They say that with patience and wit you can achieve anything. By adding a little impudence, you can achieve even more. Supplement the aforementioned qualities with money and it becomes only a matter of time until you're able to fulfill all of your dreams. This time we will talk about China, a backwards country that turned into one of the most influential nations in the world. But for China that's simply not enough, and it is similar to Russia in this regard, but there is one huge difference: the Chinese increase their influence slowly by using financial leverage, the media and innovations, while Russia favors brutal force and impudence.
Quite paradoxically, when Joe Biden met with Vladimir Putin he urged him to think about Russia's dependence from China. 1 Putin, in his arrogance, naturally won't even entertain the thought that China has become much more influential and powerful than Russia.
Indeed, the lack of historical knowledge or relying on alternative history can have grave consequences. If Putin knew the history of his beloved USSR, he would remember that the Chinese military-industrial complex relied on the Soviet Union - but the Chinese secretly replicated and improved everything. This resulted in China surpassing Russia and now pursuing its own path.
Russia is currently facing problems with procuring certain materials due to the economic sanctions imposed against it. China, however, is able to acquire anything it wants. We can conclude that China has surpassed Russia in arms development and sales, and we can already talk about Russia's military-industrial complex being dependent on China, not the other way around.
China is digging its talons into the crumbled Russia slowly and steadily. While Russia is impudently attempting to broaden its sphere of influence and is staking claims to things that have never existed, China is acting quietly and calmly and not even mentioning the fact that Russia once seized its territories in Siberia and the Far East. 2
Of course, it's merely a coincidence that the number of Chinese in these regions is gradually increasing - Chinese citizens are buying land and the territories have seen considerable investments from China. For instance, already in 2018 China planned to invest more than 30 billion USD in different projects in the Far East region. 3
The importance of the Chinese in the Far East is evidenced by the belief that if the Chinese would leave the region, it would overgrow with weeds instantly. 4 Therefore, it's only a matter of time until these regions slowly return to China's control. The locals would be fine with this, as there are already many Chinese citizens and the rest depend on China's benevolence. People are well aware that they would never receive such support from Russia.
This issue is not on China's diplomatic agenda, at least for now. I'm certain it will appear on China's agenda once it's certain it can achieve its intended goal - one that won't favor Russia.
Diplomacy is China's biggest trump card. When criticized, China doesn't get mad but instead calmly explains its position. China communicates with citizens from different countries in an attempt to shape their opinion in favor of Beijing. I will add that in this regard Latvia is no exception - the Chinese ambassador often gives lengthy interviews to particular media outlets.
In addition, already in April 2021 China's economy showed signs of rapid growth, which is definitely not the case for other countries, especially Russia. Chinese exports have grown more than 32%, while imports rose 43%, which is the highest increase since 2011. This means that China can continue providing its "silk noose" aid. Yes, you read that right - it is a "silk noose". Any country caught in this noose has close to no chance of escaping it. It will be able to formally keep its national symbols, but China will de facto rule the country.
Ironically, Russia currently believes China to be its greatest ally in the fight against the West. 5 China and US do have their disagreements on multiple issues, but we mustn't forget the saying that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Considering what I wrote about Russia seizing Chinese lands and the fact that Russia is being thoughtfully silent about the issue, it is very unlikely that China considers Russia its friend. China is cooperating with Russia as far as their interests coincide.
Both Russia and China are attempting to become the most influential country in the world, but there is only one first place, therefore it is also very unlikely that any cooperation would not be without secret intentions. If we look at the resources available to both nations, we can't talk about Russia cooperating with China, but instead China cooperating with Russia.
The moral of the story - Biden and Putin are not very friendly towards each other, but the US president still believes he needs to warn Putin. It's difficult to say whether Putin will listen to him, but if he won't his days are numbered. And if Putin's days are numbered, so are Lukashenko's. Does anyone still remember China's generous investments in Belarus?
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).