By Pepe Escobar
The speaker of the Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin,
may have created the defining acronym for the
emerging multipolar world: “the new G8”.
As Volodin noted, “the United States has
created conditions with its own hands so that
countries wishing to build an equal dialogue and
mutually beneficial relations will actually form
a ‘new G8’ together with Russia.”
This non Russia-sanctioning G8, he added, is
24.4% ahead of the old one, which is in fact the
G7, in terms of GDP in purchasing power parity
(PPP), as G7 economies are on the verge of
collapsing and the U.S. registers record
The power of the acronym was confirmed by one
of the researchers on Europe at the Russian
Academy of Sciences, Sergei Fedorov: three BRICS
members (Brazil, China and India) alongside
Russia, plus Indonesia, Iran, Turkey and Mexico,
all non adherents to the all-out Western
economic war against Russia, will soon dominate
Fedorov stressed the power of the new G8 in
population as well as economically: “If the
West, which restricted all international
organizations, follows its own policies, and
pressures everyone, then why are these
organizations necessary? Russia does not follow
The new G8, instead, “does not impose
anything on anyone, but tries to find common
The coming of the new G8 points to the
inevitable advent of BRICS +, one of the key
themes to be discussed in the upcoming BRICS
summit in China. Argentina is very much
interested in becoming part of the extended
BRICS and those (informal) members of the new G8
– Indonesia, Iran, Turkey, Mexico – are all
The intersection of the new G8 and BRICS +
will lead Beijing to turbo-charge what has
already been conceptualized as the
Three Rings strategy by Cheng Yawen, from
the Institute of International Relations and
Public Affairs at the Shanghai International
Cheng argues that since the beginning of the
2018 U.S.-China trade war the Empire of Lies and
its vassals have aimed to “decouple”; thus the
Middle Kingdom should strategically downgrade
its relations with the West and promote a new
international system based on South-South
Looks like if it walks and talks like the new
G8, that’s because it’s the real deal.
revolution reaches the “global countryside”
Cheng stresses how “the center-periphery
hierarchy of the West has been perpetuated as an
implicit rule” in international relations; and
how China and Russia, “because of their strict
capital controls, are the last two obstacles to
further U.S. control of the global periphery”.
So how would the Three Rings – in fact a new
global system – be deployed?
The first ring “is China’s neighboring
countries in East Asia, Central Asia, and the
Middle East; the second ring is the vast number
of developing countries in Asia, Africa, and
Latin America; and the third ring extends to the
traditional industrialized countries, mainly
Europe and the United States.”
The basis for building the Three Rings is
deeper Global South integration. Cheng notes how
“between 1980-2021, the economic volume of
developing countries rose from 21 to 42.2
percent of the world’s total output.”
And yet “current trade flows and mutual
investments of developing countries are still
heavily dependent on the financial and monetary
institutions/networks controlled by the West. In
order to break their dependence on the West and
further enhance economic and political autonomy,
a broader financial and monetary cooperation,
and new sets of instruments among developing
countries should be constructed”.
This is a veiled reference to the current
discussions inside the Eurasia Economic Union
(EAEU), with Chinese participation, designing an
alternative financial-monetary system not only
for Eurasia but for the Global South – bypassing
possible American attempts to enforce a sort of
Bretton Woods 3.0.
Cheng uses a Maoist metaphor to illustrate
his point – referring to ‘the revolutionary path
of ‘encircling the cities from the
countryside’”. What is needed now, he argues, is
for China and the Global South to “overcome the
West’s preventive measures and cooperate with
the ‘global countryside’ – the peripheral
countries – in the same way.”
So what seems to be in the horizon, as
conceptualized by Chinese academia, is a “new
G8/BRICS+” interaction as the revolutionary
vanguard of the emerging multipolar world,
designed to expand to the whole Global South.
That of course will mean a deepened
internationalization of Chinese geopolitical and
geoeconomic power, including its currency. Cheng
qualifies the creation of a “three ring “
international system as essential to “break
through the [American] siege”.
It’s more than evident that the Empire won’t
take that lying down.
The siege will continue. Enter the
Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), spun as
yet another proverbial “effort” to – what else –
contain China, but this time all the way from
Northeast Asia to Southeast Asia, with Oceania
thrown in as a bonus.
The American spin on IPEF is heavy on
“economic engagement”: fog of (hybrid) war
disguising the real intent to divert as much
trade as possible from China – which produces
virtually everything – to the U.S. – which
produces very little.
The Americans give away the game by heavily
focusing their strategy on 7 of the 10 ASEAN
nations – as part of yet another desperate dash
to control the American-denominated
“Indo-Pacific”. Their logic: ASEAN after all
needs a “stable partner”; the American economy
is “comparatively stable”; thus ASEAN must
subject itself to American geopolitical aims.
IPEF, under the cover of trade and economics,
plays the same old tune, with the U.S. going
after China from three different angles.
– The South China Sea, instrumentalizing
– The Yellow and East China Seas,
instrumentalizing Japan and South Korea to
prevent direct Chinese access to the Pacific.
– The larger “Indo-Pacific” (that’s were
India as a member of the Quad comes in).
It’s all labeled as a sweet apple pie of
“stronger and more resilient Indo-Pacific with
corridors are back
Beijing is hardly losing any sleep thinking
about IPEF: after all most of its multiple trade
connections across ASEAN are rock solid. Taiwan
though is a completely different story.
At the annual Shangri-La dialogue this past
weekend in Singapore, Chinese Defense Minister
Wei Fenghe went straight to the point, actually
defining Beijing’s vision for an East Asia order
(not “rules-based”, of course).
Taiwan independence is a “dead end”, said
General Wei, as he asserted Beijing’s peaceful
aims while vigorously slamming assorted U.S.
“threats against China”. At any attempt at
interference, “we will fight at all costs, and
we will fight to the very end”. Wei also handily
dismissed the U.S. drive to “hijack”
Indo-Pacific nations, without even mentioning
China at it stands is firmly concentrated on
stabilizing its western borders – which will
allow it to devote more time to the South China
Sea and the “Indo-Pacific” further on down the
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi went on a
crucial trip to Kazakhstan – a full member of
both BRI and the EAEU – where he met President
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and all his counterparts
from the Central Asian “stans” in a summit in
Nur-Sultan. The group – billed as C+C5 –
discussed everything from security, energy and
transportation to Afghanistan and vaccines.
In sum, this was all about developing
much-needed corridors of BRI/ New Silk Roads –
in sharp contrast to the proverbial Western
lamentations about BRI reaching a dead end.
Two BRI-to-the-bone projects will go on
overdrive: the China-Central Asia Gas Pipeline
Line D, and the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan
railway. Both have been years in the making, but
now have become absolutely essential, and will
be the flagship BRI projects in the Central
The China-Central Asia Gas Pipeline Line D
will link Turkmenistan’s gas fields to Xinjiang
via Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. That
was the main theme of the discussions when
Turkmen President Berdimuhamedow visited Beijing
for the Winter Olympics.
The 523 km China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan
railway for its part will crucially link the two
Central Asian “stans” to the China-Europe
freight rail network, via the existing rail
networks in Turkmenistan.
Considering the current incandescent
geopolitical scenario in Ukraine, this is a
bombshell in itself, because it will enable
freight from China to travel via Iran or via
Caspian ports, bypassing sanctioned Russia. No
hard feelings, in terms of the Russia-China
strategic partnership: just business.
The Kyrgyz, predictably, were ecstatic.
Construction begins next year. According to
Kyrgyz President Zhaparov, “there will be jobs.
Our economy will boom.”
Talk about China acting decisively in its
“first ring”, in Central Asia. Don’t expect
anything of such geoeconomic breadth and scope
being “offered” by IPEF anywhere in ASEAN.
The views expressed in this article are
solely those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.
of Vladimir Putin’s speech at SPIEF June 17,
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