Trump Playing a Dangerous Game on TWO Fronts: Pressure on Russia AND China on Nuke Treaty
Earlier, John Bolton had meetings with Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov and Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev. One of the topics John Bolton touched upon was the US claims to China in the economic and military spheres. Donald Trump has been vocal about them earlier. He also said that China should join the INF Treaty. Beijing strongly disagrees with such an approach. The Chinese government said that Beijing wouldn't tolerate blackmail and the Treaty should remain in force, but only between Russia and the US.
Yulia Shustraya will continue on the topic. Moscow plus Beijing equals a perfect external enemy. It's like a two-headed dragon for the USA. But if the anti-Russian rhetoric is already clear and tested, then making China out the world's threat isn't going as easy. Another attempt was Trump's statement on how dangerous Chinese missiles were and he did it in China, and demands for China’s entry into the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Donald Trump: «We have more money than anybody else by far. We will produce weapons until they come to their senses. When they all realize, then we'll be reasonable and we'll stop. We'll not only stop. We'll reduce the number of weapons. China is no part of the Treaty, but it should be included, too. Until they all are reasonable, they won't get one step closer».
Experts on the American politics call such statements a war on two fronts. On the one hand, it's an aggressive approach to the international dialogue, a trick borrowed from the business experience. On the other hand, it's a lip-service to the domestic audience. Trump is making up to the largest economic complex of the country — a military-industrial one.
Stanislav Byshok, political analyst: «If there's a threat on the outer perimeter, even hypothetically, coming from China or the Russian Federation, that Trump and his inner circle are talking about, then drawing attention to this outer threat justifies the necessity to increase funding of defense and the military-industrial complex. In this case, the internal instability of Trump's position in the context of confrontation with the Democratic party should be somehow balanced by cajoling the military-industrial complex through vigorous foreign policy statements».
In other words, an external enemy is needed badly. Northern Korea didn't fit. The Russian rhetoric is getting old since American voters don't see visual threats on our part. Moscow and Beijing are a different thing. A two-headed hydra is strong in military terms on the Russian part and in economic terms on the Chinese part. This is where a cause for accusations appeared. American intelligence service says China has deployed on the islands of the Nansha archipelago in the South China Sea air-defense systems to defend trade routes.
Alexey Leonkov, military expert: «China has a broad arsenal of missiles. It has antiship missile systems effective against surface vessels and antisubmarine missile systems. The Chinese Navy has these weapons in the inventory. It means their vessels and submarines have this type of armament. There are ground-based complexes for Coast Defense. There are air defense complexes, too. By the way, they will be supplemented with the Russian S-400 complexes soon».
In order to deploy these complexes, China didn't only choose the islands, it built them where it needed them to be, at the intersection of major trade routes. The deployed complexes don't pose a threat to the USA itself but they do for its economy and the dollar.
Alexey Maslov, Higher School of Economics: «Major deliveries of energy sources, more than 80%, go through these trade routes from the Persian Gulf, from the Middle East to China. Secondly, China wants to control the International Trade zone since, according to various estimates, 30-40% of the entire international maritime trade go through this very zone. Of course, there is no way China wants to lose control».
The US is obviously disappointed with such behavior from the Chinese, let alone their friendship with Russia. It's getting hard to give ultimatums to such a tandem.
Yulia Shustraya, Vesti.