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Global Outlook

Russia-China Convergence

June 3, 2014, Tuesday, 13:08 GMT | 08:08 EST | 16:38 IST | 19:08 SGT
Contributed by eResearch


Obama: A Crystal Ball into the Future

The next time you hear Obama downplay something and make jokes out of critical political events, you should take that as your guide to the future.

A few years ago, Obama laughed at Mitt Romney's remark that Russia was America's greatest foe. He told us that, "the cold war has been over for 20 years" and that Romney has foreign and economic policy views that go back to the 1950s and even the 1920s, has been "wrong and reckless," and also notes Romney has no foreign policy experience.

I have read Romney's book, "No Apology." He may not have foreign policy experience by Obama's words, but he certainly did make Russia a prime focal point for the United States. Here we are just a few short years later, and Russia is being hailed as the aggressor to the West and positioning other nations against America.

Obama continues to assure us that everything is good by letting America revel in the euphoria of the propped up stock market. Meanwhile, events around the world continue to progress without the United States.

And just as Obama's comments that Russia was not a threat in 2012, he also said, "I am confident that Assad's days are numbered."

But are they?


Syria Elections - Another 7 Years

Syria - a major topic a few months ago, but long since forgotten - is still very much in the midst of a huge battle; suicide bombers and barrel bombs continue to wreak havoc on the unfortunate citizens who live in the midst of a major energy corridor being fought over by the East and West.

Death totals for the civil war are now well above 160,000.

In just two days (June 3), Syria will hold its first election with more than one candidate.

Despite new voting legislation, there is no doubt that current President Bashar Assad will remain in power. Assad's days are not only "not numbered," but they may go on for another 7 - maybe 14 - years.

That means Russia will win another battle against the West and potentially gain influence on a major potential pipeline route in Syria. Unless Assad is assassinated, he will remain in office long after Obama has left the White House.

So, here we are just a couple of years later, and Assad will likely remain in power and Russia has now become America's biggest political foe. Thanks for telling us otherwise, Obama.


The China-Russia Gas Deal

Last week, I talked about the significance of the world’s biggest energy deal: a strategic alliance between two global political powers, worth nearly half a trillion dollars.

The Russia-China deal strikes a serious blow to America and its plans to bring the nation back to prosperity via LNG and the renewed oil and gas boom. The deal is so big it will have major ramifications on global energy deals.

It is already expected to take away $180 billion of future developments from Australia - just imagine the effects it will have on America.

But, yet again, Obama and his administration have continued to do what it has done in the past: down play global threats and political alliances.

Via Associated Press:

"To hear the Obama administration tell it, a burgeoning Russia-China friendship is a natural and expected occurrence and poses no particular risk beyond blunting the impact of U.S. and European sanctions imposed over Ukraine.

"U.S. officials also reject the notion that they may have made China more willing to do business with Moscow with the Justice Department's recent indictment of five Chinese military cyber-hackers on the eve of Putin's trip to China to seal the gas deal.

"With respect to President Putin and China, we don't see any relationship whatsoever to an agreement with respect to gas and an energy supply between Russia and China that they have been working on for 10 years," Secretary of State John Kerry said. "This is not new. This is not a sudden response to what has been going on. And, if the world benefits as a result of that, it is fine. That is not what is at stake here."

So what is at stake? For one, the future of the United States and every nation intertwined in the dollar.


LNG Prospects Not So Promising?

Obama's reliance on LNG to bring prosperity back to America is now being challenged directly by Russia.

Combine that with the EIA's latest report (as I mentioned last week) telling us that nearly two-thirds of America's oil reserves are not recoverable, that does not put America in an easy situation.


The Russia-China Convergence

A Russia-China convergence is not only dangerous, but threatens the stability of the world's current Western influence. The unintended consequences of American policies have forced the alignment of Russia and China - two Eastern world super powers.

Remember, the United States has nearly always supported or appeared to back the opponents of both Russia and China. For Russia, they include Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova; for China, they include Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Japan.

But why?


Surround and Intimidate

Ukraine lies smack against Russia's borders.

Recently, there has been open talks of the U.S.-led NATO military alliance incorporating Ukraine, a country right on Russia's' border, into NATO. NATO has slowly been enlisting one former Russian aligned state in Eastern Europe after another, and its presence has been growing closer to the borders of Russia.

I have already talked about the significance of Syria and Ukraine as major energy corridors, and the reason for American presence in those areas. But what about China? In China, many of the nations supported by the United States are based in the South China Sea.

Recently, the United States has warned China to stop using "destabilizing" tactics in its bid to claim parts of the South China Sea.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that while the USA had no position on the merits of the rival claims over the region, he also said that aggression would not be ignored. In other words, as China continues to assert its claims, America will be there waiting with military presence.

But why?


Another Major Energy Corridor

The South China Sea is the second most-used sea lane in the world, while in terms of world annual merchant fleet tonnage, over 50% passes through the Strait of Malacca, the Sunda Strait, and the Lombok Strait. Over 1.6 million m3 (10 million barrels) of crude oil a day are shipped through the Strait of Malacca.

The region has proven oil reserves of around 1.2 km3 (7.7 billion barrels), with an estimate of 4.5 km3 (28 billion barrels) in total. Natural gas reserves are estimated to total around 7,500 km3 (266 trillion cubic feet). A 2013 report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration raised the total estimated oil reserves to 11 billion barrels. In 2014, China began to drill for oil in waters disputed with Vietnam.

It is no wonder the United States and its military encirclement of China has recently increased.

U.S. military bases and billions of dollars in military equipment have been strategically positioned around China for years, in areas such as South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan - all American allies.

Meanwhile, new U.S. military bases are being opened across the Pacific and at China's edge, from the Philippines to Australia.


A Battle Without Arms

If you have been following the news, you can easily see the difference in tone between Western and Eastern media regarding the situation; the West says China is using its force to lay claim to what does not belong to them, while China is angered by the United States surrounding China with military bases.

There have also been talks of the United States calling out China for hacking into their infrastructure, while Edward Snowden revealed that extensive cyber-penetration of China by the U.S. NSA (National Security Agency) has been taking place, with no signs that it has stopped.

According to Snowden, the NSA has captured hundreds of thousands - if not millions - of Chinese mobile text messages; monitored mobile phone conversations of Chinese leaders, including former Chinese President Hu Jintao; and has conducted serious intrusions into Beijing’s Tsinghua university, home to one of the mainland's six major backbone networks, the China Education and Research Network (CERNET) from where internet data from millions of Chinese citizens - and a large number of Chinese research centers including labs engaged in sensitive military-related work - could be mined.

It was also revealed that the NSA also penetrated and compromised the server computers made by Chinese Huawei, a giant telecommunications equipment and networking company, whose equipment is used throughout China and around the world.

These are things you never hear Obama talk about, because his job is to keep you calm and distracted. But we would be dumb to believe that the United States - and Obama - did not know about China and Russia's strategic alliance.

Why do you think that, over the past year, U.S. military presence has increased around the borders of both Russia and China? Why do you think that nations such as Ukraine, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Japan, which surround these two Eastern giants, have all of a sudden raised their voices against China?

The United States knows it cannot - or should not - go into direct conflict with China or Russia. But what it can do is surround their borders through alliances with the smaller nations that surround them.

Of course, you can bet Russia and China will not be bullied by the United States. And both nations - specifically Russia - have made it very clear that is the case. So much so that Russia may sign a deal with Iran to rebuild its nuclear infrastructure; building not one, but eight, nuclear reactors. If that happens, it would be a direct challenge to the United States who has been globally opposed to Iran's nuclear program.

China also continues to exert its strength against the United States, imposing its will in the South China Sea - despite continued opposition by the United States.


An Eastern Alliance

While Obama continues to downplay the China-Russia synergy, China and Russia continue to march forward on global security measures, holding joint naval exercises in the East China Sea. This is not the first time these two countries have held these exercises, but this one comes on the heels of U.S. sanctions against Russia. The USA has been trying to isolate Russia as much as possible yet, in doing so, gave Russia its strongest ally.

Next week, according to Xinhua news, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev will visit China to attend the 10th round of a China-Russia strategic security consultation and the first meeting of a cooperative mechanism on security and law enforcement between the two countries.


Not What it Seems

Obama may be telling you the China-Russia alliance is not a big deal, but his forces say otherwise.

The U.S. Air Force has dramatically increased the number of operations conducted by its RC-135V/W reconnaissance aircraft stationed in Okinawa.

According to Want China Times:

A Chinese military source told the paper that, on average, a single RC-135 will conduct between four and eight reconnaissance sorties a week over China's southeastern coast.

However, since the launch of Russia and China's Joint Maritime 2014 drills held May 20-26, two RC-135 have been deployed to conduct eight sorties a day. This allows the United States to monitor the movement of Chinese and Russian vessels in the region 24 hours a day.

In addition to the RC-135s, the source said that Japan has also deployed a P-3C patrol plane and surface combat vessels of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force to keep a close eye on the drills.

According to Global Times, the RC-135V/W aircraft are from the 82nd Reconnaissance Squadron (82 RS) stationed at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. Together with the 390th Intelligence Squadron at the base, the 82 RS provides valuable information regarding Chinese-Russian joint naval exercises to the Pacific Command.

Observers told the paper that the USA is concerned that the latest drills will give China and Russia an opportunity to form a new alliance in the Asia-Pacific region. However, a People's Liberation Army source said that that Joint Maritime 2014 is a training exercise and is not targeting any nation in the region.

Meanwhile, the USA has deployed the USS Chicago, a Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered fast attack submarine, to Subic Bay in the Philippines. This is particularly significant, Global Times said, as Chinese and Vietnamese vessels are currently engaged in a standoff regarding a Chinese oil rig in the waters of Paracel Islands in the disputed South China Sea, adding that the mission of USS Chicago is to monitor the conflict in the contested waters. The USS Blue Ridge, the command ship of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, and an unknown destroyer were also spotted sailing in the region, it said."

We are now at the crossroads where the battle between the East and West is no longer just a simple tug-of-war game.

For years, the United States has exerted its dominance over small oil-rich nations, all of whom had no military presence, nor nuclear capabilities. Russia and China have both. Together, they pose a major threat to Western powers.