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Chinese Diplomat Threatens Russian Journalist with Visa Cancellation, Disses Russian Economy
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China is well known for denying visas to overly critical and/or hostile journalists. Write too many bad and unfair things about it and you quietly get the boot, while China maintains plausible deniability. “Oops, your visa application seems to have gotten lost yet again, sorry.” Meanwhile, your employer loses its “on the ground presence” and is now saddled with supporting you at home. And while it is China that has gotten the most flak for such policies, this is in fact something that “democratic” countries such the US (anti-imperialists, socialists), Israel (anti-Zionists), and the Ukraine (Russian reporters) practice as well.

I don’t see anything wrong with this. Hateful, surly laowai have no innate, God-given right to sully their host nation’s soil with their propaganda, which in many cases they can produce at home just as easily. And it also seems to work, at least to the extent that the Western media seems to write far fewer calumnies against China than against Russia, which doesn’t systemically practice this (despite my long-standing suggestions that it should).

What is rather weird is stating such policies out loud and dissing that journalist’s country at large, especially when said country happens to be a strategic partner and not an adversary like Canada.

This is what recently happened to Nezavisimaya Gazeta journalists who wrote about the topical issue of China’s slowing growth. According to their account, the Chinese Embassy became aggressively involved, with its press advisor Gou Yunhai demanding the removal of the offending material: “I’ll tell you categorically that you should immediately delete this article from your newspaper’s website, otherwise you will be blacklisted and you will never be allowed to enter China!

This seems to have been the article in question (“China will infect the Russian economy with a crisis“) that provoked the official’s ire [machine translation]:

Further deceleration is indicated by the February PMI business activity index. Thus, in the services sector, the PMI index was 54.3 points versus 54.7 points in January. And in the industrial sector, it was 49.2 points against the January value of 49.5 points. As a result, in the industrial sector, this index value was the lowest after March 2016, the Prime agency reports, citing data from the State Statistical Office of China.

Unexpected was the fall of the car market inside the PRC, recorded by industry representatives. In January, the Chinese Passenger Car Association reported that car sales in China in 2018 decreased by 6% to 22.7 million. As it was clarified, this is the first decline in car sales in the country in more than 20 years. …

A different opinion is shared by the first vice-president of the Russian Club of Financial Directors, Tamara Kasyanova. According to the expert, if another US president is elected in 2020, the US approach to China may change, there is a chance that these countries will return to the previous level of trade cooperation, and then in 2021 Chinese GDP growth may even accelerate to 9%.

Apart from the sensationalist title – which, in fairness, may have been the only thing that evidently non-Russophone official read – it’s not even some radical text claiming that China is cooking its GDP figures, which is a topic of some considerable interest today, but a simple citation of economic statistics that, so far as I know, China doesn’t even deny.

The official continued: “You’re lying!!! The Chinese economy slowed down???? We last year showed economic growth of more than 6%, and what is your growth???? Russia will become infected by the Chinese economy??? … Only the GDP of one Guangdong province is much larger than the whole of Russia. Where is our social discontent???? I just felt great discontent in Russian society, especially after Putin’s address.

Incidentally, that is factually wrong. Russia’s GDP [1.6T/3.8T] is higher than Guangdong’s [1.3T/2.3T] in both nominal and PPP terms as of 2017, even though Guangdong is slightly ahead in GDP per capita terms (nominal only).

Now I wouldn’t treat this as some major scandal, since Chinese diplomats are not exactly well known for their diplomatese around the world, so they can be given some leeway on account of that. At the very least, the Chinese do not openly foment treason and color revolution in Moscow, unlike Russia’s “Western partners.” Furthermore, I think there’s a good chance that diplomat will be disciplined. Boorishness aside, you’re not supposed to be open about denying journalists visas, at any rate.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that NG is a moderately liberal publication, and Russian liberals are the most Sinophobic ideological bloc in Russia (with attendant foreign policy implications). I don’t know if Russia should get riled up by the Chinese harassing Russian liberal journalists, with their penchant for apologizing for the US and promoting its interests, to the same extent as it does over Western countries harassing RT or Sputnik.

However, such attitudes may offer a glance into the sort of reality that countries too deeply drawn into the Sinosphere may find themselves in. It’s probably not going to be a nirvana. Free speech will be restricted as it is under the American sphere, if on different topics. Russia is too large and self-contained for that to be a real risk, but things may turn out otherwise for some of the smaller and more dependent South-East Asian and African countries.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Bilateral Relations, China, Media, Russia 
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  1. g2k says:

    Visa banning hostile journalists might’ve worked a decade ago, but, just as you like to talk about us-russia sanctions having self-escalating dynamics, the same thing started happening with negative press coverage in about 2011, by then it was too late.

  2. AaronB says:

    It’s probably not going to be a nirvana

    Yes, I think the Sinophiles are in for a bit of a rude awakening. China is not a moral paradise, and not even morally healthier than the West. It is simply less powerful and successful than the West, so it can’t act as bad as it wants to.

    But as China gets more powerful, people will be in for a shock. Luckily, in my opinion, China has probably peaked, and I don’t think there is any real chance it will be a global superpower.

    It’s understandable that people are looking for an alternative to the American imperium, but you’d be foolish to look for it in China.

  3. @AaronB

    It’s understandable that people are looking for an alternative to the American imperium

    Is there an alternative? In our lifetimes, anyway (e.g. the next 50 years)?

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Denis
  4. This seems to an expression of contempt for Russia. Economically, Russia is pleading for deals with China because it has screwed up with its natural partner, the EU. That screw up goes back to 2004 and has been getting worse since. From China, Russia must look as idiotic as Brexit Britain for similar reasons of self over estimation.

  5. AaronB says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    The alternative would be working towards a Rennaisance in the West. Renaissances are a common feature of the boom and bust cycle of civilizations. But it may not happen in our lifetime. But it may – I actually don’t think the West is that far gone, its just in a slump.

    Ironically, competition from China will be a good stimulus for the West. Especially when China starts acting really arrogant, when it starts thinking it can.

  6. @Philip Owen

    I’ve written about that the Russophilia of the generation that grew up during the Sino-Soviet friendship period is paving the way for the “Russo-contempt” of subsequent generations.

    I’d say that many younger Chinese doesn’t even view Russia as an equal partner, but many hope that Russia turns out to be a reliable vassal state/attack dog when Chinese-Western relations turn sour.

    A good chunk of China thinks that Russia’s role for China is a reliable mercenary attack dog + natural resource supplier + transit hub to Europe + a source of technology especially in engineering and military. Essentially, a better, safer, and wealthier version of Pakistan.

    If Russia doesn’t pull together economically and revive the economic ties with the EU, China will continue to view Russia as a loser nation that can, and should, be taken advantage of, especially when it comes to the younger generation as they simply don’t have much exposure to or interest of Russian culture. The generally low quality Russian expats in China doesn’t help the situation at all.

    • Replies: @Denis
  7. Dmitry says:
    @Philip Owen

    One of the most important priorities for China (or at least Chinese ordinary citizens ) is air quality, which is particularly in China as a result of coal burning.

    Increasing gas supplies to China, will allow conversion of coal burning power stations, to gas burning power stations, and is the key for increasing living standards in China.

    In this area Russia is indispensable to help China, and this area will perhaps be of the greatest significance to improving living standards of the ordinary Chinese people during the 2020s and 2030s.

  8. Dmitry says:
    @AaronB

    There’s no special possibility for choice between America, Europe (EU) and China.

    Culturally, Russia has to be always European (because it is culturally and nationally part of Europe).

    But economically, China is the most important growth market.

    By the way, consumers in EU are regularly suffering from their protectionist policies and tariffs with China. For example, hipsters in the EU will soon have to pay up to almost doubly more for Chinese electric bikes than will hipsters in Russia, as Russia has a free-trade zone with China, while the EU is going crazy with protectionism and tariffs against China.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-china-bicycles/eu-to-hit-chinese-e-bikes-imports-with-tariffs-idUSKCN1PC0YJ

    • Replies: @AaronB
  9. AaronB says:
    @Dmitry

    All healthy countries practice protectionism, and it always hurts the consumers of that country. It’s a small price to pay for economic health.

    In Japan, all those electronic goods that they manufacture are significantly more expensive in Japan than in their export markets.

    There’s no special possibility for choice between America, Europe (EU) and China.

    Right, but there are individuals who seem to look to China as this benevolent paradise that is a moral alternative to America.

    It’s a fantasy. I was just in China. There are many excellent individual Chinese people who make great friends, but on the whole, the country will eat Westerners for lunch if they could.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  10. Dmitry says:
    @AaronB

    pay for economic health.

    Protectionism doesn’t pay for economic health.

    From viewpoint, of certain industries, it can benefit this industry, with the benefit paid by everyone else.

    From viewpoint, of overall wealth of nations, it will cost (and this is deeply studied topic academically over centuries).

    And it is in this area, the main benefit of Eurasian Economic Union and free-trade agreements with China – saving the government from their recent obsession about “import substitution”.

    By the way, this is not to say I oppose Trump’s strategy for trade. Prior to Trump, it is not the case that there was reciprocal free-trade. The EU, for example, has many more tariffs against America, than vice-versa.

    So Trump speaks correctly about some of this topic (although expresses himself very unclearly). Tariffs should be used as a punishment for countries which tariff you (the British would also use its navy as “gunboat diplomacy” to open trade in the 19th century).

    the country will eat Westerners for lunch if they could.

    Maybe for naive people from the West. For Russian people, there should be nothing scary about China. Rather the other way round, Chinese can be scared.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Jaakko Raipala
  11. AaronB says:
    @Dmitry

    Maybe for naive people from the West. For Russian people, there should be nothing scary about China. Rather the other way round, Chinese can be scared

    .

    I did not mean on the individual level, during travel. Most Westerners can have a great time in China, with little trouble. I had no serious negative experiences and met many fine people.

    I am talking about the mood of the country as a whole towards the West, and even towards each other, and towards life. Ultra harsh competition, little moral restraint, extreme vanity and inferiority/superiority complex (they are the same thing). It is not a healthy place.

    As an aside, as for Chinese being scared of Russians, on an individual level, sure. But Asians do collective action, which seems unheroic and unmanly to us, but is effective on their own turf. So an individual Russian in China is at a disadvantage.

    • Agree: AquariusAnon
    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
  12. Jon0815 says:

    It’s really rather remarkable how much China under-performs, relative to its GDP size and average IQ.

    If everything about Russia were the same, except that its GDP were the size of China’s, it would be presenting a much bigger challenge to the USA than China currently is.

    Take space exploration. Despite China having 6x Russia’s GDP (PPP), it’s very possible that Russia will reach the moon before China does: Russia has now set a target date of 2031 for a manned lunar landing (via the Federatsiya spacecraft), and 2030-2035 also looks like the earliest plausible timeframe for China’s own such mission.

    If Russia had a GDP (PPP) of $25 trillion, it would already have a permanent moon base.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  13. Denis says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    Unless the Nigerians really surprise us and make Wakanda a reality, then no, there is no realistic alternative apart from China.

  14. Denis says:
    @AquariusAnon

    I think that you, Anatoly, and many others here have an unwarranted negative view on the future of Russo-Chinese relations.

    To be sure, there are many possible pitfalls, but you guys over-emphasize the potential for cultural conflicts with the younger generation to cause issues. It may well be that younger generations of Chinese have more antipathy towards Russia relative to Xi’s generation, but the current alliance between Russia and China isn’t based on cultural affinity, it’s based on strategic considerations.

    Both nations’ governments feel an imminent and worsening threat from the USA and its local allies, and they recognize that the best antidote to that threat is an alliance with one another. Unless something in that equation changes, there is no reason why either one would suddenly become antagonistic to the other, as doing so would obviously drive the other into rapprochement with America.

    Despite occasional talk in western media about Russia and China being “old enemies” who have struck a rare alliance of convenience, the truth is that Russo-Chinese relations have historically been remarkably stable, at least compared to the bilateral relationships between other great powers. From their first interactions in the early 17th century, when Russians settled eastern Siberia, there have only been 3 relatively minor border wars between the two nations.

    Keep in mind that, for centuries, the real border between their respective spheres of influence has stretched from central Asia, through the Mongolian steppe, all the way to the pacific coast. With such a massive border and a relatively long history together, it’s rather shocking that there has never been a major war between Russia and China. Clearly, if history is any indication, Russo-Chinese relations tend towards accommodation rather than conflict.

    • Agree: anonymous coward
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  15. inertial says:
    @Philip Owen

    This seems to an expression of contempt for Russia.

    Actually, this seems to be the opposite. I don’t have any insights into what the Chinese are thinking, but I know that when Americans, or the Brits, or Germans trash Russia it far more likely to get the Russians’ goat than if it’s done by Georgians, or Mongols, or Finns.

    • Agree: Dmitry
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  16. Mitleser says:

    Meanwhile, on the other side of the country…

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
  17. Dmitry says:
    @inertial

    This story itself is nothing important.

    The inference you might see is some sensitivity about a newspaper article from a Chinese diplomat – which is maybe a sign Chinese diplomats are sensitive about their image in liberal Russia, which would be a sign they consciously or unconsciously consider Russian liberal newspapers to be very important.

    Whether opinion of Chinese diplomat is important, is another question.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Mitleser
  18. Anon[131] • Disclaimer says:

    The Chinese diplomat will lose his job over this. Just wait for a few weeks.

  19. @AaronB

    I agree. Sinophiles will indeed be in a rude awakening of China’s further rise. A lot of the culture is a mixture of a dog-eat-dog, winner take all mentality. Not to mention that the true masters of #shutitdown are, have always been, and will remain, the Chinese. Those who like their freedom of speech living in a Chinese vassal state will also be in a rude awakening.

    • Agree: AaronB
    • Replies: @LondonBob
  20. @AaronB

    i dont post here but i usually read your comment with more entusiasm that the articles itself
    if is not much indiscretion what made you change your mind about china ,you seem more negative about china and chinese people ?
    you sound hopeless too….

    • Replies: @AaronB
  21. China and Russia are unlikely to actually feud as both are too smart to do so. What’s likely is that Russia’s European culture/orientation and (relative) civilian economy/technological weakness combined with the dog-eat-dog, winner-take-all Chinese mentality will mean that unless Russia subjects itself (willingly or not) as a vassal state of the dog-eat-dog Sinosphere, a strong, independent Russia will likely keep itself at arms length with China while having peaceful, productive neighborly and trading relations.

    Keep in mind that the US is still very important at least for China. China wants, and needs, rapprochement with the US to continue its rise smoothly. Look at official Chinese statements on America: All they seem to do is defuse the tension.

    A full Sino-Russian strategic and economic alliance to counter the West is some fantasy that “anti-imperialists” have. EU-Russian ties are considerably warmer now than a couple of years ago, and the US is still the single most important country for the Chinese to deal with and will be for at least several decades.

    Unless the Europeans as a collective re-create an Iron Curtain to keep Russia out not just geopolitically but also economically and socially at the same time the US actions on Huawei gets directed against China as a whole, a Sino-Russian relationship will remain as friendly neighbors, not brothers-in-arms/allies. But since we don’t know how sane the West really is at this point, there’s still a good chance that Russia and China will end up having to be brothers-in-arms embracing each other from top to bottom.

  22. @Mitleser

    This is why a deeper, more thorough understanding of China is sorely needed in Russia. Russia needs to know what’s a good deal with China, and whats not, and what China’s intentions truly are.

  23. For the actual New Cold War, I see Russia’s role being like what India was like during the first Cold War (independent actor that leans towards China, but will have equally close bilateral relations with numerous US allies and Chinese enemies). I don’t think Russia can accept the terms of Chinese vassalage, while its definitely not returning fully to the US camp.

  24. Denis says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Keep in mind that the US is still very important at least for China. China wants, and needs, rapprochement with the US to continue its rise smoothly. Look at official Chinese statements on America: All they seem to do is defuse the tension.

    Certainly, but it isn’t at all clear that the US reciprocates that attitude. Quite the opposite, the US is behaving in an increasingly provocative manner towards China, and all indications are that it (the US) will continue on this trajectory. So long as that remains the case, partnership with Russia will remain a crucial hedge for the Chinese.

    Unless the Europeans as a collective re-create an Iron Curtain to keep Russia out not just geopolitically but also economically and socially at the same time the US actions on Huawei gets directed against China as a whole, a Sino-Russian relationship will remain as friendly neighbors, not brothers-in-arms/allies. But since we don’t know how sane the West really is at this point, there’s still a good chance that Russia and China will end up having to be brothers-in-arms embracing each other from top to bottom.

    Well, “alliance” between Russia and China does not necessarily have to resemble NATO. Complete integration in all spheres, top to bottom, is more indicative of vassalization than alliance. I would call Russia and China “allies” right now, if only for brevity, but I suppose “fair-weather allies” is a somewhat more accurate description.

    Apart from that, I agree completely, and that was precisely my point; Russia and China are becoming closer out of mutual interest and need, so things like cultural differences and changing attitudes in younger generations won’t really make a major difference for the foreseeable future.

  25. Jason Liu says:

    I see plenty wrong with it.

    China has a problem with criticism, it’s extremely thin-skinned and lashes out over the most minor things. This is why it has no soft power, alienates all its neighbors, and even a friendly state. Chinese hypersensitivity is a big geopolitical risk. Not to mention that a society without critics will progress slowly, create inferior products, and stubbornly repeat mistakes while competitors surpass them.

    I’m still for cracking down on liberals, because their criticism is insincere and treasonous. But the CCP and Chinese society has gone too far.

    • Agree: AquariusAnon, utu
    • Replies: @Grahamsno(G64)
  26. Jason Liu says:
    @AquariusAnon

    It is not about an economic alliance, more of an ideological one. The west views any state that isn’t a liberal democracy as a threat, their mere existence is unacceptable to them. Liberal democracy is an aggressive, proselytizing religion that feels morally superior to all and thus will not “tolerate the evil intolerants”, which is the rest of us. Only by putting an end to their delusions will they finally stop bothering us.

  27. anonymous[405] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    Luckily, in my opinion, China has probably peaked, and I don’t think there is any real chance it will be a global superpower.

    Do you have any reasoning for this conclusion or is it wishful thinking? Currently China is 1/6 of the US GDP per capita wise. I see few reasons for why China can’t by mid-century reach 1/2 of US GDP per capita like South Korea has.

    • Replies: @Jon0815
    , @AaronB
  28. @Philip Owen

    What pleading? Any examples? And it was the EU that screwed up with Russia.

    • Replies: @peanut
    , @Philip Owen
  29. @Jon0815

    It’s really rather remarkable how much China under-performs, relative to its GDP size and average IQ.

    East Asians are too conformist, they do not have the thymotic drive of Indo-Europeans.

    If Russia had a GDP (PPP) of $25 trillion, it would already have a permanent moon base.

    That would have been its current GDP (PPP) without Communism.

  30. @Denis

    I think that you, Anatoly, and many others here have an unwarranted negative view on the future of Russo-Chinese relations.

    No, I don’t, quite the contrary in fact, as you can see if you search my archive of posts on China. So much so that a few here (esp. AquariusAnon) have accused me of wanting Russia to become a vassal of the Sinosphere.

    That I get flak from both sides suggests that I may have gotten things more or less right.

    PS. I am also an energetic advocate of Sino-Russian relations in the Russosphere: https://akarlin.ru/2018/12/sinorealism/

    • Replies: @iffen
    , @Denis
  31. LondonBob says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Chinese are inward looking and will have no interest in spreading the sixties counter culture.

  32. @AquariusAnon

    EU-Russian ties are considerably warmer now than a couple of years ago, and the US is still the single most important country for the Chinese to deal with and will be for at least several decades.

    And yet many “Russophile” commenters/pundits have been predicting the removal of EU sanctions on Russia for years, while they stay and stay, despite the apparent fragility of a system that could be undone by a single veto and with more and more supposed Russian “puppets” such as Orban, Salvini, etc. increasingly coming to power.

    American Russophobia is here to stay for at least the next decade, and should the next Prez be a Democrat (likely), Europeans will rush to restore the relationship with “sane” leadership in Washington. If that means acquiescing to an even harder line on Russia than the one Trump has been railroaded into it, well, the US economy is 15x bigger than Russia’s.

    Incidentally, you make a big deal about young people. But if you want a glance into what young, 110 IQ Europeans are like, you could do worse than to browse /r/europe. They are not Russophiles, to be it mildly; their contempt for Russia is far in excess than what young Chinese harbor.

  33. This is just one diplomat, and the headline of that article is indeed kind of offensive so a reaction like “we are slowing you down? why don’t you look at yourselves” is somewhat understandable.

    Regarding liberals in Russia being Sinophobic, I guess this does not extend to the systemic liberals? Medvedev was on a visit here in Bulgaria a few days ago and he casually suggested that we peg our currency to the yuan, lol.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  34. @Anatoly Karlin

    a system that could be undone by a single veto

    Veto power is there, but it has a very high political price. Orbán was reluctant to use it to protect his Polish allies, even though it was already not unlikely that he will end up being pushed out of EPP. Hungary didn’t use its veto against Romania, even though there were numerous disputes (mostly related to the Hungarian minority there, but there were some other issues, like Romanian goldmines, one of which poisoned a major Hungarian river and killed off all the fish in it back in 1999). I also think that we only use veto against Ukraine because some greater power lets us do this. I think the Germans don’t want further Ukrainian integration, and Hungary is a good bogeyman to prevent it. That way the Germans themselves don’t have to veto under any pretext.

    Hungary vetoing Ukraine but not Romania is like Russia annexing Georgia, but not Crimea.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  35. @Spisarevski

    Correct, I did say the headline was inflammatory.

    And you are correct on the second point as well. Ideological Westernizers are Sinophobes by necessity, since China makes Russia going its own way much more feasible.

  36. Annatar says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I agree with this view, the next generation of European elites that are up and coming are even more anti-Russian then the current generation. There is no real hope of Russian-EU rapprochement, the west has chosen completely as evidenced by how the media, academia and political elites behave that Russia is the enemy and must be contained and if possible eliminated as a viable nation state. Russians who think the EU is somehow being driven merely by pressure from Washington are wrong, Brussels does have agency and the hostility towards Russia of the Brussels elite is clear, even without US pressure I doubt the EU would behave any differently.

    The Brussels class is all in on the globo-homo project and therefore hostility towards Russia is inevitable as long as it rejects the globo-homo ideology. The ideological difference between Russia and the EU is real and as long as the EU elites are obsessed with proselytising their new faith, good relations with Russia are essentially impossible. Indeed, I would argue that since Russia is a European country that refuses to adopt the EU elites’ worldview it is even more intolerable for those elites as a country like Saudi Arabia is dismissed implicitly as being backward anyway so the fact it doesn’t embrace globo-homo ideology is not as great a sin as Russia refusing to join the bandwagon.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    , @foolisholdman
  37. @Dmitry

    Maybe for naive people from the West. For Russian people, there should be nothing scary about China. Rather the other way round, Chinese can be scared.

    Russians aren’t exactly famous for their competence or confidence in business. The Chinese diaspora is feared and resented for taking over local economies wherever it goes.

    In the hbd blind mainstream you hear the nonsense about the Chinese taking over Siberia with millions of migrants but in a hbd aware blog we should be pointing out the likelier scenario of the Chinese taking over as a market dominant minority. They have the biological advantage in IQ over Russians, they have the proven cultural history of forming market dominant diasporas and they have their economic centers much closer to eastern Russia. They won’t even have to intentionally try to take over to take over.

    This hasn’t happened so far because for obvious reasons there was not going to be Chinese business ownership during Soviet times but today close economic ties with China would mean some degree of market integration and we have every reason to expect that the Chinese are going to be more competent in a market than Russians or native Siberians.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  38. @Jaakko Raipala

    To some extent valid, but not really, IMO.

    1. Where are the Chinese market-dominant? In South-East Asia, where natives have 15 points lower IQ (so like B/W gap in USA), where South Chinese minorities have dwelled for centuries, and where for all that their economic influence does not translate into political influence (as evidenced by them getting pogromed once every few decades); and in Africa, where the IQ gap is 35 points, and pretty much anyone from outside can just come in and take over, even Arabs.

    2. They are not market-dominant in the US (5 point IQ gap). Indeed, the Asian-American share of billionaires is lower than for the population as a whole. Now sure, WASPs are savvier in business than Russians, but OTOH, the Chinese don’t exactly have a demographic base (2% of the population in the US) from within Russia to draw from either. In practice, Chinese economic penetration into Russia would be spearheaded by SOEs, not Fujianese and Guangdong business clans.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
  39. Jon0815 says:
    @anonymous

    Luckily, in my opinion, China has probably peaked, and I don’t think there is any real chance it will be a global superpower.

    Do you have any reasoning for this conclusion or is it wishful thinking? Currently China is 1/6 of the US GDP per capita wise. I see few reasons for why China can’t by mid-century reach 1/2 of US GDP per capita like South Korea has.

    China isn’t just following a scaled-up version of South Korea’s development path. Anyway, superpower status requires more than simply a large GDP. In the mid-1800s, China accounted for over 30% of world GDP (PPP), and the UK less than 5%, yet the former still got curbstomped by the latter. Today, being a true superpower requires a strategic nuclear arsenal on par with the USA, not one that is inferior to that of France.

    Interesting fact: The difference between the size of the American and Chinese nuclear stockpiles (23 x), is larger than the difference between China and North Korea (18 x).

  40. @Jon0815

    You need a strong conventional military, too, for several reasons.

    – It’s implausible to always threaten with a nuclear strike. The enemy won’t believe it, and you might easily get into situations of nuclear brinkmanship.

    – You need the conventional military to achieve some objectives, especially on the offensive, but often on the defensive. In Russia’s case examples are South Ossetia, Crimea, Donbas, but also Syria.

    – Over time a conventional technological advantage might render the nuclear forces irrelevant. Like a perfect missile defense system, or some drone technology capable of sneaking deep into enemy territory and disable strategic bombers and nukes, while superior ASW would track SSBNs. Though it’s currently impossible, obviously nukes won’t provide a strategic deterrent forever, at least not without some constant conventional development, too.

    • Replies: @Jon0815
  41. anonymous[405] • Disclaimer says:

    This post seems really overblown. After all it was just one crummy press officer. You have to keep in mind the ranks of the Chinese foreign service is made up of mediocre diplomats. The diplomatic corps is composed of thousands of competent English language exam takers (with no other real talent than that getting them in the door).

    In one example of thoughtlessness, I once saw on the outside display panel of the Chinese Embassy in Riga in early 2016 a set of pictures on display of military cooperation between China and Russia. The diplomats at the embassy probably figured since Latvia is in the same region, it was topical to highlight news of military cooperation with a neighboring country to Latvia… Simple as that. Obviously showing China supporting the Russian military in Riga isn’t good public diplomacy.

    As for whether a world in which China is much more powerful and successful will suck for many other countries because of a lack of benevolence in the Chinese race, don’t forget to consider Chinese people have not much curiosity or people skills with races west of the Himalayas. So while the people of Southeast Asia may feel oppressed because contact with Chinese people will be found in every facet of life and the countries are neighbors, I doubt other races even those that are neighbors will feel the same “heat” because of a lack of interaction.

    I also doubt Africa could ever be drawn deeply into the Chinese sphere because it has relations with lots of other powers. And there is no impetus for China to invest in and lend to Africa multiple times more than the current level because there is not much benefit to doing so. Africa isn’t offering China much. In fact last year during the big meeting of China-Africa that occurs every 3 years, the announcement for investment and lending to Africa over the next 3 years was about the same as the previous period so this relationship may have already peaked.

    Most importantly, Chinese people have absolutely no social agenda to push onto other countries. The Chinese state is only interested in preventing the Dalai Lama from speaking at venues and the prosaic formulation of One China in diplomatic exchanges. On this last point, it’s puzzling to see Karlin seemingly lose perspective in this post. I assume Karlin supports Russian sovereignty most of all because he doesn’t want his country to be swamped with migrants. Whatever bad China does in comparison to the social agenda pushed by the US doesn’t amount to much.

  42. Kimppis says:
    @Jon0815

    I agree with reiner Tor’s comment. I’d like to add the following:

    – The “official” estimates are more or less outdated, China almost certainly has more nukes…

    – China’s nuclear forces are being modernized. That means, among other things, that the Chinese are adding MIRVed warheads, which will grow the size of their arsenal even without considerably increasing the number of ICBMs, as the lack of MIRVs was the main limiting factor previously.

    – China’s strategic nuclear forces are already superior to those of France, even if you believe all those dubious estimates, come on now. France has only 4 SSBN, I think? In addition to subs, China has land-based nukes: silo-based and trucks. China is also developing a stealthy strategic bomber (H-20). Lastly, the combined megatonnage of China’s arsenal has been quite high for decades, and in fact much higher than any other country’s outside the top 2, France isn’t even close, IIRC.

    – And regardless, one could argue that even a comparatively limited force is a big enough deterrence anyway, as long as you have modern ICBMs, and certainly with the newest models, especially the DF-41, China has already achieved that objective.

    My “Sinophilia” (and Russophilia!) has nothing to do with ideology, values or ideals, or atleast that was the case before the West got full into bioleninism (hah, who am I kidding, we haven’t seen anything yet). Rather the whole thing is based on my strong – and admittedly “autistic” – desire to see a world with multiple great powers and a balance of power, instead of the abnormal “end of history” universalism that I grew up in. (Now that I think about it, had I actually been alive during the Cold War and the USSR, I could be much more pro-American today, who knows, but I guess that’s quite likely.)

    I can see how that probably doesn’t appeal to most people. But in this context, I view the world as a multiplayer match of… Hearts of Iron/Europa Universalis/Victoria, which means that I obviously want it to be atleast somewhat balanced.

    Of course, in my opinion, the “Western democracy” and especially its universalistic message is one of the most overrated things in world history. Most worryingly, its much vaunted “pluralism” is becoming increasingly limited (on this, Polish Perspective’s comment from a year ago (??) summed up my thoughts well).

    Then there’s the “small” issue that Russia and China, and particularly their domestic policies, are nowhere near as bad as they are portrayed in the Western MSM. The Russia narrative is so impressively detached from reality that I don’t even know what a good historical analogy would be. World War 1 era propaganda (of any country)? That could be kind of accurate, more so than the WW2 era stuff, in regards to limited ideological differences etc. In any case, China’s alternatives to this free and independent journalism can’t possibly be much worse lmao.

    Luckily, in my opinion, China has probably peaked, and I don’t think there is any real chance it will be a global superpower.

    China overtook the the US in PPP GDP in around 2014, and as of 2019, 5 or so years later, it’s already 20-25% larger. So that is what “peaking” and not-ever-becoming-a-superpower looks like? Right.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @Jon0815
  43. Jon0815 says:
    @reiner Tor

    You need a strong conventional military, too, for several reasons.

    Certainly true: Being a nuclear superpower is a prerequisite for being an overall superpower (hence the USSR wasn’t technically a superpower until the 1970s), but not sufficient. In fact, it isn’t even sufficient to qualify as a great power, since Russia was clearly not even a great power in the 1990s and early 2000s.

  44. peanut says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Because somehow the Orange Revolution was All Russia’s Fault. We can easily forgive former adversaries like Germany, France, Japan, Vietnam, etc., but Russians must get on their knees and plead for forgiveness forever. It’s only reasonable.

  45. @reiner Tor

    Why does the veto power have a very high political price?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  46. Isabella says:

    A somewhat ludicrous interpretation of a tiny little incident. All it does indicate is that China, just the same as every other grouping of people the world over, has it’s petty minded bad-tempered bureaucrats who are ill informed and have no intention of dealing with reality objectively. In any race, nation, religious group, small village and massive city, tiny indigenous population and massive nation state – you have the bottom of the pool and the top.
    You have the psychopaths, sociopaths, low socio-economic-IQ who hate everything, have no self control, insight, information or education and are destined to live in the gutters. You have the angels of high intelligence, IQ, information and insight, ethics, integrity and compassion. And you will find someone at just about every single stopping point in between.
    It’s a too much of Karlin to think he can estimate a nation – or two – and predict their future simply from the one outburst of a much lower down the scale individual, who has, by the Peter Principle, been promoted beyond his abilities.
    I lived in Vladivostok for 8 months in 2017. The biggest group of immigrants and students by far was Chinese. They loved Russia. They loved her primarily for what they saw as, compared to China, her freedom, her richness of culture, her lack of small scale corruption. They studied to get jobs in Russia and bring their families – and this view was held of Russia among the people back home extensively. They see Russia as the nation which stood up to the US, stood for her independence, and is, in Sun Tzu fashion, beating the West hands down.
    Currently, China is Russia’s biggest trading partner by far, – in the billions -, and this is set to expand. Russia supplies china with innovations, engineered final products of high complexity, and most of all, water. There is no way China is going to forgo the water she gets from Russia, and more she will need in the future.
    This future, where water will become the prime commodity over oil, is not far away, although not seen by the West. It is coming, and then even over Canada, Russia will hold the keys to the kingdom.
    China isn’t going to end up at the back of that Que..

    • Troll: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @anonymous
  47. AaronB says:
    @lost in nowhere

    I have always been somewhat negative about modern China specifically, seeing it as having adopted some of the worst aspects of American culture, and added it to some of the even worse aspects of Chinese culture.

    What I like and admire is aspects of traditional Chinese culture, and certain individual Chinese I know.

    I’m not exactly hopeless. In the long term, I think China will be fine. Its still recovering from its traumatic encounter with the West. This is bound to create all sorts of grotesque distortions.

    I am also more optimistic about America and the West, but mostly on the level of intuition. The cultural insanity of today strikes me as extremely brittle. I hardly take it seriously. In most ways, life is fairly normal in extremely liberal city like NY.

    I think the cultural insanity is nearing peak, and will vanish in a sudden flash, as these things have a way of doing.

  48. AaronB says:
    @anonymous

    I think its more like people who expect China to become a global superpower are engaging in wishful thinking, specifically, the fantasy that China is just Japan scaled up (and even then, with its relative lack of innovation, I am not sure it would qualify).

    I am basing my judgement not on speculation, prognostication, analogies to other countries, or trend extension, but on concrete facts – China’s demonstrated ability, its track record. In the short term, the best predictor of the future is the past.

    Under Maoism, China has had opportunity to develop industrially and technologically, but the Soviets, under a similar system, created better technology and feats of engineering.

    Since opening up, China’s track record has been of providing a disciplined and cheap labor force for advanced countries, in a relatively stable legal environment. Despite possessing 4 times the population of the US, with supposedly smarter people, no impressive technology or engineering emerges from China, and they struggle with basic engineering like jet engines.

    As another commenter mentioned above, China still looks to Russia, with a tenth of its population, supposedly less intelligent people, and having suffered under a similarly backward economic system, for technology and engineering.

    All the small Chinese “principalities”, like Hong Kong, Singapore, etc, instead of being powerhouses of technology and innovation like Israel, primarily provide financial services, despite not having the disadvantages of the mainland and modernizing much earlier.

    I think this is enough to give us an idea of what the combined talent and personality profile of Chinese communities – as opposed to individuals operating under non-Chinese conditions – are likely to deliver.

    • Replies: @DB Cooper
  49. @Thorfinnsson

    We could prevent some major policy being implemented. But all the rest combined (or, at least, the big guys who decided the policy in the first place) are much stronger than us in all other respects. They have ample opportunity to punish us for preventing them from implementing a major policy. And they won’t look kindly at us if we did so.

    • Replies: @utu
  50. LondonBob says:
    @Annatar

    Salvini is the future, Merkel is the past.

  51. LondonBob says:
    @Jon0815

    China didn’t account for that much, sounds like the same fake stats that claim India used to be fifty percent of the world economy.

    • Replies: @Jon0815
  52. @Jon0815

    In the mid-1800s, China accounted for over 30% of world GDP (PPP), and the UK less than 5%, yet the former still got curbstomped by the latter.

    Not really comparable because:

    1) Vast technology gap.

    2) Subtle, but key, point: Masses of peasants will produce a large GDP, but so long as they’re near the subsistence limit, there’ll be little for actually interesting things beyond feeding those same peasants.
    In terms of surplus income per capita * population, I expect Britain soared ahead of China a great deal earlier. Maybe even in the 18th century.

    Neither applies today ofc.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Duke of Qin
  53. utu says:
    @reiner Tor

    Was the USSR’s decision to not use their veto concerning the resolution of the intervention in Korea based on some calculations that included the political price?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  54. Mitleser says:
    @Kimppis

    You wished that you lived during the Belle Époque, didn’t you?

    That was probably the most multipolar global era.

    • Replies: @Kimppis
  55. @utu

    Possibly.

    A vote against some stronger power in a voting body is usually a nuisance. Causing a nuisance to a stronger power might be costly, but often not very costly.

    However, exercising a veto is way more than a nuisance, so it angers the stronger power, and it will make you pay a price for it.

    So, a veto is usually costly.

    • Replies: @utu
  56. Jon0815 says:
    @Kimppis

    – The “official” estimates are more or less outdated, China almost certainly has more nukes…

    SIPRI estimates that China’s stockpile was 270 warheads in 2017 and 280 warheads in 2018. If the experts are wrong, they are probably off by tens of warheads, not hundreds.

    – China’s nuclear forces are being modernized. That means, among other things, that the Chinese are adding MIRVed warheads, which will grow the size of their arsenal even without considerably increasing the number of ICBMs, as the lack of MIRVs was the main limiting factor previously.

    China is increasing its technological capability, but not actually building and deploying very many MIRVed warheads. As of 2018, the US Defense Dept estimated that China only had the ability to deliver about 70 warheads to the continental USA via ICBMs.

    – China’s strategic nuclear forces are already superior to those of France, even if you believe all those dubious estimates, come on now. France has only 4 SSBN, I think?

    China also only has 4 SSBNs, of a very noisy design (about as noisy as US and Soviet subs were in the 1970s). At least 3 of 4 are usually at port on Hainan Island, and its unclear if any have ever actually sailed with nuclear weapons on board, whereas France always has at least 2 of its 4 SSBNs armed and at sea.

    Lastly, the combined megatonnage of China’s arsenal has been quite high for decades, and in fact much higher than any other country’s outside the top 2, France isn’t even close, IIRC.

    Raw megatonnage isn’t as important as the number of targets you are able to destroy. 50 1-megaton bombs are worth more than one Tsar Bomba.

    – And regardless, one could argue that even a comparatively limited force is a big enough deterrence anyway, as long as you have modern ICBMs, and certainly with the newest models, especially the DF-41, China has already achieved that objective.

    At present, a US counterforce first strike on China, using only 10% of the US nuclear arsenal, could probably wipe out 90% of China’s nuclear arsenal, and devastate its command and control to the point where it might not be able to function at all. Whereas a first strike with everything that China has, couldn’t make much more than a small dent in the USA’s nuclear capability.

    As long as this huge strategic imbalance exists, China can’t credibly threaten to escalate a conventional conflict to a nuclear conflict. In any game of nuclear chicken with the USA, China would have to back down, just as the USSR was forced to do in the Cuban missile crisis.

    This is, I think, one reason why the US casually promises to go to war with China in defense of tiny, unimportant South China Sea islands, but is careful to avoid any direct military clash with Russia.

    • Replies: @Kimppis
  57. Jon0815 says:
    @LondonBob

    China didn’t account for that much, sounds like the same fake stats that claim India used to be fifty percent of the world economy.

    That’s Maddison’s estimate: China was 22% of world GDP (PPP) in 1700, rising to 33% in 1820, due to a collapse in India’s %, before collapsing itself to 5% by 1950.

  58. @Anatoly Karlin

    Keep in mind that Chinese economic penetration into Russia via SOEs will be just as bad as the Fujian/Guangdong clans of Southeast Asia. Also, given what I know of Chinese tourism in mafia (I actually visited Russia via one of these tours), its mostly Northeast Chinese family clans controlling this industry. There’s no reason for them not to expand further into other sectors if the situation allows it.

    The SOEs will parachute in their own Chinese managers, hire mostly Chinese, and essentially build a de facto closed-off Chinese society within Russian borders too. Few, if any, Russians will be able to find work at any of these SOEs’ Russian operations, and if anything they’ll only strain Russian resources. Chinese people are simply reluctant of hiring foreigners, or dealing with foreigners unless they absolutely necessarily need to. There’s a reason why Chinese in the Anglosphere completely fail to assimilate.

    The Chinese tourism industry has done nothing but strained the infrastructure of tourist spots, with Irkutsk/Lake Baikal being the proportionally hardest hit, but Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Vladivostok all having problems. Likewise, Chinese SOEs in natural resources and agriculture have doing nothing but damage the environment in the RFE.

  59. iffen says:

    Free speech will be restricted as it is under the American sphere

    Caucasian, please.

    https://www.rferl.org/

    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia. With more than 400 …

  60. iffen says:
    @AaronB

    and not even morally healthier than the West

    Starting us off with a low bar in your mind, eh, AB?

  61. @AaronB

    This is one of the most on-point descriptions of China I’ve read from a foreigner.

    For a foreign tourist, I would go as far as to say that China is much more accommodating and has much higher quality service than Russia. China is actually a tourist-friendly country if you can look past its visa wall, hour-long immigration lines for foreigners, and censored internet.

    Ruthless competition and vanity is the single largest reason why China has been able to grow at this rate economically. Few other nationalities can handle this mentality, except maybe the Koreans, who themselves are just as competitive and vain: the average Korean might actually be closer to the average Northeast Chinese culturally and genetically than the average Cantonese. This mentality, on the other hand, is alien for Russians (and Southeast Asians too).

    I think a big reason why the Chinese don’t do so well in the US is that the ruthless competition and vanity Chinese focus on in America isn’t what’s quite in demand in the US. Social skills and extroversion/verbal skills are required to actually come out on the top in American society, while the Chinese in America focused their energy largely into academics: This is enough to get by in the US, but not to rise to the top. They do so in academics because tertiary education is by far what the Chinese respect the most out of America.

    Keep in mind that no matter the nationality, the Chinese doesn’t trust foreigners. China only wants to milk aggressively of their skills and advantages, then toss them aside once they successfully transfer those skills to Chinese people. Combined with China’s top notch hospitality when it comes to treating guests, this was how expats had a Golden Age from the late 90s until 2012ish; it has ended in most sectors after the Chinese got the know-how to run the economy by themselves.

    For example, China currently has a severe pilot shortage so they hire foreign pilots (I believe Russian is a top 3 nationality in this) at absurd wages like USD 300K a year to fly Airbus A320s on domestic routes, but subjects them to abysmal, aggravating working conditions.

    Likewise, the phenomenon of masses of Chinese students studying in the Anglosphere and Western Europe to a lesser extent without integrating is a perfect example of this mentality.

    This is probably why China constantly antagonizes smaller, weaker nations yet sings a very different tone to the US, which is more hostile to it than countries like Sweden or Vietnam.

    • Agree: Kimppis
  62. iffen says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    That I get flak from both sides suggests that I may have gotten things more or less right.

    Only if the mushy middle is where it’s happening.

  63. @Anatoly Karlin

    England likely overtook China somewhere in per capita GDP sometime during the middle Ming around the 15th or 16h centuries. Europe as a whole was likely quite similar to China during the age of exploration per capita wise simply because the significant number of Europeans merchants and missionaries showed up in the 16th and 17th centuries and didn’t record any overt poverty that was outside their frame of reference. Richer areas similar to Northern Italy, England, and the Netherlands, other areas more like Spain, France, and Germany which were by far the demographic heavyweights in Europe but poorer than the more commercialized cores of Europe. The Jesuit missionary accounts stressed the requirement for the highest caliber of personnel, true renaissance men, for the China mission because sending mediocre people wasn’t going to convince the Chinese to convert to Christianity. The early Jesuit missions also drew some criticism from the Church because they didnt manage to convert that many and many of the missionaries seemed more interested in palling around in confucian literary circles and court life than converting “heathens”.

    What happened to China wasn’t stagnation, as I have mentioned before, but rather retrogression under Manchu rule. China became progressively poorer in the 18th and 19th centuries, suffering a massive drop in per capita GDP from 1000 down to 600 international dollars per capita. There are historical accounts during the 17th century of Chinese playboys (the young heirs of wealthy families) going on literal sex tourism vacations to Japan, as the Edo brothels of the Tokugawa era were already famous then, but by the late 19th century, the economic conditions had flipped and Japan had went from 600 at the start of the Tokugwa shogunate to 900 or so at the end of it. The Qing dynasty was absolutely disastrous for China economically speaking,

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
  64. Kimppis says:
    @Jon0815

    OK, fair enough, good points.

    SIPRI estimates that China’s stockpile was 270 warheads in 2017 and 280 warheads in 2018. If the experts are wrong, they are probably off by tens of warheads, not hundreds.

    There are still reasons to believe that those estimates are somewhat outdated – almost certainly not off by hundreds, true, but possibly still more than tens of warheads. That’s not really relevant either way, however. My main point is that the stockpile should still increase considerably by 2025-30.

    This is how the Chinese military modernization has progressed so far: first they slowly experiment with different designs, the situation overall doesn’t look great, which many naysayers immediately interpret as weakness, “China can’t into tech, copies everything…” But eventually they reach a satisfactory level and start a very large scale mass production. The destroyer build-up of Type 052C, 052D and 055 classes is a perfect example of this. True, the logic might not fully apply to nuclear weapons, but I think that’s still quite valid.

    China also only has 4 SSBNs, of a very noisy design (about as noisy as US and Soviet subs were in the 1970s). At least 3 of 4 are usually at port on Hainan Island, and its unclear if any have ever actually sailed with nuclear weapons on board, whereas France always has at least 2 of its 4 SSBNs armed and at sea.

    First of all, it’s clear they’re planning to procure atleast 8 SSBNs (12 is more likely, IMO), probably by 2025, and that includes the upcoming Type 096 class. Secondly, those noise level estimates are the most dubious of them all. For example the newer variants of China’s SSN class, the Type 093, look clearly more modern than the earlier subs, so they must be considerably less noisy, but the infamous ONI chart is still from the 90s, or whatever.

    And the oldest American and Russian SSBNs still in service were laid down in the mid-70s, so… That said, I’m ready to accept that the current Chinese boomers are noisier than most of their counterparts around the world, but the difference shouldn’t be exaggerated, and the Type 094 is a huge upgrade from their earlier designs. But the most important thing is that China’s nuclear triad is more… “complete” than France’s, the country is not only, or even mostly, dependent on its subs.

    At present, a US counterforce first strike on China, using only 10% of the US nuclear arsenal, could probably wipe out 90% of China’s nuclear arsenal

    I doubt that. And again: we should look at 2025-30.

    This is, I think, one reason why the US casually promises to go to war with China in defense of tiny, unimportant South China Sea islands, but is careful to avoid any direct military clash with Russia.

    I find this whole “look, militarily the US takes Russia much more seriously than China” narrative questionable, I don’t think it’s really accurate…

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @WHAT
    , @Jon0815
  65. Kimppis says:
    @Mitleser

    Lol, I guess you could say that. Or simply just not during 1990-2010, any other era would probably have been better. That is, if my earlier comment is taken 100% seriously, i.e. that the global power balance is pretty much the most important thing in the world. And I wouldn’t necessarily go that far, as it was undeniably a great time time to alive, at least as long as you lived in the West or East Asia.

  66. @AaronB

    If I may be so impolite as to request it, would you mind elaborating more on where specifically you visited on your East Asian sojourn, because I find your change of mind to be a bit of plot twist.

  67. @Kimppis

    This is how the Chinese military modernization has progressed so far: first they slowly experiment with different designs, the situation overall doesn’t look great, which many naysayers immediately interpret as weakness, “China can’t into tech, copies everything…” But eventually they reach a satisfactory level and start a very large scale mass production. The destroyer build-up of Type 052C, 052D and 055 classes is a perfect example of this. True, the logic might not fully apply to nuclear weapons, but I think that’s still quite valid.

    That’s what I wanted to write, exactly the destroyers’ example.

    I think it applies to nukes as much as anything else. They don’t want to waste money and resources on building and maintaining an obsolete force, instead put the money into R&D. This has two advantages: they will achieve a fully modern military faster, and they don’t overly alarm the Americans. (Though the Americans started to get alarmed anyway.)

    It obviously has two big disadvantages: they are weaker in the meantime, and the military personnel and leadership won’t get very experienced by the time they reach full maturity in terms of equipment. Of course, experience with obsolete technology might even be a drawback in some cases, you get used to something which doesn’t work any longer. But usually it’s more useful than not, you don’t have to learn everything anew, just a few things.

    • Agree: Kimppis
  68. utu says:
    @reiner Tor

    I did not ask a theoretical question.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  69. Denis says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I see, my mistake! From a quick overview of your posts it seems that your views are pretty on point on that topic. For some reason, I recalled you mentioning the apparently lesser Russophilia among younger Chinese compared to the older ones, but I can’t even seem to find those comments anymore, or else I’m just completely mistaken.

    For the record, I agree completely with Spisarevski’s comment in the “Russia/China Update”. I think that those who argue against the prospect of closer ties between Russia and China are not making their arguments in good faith. Whether they are westerners or Russian liberals, their arguments that Russia and China will somehow collide in the future seem to be based more on hope than conviction.

    The truth is, Russia’s partnership with China has been hugely beneficial, if only because it allows them to present a (somewhat) united front against American harassment. So long as Russia and China are friendly, America’s prospects for completely vassalizing either one are vastly diminished; I believe that this is the real reason for the apprehensive attitude towards this relationship that exists in some circles, as Russian liberasts and western ideologues would both like to see Russia more-or-less permanently subjugated by the west (although their reasons for this differ somewhat).

    This all goes without mentioning the benefits of economic ties, which have huge potential, and have already delivered profitable results for both countries. All-in-all, as someone who is fond of both the Russians and the Chinese, it’s been quite heartening to see them deepen their relationship over the past few years, despite the naysayers.

    BTW, I can’t read Russian at all, do you have an English version of the article you linked?

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
  70. @Denis

    As a Chinese Russophile, I would like China and Russia to keep a safe distance since these 2 countries are not in the same weight class, and are far too different culturally.

    Besides a common opposition to the US, which even then I need to put a big question mark on, as Russia and China have very different relationships with the US, and have very different needs.

    In the current era of globalization and free trade, when 2 countries upgrade into full blown top-to-bottom alliances, high levels of inter-cultural exchange has to happen. But Chinese culture clashes hard with the Russian way of life and Russian culture clashes just as hard as with the Chinese way of life too. Having vast amounts of my countrymen, or Chinese SOEs, in Russia reduces Russia’s uniqueness and its chance to stand up as an own pole. I don’t want Russia to feel just like home, but the foreign Eastern European land that it should be.

    It would be better for Russia and China to not antagonize each other, but to not integrate too, so that a bipolar world can be avoided, and Russia and China can each keep its own traits without altering each others’ way of life or affecting bilateral relations with each others’ enemies.

    Russia is too big, too important, and too headstrong to be subjucated by the West, but if they don’t carve out their own path and instead rely on standing with China, subjucation by China cannot be ruled out and will be worse. Russia has to remember that it is fundamentally a European civilization. Even if the EU is under the re-incarnation of the destructive Communist ideology known as neoliberalism.txt, Moscow and St. Petersburg, both solidly on the European continent is Russia’s head, while Vladivostok is just a mid-sized provincial backwater.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  71. @AquariusAnon

    Russia’s destiny is to be its own pole. A detente with China is needed for national security, but a full blown alliance would yet again hurt Russia’s independence and path as an Orthodox Christian, European civilization.

  72. WHAT says:

    So, a (((russian))) bugman from NG ran into a chink bugman, and a decidedly feminine hysterics session has ensued. Good fun, and wishes of maximum suffering to both of them!

    Considering what slopes think about those around them, it`s really hardly a surprise. Putin and his team seem to measure them quite realistically in this regard.

  73. WHAT says:
    @Kimppis

    For great demonstration of how seriously american military takes russian military, just look at all the deescalation contacts in Syria. They are not joking there, despite whatever idiotic bluster comes from suits up above.

    With those godforsaken islands they have far more leeway.

    And then there is an issue of all the new various weapon systems, where they literally aped verbatim all that Putin announced in ordering it from LM, Raytheon or whatever. Actions do speak louder than words, especially when the words come from some high-perched NATO sodomite.

  74. DB Cooper says:
    @AaronB

    If China becomes a Japan just scaled up, it means it will be an irredentist regime ten times bigger. Are you sure you want that?

  75. Denis says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Well, you no doubt have much more knowledge of Chinese customs and culture than I do, but consider this: the admirable, respectful attitude that you yourself exhibit towards Russia is essentially non-existent in the west. Indeed, westerners today largely lack a profound appreciation for distinct cultures of any kind, including their own.

    With this in mind, you can understand why I am critical of the idea that the Chinese people, culture, and nation present any kind of inherent threat to Russia and Russians. Living in a western country, everything that I have learned through either study or direct observation tells me that the bizarre new religion of neoliberalism.txt is the first and greatest threat to the survival of Russia as a distinct nation, just as it has more or less eradicated the unique cultures and peoples of the west, and that American pressure is the greatest threat to Russia as an independent power.

    Meanwhile, all interaction I have had with Chinese people, and the (relatively) little I know about Chinese culture, has given me the impression that they have a respectful attitude to the people of my country, similar to your attitude towards Russians. The extreme desire to eradicate distinct cultures and assimilate people out of existence seems to be a phenomenon of the modern west. On the whole, I simply can’t see any sort of threat from the Chinese or their culture, or even any kind of minor hostility. Frankly, I wish that westerners had as much affection for European peoples and their cultures as the Chinese do.

    Perhaps you are correct and in the long run China’s pull will be too great, and a close alliance will become a completely integrated one, eventually leading to the cultural, political, and genetic assimilation of Russia by China, as was the case for smaller ethnicities on China’s periphery in the past. Maybe I’m just a western-russophile version of AP, and you are a Chinese version of Karlin, with you being more far-sighted than I.

    However, even if that is a potential long-term outcome (which I doubt for the reasons I mentioned above), the much more imminent threat is for Russia to again be subjugated by the west, permanently this time, with the complete degradation that occurred in the 90s being repeated and stretched out indefinitely. This is essentially what has happened in Ukraine, and although westerners don’t fully realize it yet, this is what slowly coming to pass throughout the wider European world.

    This process is accompanied by the economic degradation of the common man, the destruction of higher culture, deracination, and de-Christianization, which pulls the rug out from under the legal, social, and moral foundations of society. This unfortunate fate is befalling almost all Europeans wherever they are, with Russia being the major exception. This seems to me to be the worst case scenario, much worse than potential integration with China, however likely or unlikely that may be.

    EDIT: Yeesh, sorry for writing a book here. Thank you for your response.

  76. @Denis

    Great response!

    By the way, like Karlin, I don’t believe that there’s any scenario that China will send masses of people to Russia to colonize Siberia: It’s just a hallucination of the Russian liberasts. In the worst case scenario where Russia is a junior partner/vassal of China, the relationship will much more resemble a colony of exploitation.

    So instead of masses of Chinese in Russia, in that case, I only expect maybe a million Chinese in Russia at most, living in Russia on a rotational basis and evenly spread throughout the nation, with a Northeast Chinese business clan dominating some niches here and there. What I am worried about is for Russia to be somewhat Sinicized (e.g. ubiquitous Chinese language, China-oriented economy in all sectors, Chinese interference in Russian politics, heavy Chinese SOE presence, etc.). This is what I mean by “feeling at home”. The Anglosphere will always have far more Chinese permanent settlers than Russia ever will have. Russia is simply too cold, too alien, too harsh for Chinese to consider settling in for the long haul, but being a junior partner to China is not out of the picture if the Russians don’t think outside the box.

    And yes, I find Ukraine in its current form to be an abomination. The West aren’t interested in taking Ukraine under its wing anyways, except to use as a staging point as a dagger straight into the heart of Russia.

    Ukraine can choose to be an independent nation, but what it can’t avoid is that Russia has to be its most important, closest, and special partner, due to history if anything. At least the Irish managed to figure it out, and it was then that they actually caught up with British living standards.

    Unless its for important non-leisure reasons, I will boycott Ukraine unless they restore at least economic, media, and transportation links with Russia, and unban Runet.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @AP
    , @Denis
  77. @Duke of Qin

    The Manchus are a perfect example why being subordinate to a foreign power, even if they don’t have the capabilities to change your demographics or destroy the culture except moderately influence it, is still disastrous.

    On the topic of neoliberalism.txt, I’m starting to think that this is actually not completely US-imposed, but almost a natural progression of Enlightenment. (((They))) don’t have the capability to completely destroy a nation, but (((they))) are experts at sniffing out and ruthlessly take advantage of decadence.

    Do note Poland was the Easternmost fringes of Enlightenment, so it does kind of make sense that it is currently the eastern fringes of neoliberalism.txt, and still much less globohomo than its immediate Western neighbors.

    Japan is a good example of a non-Western complete US vassal. It hasn’t embraced neoliberalism.txt. US-imposed neoliberalism.txt can only influence non-Western countries but not dominate society the way that Western Europeans have done.

  78. @utu

    I don’t know the answer to the specific question.

  79. Jason Liu says:
    @Denis

    This is my take as well. China’s primary enemy is not any specific country, but the ideology of liberal democracy itself. If the west weren’t neoliberals trying to push their values everywhere, then there is no problem and the world will be at peace.

  80. Jon0815 says:
    @Kimppis

    At present, a US counterforce first strike on China, using only 10% of the US nuclear arsenal, could probably wipe out 90% of China’s nuclear arsenal

    I doubt that.

    China doesn’t have launch on warning. And thanks to a combination of satellite recon and human intelligence, the US probably knows where (nearly) all of China’s silos are. China’s mobile launchers are stored separately from their warheads in garrisons, so in a surprise first strike, they’ll be gone too.

    Arsenals of only a few hundred strategic weapons- and hence probably only tens of surviving strategic weapons after a first strike- are useful for deterring a countervalue strike on your cities, but not so much for deterring a counterforce strike.

    And again: we should look at 2025-30.

    Even if China were to double the size of its nuclear forces by 2030, this would still only be slightly larger than the French nuclear arsenal at its peak in the early 1990s (540 warheads).

    And if new START expires in 2021- almost certain if Trump is re-elected- there will be nothing to prevent the USA and Russia from increasing their strategic arsenals by then as well.

    I find this whole “look, militarily the US takes Russia much more seriously than China” narrative questionable, I don’t think it’s really accurate…

    Pompeo has explicitly promised to attack Chinese forces if they try to seize the Spratly Islands from the Philippines.

    Whereas there’s basically zero chance the USA would attack Russian forces invading Ukraine, or any other country that the USA isn’t treaty-obligated to defend.

    • Replies: @Kimppis
  81. anon[866] • Disclaimer says:

    China is not a natural ally of Russia. In the future, after the United States collapses under waves of Visigoth invaders, Russia might find itself allied with what’s left of the EU and former US allies like Australia and Japan; I would encourage them to seek this as a possible back up arraignment. A Russia-EU alliance would be more ideal than being a vassal to a country filled with thin-skinned authoritarians.

  82. Kimppis says:
    @Jon0815

    @WHAT

    For great demonstration of how seriously american military takes russian military, just look at all the deescalation contacts in Syria. They are not joking there, despite whatever idiotic bluster comes from suits up above.

    Agreed, I never said that the US military doesn’t take Russia seriously. (Or at least they very much should.)

    With those godforsaken islands they have far more leeway.

    .

    Pompeo has explicitly promised to attack Chinese forces if they try to seize the Spratly Islands from the Philippines.

    Whereas there’s basically zero chance the USA would attack Russian forces invading Ukraine, or any other country that the USA isn’t treaty-obligated to defend.

    Source for that quote? And Pompeo wasn’t there in 2014-15. Though I can agree with that assessment to an extent, now that I think about it. I just don’t think it’s related to China’s relatively lacking nuclear deterrence.

    China’s naval power projection capabilities are simply more limited in a South China Sea contingency vs. the US Navy, compared to Russia’s capabilities in Ukraine and the US ability to directly distrupt any Russian intervention in the region.

    So in my view, it has more to do with exceptional (and conventional!) blue-water capabilities and basing of the US Navy, and geographic realities in general. However, China’s naval modernization and build-up is so impressive that even the South China Sea will look drastically different post-2025.

    • Replies: @Jon0815
  83. @AquariusAnon

    I am actually enthically Han, and I would not mind China being culturally subjugated by American culture, as long as it is the American culture of John Wayne and pre 60s quasi Calvinistic US culture.

  84. Dmitry says:

    Apart from the headline, the article is just a good and neutral one about China’s economy.

    This story supports how China does not bypass the rule that any text written for people with “IQ scores” from around 105 upwards, has general potential to anger authoritarian personalities and government officials (two often overlapping categories).

  85. AP says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Ukraine can choose to be an independent nation, but what it can’t avoid is that Russia has to be its most important, closest, and special partner, due to history if anything.

    Ukraine’s history with the West is no less significant and probably more so, given that its ethnogenesis occurred in the 14th-16th centuries, while it was part of Poland.

    At least the Irish managed to figure it out

    UK is between Ireland and the Continent. Ukraine borders Visegrad as it does Russia (indeed, Kiev is closer to Warsaw than it is to Moscow). Forced to choose between one or the other, the West is the logical one.

    and it was then that they actually caught up with British living standards.

    Highest living standards are in Ukraine’s West (even prior to Maidan Lviv had the best quality of life in the country) and this accelerates.

    • LOL: AquariusAnon
    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
  86. Jon0815 says:
    @Kimppis

    Source for that quote?

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/01/us-commits-to-aiding-philippines-in-south-china-sea

    And Pompeo wasn’t there in 2014-15.

    No, but Russia super-hawks like McCain, Graham, Rubio, etc. were, and they ruled out any sort of direct US military intervention in Ukraine. Likewise in Georgia 2008: Saakashvili may have had delusions that NATO bombers would come to his aid, but there was no chance of this happening, even if Russian forces had gone all the way to Tbilisi.

    China’s naval power projection capabilities are simply more limited in a South China Sea contingency vs. the US Navy, compared to Russia’s capabilities in Ukraine and the US ability to directly distrupt any Russian intervention in the region.

    True, but even so, do you think the US would have made that war promise over tiny islands, if China had a Russia-sized nuclear arsenal? I don’t.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Kimppis
  87. @AP

    Highest living standards in Ukraine has been the Donbass before the Maidanists destroyed it. Now it became Lviv thanks to Maidanist destruction. Based on Google Street view, the cars and building outside of the immediate center are in terrible shape in Western Ukraine.

    Kiev is equidistant from Warsaw and Moscow. And the fact that Ukraine spent 300 years as part of the Russian Empire, and speaks Russian, not Polish or German or English as its lingua franca, means that the natural state of Ukraine is to side with Russia. Excluding those working in Poland, nobody speaks Polish in Ukraine, not even in Lviv where they speak Ukrainian only.

    If you look at a map, Eastern Ukraine looks like an indentation into the heart of Russia, while Galicia just barely touches Poland in its least developed parts. An anti-Russia Ukraine you propose turns that “indentation” into a dagger piercing straight into the heart of Russia.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    , @AP
    , @utu
  88. @AquariusAnon

    Furthermore, you want Ukraine to side with *The West*?

    Keep in mind that the most powerful country in “The West” is the US. The US and Ukraine are 5,000 miles apart, have no historical connections, and Ukraine serves no role for the US besides to antagonize Russia, which has gone too far.

    • Replies: @AP
  89. @Jon0815

    Georgia 2008

    It might be a good example of how the nuclear deterrent matters more than the conventional one. Since Russian conventional capabilities were much weaker then than they are now, it’s an argument that Russia is mostly feared for its nuclear capabilities. Though there are some strong counter-arguments here:

    – the US was also somewhat weaker back then, since it concentrated on COIN capabilities instead of a normal WW3 military

    – the US was more than busy in Iraq anyway

    – Turkey was probably pretty reluctant

    – there was no infrastructure or strong NATO presence on the Black Sea

    Having said that, these days they usually don’t take such practical considerations into account when blurting out something about how Putin’s nose must be bloodied and a unilateral no-fly zone should be established in Syria or somewhere. It might just be the passage of time, and those who still remember the Cold War slowly dying out. Maybe in a few years they will openly threaten Russia with war, too.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Kimppis
    , @Jon0815
    , @inertial
  90. AP says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Highest living standards in Ukraine has been the Donbass before the Maidanists destroyed it.

    Utter nonsense. It had the highest income due to steel and coal exports but also high crime, drug abuse, lowest life expectancy, high infant mortality, the city was crappy, etc. It’s standard of living was pretty bad. It’s high per capita income (due to steel and coal, much of it ended up in Cyprus) could be compared to high income in parts of Nigeria – it didn’t translate into higher quality of life.

    Kiev is equidistant from Warsaw and Moscow.

    Closer to Warsaw (790 km vs. 860 km).

    And the fact that Ukraine spent 300 years as part of the Russian Empire

    1. Spent more time as part of Lithuania or Poland-Lithuania.
    2. Much of the time under Russia was under “Polish” conditions (Kiev was Polish-speaking for decades, Kiev had an ethnic Polish mayor in the 1880s)

    and speaks Russian, not Polish or German or English as its lingua franca

    Ukrainian, which is equidistant from Polish and Russian (grammar more like Russian, vocab has more Polish words) is in use officially and in public much more than is Russian. In terms of daily speech it’s an even split.

    If you look at a map, Eastern Ukraine looks like an indentation into the heart of Russia, while Galicia just barely touches Poland in its least developed parts

    Kursk is not the heart of Russia. Baltics come closer.

  91. AP says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Ukraine’s preferred ally is Visegrad not “the West’ in general. Kiev is closer to Warsaw than to Moscow. As is Odessa.

    • Replies: @Thumbhead
    , @Denis
  92. El Dato says:
    @AaronB

    But will or will they not build a successor of the Large Hadron Collider, which may or may not be a Higgs Factory or a 100 TeV “a micron off the long march to the Planck Scale” synchrotron?

  93. Kimppis says:
    @reiner Tor

    It might just be the passage of time, and those who still remember the Cold War slowly dying out. Maybe in a few years they will openly threaten Russia with war, too.

    This is a very interesting point, and a real possibility. Since 1990 the history ended, there were no real challengers for a few decades and American casualties have been minimal. Maybe most worryingly, their views on Russia are totally detached from reality in every possible way.

    At the same time, though, they take Putler’s meddling skillz seriously, somehow, so I guess they must believe in “his” nukes as well? I guess you’re also talking about the whole concept and possibility of a nuclear war and nukes? That it’s foreign to those people?

    Of course Trump II (and I’m not talking about his second term) can’t be allowed to happen, Russia is an existential threat to “American democracy” and it must be stopped at all costs, literally.

    Let’s say that by 2025, the meddling just hasn’t stopped, especially in Europe, as neoliberalism.txt is still not in full control and the bioleninist utopia is far away (obviously Russia’s fault). The sanctions have also been ineffective: Russia has been growing 3%+ annually since 2020-21, with massive reserves. Then you can make shit up about Putler’s gay holocaust, or something. I could almost see that happening in the 2020s at this rate.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  94. Kimppis says:
    @Jon0815

    Likewise in Georgia 2008: Saakashvili may have had delusions that NATO bombers would come to his aid, but there was no chance of this happening, even if Russian forces had gone all the way to Tbilisi.

    Yes, but that would have been a very challenging operation logistically, as reiner Tor pointed out. SCS and naval warfare for the US Navy is a different matter entirely.

    True, but even so, do you think the US would have made that war promise over tiny islands, if China had a Russia-sized nuclear arsenal? I don’t.

    Yes, possibly. There’s also a treaty between the US and the Philippines, and talk is still cheap, especially for a guy like Pompeo.

    • Replies: @Jon0815
  95. Jon0815 says:
    @reiner Tor

    Having said that, these days they usually don’t take such practical considerations into account when blurting out something about how Putin’s nose must be bloodied and a unilateral no-fly zone should be established in Syria or somewhere.

    Yes, Syria is both evidence for and against the theory that nuclear>conventional deterrence.

    On the one hand, there are the proposals for a no-fly-zone, and very bellicose statements about enforcing it against Russia, which would have been universally denounced as crazy if they had been made about the Soviets in the 1980s. On the other hand, in actuality the US has been extremely careful to avoid any conflict with Russia in Syria. Maybe this is just the result of Trump being elected instead of Clinton or Rubio. Or maybe those bellicose statements were just hot air, and Clinton or Rubio’s Syria policy wouldn’t actually have been much different from Trump’s.

    One interesting contrast is that in Syria, it was the civilians pushing for more robust action, and the military leadership favoring restraint. Whereas during the Cuban Missile Crisis, it was the reverse, at the same time that the USSR’s strategic position was the reverse of Russia’s today (conventional parity, nuclear inferiority).

  96. Thumbhead says:
    @AP

    lolwhat? Odessa is famously a Russian-Jewish city and has no connections at all to Galician culture. Founded by the Russian empire, populated by a mix of Russians, Greeks, Armenians, and especially Jews. It’s very surreal to walk down Deribasovskaya and see only Ukrainian-language signs while not hearing a single word of Ukrainian from the locals.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @inertial
  97. @Jon0815

    One interesting contrast is that in Syria, it was the civilians pushing for more robust action, and the military leadership favoring restraint. Whereas during the Cuban Missile Crisis, it was the reverse, at the same time that the USSR’s strategic position was the reverse of Russia’s today (conventional parity, nuclear inferiority).

    There are probably two reasons for that.

    One is that the civilians back then had seen what war was like (and at least had a rudimentary understanding that a new war would be at least a magnitude more destructive), whereas the civilians today are more removed from war, which they’ve only seen on TV.

    The other reason is that civilians have never understood nukes (neither then nor now), whereas soldiers have always understood it. (They also probably understood how destructive a war would be, but being soldiers, never cared about it per se. What mattered to them was that in 1962 war would have destroyed the USSR, whereas they couldn’t be certain about the outcome later; also the war would have been more destructive later; and in 2016-18 a war would pretty much destroy the USA.) Therefore the soldiers’ opinions are and were based on logic: nuclear parity means way more than conventional parity, and the trajectory of nuclear capabilities matters more than anything else, so no war in 2017, but war would have been logical in 1962. Civilian opinions are less logical in a strictly military sense, though I think in a broader sense Kennedy was correct and the generals wrong. However, the politicians these days are incoherent idiots.

    It’s also interesting that many generals are now very strong Russia hawks. (As well as China hawks, of course.) I think the soldiers are still quite bellicose (and ready to fight a war against Russia), it’s just that the politicians have become way more bellicose.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  98. Jon0815 says:
    @Kimppis

    There’s also a treaty between the US and the Philippines,

    The treaty language is unclear as to whether it covers the disputed South China Sea islands, and prior to Pompeo’s statement the US had not publicly committed to a position on it.

    and talk is still cheap, especially for a guy like Pompeo.

    This was a prepared statement of US government policy by the Secretary of State, with no ambiguity. Now if China were to move to seize the islands, and the US did not intervene, it would be a humiliating climb-down.

  99. @reiner Tor

    The caliber of the US officer corps is dramatically different today than it was in 1962. In 1962 the service academies were intellectually comparable to the “Ivy League” schools. As a result of the Vietnam War this was lost, and while the military ultimately regained some social prestige American elites never recommitted to military service. Today the average SAT scores of the service academies is in the 1300s.

    Personnel policy has also resulted in a more conformist officer corps. Since 1980 the DoD has had an “up or out” promotion policy in which any officer passed over for promotion twice is discharged. You can’t be promoted without good officer evaluations from your commanding officer, so the result is to encourage toadyism.

    Some details here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_Officer_Personnel_Management_Act

    Excellent take here: https://johntreed.com/blogs/john-t-reed-s-blog-about-military-matters/60879683-the-u-s-military-s-marathon-30-year-single-elimination-suck-up-tournament-or-how-america-selects-its-generals

    This conformism is further reinforced by the military pension system (anything less than 20 years of service means no pension whatsoever) and the sinecures conforming senior officers can expect to receive from think tanks and defense contractors.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  100. @Kimppis

    At the same time, though, they take Putler’s meddling skillz seriously, somehow, so I guess they must believe in “his” nukes as well?

    From wasting too much of my time masochistically browsing /r/politics, I believe the predominant feeling is a frothing rage that a gas station of a country whose nukes don’t even work anyway because Russians are all alcoholics and all the maintenance money has been siphoned off abroad has nonetheless somehow managed to elect Drumpf for them.

    • Replies: @Kimppis
  101. Thumbhead says:

    For what it’s worth, Anatol Lieven’s book about the collapsing Soviet Union is very pessimistic about the Donbass region and East Ukraine in general. He considers the Donbass a dying place with a negative birth rate and an Africa-level AIDS rate, a place with no future because it’s neither Russian nor Ukrainian but a completely Soviet place.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @AP
  102. @Jon0815

    So, basically, the generals have a more acute feeling for the military balance than the civilian leaders.

  103. AP says:
    @Thumbhead

    Odessa is famously a Russian-Jewish city and has no connections at all to Galician culture…populated by a mix of Russians, Greeks, Armenians, and especially Jews.

    Someone should tell that to the Odessan guy I know with the trident sticker on his car.

    Odessa’s population is 62% Ukrainian, 29% Russian. Most of the Jews have left. It is only 1.2% Jewish.

    A pro-Russian uprising in Odessa, trying to recreate Donetsk (which was 49% Russian, 48% Ukrainian), failed.

    It’s very surreal to walk down Deribasovskaya and see only Ukrainian-language signs while not hearing a single word of Ukrainian from the locals.

    They don’t speak much Ukrainian in Kiev either. And how much Gaelic do you hear in Dublin?

  104. @Thumbhead

    Interesting. This would comport with AP’s observations.

    Incidentally, I recently talked with a person who was closely involved with Donbass during 2014-2016. He did make the point that the women there are off the charts licentious.

    Hopefully I can actualize a trip there sooner and later and report in myself.

    He considers the Donbass a dying place with a negative birth rate and an Africa-level AIDS rate…

    That said, this is a ridiculous exaggeration.

    • Replies: @AP
  105. AP says:
    @Thumbhead

    That is a great book. He also wrote a very nice one about American nationalism.

    • Replies: @Thumbhead
  106. Kimppis says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    This possibility actually crossed my mind while I was typing that comment. It’s very likely, sadly. The very definition of Russophrenia.

    And as has been pointed out here, it would explain why they’re pushing Russia towards China. In their mind it just really doesn’t matter, as that Italy… no, Spain/South Korea/Canada/California/Texas/state of New York/Netherlands + Belgium/Chinese province-sized gas station is simply going to “collapse” sooner rather than later.

  107. utu says:
    @AquariusAnon

    When it comes to building a nation and constructing its identity your arguments about Ukrainian history, language and geography are of secondary importance. The result depends on the political will, political circumstances and the external support. All your arguments could be applied to Czechs in 18 century who were being absorbed into German culture and identity. The middle and upper classes were happy becoming Germans of Czech extraction. Peasants did not have national identity except that they did not speak German yet. Many other Slavic groups some living further East than Czechs were completely absorbed and assimilated to German culture. Czechs were on their way to become Germans. Prague is several hundred kilometers West of Vienna. Look at the map and see the Bohemian dagger pointing at the heart of Germany. Yet the project of resurrecting Czech nation and constructing its language and identity was undertaken with support form Western powers and Russia that wanted to weaken Germany and Austro-Hungary. New Czech elites connected to various masonic organizations were groomed in the West. As we know now it turned out to be a very successful project of nation building.

    All your arguments here are self-serving if indeed you are a Chinese national as you claim. Every time you suck up to Russian nationalists here you are justifying China’s claim of its integrity and sovereignty over the non-Chinese provinces of China and your fear that the fate of Russia will be visited upon China.

    • Agree: AP
  108. inertial says:
    @reiner Tor

    Having said that, these days they usually don’t take such practical considerations into account when blurting out something about how Putin’s nose must be bloodied and a unilateral no-fly zone should be established in Syria or somewhere.

    Russian government, and Putin personally, are amazingly thick skinned and do not react to rhetoric. Hence, trash talk is cost free.

    It might just be the passage of time, and those who still remember the Cold War slowly dying out. Maybe in a few years they will openly threaten Russia with war, too.

    Yes, people older than a certain age remember how everyone was terrified of nuclear war. Everyone was sure that the apocalypse is around the corner. Where did this all go?

    Another factor must be that there used to be less hatred and more respect for Russia. These days, I keep reading complaints about how the 1960s Cold War movies don’t portray Russians as evil enough.

  109. inertial says:
    @Thumbhead

    It’s very surreal to walk down Deribasovskaya and see only Ukrainian-language signs while not hearing a single word of Ukrainian from the locals.

    To be fair, that was exactly my impression on visiting Odessa in the 1980s. Goes to show how evil Sovok suppressed Ukrainian culture.

  110. inertial says:
    @utu

    When it comes to Russia, the correct analogy to Czechs would be Latvians, or Uzbeks, or even Chechens. Not Ukrainians.

  111. @Anatoly Karlin

    Deals on dairy farms, sunflower oil, pig farms, soya beans are all being done with Russia providing the capital investment for Chinese production units. Saudi money is tied in too. It’s a way of buying guaranteed sales.

  112. @utu

    Small peasant cultures across Europe turned themselves into Nations after the French Revolution.

    • Replies: @Thumbhead
  113. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I think what happened to Donbas after the USSR ended is a similar phenomenon to what happened to Native Americans when they were shoved aside by the Europeans. In both cases it resulted in nihilism and self-destructive behavior by peoples whose worlds were destroyed and not adequately replaced by something different. Post-Soviet Donbas had elements of a massive Indian reservation.

    Incidentally, I recently talked with a person who was closely involved with Donbass during 2014-2016. He did make the point that the women there are off the charts licentious.

    I have a friend in Moscow whose grandparents were from there (not from Donetsk city but from another city in the oblast). Retrieving them in the early 2000s involved extended stays and visits there. Every other woman was willing to sell herself for nothing, people were drunk or strung out on drugs, it was the Russian 90s on an epic scale.

    He considers the Donbass a dying place with a negative birth rate and an Africa-level AIDS rate…

    That said, this is a ridiculous exaggeration.

    Not necessaily. HIV rate in Swaziland 27%, South Africa is 18%, Zimbabwe 13% etc. but in Kenya it is 5.4% and in Nigeria it is 2.9%, Ghana and Liberia 1.6%. If Russia’s is 1% than Donbas could easily be 2% which would make it one of the better sub-Saharan African countries.

  114. anonymous[191] • Disclaimer says:
    @Isabella

    Every now and then I hear about the future fights over water being like other scarce resources. Water is everywhere on the planet, infinitely recyclable and as long as you have energy, you have an endless supply of it if you are near the sea or other large body of water. The only countries that will fight over water in the future are primitive, technologically backward countries. China has enormous resources of fresh water and high technology, to clean it and transport it and as long as they have energy they will be able to get it.

  115. Thumbhead says:
    @AP

    Going by his later interviews, Lieven considers Hillary a more dangerous nationalist than Trump, since her “neocon nationalism” is directed at the outside world and not focused on the US itself.

    But yeah, his observations about Eastern Ukraine are not optimistic at all. Lieven basically regards Eastern Ukraine as a sad colony of human raw material which the actual nations, Russia and Galicia, are fighting over.

  116. Thumbhead says:
    @Philip Owen

    Going back to Anatol Lieven, this is exactly the reason he gives as to why East Ukraine sucks so bad – that they were peasants who only achieved mass literacy and became a “nation” under the Soviet Union, which left them as a demoralized remnant of a dead civilization after 1991. Lieven remarked how apathetic and passive they were during the 90s, no matter how much the post-Soviet “shock therapy” destroyed their lives.

    From this viewpoint, then, Donbass declaring independence and putting up a fight against Kiev would be a “good thing”, and a sign of ethnogenesis – that they’re getting their shit together and thinking of themselves as a nation, in opposition to the Galician out-group.

    • Replies: @AP
  117. @Thorfinnsson

    The link is very good. I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it’s the military of the globalists, the worse the better for the rest of us. On the other hand, it’s scary what the chain of command to the strongest military in the world with lots of nukes will look like: braindead politicians giving orders to sycophantic generals who will never say anything against the orders, even if they will lead to catastrophe.

    By the way I just now checked the Wikipedia page of James “Mad Dog” Mattis. It appears to me that he never had a medal for exceptional bravery either. But maybe I just didn’t check carefully enough.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  118. AP says:
    @Thumbhead

    Agree, except that Donbas was heavily organized by Russians, who remain mostly in charge. If Russians disappeared it would melt away (which is bad, I hope Ukraine doesn’t get it back).

    • Replies: @Thumbhead
  119. Paul says:

    ” . . . sully their host nation’s soil . . . ”

    Do foreign journalists sully a host nation’s soil [Nazi Germany’s blood and soil for example] or its ruling class?

  120. @reiner Tor

    He has a Bronze Star with a Valor device stemming from his time commanding a battalion in the Gulf War. Probably a bullshit medal given that he was a Lt. Col. at the time and the war was short.

    As you can see these jarheads aren’t buying it: https://www.reddit.com/r/USMC/comments/5i6ptw/what_did_mattis_do_to_earn_his_car_and_bsm_w_v/

    Reed has an article on Mattis as well: https://johntreed.com/blogs/john-t-reed-s-news-blog/mattis-is-overrated-by-a-lot

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  121. @Jason Liu

    One foreign policy scholar brilliantly described such behaviour as ‘Great Power Autism.’

  122. @Thorfinnsson

    Apparently the US Army hasn’t changed since 1945. Martin van Creveld’s Fighting Power still applies to it.

  123. Mitleser says:
    @utu

    Czechs in 18 century who were being absorbed into German culture and identity. The middle and upper classes were happy becoming Germans of Czech extraction.

    Bohemian attempts to end the domination of the Roman-German Emperors were beaten down in the previous century.

  124. Mitleser says:
    @Dmitry

    That Chinese diplomat is certainly a fool.

  125. AaronB says:
    @AquariusAnon

    I’m starting to think that this is actually not completely US-imposed, but almost a natural progression of Enlightenment. (((They))) don’t have the capability to completely destroy a nation, but (((they))) are experts at sniffing out and ruthlessly take advantage of decadence.

    Exactly!

    The sooner we grapple with the real causes of the problem, the better we will be.

  126. Denis says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Your views on the Russia/China relationship more or less align with mine. I agree completely that Russia’s economic Sinicization and complete reorientation towards China are undesirable outcomes. However, I still don’t see the Sinicization that you described as being the worst case scenario, but that is probably due to my own circumstances. I’ve always been good with languages and it has basically been mandatory for me and others my country to learn more than one language anyways, so the idea of Chinese language omnipresence and heavy economic integration does not sound so completely unthinkable or catastrophic to me. This is probably why I regard potential subjugation to neoliberalism.txt as being the greater threat.

    Nevertheless, I agree completely on your view of what the ideal relationship between Russia and China would look like. Having Russia’s independence from the west be predicated on over-reliance on partnership with China is, of course, not sustainable or desirable in the long run, however useful it may be in the short run. Russia must stand independently and assume responsibility for preserving the Russian people and promoting their culture.

    The West aren’t interested in taking Ukraine under its wing anyways, except to use as a staging point as a dagger straight into the heart of Russia.

    I am consistently shocked that this isn’t more widely understood. Maybe I’m just too naive.

  127. Denis says:
    @AP

    You consistently ignore the fact that it doesn’t really matter whether Ukrainians prefer (your imaginary version of) the Visegrad bloc over the rest of the west. The truth is that, ultimately, the states of the visegrad bloc have little-to-no say in the policies and the direction of the European Union or the wider west, and as a result of this obvious fact, they do not control their own direction, because they are ultimately subject to the overall whims of neoliberalism.txt.

    For example, Orban’s Hungary is the only one of the visegrad bloc that is even remotely living up to its reputation for anti-immigration politics, and even there, in the longer term, it’s ultimately irrelevant that they have done so, because they remain a part of the institutions (most notably the EU) that have orchestrated this wave of colonization.

    As a result, even if they ban people from crossing their southern border indefinitely, and even if they place a complete moratorium on non-Europeans immigrating, it will not prevent the ultimate intrusion of non-Euros and globohomo culture, as Germany itself is now a massive source of both of those things. Hungary would not have to segregate itself from the Balkans; it would have to segregate itself from Germany.

    For the record, this is why the western establishment associates nationalist movements in the EU with Russia; they recognize that leaning on Russia, as Orban has done, is the only way for a government to actually pursue the well-being of the nation it represents, as opposed to simply talking tough and then doing whatever a typical neoliberal gov. would do, as Poland’s leaders have done now, and as Merkel was doing a decade ago.

  128. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin

    if you want a glance into what young, 110 IQ Europeans are like, you could do worse than to browse /r/europe. They are not Russophiles, to be it mildly; their contempt for Russia is far in excess than what young Chinese harbor.

    Why is this so?

  129. Thumbhead says:
    @AP

    That’s possible.

    Do you think the Donbass locals are a lot more “Sovietized” than the Russian green men, and that they’re more attached to the USSR than to the Russophone world?

  130. @Denis

    Living in a western country, everything that I have learned through either study or direct observation tells me that the bizarre new religion of neoliberalism.txt is the first and greatest threat to the survival of Russia as a distinct nation, just as it has more or less eradicated the unique cultures and peoples of the west…

    Lack of self awareness is amazing thing to witness as Russophiles are writing such things with the straight face and feeling of self-righteousness while majority of Russopatriots always were/are hell bent on denying/destroying/eradicating/assimilating kindred and neighbouring but still separate cultures and peoples such as Ukrainians or White Russians.

    • Agree: AP
  131. @Annatar

    I agree with this view, the next generation of European elites that are up and coming are even more anti-Russian then the current generation. There is no real hope of Russian-EU rapprochement, the west has chosen completely as evidenced by how the media, academia and political elites behave that Russia is the enemy and must be contained and if possible eliminated as a viable nation state. Russians who think the EU is somehow being driven merely by pressure from Washington are wrong,

    Isn’t this the same as in the US in that the media, academia and political elites are dominated in the EU by the same tribal grouping?

  132. Denis says:
    @sudden death

    majority of Russopatriots always were/are hell bent on denying/destroying/eradicating/assimilating kindred and neighbouring but still separate cultures

    I hope the weather is nice out there in svidomistan.

  133. @Denis

    I hope the weather is nice out there in svidomistan.

    Such lack of argumentation is also amusing to wittness but somewhat understandable as exposing usual Russian imperialist duplicity is not very pleasant for your type, so quick knee jerk reaction is not that surprising 😀

  134. Adam says:
    @sudden death

    Not all cultures are of equal value. The death of German culture would be a profound tragedy. The assimilation of Latvians by Russians would be insignificant and unnoticed. Ukrainians have contributed very little to human culture and Belorussians not at all.

    • Replies: @sudden death
  135. gT says:

    Oh dear, more people are becoming aware of the true nature of the Chinese beast, what a pleasure.

    And “junior partner” / “little boy” Russia had better be careful, the Chinese stole an island in some river from Russia in the 60’s I think it was, and because Khrushchev didn’t sort them out then when it was still easy the Chinese now think they are entitled to the whole of Siberia.

    • Troll: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @gT
  136. melanf says:
    @sudden death

    denying/destroying/eradicating/assimilating kindred and neighbouring but still separate cultures and peoples such as Ukrainians or White Russians.

    Give an example of a special culture of Ukraine/Belarus assimilated/exterminated by Russia? Currently, the culture of Ukraine / Belarus exists based on the Russian market

    • Replies: @sudden death
  137. Attention!

    I’m in need of book recommendations.

    Does anyone know of any respectable book-length treatments (or articles, for that matter) on the life and work of Polish nationalist Roman Dmowski?

    Thank you in advance!

  138. @Denis

    He’s actually a big fan of Jean Claude Van Damme movies

  139. @AquariusAnon

    On the topic of neoliberalism.txt, I’m starting to think that this is actually not completely US-imposed, but almost a natural progression of Enlightenment. (((They))) don’t have the capability to completely destroy a nation, but (((they))) are experts at sniffing out and ruthlessly take advantage of decadence.

    Correct.

    In the late 1800s, La Civita Cattolica, an official Catholic publication, stated that a Western nation that goes into rebellion against Christ and His Church will come quickly to be ruled by the Jews.

    When one looks at the state of Catholic-Jewish “dialogue” now, it is hard to believe that the Church once formally condemned organized Judaism and called for conversion of Jews. But it did!

    This is why Unz.com is in need of some kind of traditional Catholic blogger to talk about Christendom and Enlightenment, as well as shine a spotlight on the current problems in the Catholic Church.

    Plus it would be fun to see Unz suddenly have debates between Catholics and Orthodox since no doubt many of the latter view neoliberalism.txt as having originated in the former.

    And it would be even more fun to have someone here to demolish all the Rune Coon wehraboo type people who reject Christianity as a “Semitic” religion (which is hilarious when you consider how much Talmudic Jews hate the letters of St. Paul or the Gospel of John).

  140. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    Oh, incidentally, my apologies, I thought this was the open thread, so apologies for the off-topic nature of this request

  141. @sudden death

    … or White Russians.

    So separate that they literally call themselves Russians.

    Though they wouldn’t remain white for long within an EU fast turning into a cross between Beirut and Port au Prince.

    • Replies: @sudden death
  142. @Anatoly Karlin

    So separate that they literally call themselves Russians.

    Not exactly so as they call themselves as “беларусы” and in Slavic languages this is quite distinct from “pусские”, even in Russian language itself the term is “белорусы”, but not just “белopусские” as you seem to suggest.

    In English language those distinctions are almost lost though, as “Belarusians” or “Byelorussians” sound and look almost the same as “Russians”, so it is easier to manipulate with that.

  143. @Adam

    Not all cultures are of equal value. The death of German culture would be a profound tragedy. The assimilation of Latvians by Russians would be insignificant and unnoticed. Ukrainians have contributed very little to human culture and Belorussians not at all.

    It seems that you value only “high” culture but even such cultures are not a static thing and by your criteria it should be very pity that high cultured Romans did not manage to wipe out all the Germans at the time when they had contributed zero high culture relative to all human culture then.

    It should be noted that Russians themselves started to produce “high culture” only in 19th century, before that there were nothing very remarkable of that sort.

  144. @melanf

    Give an example of a special culture of Ukraine/Belarus assimilated/exterminated by Russia? Currently, the culture of Ukraine / Belarus exists based on the Russian market

    Yet again it seems that by saying “culture” in mind there is just so called “high culture” but the language itself is a culture, also folklore, ancient traditions and customs and dressing is also a part of specific culture, but not only just “high” culture.

    So there were more than plenty fighting and suppresion from all sides, including Russian state in last three hundred years, against Ukrainian language itself:

    http://www.lucorg.com/UserFiles/File/Prohibitions.pdf

    If there were no such stringent fight against the language itself, it is more than probable that there were already more “high culture” in Ukrainian, e.g. Gogol could have been writing in Ukrainian.

    • Replies: @melanf
  145. melanf says:
    @sudden death

    but the language itself is a cultur

    All modern languages (German, French, English) have absorbed many regional dialects

    also folklore, ancient traditions and customs and dressing is also a part of specific culture

    All this was killed by industrialization. Everywhere.
    Ukrainian / Belarusian folklore and costumes have never been persecuted .

    Russian state in last three hundred years, against Ukrainian language itself:

    It’s just a blatant lie. The Soviet government forcibly spread the Ukrainian language in “Ukraine” (and to a lesser extent-the Belarusian language in Belarus)

    • Replies: @sudden death
  146. @melanf

    It’s just a blatant lie. The Soviet government forcibly spread the Ukrainian language in “Ukraine” (and to a lesser extent-the Belarusian language in Belarus)

    It’s news to me that Soviet government lasted whole 300 years 🙂

    But for real it should have been written more precisely by me as “Russian tsardom in last three hundred years”.

    btw, the so called “ukrainization” lasted 10 years at best of those 70 soviet years, so it certainly was not constant trend.

    • Replies: @melanf
  147. gT says:
    @gT

    “All the big internet advocates for Russia such as Orlov and Saker and Karlin don’tunderstand The Danger of China PRC.”

    http://www.unz.com/article/war-with-china/#comment-3051117

  148. melanf says:
    @sudden death

    But for real it should have been written more precisely by me as “Russian tsardom in last three hundred years”.

    So it’s still just a blatant lie. Even if we consider the unification of education based on the Russian language as oppression of the Ukrainian language, “300 years” it will still be a blatant lie.

    the so called “ukrainization” lasted 10 years at best

    The so-called” Ukrainization ” continued throughout the existence of the USSR. 10 years is a particularly radical phase of Ukrainization.

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