The latest news out of Beijing and Moscow is that China will be supplying Russia advanced weaponry to conduct its war against Ukraine.
“The concern that we have now is, based on information we have, that they’re considering providing lethal support, and we’ve made very clear to them that that would cause a serious problem for us and in our relationship,” SecState Blinken said Sunday. When asked what lethal support from the Chinese for the Russians meant, Blinken said, “weapons.”
We are, of course, providing billions in weapons to the Ukrainians. This is not lost on Beijing.
“It is the U.S. not China, that has been pouring weapons into the battlefield,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spox Wang Wenbin said. “The U.S. is in no position to tell China what to do. We would never stand for finger-pointing, or even coercion and pressurizing from the U.S. on our relations with Russia.” Actually China has already been providing weapons to Russia, just not in a volume anybody has noticed as of yet.
By the way Wang (insert Caddyshack joke here), it’s “pressure” not “pressurizing.” I mean, really. How do you expect to achieve global hegemony with grammar like that?
Wang went on, “The international community is fully aware who is calling for dialogue and striving for peace, and who is fanning the flames and stoking confrontation,” he said. “We urge the US side to seriously reflect on the role it has played, do something to actually help deescalate the situation and promote peace talks, and stop deflecting the blame and spreading disinformation.” Blah, blah, blah. He then goes on about American balloons and makes unintentionally funny Asian threats.
“If the U.S. side continues to fuss over, dramatize and escalate the unintended and isolated incident, it should not expect the Chinese side to flinch,” he added. “The U.S. side should be prepared to bear all consequences arising from an escalation.”
Once again Johnny Foreigner shows he really has no idea how to scare an American. The over the top babble just sounds silly, as do the vague promises of action and retaliation.
But what’s most interesting to date about this development is that we’re looking at two sides, the Americans and Chinese, fighting a proxy war in Ukraine much like two sides, the German Nazis and the Russian communists, fought a proxy war in Spain in the 1930s. That war paved the path to WWII. Are we looking at our own Spanish prelude to a larger conflict?
Granted, there are differences. In Spain all the players were bad guys, as both sides in Spain and the outside players were either fascists or communists. Russia supplied the Spanish Loyalists/communists, the Germans supplied Franco and his fascists. We sent some volunteer Bolshie intellectuals, but otherwise stayed out. Today Putin is the authoritarian Russian villain and Ukraine is fighting to stay free.
But the bigger picture of major powers fighting wars by proxy, making alliances, and testing weapons systems is quite similar to Spain. The fascists won in Spain and it was probably the lesser of two evils. As for this one? It’s still up for grabs.
But the smart money says Russia comes out a loser in the long run and the Chinese, using Russian troops to weaken an American client state, come out a net winner. Especially if Beijing indirectly pushes the Ukraine war to a fever pitch just before it invades Taiwan.