China and Russia Make Anti-West Pact

Posted on Monday, February 7, 2022
by AMAC, Robert B. Charles

China and Russia are officially teaming to take down the west; it is no small matter. Several days ago, in the shadow of the Chinese Olympics, the two countries declared a “no limits” partnership, one spanning earth and space, trade, security, and energy, artificial intelligence to redefine what amounts to a “human right.” In short, the gloves are off. See, e.g., China, Russia partner up against West at Olympics summit; New Russia-China alliance latest diplomatic, strategic blow to Obama.

This public agreement is both a matter of practical and strategic concern. In the short term, it suggests China will have Russia’s back if they invade Ukraine, and even if they take on a NATO country. On the flip side, Russia will vouch for China – in the UN and elsewhere – if they tackle Taiwan, India, or Asian targets of opportunity. See, e.g., China joins Russia in opposing Nato expansion; Putin and Xi Proclaim Bond as Russia Deploys More Forces Near Ukraine; Gravitas: A Russia-China military alliance against NATO?.

This accord also suggests a likely shift toward militarizing space and then declaring either that this is not being done or is within legal constraints, which it would not be. With this will come joint defense of the indefensible on land, sea, air, trade, and head-to-head with the West.

Why is this happening now, and what are the strategic implications? The first question is all but obvious. American leadership is flagging badly, both in perception and reality. Perception is America has a doddering, last-legs president, hardly able to speak without loss of memory. To that, add a vice president unpopular within her own party, more prone to gaff than cogency.

The reality? China and Russia see opportunities. They witnessed the most extraordinary display of failed political preparation, international diplomacy, and military engagement in decades – when the US stumbled out of Afghanistan, trailed and harassed by a terrorist group we had gone there to extinguish. The Afghanistan withdrawal was blood in the water.

The result was a rethink, or perhaps an accelerated assessment, leading to the view abroad that Biden-Harris are not up to the task of responding militarily to any international act of aggression, let alone prepared to make real their vague, late, overblown idea of deterrence.

To a Communist or autocratic leader, ideological sharks with sharp teeth and no apologies for inhumanity, adventurism, lying, or opportunism, this is the time. The China-Russia alliance is not the only sign of predators leaning in, enemies of democracy, individual liberty, and established Western norms being encouraged, preparing to hunt, confront, and challenge us in all ways.

Iran is now looking to accelerate their nuclear program, if they cannot coerce, cajole, and achieve permissions and a lift of sanctions in Vienna. North Korea has resumed missile launches, no doubt encouraged by China.

Most worryingly, American allies around the world are beginning to wonder if the great powerhouse of freedom, of individual rights, defended at any cost, of self-determination, democracy, respect for minorities, rule by majorities, and much that is just and good about humanity – is in retreat.

Where, they are asking, is the America that we have long known? Leader of the free world, determined to hold enemies of liberty and justice accountable, unshrinking, historically larger than life? 

The answer is not clear – not under this Administration, not yet. This new China-Russia pact suggests, in a way that should hit the West with new urgency, that the answer had better become clear fast, and without further equivocation.

If we are not clear that our values matter, and wherever they are practiced by allies, they will be defended, we will soon find ourselves wishing we had. This bold declaration by China and Russia – suggesting our values and strength are both ebbing – had better be met firmly. 

The answer is to make clear we are who we have always been, and thus to embolden and support our allies. We should swiftly coordinate a firm response, announce what amounts to a counter-pact, one joined freely by all free and aspiring nations around the globe – to oppose the rise of any new, ideologically twisted, humanity-suppressing Communist-autocratic axis of evil.

In short:  If we do not make clear what we stand for – and what we will do to defend what we stand for – we will stand for nothing, falling to our failure of courage. This is the time to stand.