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Will the United States and the Europeans be able to share the fate of China and Russia? "China has been silent and in silence has been watching"

The war in Ukraine has changed American thinking. Can the policy of "double containment" of China and Russia at the same time still be sustained? What role should the European Union play? Or could the fates of Moscow and Beijing still be divided to the advantage of the West? In international politics, Russia weathered the storm of Western sanctions in the early stages of the war, and the Global South went from ambiguity to silent sympathy for Moscow. China has resisted Western pressure and maintained and developed all normal relations with Moscow. Russia needs China's military assistance, but does not rely on China's direct assistance. China understands very well that "supporting" Russia through direct military assistance would be "an unbearable burden" for it. But the economic exchange is another story, a "disguise" that indirectly supports Putin's war against Ukraine. This is a real exchange: the delivery of money, the delivery of goods or the exchange. The benefit is mutual. Russia will increase China's energy independence and Beijing will ensure Russia's industrialization. Against the West there will be division of labor with power asymmetry. Will China and Russia never be separated? Nothing in the world lasts forever. But as long as China is the main enemy of the United States and grievances between Washington and Moscow over the war in Ukraine cannot be resolved, there will be no chance for China and Russia to separate. "The colder it gets, the tighter we huddle together; when it gets hot, it will be hard to tell." But where will the heat come from? That is a question. China has so far remained silent and quietly "watched."



by Victoria Vdovychenko, Nicola and Gabriele Iuvinale


The Chinese leader did not attend the inauguration ceremony of Putin's new term, but Putin visited China as soon as he came to power and will return to Beijing in May.

On May 16, U.S. State Department spokesman Patel warned Beijing that China cannot have it both ways between the West and Russia. U.S. Director of Intelligence Haines reported that China and Russia are increasing cooperation on the Taiwan issue, forcing the United States into a two-front war. In an exclusive interview with Voice of America, Pompeo said the U.S. must do everything possible to separate China and Russia, which are complicit with each other.

Pompeo when he took office as Secretary of State, he planned together with National Security Adviser Bolton to establish the "dual containment" policy that is still being implemented today: containing China and Russia at the same time.

But the war in Ukraine has changed American thinking: the United States cannot sustain two wars on two fronts.

Russia has shown unexpected tenacity: not only has it shown increasing strength on the battlefield, it has also stabilized its economic position. In international politics, Russia weathered the storm of Western sanctions in the early stages of the war, and the Global South went from ambiguity to silent sympathy toward Moscow. China has resisted Western pressure and maintained and developed all normal relations with Moscow.

Russia needs China's military assistance, but does not rely on China's direct assistance. China understands very well that "supporting" Russia through direct military assistance would be "an unbearable burden" for it.

But economic exchange is another story, a "disguise" that indirectly supports Putin's war against Ukraine.

This is a real exchange: the delivery of money, the delivery of goods or the exchange of goods. The benefit is mutual.

Russia will increase China's energy independence and Beijing will ensure Russia's industrialization. Against the West there will be division of labor with power asymmetry.

Energy exports are the lifeblood of the Russian economy. Russian oil and gas exports to Europe were drastically reduced after the war in Ukraine and now, reduced to a trickle, will soon cease altogether.

China also needs a lot of oil and gas. The West is very skeptical that China can offset Russia's oil and gas exports, on the one hand, with Chinese demand and, on the other, with pipelines and transportation capacity.

China has remained silent and quietly "watched."

China's population is almost three times that of Europe, which also includes countries with large populations such as Russia and Ukraine. The actual population of the EU is only 450 million. China's per capita consumption of oil and gas is still far less than Europe's, but the base is there and the demand is essential.

Pipelines can be built but the biggest problem is actually geopolitics. The direction of the pipeline is not simple. Whether it goes through Kazakhstan or Mongolia involves geopolitical considerations between China and Russia. The "Power of Siberia Line 2" goes through Mongolia and China is not yet comfortable with it, so its progress is a bit hesitant.

In fact, the West does not care about Chinese exports of automobiles and industrial products in general to Russia. It is true that it is grieved by the loss of the Russian market, but this will not have much impact on the Ukrainian war and Russia's national strength.

But Chinese exports of machine tools and computer-controlled chips are what the West is particularly concerned about.



Chinese CNC machine tools have been criticized for many years and are considered not high-end.

However, China leads the world in CNC machine tool production and is also the trunk of the world's manufacturing industry, although it has not yet "occupied" its head.

Russia's manufacturing industry was obsolete and clunky during the Soviet era. After decades of neglect, it is now a zombie. However, the war in Ukraine has awakened Russia, which must work hard to revive and become a major export destination for Chinese CNC machine tools. In February 2022, before the outbreak of war in Ukraine, China's CNC machine tool exports to Russia amounted to only $6.5 million. In July 2023, this figure rose to $68 million.

This is long-term medicine for Russia's revitalization, more effective than wholesale aid of 200 tanks.



Another thing is chips.

Similarly, the Chinese are still lagging behind on breaking through 5nm, but what Russia needs most, from military industry to civilian use, are traditional chips.

Among other things, China supplies Moscow with components for cell phones and drones used in the war, as well as multispectral infrared cameras, antennas and SOCs.

In fact, it can be seen that China is quietly helping Russia and there is little the United States can do about it.

In the U.S. and EU everyone sees the danger of the China-Russia alliance, what Brzezinski warned "never to let happen."

This is not only a de facto alliance, but also a wide circle that extends to the Global South.

The dismantling of the China-Russia alliance is something the United States has been talking about for a long time.

When the war in Ukraine broke out, Russia also realized that it needed China's strength in the trade and technology war. The United States has a strong need to isolate and defeat Russia, but, in fact, dismantling the Sino-Russian alliance today has become impossible. This is because China has become the main target of U.S. repression, but also the main lever for trying to dismantle the Sino-Russian alliance.

This is an irreconcilable contradiction.

From Crimea to the present, China has gone from "slightly stronger than Russia" to "slightly weaker than the United States," and the development trend is still upward.

The main strategic enemy of the United States today is China, while Russia has become a secondary enemy; but, because of the war in Ukraine, it has turned into a sworn enemy with no room for maneuver. It is not that this is impossible to change, but the political cost is too high and not possible in the near future.

Mostly political and economic pressure should be used to break the alliance between the middle and the weak (China and Russia). In this chessboard, the European Union would play an important role in threatening "economically" (by reducing trade with China) the fragile Chinese finances; however, European political action and the fear of losing GDP by reducing trade with China immobilize the fragile European chancelleries.

The United States is now reaching a dead end on its own. It cannot attract China to itself, nor can it attract Russia. On the contrary, it is forced to push China and Russia closer and closer.

China knows full well that it is the number one enemy of the United States and would be tempted to kick Russia out. But China is not stupid and will not be fooled. Beijing is not willing to exert pressure to force China to oust Russia. If the trade and technology wars are fought to this extent, the economic cold war will become a political and military cold war.


As the saying goes, "you can't have it both ways": what could China "get" from the United States by kicking Russia out? It would not even be possible to give up Taiwan in exchange, because China already considers Taiwan in its pocket.

The sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe have also caused Russia to give up its dream of embracing the West and wholeheartedly embrace the East and the South.

Compared to the vast sums of money and weapons flowing from the United States and Europe to Ukraine, it is the CNC machine tools, chips, cars, and general industrial products flowing from China to Russia that have silently changed the battlefield situation and European political trends.

Will China and Russia never be separated? Nothing in the world lasts forever. But as long as China is the main enemy of the United States and the grievances between the United States and Russia because of the war in Ukraine cannot be resolved, there will be no chance for China and Russia to separate. The colder it gets, the tighter we huddle together; when it gets hot, it will be hard to tell.

But where will the heat come from? That is a question.

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