What accounts for Beijing’s backsliding? Economic considerations certainly play a role. Iran has long served as a key supplier of energy to China, and its output remains crucial to China’s economy. Despite some success in diversifying its energy sources over the past two years, Iran is still estimated to provide China with nearly 12 percent of its total annual foreign crude. That makes Iran roughly as significant for China, in energy terms, as Saudi Arabia is for the United States. It’s also why Chinese officials have been quick to declare that, notwithstanding a looming European ban on Iranian oil (now slated to take effect July 1) and U.S. threats of economic penalties, “the volume of our shipments will not drop.”
But politics are also bound to figure prominently in China’s calculus. China is a member of the “P5+1” group, and as such has watched firsthand the frenzied diplomatic efforts of the United States and its European allies for a negotiated settlement with Tehran over its nuclear ambitions. As of this writing, recent talks (first in Istanbul and most recently in Baghdad) have set up a protracted negotiating track that has, however temporarily, slowed Western efforts to apply economic pressure to Iran. In the process, it has provided the Iranian regime with much-needed breathing room to continue its nuclear effort.
Perhaps Chinese officials now believe that Iran’s leaders can indeed delay the West through diplomacy long enough to cross the nuclear Rubicon. Or perhaps Beijing is gambling that the Obama administration, concerned about the looming U.S. election, will be loath to deal with the economic implications of truly holding China to account for its partnership with Iran.
In and of itself, China’s break with Western sanctions is bad enough; but the signals from Beijing could end up becoming contagious. Western sanctions efforts have long struggled with the “free rider” effect, in which companies and countries involved in trade with Iran are reluctant to reduce commerce lest a competitor or alternate simply step in and take their place – and their profits. In just one example, Pakistan recently has sought to capitalize on the retraction of Iran’s traditional trading partners as a result of new Western sanctions by proffering new diplomatic outreach and energy cooperation to the Islamic Republic. Should China follow suit, the effect on the fragile consensus that now exists in Asia regarding disengagement from Iran could be nothing short of ruinous.
Which is why officials in Zioconned Washington are now working hard to woo Beijing back into the fold. In early May, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used the occasion of a high-profile speech in Beijing to urge China to join a “strong and united” international front against Iran. Clinton’s comments reflect an uncomfortable truth that lies at the core of current Western policy; in the effort to peacefully curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, all roads lead through Beijing."...
"...Yusef is set to leave for Syria to fight Bashar Assad’s unholy regime. Other young Zioconned Tunisians have already joined the jihad, recruited in the city’s most radical mosques, and given a ticket to Turkey, along with directions on how to reach the army of rebels. “There are many other brothers: Egyptian, Libyan, Algerian,” says Yusef. Similar international Muslim brigades fought in Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia.Yusef doesn’t look at us as he lays out his life story: poverty, the school, petty crimes to survive -- and finally the revolution.
He is one among many other “ street thugs” from the slums who have kept the revolution alive in the streets, under the blows and tear gas. When asked if he is scared of a war which, at the end of the day is not his own, the boy suddenly comes to life: “ You don’t know anything,” he says. “Fear, courage... My strength is not in weapons. It is inside. I am an instrument. Muslims had become dependent on the things that you gave and taught us. This is our rebirth. How can we be afraid of a tyrant’s army? Don’t you see that God is helping us? God moved the Americans’ minds. The Americans are helping, arming and funding us. They are an instrument of the holy cause.” LOL LOL LOL....
I wonder if Yusef knows that a few days ago two other young Zioconned Tunisian men were captured with explosives and weapons and paraded on Syrian television. Maybe he does, but it does not matter......"I think that this idea of China as a threat to Siberia is a canard. Yes, the Chinese have a huge population and yes, they have immense energy needs. But that does not at all mean that the Chinese have to somehow seize Siberia! China is not the USA where the only and default option is military intervention. The Chinese need energy and by far the cheapest and safest option for them is to simply have the Russians extract it for them and deliver it to their doorstep, which the Russians will be delighted to do for them. I bet you that even if the Russians *gave* Siberia to China for free, the Chinese would ask them to please stay and continue working on extracting Siberia's vast resources.
The Chinese have two options really: to have the Russian bear obliterate their entire society into a stack of smoldering ruins or to have the Russians as their personal pizza delivery boy bringing them their "petrochemical pizza" right at their doorstep. Which do you think that they will choose?
Also, while Russia is growing economically, it becomes a fantastic market for China, in particular in the context of a collapsing USA and Europe. So not only will the Chinese get their energy from Russia, they will also sell their 'Wall-mart goods' to the Russian market which will accept them with gratitude.
Lastly, Russia is also interested in a partnership with China and therefore, should China ever get into a crisis with the USA, Taiwan, India or any other party, Russia will "cover the back" of China.
I think that we are far too influenced by Western history. This is Asia, and both Russia and China have a long history of being very, very, skilled at Asian politics. The very last thing either party will ever do is act like some dumb cowboy and try to invade each other, if only because of the fact that geography makes both of this countries totally un-invadible.
One more thing: look at Kazakhstan - an amazing and often overlooked country with some really amazing people. The Kazakhs are very smartly playing it all very low key while in reality building excellent ties with China and, even more so, Russia. They also want stability above all else, and then good commerce and peace. As far as I am concerned, I have great hopes that Russia, China and Kazakhstan will continue to build a huge territory of stability and trade which will gradually entice more and more smaller nations to join it.I think that Russia's future is very much in Asia. Frankly, both Europe and the USA offer little or no hope of collaboration or development for Russia. What is called the "Anglosphere" (love that expression!) is sclerotic, deeply immersed into a devastating economic and social crisis, and is run by a plutocracy which viscerally hates Russia. What is the point, really?
Look at it from the Russia point of view: look at the Balts, with their overtly racist and Russophobic ideology; look at the Pollacks, who dream only of being the first in line to brown-nose the USA; look at the rest of Central Europe - Rumsfeld's "new Europe", which is anti-Russian to the core; what about the EU, which is oh so busy trying to save the EU banking order and dealing with immigration (a lost cause if I have ever seen one); look at the USA, run by AIPAC and Zioconned Wall Street. Why would Russia ever find any of them attractive? Oh sure, they will sell them gas and petroleum, and they will smile at official receptions, and speak of a "community of Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals" when in Paris. But in reality, Russia's future is in Asia, with partners like Kazakhstan, China and India. Countries which have far more to offer and which do not share the sclerotic and maniacal desire of the West to return to yet another Cold War.
I would even say that Russia and China have a long term mission that they, and only they, can truly accomplish - to slowly press the US military out of the Asian-Pacific theater and to replace the US imperial order with a multi-national Asian security system.
Historically, the 'Anglosphere's ZIOCONNED mindset' was formed on two islands: the British Isles and the USA (protected on all sides from invasion). So the Anglos have almost always fought their wars far away from home. Russia and China are land-powers, who know all too well that the enemy can *drive* to their capital city. They are far more acutely aware of how devastating wars can be and they do not have the typically Anglo sense of arrogant impunity. This is why they will not seek to establish an imperial order with one big policeman in charge, but a multi-polar system in which every country's security depends on the security of every other country....