While Donald Trump’s approach was more isolationist and focused on economic warfare, the Biden administration is showing much more belligerence, as well as a tendency to relegate portions of its power projection to allies and vassals such as the UK, Australia, Japan, etc.
It’s certainly no secret that the United States has been trying to foment yet another conflict in the immediate vicinity of its geopolitical adversaries. This is particularly true in regards to Russia and China, the only near-peer rivals capable of not only resisting, but also challenging Washington DC’s disastrous hegemony. It is precisely this that makes both superpowers prime targets for encirclement and destabilization, with the end goal being either their complete dismantlement or, at the very least, weakening to a point where they would be forced to accept US dominance without much (or any) opposition. To accomplish this, the belligerent thalassocracy has been using everything at its disposal, from false narratives disseminated by the massive mainstream propaganda machine to more “hard power” schemes such as weapons deliveries and (in)direct military involvement.
Most observers have always seen the connection between Russia and China or, more specifically, between their interests in Ukraine and Taiwan, respectively. These legitimate interests (primarily relating to, but not limited to security) have been targeted by the US and its numerous vassals. Both Moscow and Beijing are perfectly aware of this and are working towards building closer ties, especially on a strategic level, to counter escalating US aggression while maintaining their respective foreign policy frameworks, which aren’t always 100% convergent in every aspect. However, this does not impede their growing cooperation in any way, as can only be expected from truly sovereign nations. This is causing a tremendous amount of frustration in Washington DC, prompting it to mobilize its propaganda machine to try and tarnish the (Eur)Asian giants’ reputation.
A recent piece published by the infamous CNN perfectly illustrates the thinking behind US attempts to use the aforementioned crises against both Russia and China. Authored by Brad Lendon and titled “Ukraine war has made it easier for US to isolate China in the Pacific”, the analysis is an admission of sorts that Washington DC is pushing both conflicts.
Expectedly, the author claims that China is supposedly “backing” Russia just by virtue of Beijing’s continued refusal to join the political West’s siege of Moscow. Lendon claims that this perceived support has pushed Japan to double military spending and acquire long-range weapons from the US, while entirely ignoring the enormous pressure Tokyo has been exposed to in the last 12 months to “up the ante” and commit more of its increasingly depleted resources to the “defense of shared values”.
And while the author praised the new Japanese $320 billion remilitarization program, he harshly criticized China’s own regular military activities as “destabilizing”. This is just further proof that the incessant hypocrisy and double standards are the mainstays of US foreign policy. Lendon claims that “China’s actions are pushing the Asia-Pacific allies closer than ever before”, openly admitting that the Ukraine conflict is “very useful” for Washington DC in this regard. He then quoted the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang as saying: “The [Chinese] armed forces should intensify military training and preparedness across the board, develop new military strategic guidance, devote greater energy to training under combat conditions and make well-coordinated efforts to strengthen military work in all directions and domains.”
The CNN insists that the outgoing Chinese premier stated this as part of a government work report. Either way, the US is surprisingly open about its plans, with the recently revealed National Security Strategy (NSS) envisioning a greater strategic role for America’s numerous satellite states. While Donald Trump’s approach was more isolationist and focused on economic warfare, the Biden administration is showing much more belligerence, as well as a tendency to relegate portions of its power projection to allies and vassals such as the UK, Australia, Japan, etc. Somewhat surprisingly, Lendon claims that South Korea is now also joining the fray.
“Peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is essential for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and it’s indispensable for security and prosperity of the region as a whole,” South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin told CNN recently.
This is somewhat uncommon for Seoul, which has previously been careful not to antagonize Beijing, with which it has extensive economic cooperation. If CNN’s claims are true, this would signal a dramatic strategic shift in the Asia-Pacific, further splitting the region along geopolitical fault lines and eroding decades of essentially unlimited economic cooperation. Perhaps this might be exactly what the US wants, as per CNN itself, but it might also backfire into yet another spectacular US foreign policy failure. Lendon insists that South Korea is worried about Pyongyang and that this is the main reason it is further integrating with the US-brokered anti-Chinese coalition.
However, it could be argued that it is precisely this action by Seoul that could escalate tensions between the North and the South, particularly if the latter further antagonizes and alienates Beijing, which has been playing quite a constructive role in defusing tensions in the Korean peninsula. The destabilization could also be exacerbated by South Korea repeatedly floating the idea of potentially acquiring its own nuclear weapons, a course of action the US has not shown any opposition to while still insisting the North should disarm. Needless to say, Pyongyang is not only refusing to comply with such a suicidal request, but is even expanding its strategic capabilities, much to the chagrin of Washington DC.
In conclusion, Lendon laments that the Ukrainian crisis “has not been helpful in one key American partnership in the Indo-Pacific, the informal Quad alliance linking the US, Japan, Australia and India”, as New Delhi, “unlike the other three members”, has not condemned Russia’s counteroffensive against NATO aggression in Europe. “When the US, Australia, and Japan tried to condemn Russia through a joint statement, India refused…
India claimed that the Quad only tackles Indo-Pacific challenges, and since Russia isn’t in the region, this topic cannot be broached,” the piece quoted Derek Grossman, a senior defense analyst at the infamous RAND Corporation. However, he added that “the split in the Quad doesn’t really distract from its focus, as the Quad is all about how to deal with China”, essentially admitting that America is still trying to compartmentalize its geopolitical approach in the region.