest episodes featuring The Hollow (Trump)
Men, in this case Trump's bumbling/bombastic
National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. HR McMaster.
nutshell, McMaster's spin, jolly regurgitated
by US corporate media, is that Trump has
developed such a "special chemistry" with Xi
after their Tomahawks-with-chocolate cake summit
in Mar-a-Lago that Trump has managed to split
the Russia-China entente on Syria and isolate
Russia in the UN Security Council.
It would have taken only a few minutes
for McMaster to read the
BRICS joint communiquι
on Syria for him to learn that the BRICS are
No wonder a vastly experienced Indian
geopolitical observer felt
to note that, "Trump and McMaster look somewhat
like two country bumpkins who lost their way
in the metropolis."
Exhibit B centers on Russia and China quietly
advancing their agreement to progressively
replace the US
dollar's reserve status with a gold-backed
involves the key participation of Kazakhstan
very much interested in using gold as currency
along OBOR. Kazakhstan could not be more
strategically positioned; a key hub of OBOR; a
key member of the Eurasia Economic Union (EEU);
member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
(SCO); and not by accident the smelter of most
of Russia's gold.
In parallel, Russia and China are advancing
their own payment systems. With the yuan now
enjoying the status of a global currency, China
has been swiftly promoting their
CIPS, careful not to frontally antagonize the
internationally accepted SWIFT, controlled
by the US.
on the other hand, has stressed the creation of
"an alternative," in the words of Russian
Central Bank's Elvira Nabiullina, in the form
of the Mir payment system a Russian version
of Visa/ MasterCard. What's implied is that were
Washington feel inclined to somehow exclude
Russia from SWIFT, even temporarily, at least 90
percent of ATMs in Russia would be able
to operate on Mir.
China's UnionPay cards are already an
established fixture all across Asia
enthusiastically adopted by HSBC, among others.
Combine "alternative" payment systems with a
and "toxic" does not even begin to spell
out the reaction of the US Federal Reserve.
it's not just about Russia and China; it's
about the BRICS.
Deputy Governor of Russia's Central Bank Sergey
Shvetsov has outlined is just the beginning: "BRICS
countries are large economies with large
reserves of gold and an impressive volume
of production and consumption of this precious
metal. In China, the gold trade is conducted
in Shanghai, in Russia it is in Moscow. Our idea
is to create a link between the two cities
in order to increase trade between the two
Russia and China already have established
systems to do global trade bypassing the US
dollar. What Washington did to Iran
cutting their banks off SWIFT
is now unthinkable against Russia and China.
So we're already on our way, slowly but surely,
towards a BRICS "gold
"new financial architecture" is being built.
That will imply the eventual inability of the US
Fed to export inflation to other nations
especially those included in BRICS, EEU and SCO.
Generals, led by "Mad Dog" Mattis, may spin all
they want about their need to dominate the
planet with their sophisticated
AirSeaLandSpaceCyber commands. Yet that may be
not enough to counter the myriad ways the
Russia-China strategic partnership is
on than off, we will have Hollow Men
like Vice-President Mike Pence, with empurpled
solemnity, threatening North Korea; The shield
stands guard and the sword stands ready. Forget
this does not even qualify as a lousy line in a
cheap remake of a Hollywood B-movie; what we
have here is Aspiring Commander-in-Chief Pence
warning Russia and China there may be some
nuclear nitty-gritty very close to their borders
between the US and North Korea.
Not gonna happen. So here's to the great T. S.
Eliot, who saw it all decades in advance:
"We are the hollow men / We
are the stuffed men/ Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas! / Our dried
/ We whisper together
/ Are quiet
/ As wind in dry grass /
rats' feet over broken glass /
In our dry
views expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and do not necessarily reflect the
opinions of Information Clearing House.