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China/Russia, the World's "Other" Superpower, Will Not Be Intimidated

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From commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vladimir_Putin_and_Xi_Jinping,_BRICS_summit_2015_01.jpg: Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping
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Yes, there is a second superpower in the world, the combination of China and Russia. Each country could be considered a superpower in its own right because both are large and powerful and possess nuclear arsenals. But when you consider the strong and growing alliance that they have created in recent times one can see why this combination of military strength, coupled with economic power, represents a true world superpower.

Why the U.S. government thinks it can intimidate these two very powerful countries is incomprehensible. And, yet, that's exactly what is has been trying to do; Russia in Ukraine and Crimea, and China in what the Obama administration calls the Asian Pivot; the deployment of U.S. military resources to establish control of the Asian Pacific region.

Remember, this is the U.S. military that could not subdue and control Vietnam, Afghanistan or Iraq, three relatively small nations with a combined population of 157 million; but now it seems to think it can go up against China and Russia with a combined population of 1.5 Billion.

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That's foolish, totally misguided thinking that will only lead to disaster if it continues to be followed. When is this U.S. government going to wake up to the fact that it can no longer dominate and control the majority of nations of this world and especially these two powers; that's a fool's errand.

Here are some reasons why this intimidation won't work. Neither China nor Russia has shown any real fear of the U.S. or its military. In the confrontation between U.S./NATO and Russia in Ukraine, when Putin and Obama stared each other down, it was Mr. Obama who blinked first and then backed away from his empty threat to send billions in military equipment to the government of Ukraine.

Putin has recently moved a significant amount of military equipment along with advisers and troops into Syria, and he didn't check to see whether Mr. Obama liked it or not. And then he took the initiative to recommend that the U.S. take part in negotiations to discuss that crisis to determine how to initially bring it under control and then end it.

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Not long ago President Obama initiated the "Asian Pivot" by which the U.S. intends to control that region primarily with its naval power. China saw what Mr. Obama had in mind and reacted by just continuing to go about its business, being not the least bit intimidated. Those kinds of threats just bounce off of China and it never deviates from the course it has set.

Why doesn't President Obama get the message being sent to him; "enough already, stop;" these countries will not be intimidated, they will not bend to U.S. dictates, and to even think about going into a war against either or both, would be sheer madness. This is the 21st century, the Cold War is over and we don't need another one.

Want to know what will happen if and when China ever feels extremely threatened, how it could retaliate against that threat in several ways? Its leaders are far too wise to launch any kind of military action. Instead, they could initiate actions that would do substantial damage to America's economy and financial stability.

China holds some $1.3 trillion in U.S. securities. Since the U.S. continues to spend far more than its incoming revenues it is highly dependent on China and other nations to continue to buy these securities. If China curtailed the purchasing of new securities and also decided to dump the majority of its current holdings, the ramifications would be severe, affecting America's financial stability and the strength of the U.S. dollar; regardless of what those who dismiss this possibility and its effect on America say to the contrary. It's not a scenario we should ever want to see tested. If that would take place the ultra-sensitive, shaky U.S. stock market would quickly implode.

Secondly the U.S. is entirely hooked on China's manufacturing and its dirt cheap labor force. China could, if threatened, use that very heavy dependence as the means by which to extract huge concessions of various kinds from these corporations, which would not only heavily impact their profits, but also America's already fragile U.S. economy.

And then we have China's ace in the hole. it presently produces and controls more than 95% of all rare earth materials that are used to manufacture a wide variety of electronic technologies including cell phones, DVD's, lithium car batteries, , wind turbines, flat-screen television, solar panels, fluorescent light bulbs, and, of great significance, military defense components such as missile guidance systems.

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The Chinese, back in 2010, because of a political dispute with Japan, began to restrict shipments of these rare earth materials which caused substantial problems for many countries. The restrictions were later removed. Just think of the effect that it would have on America, because of its great dependence on these rare materials and associated products, if China retaliated and instituted a long-lasting hold on such manufacturing and exports. Sure the U.S., as well as other countries, could find the ways to produce some of these materials but China would still remain largely in control.

Of course, by taking such aggressive, retaliatory actions, China would also inflict financial damage upon itself; but if it feels seriously threatened, then what other course of action would it have? Retaliation would probably be its next move since these methods would constitute a much better option than going to war against the U.S.

Instead of being the least bit intimidated the leadership of China and Russia are watching what the U.S. is doing and thinking that it's only a matter of time before this House of Cards is going to collapse upon itself. And so they watch and wait and ignore the attempts at intimidation sent their way.

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)
 

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