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    Why Outcome of Potential US-China Clash Can be Determined by Russia

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    In light of the potential confrontation between a rapidly emerging China and still dominant America, Russia's role has acquired a new meaning, political scientist Andranik Migranyan writes for RIA Novosti. According to the academic, Russia is being subjected to attacks from the US since it covers China's rear.

    It is no secret that Washington is seeking to take Russia out of the global game, Andranik Migranyan, a Russian political scientist and professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, writes for RIA Novosti.

    According to the academic, tensions between the US and Russia started escalating after Vladimir Putin's famous 2007 Munich speech, in which the president warned the international community against the exertion of the US-backed "unipolar model" and predicted an "uncontained hyper use of military force" by NATO.

    Migranyan opined that "one should not expect the US and Russia to improve their relations in the foreseeable future, whoever is at the helm of these states." The crux of the matter is that Russo-American relations are determined by broader global issues, one of which is the rapid rise of China challenging America's predominance.

    As Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz noted in his speech delivered at the 2018 Security Conference in Munich "the power centers are shifting, the US is still a strong state, but they are moving away from international politics," while "China is filling this political vacuum."

    "The US no longer possesses clear military-technical dominance, and China is rapidly emerging as a would-be superpower in science and technology," Elsa B. Kania, an adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security, an influential Washington think tank, told NBC News. 

    Beijing is likely to challenge Washington's dominance not only in Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific region, but on the international arena in general, Migranyan suggested, adding that a potential clash between the two global powers is just a matter of time.

    To tackle the emerging challenge, the US is pursuing a strategy of encircling China and using Beijing's disputes with its neighbors to create an anti-China coalition. The Russian professor believes that the core of this coalition could be formed by Japan, India, Vietnam, the Philippines and Australia.

    "In light of a possible battle between the two giants in the foreseeable future, Russia's role and significance are increasing dramatically," the academic highlighted. "Obviously, having a huge nuclear-missile arsenal, vast spaces and immense resources, Russia can decide the fate of the confrontation in case it takes the side of one of the giants in the battle."

    However, instead of trying to bring Russia into its fold, the US has adopted an opposite strategy aimed at depriving Russia of its sovereignty and independence, the professor suggested.

    Washington is seeking to neutralize Russia which "covers China's rear" and create threats to Beijing from Russia's direction.

    "In recent years, we have seen the elements of this strategy being implemented," Migranyan underscored. "These are sanctions over Ukraine, attempts to strangle Russia's economy and to involve [Russia] in wars and a new arms race in order to cause a split among the Russian elites, [to drive a wedge between] the Russian people and their leader."

    The question then arises as to whether US war planners will succeed.

    According to Migranyan, the supposed plan is doomed to failure: First, the US has overreached itself over the past two decades of perpetual wars. The professor echoes Jeffrey D. Sachs' article "The fatal expense of American imperialism," published in The Boston Globe in October 2016, just a month before the US presidential elections.

    "The imperial thinking has led to wars of regime change in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Syria, across four presidencies: George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama," Sachs stressed.

    Second, according to the professor, Russian society is likely to further consolidate its forces in case of the West exerting substantial pressure on Moscow.

    Third, to illustrate his point, the Russian academic referred to Washington's failed attempts to coerce North Korea into submission. 

    Fourth, Migranyan doubts that Western Europe will endorse Washington's confrontation with Russia and China, as that could deal a fatal blow to the EU's own economic and political interests.

    Thus, on Saturday, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel voiced Berlin's growing concerns over America's foreign policy during the Munich Security Conference. "We no longer recognize our America," he said, adding that "just pursuing individual national interests" is not appropriate.

    Fifth, the Russian academic hopes that China may lend its helping hand to Russia.

    "If in this confrontation China supports Russia more vigorously, it is likely that the US will understand that its strategy of pressuring Russia is futile and will change the paradigm of its policy. Otherwise, [the US] itself is at risk of being broken because of the exorbitant imperial overstrain," Migranyan concluded.

    The views and opinions expressed by Andranik Migranyan are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    confrontation, clash, security, 2018 Munich Security Conference, NATO, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Afghanistan, China, Syria, United States, Russia, Southeast Asia
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