And they are looking for ways to tear Moscow and Beijing apart
Japan has never concealed that they would like to tear Russia away from China, preventing their joint confrontation with the United States in the Asia-Pacific or, as American geopolitics now call it, the Indo-Pacific region.
In a recent article published in the edition Nikkei Asiaconnected with the media corporation of Japanese business circles “Nihon Keizai Shimbun”, author Hiroyuki Akita asks whether Russia and China will always remain best friends and whether the PRC will help the Russian Federation to solve the “Ukrainian question”, and Moscow will participate on the side of Beijing in solving the “Taiwan question “.
Judging by the tone of the article, the author doubts this perspective. And he justifies his calculations by the imbalance in the economic potential of the two states. Akita convinces the reader that Moscow, realizing its economic lag behind China, is afraid of Beijing.
“Russia is becoming increasingly worried and wary as China outstrips it in economic and military power. China’s GDP is about 10 times higher than Russia’s. According to the UN, trade between the two countries has grown by 58% since 2015 to $ 107 billion in 2020. But the gap in their economic global presence is huge – the total volume of China’s foreign trade reached 4.7 trillion dollars in 2020, which is eight times more than that of Russia. “– writes a Japanese author.
He recalls that while Russia has a much larger nuclear potential than China, Beijing’s defense spending is estimated to be three to four times that of Moscow. If the situation does not change, China will soon have a significant advantage over Russia in conventional weapons.
And right there, a provocative conclusion is drawn from this that Russia, demonstrating eternal friendship with China, is in fact … preparing for a war with the Celestial Empire. “Russia must be feeling a bit uncomfortable. One military expert says the Russian military never stops training exercises and war games aimed at preparing for a possible conflict with China. “– says Akita. He adds that “Two neighbors … had a bloody border conflict in 1969; their partnership is not based on friendship or trust, but on general antagonism towards the United States. “…
Akita does not name his “source”, who told about the “secret preparation of Russia for the war with China,” because then he would have to answer. Although without that, for such provocative statements, the author of the article should be brought to justice.
He is trying to link the Ukrainian problem with the Taiwan one. And reasoning: “If the Ukrainian crisis deepens, it may be difficult for the United States to redeploy a significant portion of its armed forces from Europe to the Indo-Pacific region. This will allow China to become even more offensive in the Taiwan Strait, as well as in the East China and South China Seas. “… This, he says, cannot but worry Japan, which, we recall, according to the former Prime Minister and now Don of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party Shinzo Abe, will not remain indifferent in the event of any events around Taiwan.
“The emergency situation around Taiwan will be an emergency situation for Japan as well. And it will be an emergency for the Japanese-American alliance. The people of China, and especially President Xi Jinping, should not be mistaken in their understanding of this moment, “ – said Abe, speaking at a forum organized by the Taiwan Institute for the Study of National Policy. “A military invasion of Taiwan will inevitably become a serious threat to Japan.”– he added.
It seems that Tokyo is seriously worried about the situation when it may find itself face to face with China. “The warning signs are already starting to appear. On November 29, the US Department of Defense released a report on the global military situation and the intentions of the United States. The report appears to have denied expectations that the United States would move decisively to the Indo-Pacific to confront China. Insiders in Washington say the US pivot towards Asia has been stalled for now. Partly because negotiations with Japan over the US military stationed in this country have not yet been completed, but also because the escalation of tensions around Ukraine and Iran is also hindering a radical regrouping of American forces. “ – Akita is concerned.
The author “reassures” the reader, noting that “It would be wrong to think that China and Russia are coordinating their provocations against Ukraine and Taiwan: their mutual trust is not yet deep enough for such a policy.”… However, he immediately contradicts himself, claiming that “Chinese and Russian armed forces have teamed up for a series of provocative (?! – A.K.) action in Asia and Europe “… Say, “At the end of October, 10 warships of the Chinese and Russian navies passed through the Tsugaru and Osumi straits, almost rounding the Japanese archipelago”… It is indicated that, according to military experts, the Chinese were invited to participate in this operation.
If the PRC in Japan is accused of plans for the armed seizure of Taiwan, the Diaoyu Islands (Senkaku), expansion in the South China Sea and even plans to “return” the one ruled by China in the 15th – 19th centuries. “Ryukyu Kingdom” (Okinawa), then “pursued by the past” V. Putin is suspected of striving “Return the former Soviet republics to the Russian sphere of influence”… The author of the article notes that “This would have the most serious consequences for the security of both Europe and the rest of the world”…
Recommendations on how to respond to the “expansionism” of Moscow and Beijing follow: “The bottom line should be that the US, Europe and Japan demonstrate that they will never yield to pressure from Beijing and Moscow. US President Joe Biden also needs to maintain a position that he is ready to provide military support to Ukraine in resisting Russian intimidation “… It seems that the Russian authorities should react more decisively to such statements.
Emphasizing the “contradictions” between Russia and China, the Japanese author writes: “Russia does not want to be drawn into the conflict in the Taiwan Strait, and China does not want to be involved in the affairs of Ukraine. The clash between the United States and China over Taiwan is likely to escalate into an all-out war, which, perhaps, one way or another, will drag Russia into it. And Putin secretly fears such a scenario “…
The opinion of the head of the department of military-political programs of the National Institute for Defense Research of the Japan Self-Defense Forces Shinji Hyoudou is given: “Putin has expressed opposition to Taiwan’s independence over the question of China, but he has never stated that he will accept unification. (reunification of the island with the PRC. – A.K.) by force. Russia has no intention of fighting the United States over China in the Taiwan Strait. In the event of a war between the United States and China, Russia is likely to distance itself from the conflict. “… At the same time, Japan emphasizes that the Chinese authorities are in no hurry to recognize Crimea as Russian, confirming their unwillingness to dive into the “Ukrainian problem.”
Warning from calculations about the imminent separation of China and Russia from each other, the Japanese author urges to continue working on this: “China and Russia deeply need each other, and it would be a mistake on the part of the United States, Europe and Japan to think that they can immediately drive a wedge into relations between the two powers. However, they must make an effort to see this relationship in all its complexity and look for a weak spot in this partnership. “…
Moscow and Beijing are well aware of attempts to “drive a wedge” into Russian-Chinese relations and respond to their opponents accordingly. “The friendship between Russia and China is indestructible. We are united and strong as a great mountain – especially in the face of US containment and pressure. Together we confront their hegemony, fake democracy and multiculturalism, and we are also fighting new forms of manifestation of the Cold War. All this suggests that our relations are stronger and closer than just allied ones. “, – said in an interview with the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, his Chinese colleague Wei Fenghe. And these are not just words, but a long-term policy.
Photo: REUTERS /Tyrone Siu
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