This may come as a surprise to most Americans, given the trillions of dollars in debt added to the country’s balance sheet and the sacrifices made by the country’s armed forces fighting terrorism and radical Islam since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, but according to the Beijing-based Global Times newspaper, which often expresses the views of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the U.S. is the biggest source of global strategic risks.While discussing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Beijing on Saturday, the Global Times said that China and Russia vowed to strengthen global strategic stability.
“To strengthen global strategic stability is a new way of speaking to remind people of the US being the biggest source of global strategic risks,” the article states. “The joint [Chinese-Russian] statements have released outright criticism against the US, showing both Beijing and Moscow are fed up with Washington’s pursuit of hegemony.”
A China-Russia alliance will bring a game-changing impact on world order, the article added, while “the US’ efforts to encroach on China and Russia’s strategic room has rendered an interdependence between Beijing and Moscow over some core interest issues.”
“The US has never given up its ambitions to become a global empire. Its Prompt Global Strike system is a direct threat to any country’s national security. Forced by the US’ relentless efforts to squeeze China and Russia’s strategic room, Beijing and Moscow have to deal with the US back-to-back.”
The article makes makes for good press, playing into popular Chinese nationalism at home. However, cutting deeper into the Saturday meeting between Putin and Xi Jinping and Sino-Russian relations is a little more problematic.
Historically, there has been little love loss between China and Russia, including during the Soviet Union era. In fact, what should have been natural allies, two major powers, both communist in ideology, turned into mutual suspicion and even animosity.
It was souring Sino-Soviet relations that allowed President Richard Nixon to jump start Sino-U.S. relations in 1971. China and the Soviets fought a brief border war two years earlier, and according to one Chinese historian, the Soviet Union was on the brink of launching a nuclear attack against China in 1969 and only backed down after the U.S. told Moscow such a move would start World War III.
China’s communist party for its part vowed to learn lessons from its Soviet counterparts, particularly why it was crumbling apart in the late 1980s, which is one reason for Beijing’s brutality in Tiananmen Square in 1989 – the same year that communism collapsed in Eastern Europe.
Even after the Soviet Union collapsed and was replaced by the Russian Federation, there was still mistrust between Beijing and Moscow, including up to the time Xi Jinping took office in late 2012.
However, Xi Jinping is a pragmatic politician if nothing else. As his own geopolitical ambitions gathered momentum, particularly in the South China Sea, Sino-Russian relations thawed. Russia, who has its own geopolitical agenda to gather back many of the states that were once part of the Soviet Union, including Crimea and Ukraine, also needed to move closer to China.
A series of multi-billion oil and natural gas deals were soon inked between the two fledgling allies. Now, China and Russia are deepening ties even more – and rightly so, at least from the perspective of Beijing and Moscow.
Russia for its part has been crippled economically by western sanctions placed against its energy sector due to its annexation of Crimea. The U.S. and EU have also blacklisted dozens of senior Russian officials, separatist commanders and Russian firms accused of undermining Ukrainian sovereignty. As a result, Russia’s GDP shrank by 3.7% in 2015 and is predicted drop nearly 2% this year due to sanctions.