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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 6/24/15

Future Shock: China, Russia Target Europe as Economic Partner

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   9 comments
Message Michael Payne

Down through history there have been seismic shifts in geopolitical alliances and we may be watching one in the making as China, the prime mover, together with its formidable partner Russia, team up to pursue economic initiatives in Eurasia. These ambitious projects, originating in China, will proceed through Central Asia, into the Balkan countries, and end in Europe. What is in the offing could be described as combining economic power with geopolitical objectives.

Naysayers will contend that these new and exciting economic initiatives will never materialize because there are too many deep-seated geopolitical differences between the various parties involved that will prevent them from being advanced. Well just watch as China's master plan shifts into high gear and disproves the theory that European countries will not embrace it because of their extremely strong relationship with the U.S.

This could be the beginning of an economic revolution such as the world has rarely if ever seen. The scope of its magnitude is astounding. It is already being hailed by many as the revival of the ancient Silk Road, the famous trade route that, centuries ago, connected China with Europe. It's not if this massive endeavor will take root; it's already underway as one of the foundations of the plan, to greatly expand the existing Trans-Siberian Railway into European countries, was launched with a new 183 mile extension in Kazakhstan.

For some time this region of the world has experienced very tenuous times as the U.S. and European countries, over decades, had been very successful in recruiting more and more Eastern Europe countries into NATO with the objective of pinning their "common enemy", Russia, into a corner in which it could no longer represent a threat to them.

To say that their efforts have been an abject failure is certainly an understatement. The Western powers have spent a great deal of time and money on this ongoing military effort, including building a missile defense system in countries adjacent to Russia; but that's been an ill-conceived plan right from the start as Russia shows no signs whatsoever of being dominated by anyone including NATO.

Now we see that conditions in this region are slowly but surely changing. Ukraine was a flashpoint but it appears that neither side in this potential confrontation wants to stoke the fires of war, in particular, the Europeans. It's becoming evident that they are tired of these constant confrontations with Russia and they are growing weary with being subservient to the U.S. and having to dance to the tune that the U.S. military establishment plays.

What is in the making is something that could represent one of these seismic shifts. It has a tremendous potential to create new and exciting economic opportunities and a plethora of new trade agreements for the many nations involved and it could, conceivably, dramatically alter the geopolitical alliances in this region.

China is the power that will fuel these efforts. However Russia, now closely aligned with it, will play an important role because of its substantial influence over many countries that are likely to be involved. Russia, already with a very large trading relationship with European countries, could see a significant increase in trade, together with the building of relationships and trust with the European countries as these ambitious plans are placed into effect.

What then might follow? A gradual but positive easing of tensions, the expansion of the world's most important trading region; and who knows, we could very well see the Euro nations decide to back off their strong association with NATO and build their own Euro defensive-oriented security force, as was the case when they initially formed NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

However, there is a danger that huge obstacles will be thrown in the way as the U.S. government and its large contingent of war hawks already see what is going on, what China's long term plans are, and they are, no doubt, furious; and it's a safe bet that they will work tirelessly to attempt to stop this economic juggernaut in its tracks.

Now the U.S. government, if it were blessed with rational-thinking leaders, might realize that the best way to counter this Chinese economic plan would be to match it with one of their own. Then there would be a chance that they could slow it down or effectively end it; in other words, beat China at its own game. That's what the America of the past would have done. But this is a different America, with a government that has lost its ability to compete, and there is no way these leaders in Washington would ever consider such an option. They know that to compete with China in economic ventures would require them to shift massive amounts of funding from the military into positive and constructive economic projects across the world; so, clearly, that option is DOA.

What the Washington war hawks will do is to continue to try to use U.S. military power to bring enormous pressure on China and Russia but it won't work. They will also bring relentless pressure on all their Euro allies to try to prevent them from entering into these agreements. But that could be an impossible task because it appears that Europe is rapidly reaching its limits in submitting to the dictates of the U.S. Though it will be very difficult for them, they will have to finally cut the cord with the domineering U.S. government and do what is best for their countries and their people.

AIIB, the Asian the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will provide the funding by which these infrastructure projects will be progressed and, to the dismay of the U.S. government, most of its major European allies have already joined it, with others ready to follow suit. So this serves to prove that these European countries have a definite interest in China's economic plans.

How is this possibly going to work when the U.S. will continue to advance its military presence and China is going to be building elaborate infrastructure projects at the same time in the same region? Well, without question, what we have here are two diametrically opposed objectives and the European nations will have to decide what their alliances will be going into the future.

They will not be able to "have their cake and eat it too." As they struggle with their economies and install more measures of austerity in their countries, with some following Greece into massive debt, what direction do we think they are going to take? Investing more money and effort on trying to do the impossible; to bring Russia to its knees?

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