Ukraine at mercy of Russian/Chinese Pact as Putin is feted as Xi’s guest of honour at the Beijing Genocide Olympics

Feb 3, 2022 | Uncategorized

Ukraine at mercy of Russian/Chinese Pact as Putin is feted as Xi’s guest of honour at the Beijing Genocide Olympics

The Telegraph-Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: “Vladimir Putin has a backdoor into China that will remain wide open whatever the West tries to do. Mr Putin will be the guest of honour this week at Beijing’s Winter Olympics, basking in his four star rank as a “most trustworthy partner” of Xi Jinping’s regime. The family portrait will give us a glimpse of the new world alignment: Mohammad bin Salman will be there, reflecting Saudi Arabia’s changed role as China’s oil supplier; so will Egypt’s Abdel Fattah Al-sisi, guardian of Chinese container shipping through the Suez Canal. Mr Putin has already thrown caution to the winds and sold China SU-35 fighter jets and S-400 missile defence systems, aware that the Chinese will copy the technology. This is the sacrifice he must make in the East to wage his wars in the West.

Daniel Yergin, author of The New Map: Energy Climate, and the Clash of Nations, said the Sino-Russian rapprochement began as a marriage of convenience. The division of labour was clear: Russia was to provide oil, gas, coal, and raw materials (increasingly food); China was to provide manufactures, electronics, and investment capital. It has since evolved into something more intimate, entailing joint naval manoeuvres in the South China Sea, and joint air patrols in the Asian skies. Mr Putin and Mr Xi even cooked pancakes together in Vladivostok: caviar blinis washed down with vodka… Beijing forced Russia’s Rosneft to cancel a drilling contract in waters off Vietnam in 2020. Mr Putin has been called the `most trustworthy partner’ of Xi Jinping’s regime… President Joe Biden had justifiable grounds last year to attempt a ‘reverse Kissinger’, hoping to pull Mr Putin away from China by softening the US line on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The gamble failed. Washington misjudged to what degree Mr Putin thinks he has Ukraine in his grasp, and how far he is willing to go… Mr Putin is well-prepared. Russia has $630bn of foreign exchange reserves (20pc in gold), a balanced budget, well-capitalised banks, and has spent the last eight years cutting reliance on critical supplies from the West, constructing a fortress economy able to withstand almost anything. The circumstances are as good as they will ever be. The White House is perceived to be Carteresque abroad and bogged down in a cultural civil war at home. Rare events combined to cause an extreme global gas shortage, which Mr Putin has exploited by restricting gas flows on and off since July. European storage is now at danger levels for this time of year, falling to 22pc in Austria and 26pc in the Netherlands. Shipments of LNG in January (half from the US) have weakened Mr Putin’s energy weapon but not disarmed it. Liquefaction plants in the US and Qatar are running flat out. There is not enough spare LNG to cover Europe’s needs in a full cut-off, even by outbidding the likes of India or Bangladesh for scarce supplies. Germany has no LNG terminals and has just shut down three young nuclear reactors for ideological reasons. Whether Mr Putin pulls the trigger depends in part on what Xi Jinping whispers in his ear at the Olympics. It is a fair bet that China will offer him a get-out-of-gaol card, even if the West resorts to the financial nuclear option of expelling Russia from the SWIFT system of global payments. China could link up with Russia’s financial message system (SPFS) through the cross-Border Interbank Payment System in order to keep trade and capital flowing, and link its UnionPay credit card system with Russia’s national card (MIR) if Visa and Mastercard are suspended. China is the world’s top importer of crude oil. It will continue to buy Russian barrels as well as LGN gas, rendering any Iran-style global sanctions on Russian energy unenforceable and useless. China cannot replace all machinery and technology coming from the West, but it can cover most of it. Talk of economic sanctions in European capitols- to the extent that it is serious at all – is an evasion of the real issue confronting the West. Only fear of well-armed Ukrainian resistance will change Mr Putin’s calculation at this juncture, and that comes down to the flow of Nato anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles needed to raise the price of attack to levels that hurt. It requires all Nato states to lock shields together like a hoplite phalanx. The US, UK, Canada, Holland, Poland, Nordics, Baltics, and Spain are holding the line. The Carolingian core is prevaricating, and Germany’s ruling Social Democrats are signalling that they will do almost nothing that might endanger gas supplies.” Ukraine is at the mercy of the Russia-China pact of autocracies (telegraph.co.uk)

Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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