The Chinese connection...The Sino-Russian Alliance: Challenging America's Ambitions in Eurasia
A Challenge for the U.S.: Sun Rising on the East
What a difference five years — and one war — make!
In a 2003 article in Newsweek, written on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, Fareed Zakaria — a columnist for the magazine and the editor of its international edition — wrote: “It is now clear that the current era can really have only one name, the unipolar world — an age with only one global power. America’s position today is unprecedented.” He went on to declare that “American dominance is not simply military. The U.S. economy is as large as the next three — Japan, Germany and Britain — put together,” adding that “it is more dynamic economically, more youthful demographically and more flexible culturally than any other part of the world.” What worries people around the world above all else, he wrote, “is living in a world shaped and dominated by one country — the United States.” In his new book, “The Post-American World,” Mr. Zakaria writes that America remains a politico-military superpower, but “in every other dimension — industrial, financial, educational, social, cultural — the distribution of power is shifting, moving away from American dominance.” With the rise of China, India and other emerging markets, with economic growth sweeping much of the planet, and the world becoming increasingly decentralized and interconnected, he contends, “we are moving into a post-American world, one defined and directed from many places and by many people.”
For that matter, Mr. Zakaria argues that we are now in the midst of the third great tectonic power shift to occur over the last 500 years: the first was the rise of the West, which produced “modernity as we know it: science and technology, commerce and capitalism, the agricultural and industrial revolutions”; the second was the rise of the United States in the 20th century; and the third is what he calls “the rise of the rest,” with China and India “becoming bigger players in their neighborhoods and beyond,” Russia becoming more aggressive, and Europe acting with “immense strength and purpose” on matters of trade and economics. Many of this volume’s more acute arguments echo those that have been made by other analysts and writers, most notably, the New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman on globalization, and Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, on America’s growing isolation in an increasingly adversarial world. But Mr. Zakaria uses his wide-ranging fluency in economics, foreign policy and cultural politics to give the lay reader a lucid picture of a globalized world (and America’s role in it) that is changing at light speed, even as he provides a host of historical analogies to examine the possible fallout of these changes.
The irony of the “rise of the rest,” Mr. Zakaria notes, is that it is largely a result of American ideas and actions: “For 60 years, American politicians and diplomats have traveled around the world pushing countries to open their markets, free up their politics, and embrace trade and technology. We have urged peoples in distant lands to take up the challenge of competing in the global economy, freeing up their currencies, and developing new industries. We counseled them to be unafraid of change and learn the secrets of our success. And it worked: the natives have gotten good at capitalism.” But at the same time, he goes on, America is “becoming suspicious of the very things we have long celebrated — free markets, trade, immigration and technological change”: witness Democratic candidates’ dissing of Nafta, Republican calls for tighter immigration control, and studies showing that American students are falling behind students from other developed countries in science and math.
While readers might take recent signs like recession at home, a falling dollar abroad and a huge trade deficit as suggesting that the American economy is in trouble, Mr. Zakaria asserts that the United States (unlike Britain, which was undone as a world power because of “irreversible economic deterioration”) can maintain “a vital, vibrant economy, at the forefront of the next revolutions in science, technology, and industry — as long as it can embrace and adjust to the challenges confronting it.” As Mr. Zakaria sees it, the “economic dysfunctions in America today” are the product not of “deep inefficiencies within the American economy,” but of specific government policies — which could be reformed “quickly and relatively easily” to put the country on a more stable footing. “A set of sensible reforms could be enacted tomorrow,” he says, “to trim wasteful spending and subsidies, increase savings, expand training in science and technology, secure pensions, create a workable immigration process and achieve significant efficiencies in the use of energy” — if only the current political process weren’t crippled by partisanship, special-interest agendas, a sensation-driven media, ideological attack groups and legislative gridlock.
As for the United States’ role in a world that is rapidly shifting from unipolarity into a far messier and more dynamic system, Mr. Zakaria suggests that it should become a kind of “global broker,” forging close relationships with other major countries, while exchanging the peremptory, directive-issuing role of a superpower for “consultation, cooperation, and even compromise” — in short, repudiating the sort of cowboy unilateralism favored by the current Bush administration and embracing a behind-the-scenes power derived from “setting the agenda, defining the issues and mobilizing coalitions.” The central strategic challenge for American diplomacy in the years to come, Mr. Zakaria says, concerns China: how to deter its aggression and expansionism, while at the same time accommodating its legitimate growth. He suggests that in a world in which “the United States is seen as an overbearing hegemon,” China might well seek to position itself as “the alternative to a hectoring and arrogant America,” gradually expanding its economic ties and enlarging its sphere of influence.
“How will America,” he asks, “cope with such a scenario — a kind of cold war but this time with a vibrant market society, with the world’s largest population, a nation that is not showcasing a hopeless model of state socialism or squandering its power in pointless military interventions? This is a new challenge for the United States, one it has not tackled before, and for which it is largely unprepared.” There are some curious gaps and questionable assertions in this book. While President Bush’s controversial No Child Left Behind program has put increased emphasis on test-taking, and college applicants worry about their SAT scores in what Forbes magazine calls “a test-crazed era,” Mr. Zakaria writes: “Other educational systems teach you to take tests; the American system teaches you to think,” adding that “American culture celebrates and reinforces problem solving, questioning authority, and thinking heretically.”
He skims lightly over the critical role that the Iraq war played in shaping America’s current problems on the world stage (he himself supported the effort to oust Saddam Hussein and wrote in March of 2003 that the war “will look better when it is over” and weapons of mass destruction are found). And in sharp contrast to Qaeda experts like the former C.I.A. officer Michael Scheuer (who argue that the Iraq war has served as a recruitment tool for Osama bin Laden) and a new State Department report (which notes the growth of Qaeda affiliates in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, and the growing ability of al Qaeda itself to plot attacks from Pakistan), Mr. Zakaria contends that “over the last six years, support for bin Laden and his goals has fallen steadily throughout the Muslim world.” Such dubious assertions distract attention from the many more convincing arguments in this book and the volume’s overall take on the United States’ place in a rapidly changing global landscape — a provocative and often shrewd take that opens a big picture window on the closing of the first American century and the advent of a new world in which “the rest rise, and the West wanes.”
“But if the middle space [Russia and the former Soviet Union] rebuffs the West [the European Union and America], becomes an assertive single entity, and either gains control over the South [Middle East] or forms an alliance with the major Eastern actor [China], then America’s primacy in Eurasia shrinks dramatically. The same would be the case if the two major Eastern players were somehow to unite. Finally, any ejection of America by its Western partners [the Franco-German entente] from its perch on the western periphery [Europe] would automatically spell the end of America’s participation in the game on the Eurasian chessboard, even though that would probably also mean the eventual subordination of the western extremity to a revived player occupying the middle space [e.g. Russia].”
-Zbigniew Brzezinski (The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, 1997)
Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” These precepts of physics can also be used in the social sciences, specifically with reference to social relations and geo-politics. America and Britain, the Anglo-American alliance, have engaged in an ambitious project to control global energy resources. Their actions have resulted in a series of complicated reactions, which have established a Eurasian-based coalition which is preparing to challenge the Anglo-American axis.
Encircling Russia and China: Anglo-American Global Ambitions Backfire
“Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force – military force – in international relations, force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts. As a result we do not have sufficient strength to find a comprehensive solution to any one of these conflicts. Finding a political settlement also becomes impossible. We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way.”
-Vladimir Putin at the Munich Conference on Security Policy in Germany (February 11, 2007)
What American leaders and officials called the “New World Order” is what the Chinese and Russians consider a “Unipolar World.” This is the vision or hallucination, depending on perspective, that has bridged the Sino-Russian divide between Beijing and Moscow. China and Russia are well aware of the fact that they are targets of the Anglo-American alliance. Their mutual fears of encirclement have brought them together. It is no accident that in the same year that NATO bombarded Yugoslavia, President Jiang Zemin of China and President Boris Yeltsin of Russia made an anticipated joint declaration at a historic summit in December of 1999 that revealed that China and the Russian Federation would join hands to resist the “New World Order.” The seeds for this Sino-Russian declaration were in fact laid in 1996 when both sides declared that they opposed the global imposition of single-state hegemony.
Both Jiang Zemin and Boris Yeltsin stated that all nation-states should be treated equally, enjoy security, respect each other’s sovereignty, and most importantly not interfere in the internal affairs of other nation-states. These statements were directed at the U.S. government and its partners. The Chinese and Russians also called for the establishment of a more equitable economic and political global order. Both nations also indicated that America was behind separatist movements in their respective countries. They also underscored American-led amibitions to balkanize and finlandize the nation-states of Eurasia. Influential Americans such as Zbigniew Brzezinski had already advocated for de-centralizing and eventually dividing up the Russian Federation.
Both the Chinese and Russians issued a statement warning that the creation of an international missile shield and the contravention of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty) would destabilize the international environment and polarize the globe. In 1999, the Chinese and Russians were aware of what was to come and the direction that America was headed towards. In June 2002, less than a year before the onslaught of the “Global War on Terror,” George W. Bush Jr. announced that the U.S. was withdrawing from the ABM Treaty. On July 24, 2001, less than two months before September 11, 2001, China and Russia signed the Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation. The latter is a softly worded mutual defence pact against the U.S., NATO, and the U.S. sponsored Asian military network which was surrounding China. 
The military pact of the Shanghai Treaty Organization (SCO) also follows the same softly worded format. It is also worth noting that Article 12 of the 2001 Sino-Russian bilateral treaty stipulates that China and Russia will work together to maintain the global strategic balance, “observation of the basic agreements relevant to the safeguard and maintenance of strategic stability,” and “promote the process of nuclear disarmament.”  This seems to be an insinuation about a nuclear threat posed from the United States. Standing in the Way of America and Britain: A “Chinese-Russian-Iranian Coalition” As a result of the Anglo-American drive to encircle and ultimately dismantle China and Russia, Moscow and Beijing have joined ranks and the SCO has slowly evolved and emerged in the heart of Eurasia as a powerful international body.
The main objectives of the SCO are defensive in nature. The economic objectives of the SCO are to integrate and unite Eurasian economies against the economic and financial onslaught and manipulation from the “Trilateral” of North America, Western Europe, and Japan, which controls significant portions of the global economy. The SCO charter was also created, using Western national security jargon, to combat “terrorism, separatism, and extremism.” Terrorist activities, separatist movements, and extremist movements in Russia, China, and Central Asia are all forces traditionally nurtured, funded, armed, and covertly supported by the British and the U.S. governments. Several separatist and extremist groups that have destabilized SCO members even have offices in London.
Iran, India, Pakistan, and Mongolia are all SCO observer members. The observer status of Iran in the SCO is misleading. Iran is a de facto member. The observer status is intended to hide the nature of trilateral cooperation between Iran, Russia, and China so that the SCO cannot be labeled and demonized as an anti-American or anti-Western military grouping. The stated interests of China and Russia are to ensure the continuity of a “Multi-Polar World.” Zbigniew Brzezinski prefigured in his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and the Geostrategic Imperatives and warned against the creation or “emergence of a hostile [Eurasian-based] coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America’s primacy.”  He also called this potential Eurasian coalition an “‘antihegemonic’ alliance” that would be formed from a “Chinese-Russian-Iranian coalition” with China as its linchpin.  This is the SCO and several Eurasian groups that are connected to the SCO.
In 1993, Brzezinski wrote “In assessing China’s future options, one has to consider also the possibility that an economically successful and politically self-confident China — but one which feels excluded from the global system and which decides to become both the advocate and the leader of the deprived states of the world — may decide to pose not only an articulate doctrinal but also a powerful geopolitical challenge to the dominant trilateral world [a reference to the economic front formed by North America, Western Europe, and Japan].” 
Brzezinski warns that Beijing’s answer to challenging the global status quo would be the creation of a Chinese-Russian-Iranian coalition: “For Chinese strategists, confronting the trilateral coalition of America and Europe and Japan, the most effective geopolitical counter might well be to try and fashion a triple alliance of its own, linking China with Iran in the Persian Gulf/Middle East region and with Russia in the area of the former Soviet Union [and Eastern Europe].”  Brzezinski goes on to say that the Chinese-Russian-Iranian coalition, which he moreover calls an “antiestablishmentarian [anti-establishmentarian] coalition,” could be a potent magnet for other states [e.g., Venezuela] dissatisfied with the [global] status quo.”  Furthermore, Brzezinski warned in 1997 that “The most immediate task [for the U.S.] is to make certain that no state or combination of states gains the capacity to expel the United States from Eurasia or even to diminish significantly its decisive arbitration role.”  It may be that his warnings were forgotten, because the U.S. has been repealed from Central Asia and U.S. forces have been evicted from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
“Velvet Revolutions” Backfire in Central Asia
Central Asia was the scene of several British-sponsored and American-sponsored attempts at regime change. The latter were characterised by velvet revolutions similar to the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and the Rose Revolution in Georgia. These velvet revolutions financed by the U.S. failed in Central Asia, aside from Kyrgyzstan where there had been partial success with the so-called Tulip Revolution. As a result the U.S. government has suffered major geo-strategic setbacks in Central Asia. All of Central Asia’s leaders have distanced themselves from America. Russia and Iran have also secured energy deals in the region. America’s efforts, over several decades, to exert a hegemonic role in Central Asia seem to have been reversed overnight. The U.S. sponsored velvet revolutions have backfired. Relations between Uzbekistan and the U.S. were especially hard hit.
Uzbekistan is under the authoritarian rule of President Islam Karamov. Starting in the second half of the 1990s President Karamov was enticed into bringing Uzbekistan into the fold of the Anglo-American alliance and NATO. When there was an attempt on President Karamov’s life, he suspected the Kremlin because of his independent policy stance. This is what led Uzbekistan to leave CSTO. But Islam Karamov, years later, changed his mind as to who was attempting to get rid of him. According to Zbigniew Brzezinski, Uzbekistan represented a major obstacle to any renewed Russian control of Central Asia and was virtually invulnerable to Russian pressure; this is why it was important to secure Uzbekistan as an American protectorate in Central Asia. Uzbekistan also has the largest military force in Central Asia. In 1998, Uzbekistan held war games with NATO troops in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan was becoming heavily militarized in the same manner as Georgia was in the Caucasus. The U.S. gave Uzbekistan huge amounts of financial aid to challenge the Kremlin in Central Asia and also provided training to Uzbek forces.
With the launching of the “Global War on Terror,” in 2001, Uzbekistan, an Anglo-American ally, immediately offered bases and military facilities to the U.S. in Karshi-Khanabad. The leadership of Uzbekistan already knew the direction the “Global War on Terror” would take. To the irritation of the Bush Jr. Administration, the Uzbek President formulated a policy of self-reliance. The honeymoon between Uzbekistan and the Anglo-American alliance ended when Washington D.C. and London contemplated removing Islam Karamov from power. He was a little too independent for their comfort and taste. Their attempts at removing the Uzbek President failed, leading eventually to a shift in geo-political alliances.
The tragic events of Andijan on May 13, 2005 were the breaking point between Uzbekistan and the Anglo-American alliance. The people of Andijan were incited into confronting the Uzbek authorities, which resulted in a heavy security clampdown on the protesters and a loss of lives. Armed groups were reported to have been involved. In the U.S., Britain, and the E.U., the media reports focused narrowly on human rights violations without mentioning the covert role of the Anglo-American alliance. Uzbekistan held Britain and the U.S. responsible accusing them of inciting rebellion.
M. K. Bhadrakumar, the former Indian ambassador to Uzbekistan (1995-1998), revealed that the Hezbut Tahrir (HT) was one of the parties blamed for stirring the crowd in Andijan by the Uzbek government.  The group was already destabilizing Uzbekistan and using violent tactics. The headquarters of this group happens to be in London and they enjoy the support of the British government. London is a hub for many similar organizations that further Anglo-American interests in various countries, including Iran and Sudan, through destabilization campaigns. Uzbekistan even started clamping down on foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) because of the tragic events of Andijan. The Anglo-American alliance had played its cards wrong in Central Asia. Uzbekistan officially left the GUUAM Group, a NATO-U.S. sponsored anti-Russian body. GUUAM once again became the GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldava) Group on May 24, 2005.
On July 29, 2005 the U.S. military was ordered to leave Uzbekistan within a six-month period.  Literally, the Americans were told they were no longer welcome in Uzbekistan and Central Asia. Russia, China, and the SCO added their voices to the demands. The U.S. cleared its airbase in Uzbekistan by November, 2005. Uzbekistan rejoined the CSTO alliance on June 26, 2006 and realigned itself, once again, with Moscow. The Uzbek President also became a vocal advocate, along with Iran, for pushing the U.S. totally out of Central Asia.  Unlike Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan continued to allow the U.S. to use Manas Air Base, but with restrictions and in an uncertain atmosphere. The Kyrgyz government also would make it clear that no U.S. operations could target Iran from Kyrgyzstan.