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#13946008
China-Russia Rivalry Will Destroy SCO

Remember the Shanghai Cooperation Organization? The prime ministers of the North Asian countries united in this platform met in Saint Petersburg last week to discuss regional integration but as is becoming the norm at their summits, they agreed on nothing important.

David Cohen sums up the predicament of the SCO at The Diplomat.

Russia used the meeting to push for the accession of India and Iran to the regional organization while China talked economic integration and free trade with Central Asia—both pet initiatives that would dilute the other party’s power in the group and which have been stalled for years.

Chinese and Russian interests are increasingly divergent. In Central Asia, they will soon be competitors for access to oil and natural gas. Their relations with India are completely asymmetrical while their desire for an American presence in Eurasia is ambiguous.

China doesn’t mind that American troops are permanently stationed in Europe where the United States are also constructing a missile shield which will dilute Russia’s nuclear menace. The Russians, on the other hand, will not object to America’s burgeoning military presence in East Asia which serves as a balance against Chinese expansionism.

The two greater powers do share a concern for separatism and terrorism in their respective backyards. Central Asia is home to a score of ethnicities that could reasonably be defined as “nations” except the states which they live in hardly reflect their ambitions. China and Russia would rather keep the political constellation as it is there lest separatist violence incite similar uprisings in the Caucasus, Tibet and Xinjiang.

Because of their different security concerns elsewhere, the two cannot very well cooperate in this regard as part of the SCO however. China hopes to use the organization as a vehicle for economic integration instead but this contradicts Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s hopes for an “Eurasian Union” that is led from Moscow.

If India or Iran were admitted, it could wreck the SCO completely, writes Cohen. Add a billion people democracy to the mix and “the group is unlikely ever to be able to agree on anything.” Add Iran and the SCO could be turned into a gigantic rival to NATO except China has no desire to assume responsibility for another rogue, potentially nuclear state.

So the SCO’s future looks grim. Without committed participation on the part of the Russians and the Chinese, there’s very little reason for the other member states to continue to keep up appearances. Their leaders will meet together ever now and then as they would otherwise meet bilaterally but in terms of global significance, the SCO will soon peter out.


Source: http://atlanticsentinel.com/2011/11/china-russia-rivalry-will-destroy-sco/

To me the exercises conducted recently are not a sign of strong relations but of a fair weather friendship which could collapse at any moment. If you look at Central Asia the states there all have good relations with both Moscow and Beijing, some even with Washington. It would not be surprising if there develops competition between China and Russia for influence in the region just as there was in years gone by.

We should also not forget that Russians are worried about Chinese expansion into Siberia, a region whose population is declining and dropped after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The Sino-Soviet split ended with the fall of the USSR but the geopolitical realities which created it can always re-materialise.

What does everyone think?
#13946020
I don't know if it's still true, but it always use to be that the two larges armies in the world faced each other over the Russian/Chinese border.

They seem to be playing nicely together currently. I'm not detecting an particular frictions between the two. Quite the opposite. But then I'm not overly exposed to eithers media and I don't talk to so many Chinese and Russian people daily.
#13946050
Another aspect is the Russians helping Vietnamese oil companies exploring and drilling in Vietnam's EEZ inside areas of the South China sea that China claims. Also China is purchasing less Russian arms as they develop domestic technology. This is causing strain in the relationship for two reasons. Russian arms exports are coming more and more from countries like India and Vietnam and that the Chinese are developing technology based on Russian designs, which in some cases China is then reexporting or attempting to export that technology as Chinese products.

If all this could lead to conflict depends on how your defining conflict. I'd hold off on saying it will lead to conflict and just say the relationship is more complex than some people would have you believe. I don't think Russia is likely to align itself with either China or Europe in any major way. Over time the Russian-Chinese relationship will become more antagonistic as China comes to dominate the relationship. There is a possibility that Russia bandwagons with China but I think it will more likely becomes even more so a free agent with love-hate relationships with both Europe and China.
#13946066
Some pretty NASTY fighting has gone on over the decades in the Sino-Russo borderlands. I would imagine that when it comes to the Yellow Sea, there will be shat hitting the veritable fan at some point in time. Neither country has ever shied away from a shooting war and they value life not a whole lot. It is probably one of the reasons ole China keeps North Korea afloat. Good strong cannon fodder to entertain Russian armies if and when.....
#13946085
I don't know if it's still true, but it always use to be that the two larges armies in the world faced each other over the Russian/Chinese border.

They seem to be playing nicely together currently. I'm not detecting an particular frictions between the two. Quite the opposite. But then I'm not overly exposed to eithers media and I don't talk to so many Chinese and Russian people daily.


Joint military exercises and good words will be exchanged so long as there is no cause for friction between the two. As soon as some real rivalry becomes manifest or border disputes develop then these gestures vanish. I would even go so far to say that both try to maintain cordiality for its own sake.

Another aspect is the Russians helping Vietnamese oil companies exploring and drilling in Vietnam's EEZ inside areas of the South China sea that China claims. Also China is purchasing less Russian arms as they develop domestic technology. This is causing strain in the relationship for two reasons. Russian arms exports are coming more and more from countries like India and Vietnam and that the Chinese are developing technology based on Russian designs, which in some cases China is then reexporting or attempting to export that technology as Chinese products.


Yes. Not long ago I heard that the Chinese reverse engineered a Russian military plane and were selling it under their name.

If all this could lead to conflict depends on how your defining conflict. I'd hold off on saying it will lead to conflict and just say the relationship is more complex than some people would have you believe. I don't think Russia is likely to align itself with either China or Europe in any major way. Over time the Russian-Chinese relationship will become more antagonistic as China comes to dominate the relationship. There is a possibility that Russia bandwagons with China but I think it will more likely becomes even more so a free agent with love-hate relationships with both Europe and China.


The Russians are more likely to go with the Europeans than Chinese. Political thinkers such as Aleksandr Dugin have said that they consider China a historic enemy of Russia and the back door of the US into their sphere of influence. The Russians could develop an alliance with Brussels as they compete for Central Asia with the Chinese. I do agree Russia has potential for difficulties with both Europe and China so it is very likely that it will gravitate towards neither in particular. Even still it is important to not forget that Russia and Germany are very close at current point. It seems as if the Russians are squeezed between Europe and Asia, doing their best to find their own space.

^This. I went over it in depth... but it seems no one wants to play.


We should look.

Some pretty NASTY fighting has gone on over the decades in the Sino-Russo borderlands. I would imagine that when it comes to the Yellow Sea, there will be shat hitting the veritable fan at some point in time. Neither country has ever shied away from a shooting war and they value life not a whole lot. It is probably one of the reasons ole China keeps North Korea afloat. Good strong cannon fodder to entertain Russian armies if and when.....


The dragon and the bear. It would not surprise me if in a case where the Chinese abandon North Korea the Russians will take their place. Medvedev met Kim Jong Il recently in Siberia and the North were always closer to the Soviets than Chinese.
#13946325
Political Interest wrote:
Yes. Not long ago I heard that the Chinese reverse engineered a Russian military plane and were selling it under their name.


And a load of rockets, missiles, rifles and tanks. Also the US Humvee, and Blackhawk and probably some Gucci watches etc.

They do it all the time.
#13947045
There are no 'large armies' facing one another on russia/china border anymore. ALL border disputes have been settled and border is demilitarized. The chinese military region facing russia and tasked with defending beijing, Tianjin and manchuria features just 300,000 personnel across all areas (land, sea, air) and are deployed in and around beijing/Tianjin, 1,500km from russia.

China has 2.3 million total military personnel, the bulk of them in the south and south-east of the country facing east china sea, south china sea and taiwan. The west is naturally defended by the tibetan plateau. Meanwhile the mongolian frontier is largely irrelevant, Chinese resource conglomerates are firmly in control of the mongol economy and resource base, almost 80% of all mongol trade activity is with china. It is being rapidly developed for chinese consumption. As a result mongolia in 2011 was the worlds fastest growing economy. New pipelines are being built from sibir and east sibir to chinese urban centres in manchuria and beyond.

Meanwhile russia and Japan have active territorial disputes, Russia has serious disputes with nato over the missile shield in europe and nato arming of Us puppets on russian periphery (georgia) and russia has serious disputes in the arctic with canada. Japan and canada both being major Us puppets.
#13947301
There are no 'large armies' facing one another on russia/china border anymore. ALL border disputes have been settled and border is demilitarized. The chinese military region facing russia and tasked with defending beijing, Tianjin and manchuria features just 300,000 personnel across all areas (land, sea, air) and are deployed in and around beijing/Tianjin, 1,500km from russia.


This means nothing.

China has 2.3 million total military personnel, the bulk of them in the south and south-east of the country facing east china sea, south china sea and taiwan. The west is naturally defended by the tibetan plateau. Meanwhile the mongolian frontier is largely irrelevant, Chinese resource conglomerates are firmly in control of the mongol economy and resource base, almost 80% of all mongol trade activity is with china. It is being rapidly developed for chinese consumption. As a result mongolia in 2011 was the worlds fastest growing economy. New pipelines are being built from sibir and east sibir to chinese urban centres in manchuria and beyond.


The reason is that there is no current threat from Russia or major political disputes, for now.

Meanwhile russia and Japan have active territorial disputes, Russia has serious disputes with nato over the missile shield in europe and nato arming of Us puppets on russian periphery (georgia) and russia has serious disputes in the arctic with canada. Japan and canada both being major Us puppets.


Fair enough, but what is to say the friendship between China and Russia will last?
#14187165
Igor Antunov wrote:There are no 'large armies' facing one another on russia/china border anymore. ALL border disputes have been settled and border is demilitarized. The chinese military region facing russia and tasked with defending beijing, Tianjin and manchuria features just 300,000 personnel across all areas (land, sea, air) and are deployed in and around beijing/Tianjin, 1,500km from russia.


Historically speaking china has only ever really gone to war only when it had border disputes with its neighbors. Its because of this fact why so many people are worried/convinced a war between China and its neighbors (like japan, Philippines ect.) unavoidable. And its because of this fact i don't believe china would go to war with Russia nor Russia would go to war with china (mainly because of the fear i believe of the human wave tactics).

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