Biden’s Summit of Democracies and threatening gestures around Taiwan and Ukraine

Biden’s Summit of Democracies and threatening gestures around Taiwan and Ukraine

A Su-30 fighter jet attached to an aviation brigade of the air force under the PLA Southern Theater Command soars into the sky during a flight training exercise on October 10, 2019. ( by Lyu Shiqiang)

As a prelude to the Summit of Democracies in Washington DC, the US put Taiwan and Ukraine on the list of participants, and Xi’s and Putin’s reactions should not be long in coming. US intelligence even fears an invasion of Russia in the Ukraine in January, although Germany sees Russia’s deployment as a provocation like last time when the warnings turned out to be false alarms.

At the same time, the US sent a military ship through the Taiwan Strait, which the PLA responded by sending a missile frigate and fighter jets and re-penetrating Taiwan’s ADIZ.

The Global Times praises the fact that there is a list of participants and not a list of states, but considers the whole thing to be a „dangerous provocation“

Should Taiwan’s President Tsai Yingwen and other leaders take part in the Summit of Democracies, the Gtannounces that mainland will take „tough actions“.

Taiwan has stated that the invitation is important, especially since Taiwan is the only democratic state that is not officially recognized in the world. But China’s warnings seem to be bearing fruit and Taiwan’s President Tsai will not be attending. Minister witout Protfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) and Taiwan Representative to the USA Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) will attend the US-led Summit on Democracy on December 9th and 10th, the government announced yesterday after US President Joe Biden published the guest list for the virtual event.

Russia’s Defense Minister Shoigu and China held a virtual meeting on Tuesday at which a further deepening of military cooperation was announced. For the time being, joint sea maneuvers are planned, joint air-sea maneuvers are still being discussed.

 An author of the Jerusalem Post already compares the Sino-Russian relations with the Entente Cordiale 1904 between GB and F against the German Reich.

NATO member Turkey and Singapore are not invited to the Summit of Democracies and  the Global Times points out, since Singapore serves as a bridge between East and West and as an independent model that also maintains good relations with the USA,  the summit was a maneuver by the „anti-Chinese ideological clique“ to divide the world into democracies and dictatorships and to stir up conflicts and a new cold war, as well as separatist forces, especially the DDP. The US and the West’s definition of authoritarianism was outdated. Every country had to choose its own system of government and Xi’s neototalitarianism is just a little centralization of power, and every democratic state was also centralized. Democracy were like a “waterdroplet”  into which light falls. It takes on a variety of rainbow colors and has a wide range of colors. The USA, on the other hand, wanted only one color or one form of democracy to apply worldwide, which would be rejected by the peoples of the world.

Only Iraq and Israel from the Greater Middle East are invited, other authoritarian allies such as Saudi Arabia or the UAE are not. In addition, almost all EU countries with the exception of Hungary are invited. Germany is represented by Foreign Minister Maas, who is to become Minister of Defense in the new traffic light coalition. Biden will probably remind him of the 2% NATO armaments target and the likely Green Foreign Minister Baerbock will be a real transatlantic campaigner in matters of democracy and human rights, especially against Russia and China, while Scholz will be more of the moderating part.But it is interesting that the Greens are now resisting renewed US sanctions against Nordstream 2 and their foreign policy spokesman Omid Nouripour emphasized that this was a question of German sovereignty. Even if Germany makes wrong decisions, these must remain German decisions. But probably word got around among the Greens that Russian gas is needed in the meantime in order not to generate a reasonable energy gap and mass blackouts after the nuclear power plants will be shut down and coal power will be phased out.

Update: Listing Taiwan as participant to democracy summit among sovereign countries ‘dangerous provocation’: experts


Chen Qingqing

Published: Nov 24, 2021 11:10 AM Updated: Nov 24, 2021 10:29 PM

Shortly after the Biden administration officially released the list of participants to its upcoming „summit for democracy,“ which includes the island of Taiwan, the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office said „it’s a mistake“ and reiterated its firm opposition to any formal interaction between the US and the island. 

There are in total 110 participants on the list that was officially published on the website of the State Department to this virtual event scheduled from December 9 to 10, Reuters reported on Wednesday, and the US President Joe Biden invited the island to the summit by listing „Taiwan,“ which the US does not officially recognize as a country, among other countries. 

Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson of the Taiwan Affairs Office, said in a briefing on Wednesday morning that the way the US listed Taiwan as a participant to this democracy-themed summit „is a mistake.“

„We firmly oppose any form of official interaction between the US and the island, which is a clear and consistent stance,“ she said, urging the US government to uphold the one-China principle and three joint communiqués between China and the US by properly handling the Taiwan question. 

During the latest virtual summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden on November 16, the Chinese top leader warned that the intention of some Americans to use Taiwan to contain China is „just like playing with fire“ and that „whoever plays with fire will get burnt.“ 

The act of listing the island among sovereign countries reflects the US is turning this so-called democracy summit into another ideology-driven clique in its campaign to contain China. And by excluding countries like China and Russia, more people will realize how American politicians use the so-called values to instigate confrontation, observers said.

The matter has severe implications as the Biden administration invited the island and listed it among sovereign countries by calling it a „participant“ instead of an „observer.“ The decision definitely touches on our bottom-line on the matter, Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

The US has been playing a crafty tactic on this matter, as the Biden administration did not specify the summit is for heads of state only, which means different levels of officials and executives from private sector or NGOs could also attend, the expert noted. „Also, the Biden administration did not have such courage of listing Taiwan under the name of ‚countries,'“ he said. 

„This is a typical way of how the US manipulates the Taiwan question, by seeking to increase the island’s exposure in the international community by echoing the secessionist DPP authority,“ Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

Despite the Chinese side warning American politicians not to play with fire on this question, the US indeed has continued to take dangerous steps on the Taiwan question by increasing the interaction with the island, Li noted.

„Taiwan confirms US summit attendees

BIDEN NOD: A China watcher said that the inclusion of Taiwan is notable, as it is the only democratic state on the list that Washington does not officially recognize

By Lin Chia-nan / Staff reporter

Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) and Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) are to attend the US-led Summit for Democracy on Dec. 9 and 10, the government said yesterday, after US President Joe Biden announced the list of guests for the virtual event.

The US Department of State on Tuesday announced a list of 110 invited participants, including Taiwan, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan and the UK.

China and Russia were not invited, and Beijing expressed anger at the decision to invite Taiwan.

The summit is to revolve around three key themes: Defending against authoritarianism, addressing and fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights, the department said in a statement in February, adding that the event would engage leaders from governments, civil society and the private sector.

Tang and Hsiao are to share how Taipei has improved government operations with technological and digital tools, and convey Taiwan’s commitment to defending democracy, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said in a statement.

The firm partnership between Taipei and Washington is evidenced in their close interactions in areas ranging from the summit, the second US-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue on Tuesday and the third annual US-Taiwan Consultations on Democratic Governance in the Indo-Pacific Region on Monday last week, Chang said.

At a US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing in March, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had promised that the US would invite Taiwan to the summit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The US is still planning the summit’s agenda, while maintaining close communication with Taiwan in a bid to better reflect the nation’s democratic achievements, the ministry said.

To echo Washington’s goals for the summit, the government has taken concrete action, such as completing its first national human rights action plan last year, it said.

The government would also continue to promote democracy and human rights through the Global Cooperation and Training Framework, it said.

Taiwan is on the front line of defending freedom and democracy against authoritarianism, and would continue to work with civic groups at home and abroad, as well as like-minded countries, to be a force for good in the world, the ministry said.

Experts on China said that Washington inviting Taipei to attend the summit was significant.

“I agree Taiwan more than qualifies- but it does seem to be only democratic govt invited that the US govt does not officially recognize. So its inclusion is a big deal,” Hofstra University law professor Julian Ku (古舉倫) wrote on Twitter.

“For this kick-off summit … there’s a case for getting a broad set of actors into the room: It provides for a better exchange of ideas than setting a perfect bar for qualification,” Open Society Foundations codirector Laleh Ispahani told reporters.

Rather than using the summit as an anti-China meeting, Ispahani urged Biden to address “the serious decline of democracy around the world — including relatively robust models like the US.”

There was an angry rebuke from Beijing, which said it “firmly opposes” the invitation of Taiwan to “the so-called Summit for Democracy.”

Summit for democracy an ‚anti-China ideological clique‘; US definition of ‚authoritarianism‘ outdated


Chen Qingqing , Liu Xin and  Wang Wenwen

Published: Nov 24, 2021 11:13 PM

The Joe Biden administration, in a highly dangerous and provocative manner, is turning the so-called summit for democracy into yet another small-sized ideology-driven clique to contain China, and this surely won’t fare well as the world is trying to work together in the post-pandemic era and needs solidarity more than ever rather than using the so-called values to instigate confrontation and divergence. 

Shortly after the US State Department released an official „participant list“ to the „Summit for Democracy“ on its website by listing the island of Taiwan among sovereign countries, which fully exposed that the true intention of the US is turning the summit into a platform to contain China, officials from the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs voiced strong opposition to such a reckless move.

Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, urged the US to stop setting up the platform for secessionists in the Taiwan island and advocating for them, as the US „will eventually get burned.“ 

From December 9 to 10, US President Biden will host a virtual summit for „leaders from government, civil society and the private sector,“ and some key themes include „defending against authoritarianism“ and „promoting respect for human rights,“ according to a statement released on the website of the US State Department. 

US think tanks such as the Brookings Institute suggested that Biden’s summit for democracy highlight the so-called civil liberties, which would draw a contrast to „single-party regimes“ like China. Washington has also been confronting Beijing on human rights over the past few years, which serves as a political tool to slander China’s policies on Xinjiang and Hong Kong-related affairs. American hawks even exploited the human rights issue by calling for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, echoing their own political agenda of suppressing China. 

Among the 110 participants to the summit, China and Russia were excluded, and some US allies like Singapore were not found on the list. This had sparked doubts about the nature of the summit: Is it an occasion to highlight democratic values or another setup to instigate new confrontation and divergence? 

Listing the island of Taiwan among sovereign countries shows the US is turning this so-called democracy-themed summit into another ideology-driven clique as part of its long-term strategy to confront and contain China, some observers said. 

By excluding countries like China, Russia and Singapore, which have already explored their own paths of development with stable societies, the US – a country with „concerning democratic declines“ – hosting the summit would only be a slap in the face as its own definition of „democracy“ and „authoritarianism“ can’t fit in a rapidly evolving world, according to the observers. 

US-defined democracy outdated

Holding the so-called democratic summits to divide groups by ideology standards has been the tactic played by the US since the Cold War era. The Biden administration has revived it from the ashes, attempting to tout and promote US standards of democracy globally and verify the loyalty of its allies as well, Zhu Ying, a professor on human rights and international laws from Southwest University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

„As the sunlight breaks up into different colors inside a water droplet, democracy cannot be in one single color or defined by one single country. The ‚participant list‘ clearly demonstrates that the so-called summit for democracy is nothing but anti-democracy. It is politicizing democracy and it is all about geopolitics,“ Zhu said.

For example, Singapore, a country that has been regarded as the best example to merge Asian culture with the core of democracy in the Western concept, was not in the list.

„As a country being viewed as a bridge between the West and the East, Singapore has also been labeled an ‚authoritarian state‘ by US-led West, which reflected how narrow-minded American democracy has become,“ Zhu said. 

The US itself was recently listed among „backsliding democracies“ in a report released by the Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, the Washington Post reported on Monday. 

The study analyzed the situation in the US during the former president Donald Trump including his factually baseless questioning of the legitimacy of the 2020 election results, and also the shocking US Capitol riots, which also caused a spillover effect in other countries like Brazil, Mexico, Myanmar and Peru, according to the report. 

„The American concept excludes the right of other nations to have their own concepts of democracy,“ Victor Larin, an academician and principal researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

The US believes it has the exclusive right to decide what is good and what is bad. Everything is put on the head in the US. This is perverted democracy, not for normal people, diplomatically speaking, Larin said. He noted that as soon as the White House starts talking about democracy, new sanctions, military intervention and ideological sabotage could be anticipated. 

Prominent Chinese scholars said that some Western media and politicians relentlessly made an issue of China’s efforts in strengthening „centralized, unified leadership“ and accused China of becoming more „authoritarian,“ and this demonstrated they are wrong and they lack a basic understanding of China.

Centralization is not a concept of Chinese tradition, but a Western concept, Zheng Yongnian, a Chinese political scientist and political commentator, told the Global Times in a recent interview. 

All modern states are centralized, and in some aspects, the Western political systems are much more centralized, Zheng noted, hinting on the US. „Be it the presidential system or parliamentary system, after a Western leader comes to power, almost all members of the ruling team, including ambassadors, are nominated and appointed by the leader and will act around the leader’s governing goals,“ he emphasized.

„All modern states are centralized, and in some aspects, the Western political systems are much more centralized,“ Zheng said. Be it the presidential system or parliamentary system, after a Western leader comes to power, almost all members of the ruling team, including ambassadors stationed overseas, are nominated and appointed by the leader and will act around the leader’s governing goals, he emphasized.

This so-called summit for democracy, which had originally been designed as a meeting for a number of heads of state, turned into an ideology-driven event to instigate divergence. This will trigger a large-scale boycott, Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

„Americans know they can’t make a big scene if they focused on a very small circle, so they had to expand the scope of participants to other sectors like civil society. But no matter how hard they play the word game, it won’t disguise their true intention of containing China with small cliques and interfere in China’s internal affairs,“ Lü said. 

Determined response 

The US has long forgotten that the core of democracy is inclusiveness and openness, Chinese experts said. Democracy should center on people’s willingness and suits each country’s context. With the polarization of its society and fierce bipartisan confrontations, the US has gone astray further – to be more closed and become a „democracy dictatorship,“ said Zhu, the professor on human rights and international law. 

„For example, no matter how the democratic model in Singapore suits itself, how it works for economic development and domestic stability and is recognized by citizens in Singapore and praised by Asian and other countries, the US still sees it as an ‚authoritarian state‘ for it has no rotation of parties,“ he said. 

Democracy is not a patent of the West, nor can it be defined by the West, Jiang Jinquan, director of the Policy Research Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, told a press conference on November 12 after the conclusion of the sixth plenary session of the CPC’s 19th Central Committee. 

Some Western countries have shown a hollowing out of democracy, triggering dissatisfaction among their own people, but they are still trying to impose their democratic model on other countries, the Chinese official noted. „Color revolutions“ in recent years have resulted in disasters to local people, which the people of the world have become increasingly aware of, Jiang said in response to a question on comparing China’s whole-process people’s democracy with Western democracy.

What the US has done proves that democracy is being used as an excuse by the US government to pursue its own strategic purpose by suppressing other countries and dividing the world, serving as its own tool of achieving hegemony, spokesperson Zhao Lijian told at a press conference on Wednesday.

„Such tactics of disguising democracy and pushing forward small cliques in instigating confrontation is another manifestation of the Cold War mentality, which will be widely doubted and rejected by the international community,“ he said. 

By using the name of democracy, the US is now seeking to advocate for secessionists on the island of Taiwan, which will only lead to powerful countermeasures from the Chinese government that will make secessionist forces „feel the pain,“ Lü said.  

Yu Jincui also contributed to the story

PLA monitors US warship’s provocative Taiwan Straits transit, vows countermeasures

By Liu Xuanzun

Published: Nov 23, 2021 05:45 PM

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) tracked and monitored a US warship when the latter transited the Taiwan Straits in a risky and provocative move on Tuesday, despite US President’s promise to not support „Taiwan independence“ and his commitment to maintain peace and stability in the Straits made during the recent virtual meeting with China’s top leader.

The USS Milius guided missile destroyer on Tuesday sailed through the Taiwan Straits, and the PLA Eastern Theater Command organized naval and air forces to track and monitor the vessel through its entire course on high alert, Colonel Shi Yi, a spokesperson of the PLA Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement on the same day.

Shi said the US move created security risks and harmed regional security. Shi added that the command troops will take every measure necessary to resolutely counter all threats and provocations, and firmly safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

A PLA Navy Type 054A guided missile frigate was following the USS Milius when the latter started to transit the Taiwan Straits from south to north on Monday, the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI), a Beijing-based think tank, revealed on Tuesday, citing commercial satellite imagery.

Six PLA warplanes, namely four J-11 fighter jets and two Su-30 fighter jets, entered Taiwan’s self-proclaimed southwest air defense identification zone on Monday, according to a press release by the island’s defense authorities.

US warships have recently showed off strength and stirred up trouble many times under the guise of „freedom of navigation,“ Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said during a regular press conference on Tuesday.

This is deliberate disruption of regional peace and stability, Zhao said, demanding the US to correct its mistake at once and stop crossing the line and playing with fire.

The voyage of the USS Milius marked the 11th Taiwan Straits transit by US warships in 2021, and also the first time after the virtual meeting between the top leaders of China and the US last week.

At the meeting, US President Joe Biden reaffirmed „the US government’s long-standing one-China policy,“ and stated that the US does not support „Taiwan independence“ and expressed that peace and stability should be maintained in the Taiwan Straits, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

The Taiwan Straits is a highly politically sensitive region, and the US warship’s transit will release the signal of supporting Taiwan secessionists, Song Zhongping, a Chinese mainland military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The US military’s action shows that US politicians are not trustworthy, and China needs to follow its own plans and safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests in its own ways, Song said, noting that the US should not make the wrong move and renege on Biden’s promise.

Chinese, Russian militaries to strengthen strategic exercises, joint patrols: defense ministers

By Fan Anqi and Du Qiongfang Published: Nov 24, 2021 01:02 AM

Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense, Wei Fenghe, and Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, held talks on Tuesday via video link, during which they pledged to deepen strategic collaboration between the two militaries in fields like joint strategic exercises and patrols to make contributions to safeguarding the core interests of both countries and maintaining regional peace and stability.

Experts believe that the talks suggest that joint drills and patrols will become a normalized arrangement between the two militaries and the possibility of a joint sea-air patrol between the two sides in the future cannot be ruled out. 

The two sides recognized that China and Russia’s comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era has maintained development at a high level, with the two militaries forging ahead with new breakthroughs in various fields, especially in joint drills.

The navy, army and air force of China and Russia, have carried out strategic cooperation in 2021 facing mounting concerns over regional instability. 

The two countries‘ air forces conducted a joint air patrol in the Asia-Pacific region on November 19 and their first joint sea patrol in waters in the West Pacific was held between October 17 and 23. 

A joint strategic exercise was also conducted between the two sides in August in Northwest China, with the live-fire phase featuring some of the most advanced weapons in the world and strong saturation firepower that analysts said would overwhelm any enemy.

China’s advanced Type 055, a 10,000 ton-class large destroyer, also joined for the first time with a foreign navy, as China and Russia kicked off a joint naval drill in the Sea of Japan in mid-October.

The talks on Tuesday suggest that joint drills and patrols between China and Russia’s major military branches will continue to be held in a normalized regular manner in the future, Zhang Junshe, a senior research fellow at the Naval Research Academy of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

These moves have displayed the high level of strategic trust between the two militaries and will further enhance their capability to jointly deal with security threats, Zhang added. 

Observers noted that the possibility of a joint sea-air patrol between the two countries cannot be ruled out, although no specific schedules have been announced yet. 

In stark contrast to the AUKUS alliance between the US, UK and Australia, which is an obvious attempt to pull in allies and target a third country, the collaboration between China and Russia is aimed at enhancing defense mechanisms in face of the mounting threats of regional instability and will only benefit regional peace, Zhang noted.

“The China-Russia entente could be the next big alliance – analysis

An agreement for closer military ties between China and Russia could have major ramifications for the rest of this century.


Published: NOVEMBER 24, 2021 10:43

Updated: NOVEMBER 24, 2021 16:34

China and Russia signed a “roadmap” for closer military ties on Tuesday, reports indicated. The Associated Press reported that “Russia’s defense chief on Tuesday signed a roadmap for closer military ties with China, pointing to increasingly frequent US strategic bomber flights near both countries‘ borders.” 

This is an important new development and could have major ramifications for the rest of this century. The report says that during a video call, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe “expressed a shared interest in stepping up strategic military exercises and joint patrols by Russia and China. 

“China and Russia have been strategic partners for many years,” Shoigu said. “Today, in conditions of increasing geopolitical turbulence and growing conflict potential in various parts of the world, the development of our interaction is especially relevant.”

Russia has been expressing more concern over US military flights near Russian airspace. Russia says there have been “30 such missions over the past month alone,” the report says.  “This month, during the US Global Thunder strategic force exercise, 10 strategic bombers practiced the scenario of using nuclear weapons against Russia practically simultaneously from the western and eastern directions,” Shoigu said. 

Why does this matter? Russia suffered greatly after the Cold War, with a decline in both population and influence. However its military has been rebuilt under President Vladimir Putin and it has extended influence to Syria, Libya and other places. It is selling its S-400s to Turkey, India and other countries. The message is that Russia is back. Its new Checkmate warplane was on display in Dubai recently.  

The Putin concept can be summed up in a joke he once told to reporters at an annual meeting. Asked about why the defense budget is important he told a story about an aging man and his son. The son tells his father that he has traded a knife for a new watch. The man looks at the watch and says it’s a nice watch, but cautions his son. “What if tomorrow bandits will come and rape your sister and kill me, and you’ll look down and be able to respond only with what time it is in Moscow.” Indeed, in place of the knife, the son will have only a watch to defend his family.  

WHILE RUSSIA is seeking greater influence, hosting Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas this week, China is flexing its muscles as well. CNN reported that the US was non-plussed to see Beijing trying to move into the Middle East with strategic projects at the ports of US partners.

“Construction has been halted on a secret development inside of a Chinese shipping port near Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates after intense US pressure, at least for now, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN,” the network wrote last week, „but multiple officials cautioned that the security concerns over the Chinese presence in the country are far from resolved.“ 

The Russia-China relationship has been growing for years. Both work with Iran’s regime and at various forums, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) to build a multi-polar world balancing US hegemony.

This authoritarian alliance is also aimed at working with other authoritarians. Recent articles warning about the decline of democracy in the world point to how authoritarians work together. This is aimed at ending the New World Order that George H.W Bush promised. No more rules-based liberal international order. While US President Joe Biden wanted to host the remaining democracies of Middle Earth in some kind of summit, it is China and Russia that are officially forming closer ties. 

COULD THIS alliance look like the Entente Cordiale of France and the UK signed in 1904? Although that alliance brought together two democracies and laid the groundwork for opposition to the Germans in the Great War and further ties in WWII, the alliance of Russia and China may be something else entirely.  

The US is trying to work with Ukraine and with partners in Asia at the same time to counter Russia and China. But it’s not clear if Washington can still do both without powerful commitments from other countries that are still trying to rebuild their forces. CNN reported this week that “ships in Chinese waters are disappearing from global trackers, creating yet another headache for the global supply chain. China’s growing isolation from the rest of the world –along with a deepening mistrust of foreign influence – may be to blame.”

But the story here may not be isolation, but rather that China could be creating a parallel global system. This includes its own social media and other ways it has created a parallel internet powerhouse. One day perhaps, the world will be caught off guard, as it was during the pandemic in early 2020, and find that its shipping norms or Internet have been challenged.  

The Philippines recently completed the re-supply of a vessel grounded on an outpost in the South China Sea, complaining about China trying to interdict its supplies. A US warship transited the Taiwan Strait; Beijing has been warning Washington. Russia is annoyed about US actions near Crimea.

Reading this map of the world, one might conclude that the story of the China-Russia roadmap is a clear warning to America. And this could set the stage for the next several years as the world shifts towards Beijing and Moscow in their reparations to confront Washington. For US allies and partners, this sets the stage as well for complexity in international affairs in the coming years.

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