A second front in Taiwan, an alliance with Russia, a Western game about the cost of breaking with Beijing. Burning Questions About China in 2023 – News

A second front in Taiwan, an alliance with Russia, a Western game about the cost of breaking with Beijing. Burning Questions About China in 2023 – News
A second front in Taiwan, an alliance with Russia, a Western game about the cost of breaking with Beijing. Burning Questions About China in 2023 – News

– The transformation of supply chains from China is today an important field of a complicated political game and competition within Western European and, more broadly, Western elites (…). Serious conflicts are about pace, vectors, time, plan, ways, and who will pay for it first and who will pay for it second, he tells PolskieRadio24.pl dr Michał Bogusz (OSW)when asked about the prospects for China’s relations with the West. At the same time, the OSW expert believes that Western politicians are aware of the inevitability of a break with Beijing.

The OSW analyst estimates that the West, which is currently struggling with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, still has some time to prepare for the prospect of a possible war in Taiwan. As he emphasizes, this conflict will intensify, but it is not certain whether it will turn into a military clash.

>>> RUSSIA’S INVASION TO UKRAINE – see the special service <<<

The conversation also included answers to other questions about China, such as the nature of Russia-China relations, whether Moscow and Beijing can use North Korea as a proxy aggressor against the West, and Xi Jinping’s proposal that the yuan replace the dollar in oil trading in Persian Gulf.

More in the conversation.


PolskieRadio24.pl: Can we predict what policy China will pursue towards Russia in the near future?

Dr Michał Bogusz (Centre for Eastern Studies): When it comes to relations with Russia, in my opinion, we are dealing with a de facto Sino-Russian alliance.

He is strongly motivated by the belief that the West poses a threat to both regimes.

Both China and Russia benefit from the weakening, change or dismantling of the international order built after World War II, strengthened after the end of the Cold War, and based on the dominance of the United States and its allies.

From Russia’s point of view, a world dominated by Beijing looks better than the one in which the United States is the most important, because China, as an autocracy analogous to the Russian one, will not threaten the power of the Russian elites in their current shape. And the West, no matter what Western politicians say, will always be an existential threat to them.

Of course, there are also current interests regarding the stabilization of Central Asia, rivalry with the West on the periphery, the issue of the so-called global South.

This is compounded by the increasingly strong ideological rivalry between two development paradigms: authoritarian and based on liberal democracy.

All this means that the Russian-Chinese alliance has very strong foundations. Of course, there are, as always in this type of relationship, internal friction.

However, for both sides, they are less important than what they have in common. This means that China currently maintains a friendly neutrality towards Russia where it does not expose them to additional costs, such as the imposition of Western sanctions on Chinese entities.

In my opinion, this will not change in the near future. Beijing believes that Russia is doing well. And the economic drip that flows from Beijing sustains the Russian economy.

If in the spring the estimates that the Russian economy will start to get into more and more problems, and this will cause more and more serious problems for Putin, then it cannot be ruled out that Beijing will become more involved.

However, as long as Beijing considers that the Kremlin’s situation is relatively good, it will not expose itself to a direct conflict with the West and will not directly help Russia. From China’s point of view, there is no such need.


Read also:


Can we expect any military actions by China, for example against Taiwan?

The situation in Taiwan has not changed recently. Socio-cultural and identity transformations in Taiwan are so advanced that we are dealing with a nation-building process there. Taiwanese have a sense of separate identity and do not feel Chinese.

It is a process somewhat similar to what we could observe in the case of Great Britain and some of its colonies. These countries often have their roots in the Anglo-Saxon culture, but they still feel like a separate nation with its own interests, sometimes contrary to the interests of the former metropolis.

Internal dynamics in Taiwan cause any plans for peaceful reunification to fail. There’s no way Taiwanese people want to talk about it.

This means that the fiction, which has been maintained for years, that the two Chinese states will probably unite in the distant future, can no longer be maintained.

All this makes the situation in the Taiwan Strait more and more unstable.


Then there is the rivalry between the great powers. The United States is the guarantor of the status quo. If Beijing wants to change it, it will come into direct conflict with the United States. They will then have to answer.

Taiwan is a democracy. This democracy has its problems, but compared to most Asian countries – democratization in Taiwan has been successful.

This contradicts Beijing’s thesis that within Chinese civilization there is no place for individual freedom, individual rights or human rights in the Western sense.

This gives the conflict an additional ideological dimension. This makes it seem that there is no possibility of compromise, the conflict will only grow, although this does not mean war here and now or in the foreseeable future.

Is China preparing in a special way for this war?

China has been preparing to attack Taiwan since 1949 since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. However, as of today, they do not have such abilities – in my opinion.

This issue is sometimes considered in the context of whether the US may be involved in conflicts on two fronts – Russian and Chinese.

In my estimation, China is currently not ready for this attack – therefore this is a hypothetical consideration. I think the US realizes that they need to improve their defense capabilities, force their European partners to increase their defense capabilities. The pressure on Europe on this issue will only increase.

The West still has some time to get its affairs in order. However, all this does not determine the conflict. It is possible, its probability will increase, but it is not determined.

One can ask whether China, Russia, can somehow use North Korea for their evil purposes, as a proxy aggressor.

North Korea is not capable of conducting a global military operation, it is able to destabilize the situation on the Korean Peninsula, but it is not able to threaten the dominance of the West in the region: Japan, the United States.

The North Korean issue is only potentially a bargaining chip. In the event of a conflict, it will not be game changer on a world scale. It can play an important role on the Korean Peninsula.

There is more talk now than a few years ago about China’s threats to Western infrastructure. For example, in December the US banned the import and sale of Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications as well as companies producing monitoring equipment, Dahua Technology, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology.

Efforts are made not to give key areas into the wrong hands. Not so long ago there were loud protests against this, Germany is still trying to build relations with China, it seems…

I think policy makers realize that some kind of decouplingdisruption of supply chains from China, is inevitable.

Major conflicts are about pace, vectors, time, plan, ways, and who will pay for it first and who will pay second, etc.

This is a huge field of political play and competition within Western European and, more broadly, Western elites.

Nevertheless, the trend that indicates that it is inevitable is, in my opinion, permanent. It’s just a matter of time, of emphases, and how painful it will be.

Rather, it is certain that it will be painful, that years of carefree dependence on an authoritarian regime will have to be paid for.

Nevertheless, it is certain. It’s a matter of national security. The only question is who, how, at what time, who will be earlier, who will be later. There is a serious game on this issue both within the EU and within the G7.

All this is still far from being realized. Nevertheless, the direction is set and will not change.

This is good, although it is clear that for the time being, for example, Germany is trying to block this course.

Interests diverge, nevertheless there is an awareness that it is inevitable.

I also wanted to ask about the Chinese course to the Persian Gulf. In December, the Chinese president visited Saudi Arabia. Xi Jinping urged the Gulf countries to replace the dollar with the yuan in oil settlements. Dozens of contracts were signed.

We’re not sure what happened there. Apparently, 34 agreements were signed, but about 20 of them are letters of intent.

We do not know the details of the other contracts. Certainly the Saudis are not interested in replacing the US dollar with the renminbi (yuan) in turnover. The Chinese have not pushed for it either, it doesn’t look like it will happen in the near future.

China has interests there, Beijing and the Saudis have many converging interests. However, it does not look like a Sino-Saudi alliance will be formed soon, it will not be any new quality or axis. The Chinese are also very closely connected with Iran, which is the archenemy of the Saudis.

Read also:

With Dr. Michał Bogusz was interviewed by Agnieszka Marcela Kamińska, PolskieRadio24.pl


The article is in Polish

Tags: front Taiwan alliance Russia Western game cost breaking Beijing Burning Questions China News


PREV “Galloping food prices” – Krzysztof J. Wojtas blog
NEXT Taiwan offers China help in the fight against coronavirus