Are China and Russia setting themselves up for a war against the US, and possibly NATO allies? Recent events within and between the two nations seem to point in that rather ominous direction.
The following story from ZDNet caught my eye today:
The New Zealand secret service has suggested the Chinese government was behind attacks on the country’s networks…The allegations come only a week after the Chinese foreign ministry denied that the Chinese government had endorsed attacks on the computer networks of Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom.
“Any accusation of Chinese military force attacking computer systems of foreign governments is groundless, irresponsible and out of ulterior motives,” Chinese foreign-ministry representative Jiang Yu said in a recent press conference.
So the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and New Zealand are all claiming that the Chinese are engaged in heavy cyber-spying operations within each of their systems. A few years back we also had the whole Titan Rain incident, and there have been other allegations since.
Finally we have a building political block between Russia and China which is not only increasingly hostile against US foreign policy (understandably so, since US policy has gotten so horribly forceful since 2001), but also increasingly outspoken in rhetoric against NATO.
China and Russia are on the move, and not in the good way. Russia’s been itching to get back into World Superpower status, and general consensus seems to be that the 21st century will be “The Chinese Century” (in like manner to the 20th century being often referred to as “The American Century”). In the informational front, China’s been making a lot of moves, as the quoted article above tells. In the military front, Russia’s been starting to make waves again, but they’re not the only ones: by some accounts, China has greatly increased their military spending, while underreporting what they’re spending. (This, of course, is disputed, and countered with the fact that the US spends at least 5 times more than China, including a larger portion of its GDP in military spending.)
With a weakening US, drained by years of wasteful wars, horrific economic management, and deficit-spending (debt which was bought by China), the two may be poising themselves to capitalize on the US’s seeming economic (and politically influential) demise, especially since China now pulls so many of the economic strings. In fact, economics is their third game. When you consider the facts — that China owns now over $1-trillion of US debt, that it has just bought a major stake in Barclay (a major world bank), and that within the next ten years it will have finally caught up with the economic management of the West (currently, the Chinese don’t have the knowledge to compete with Western banking systems, but they’re quickly catching up) — a picture starts to come together which puts China, and a quickly re-emerging Russian political system, which is quickly returning to its Soviet roots, along with an economy beginning to model itself on the new Chinese mixed economic model, in the forefront of US opposition.
Now, I’m not much for political and historical analysis– Alright, that’s a lie. I am, so here’s some Tom Clancy-like speculation:
On one side we have US and its allies: NATO, which is starting to split over various issues so that the EU is on one side of things and the US, Canada, and England on the other; and Australia. On the other side we have Russia and China, who are building major economic bridges all over the place, especially in Africa and Central/South America. (If you didn’t know, the Chinese have been building schools to teach people Chinese for free in many of the Caribbean and Central American countries, as well as helping the governments build infrastructure.)
What’s interesting is how all of these economic blocks are being put together. And note that they are economic blocks, and not necessarily political ones. This may be the thing which stops all out war, and may be the reason why China has taken to cyber-espionage. What interest would they have in harming any of their major economic partners, at least just yet?
Now, this is important, take note at the wild cards in all of this: South Korea and Japan, both of which own hundreds of billions in US debt, both of which are US allies; and the sleeping cultural and economic giant that is India.
Putting this picture together doesn’t necessarily spell doom for any side. Indeed, it may be a hopeful sign, than free enterprise can rising wave towards war, like it did during the India/Pakistan nuclear crisis. But from the looks of it, China’s looking for their place in the sun, and they’re doing a hell of a lot of maneuvering — through Russia, Latin-America, Africa, computer networks and via the banking system — to make sure it happens.
Students of eschatology must be loving this.