Russia and China are not opposites of one another

Date:

Russia and China are not opposites of one another

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Thursday, October 20, 2022.
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • By lecturing the leaders of China and Russia on their misdeeds, the self-declared architects of the liberal international order in Washington fueled animosity against Western hypocrisy rather than reform.

  • Their perspectives on the rest of the world were the third significant difference between China and Russia.

  • But among the G20 nations, Russia saw the biggest economic downturn in 2009, exposing a frail political and economic system.

  • However, it is misguided for US authorities to portray these activities as being a part of China’s global dominance strategy.

  • The only risky options that the United States has faced with Russia since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated in a speech that “the underpinnings of the international order are under serious and sustained attack” three months after Russia invaded Ukraine. Despite this, Blinken swiftly glossed over the invasion: “Russian President Vladimir Putin poses a clear and present threat…[but] China is the only country with the intention and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do it.”

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The US foreign policy establishment increasingly sees China and Russia as fundamentally similar authoritarian governments seeking to undermine liberal principles and American dominance (two very different issues usually conflated in Washington). For instance, Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Kritenbrink compared the “coercion and aggression” of “the worldview put up by President Putin and Xi” with a US vision for the world “that emphasises freedom and openness.” According to this viewpoint, the most crucial distinction is that China is more powerful. Hence the US must prevent Russian aggression from detracting from the more vital goal of restraining China.

By combining the two nations, analysis has failed miserably, potentially suffocating the only chance for the peaceful rebirth of the world order. During the era of free market globalisation and its protracted post-2008 breakdown, China and Russia took quite different routes. As a result, these contrasting histories have given rise to fundamentally different ruling elites with various global perspectives. With no viable alternative, the extraction-focused Russian leadership wants to topple the US-dominated order because it feels threatened and resentful of the West. The Chinese leadership, in comparison, has a much more expansive and optimistic global vision arising from its more excellent international connections and orientation toward production rather than extraction, despite sharing similar anxieties and resentments.

China is potentially a participant in the effort to change a global system drowning in inequity and hostility for precisely the same reason that China is more powerful than Russia—its triumphant, multidimensional rise under free market globalisation. It does, however, call for a greater understanding among Americans of the divergent sensibilities and objectives of Russian and Chinese leaders that have resulted from the two countries’ sharply divergent experiences over the past forty years. This does not require acquiescing to the Chinese government’s numerous unjust practices.

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