China vs Russia the alternative future war?


Contributor Opinion.



Vladimir Putin’s most recent move in Eastern Ukraine has sound the alarms in Rumania and other eastern European countries, that don’t like what they observe from Russia.  But Russia’s creation of the Euro Asian Union, might not welcome good news for China, as expanding eastward of Turkey into the orient could eventually collide with China’s strategical and territorial interest. Most military analyst fear a war between the US and Russia or the US with China, but China (in my opinion) is way too dependent on the US dollar to not remain financially stable.     

 China and Russia are ‘quote’ regional allies that once upon a time shared the same communist bounds. But studying the history of the region, a few question come into mind. Few analyst forget that China and Russia engaged in 1969 on the Sino-soviet conflict because of border tensions. In fact, they also disputed the Zhembao Islands and the Kuril Islands, just as China today demands the Sensaku Islands from Japan.  

The Uygur feel more identified with Siberia, than China. Pakistan is the ally of Russia,  but Pakistan does not really get along with China. India is friends with China because of trade, but since it’s also a US ally, the country does not really get along with Russia. Pakistan and India have regional tensions, but could get many other countries involved into a bigger conflict.

Here we observe possible conflicts from China and Russia if they ever decided to regain more territory violating western treaties, especially if China ever expands west. Here is the question.

1) China and Russia, do they ‘really’ get ‘along’? Do they fear each other?

2) If you look at both countries and their military power, would it be reasonable to assume that if one or both decided to expand (like in the case of Russia) could they potentially collide in a war considering certain regions border each other’s country?

3) Is there a higher and less observed risk in predicting a future war between China and Russia, than the US?

‘4) What could potentially trigger a war between China and Russia, considering they have a lot of interests in South Asia, Central Asia, South East Asia, and the Middle East? 



Jose Luis Chalhoub Naffah.

(Political Scientist- Russia and Middle East Energy Geopolitics Analyst BYBLOS CONSULTING Director.)

“Well regarding your interesting questions, Russia and China apart from having differences on border and geopolitical issues such as the Uighur and Islamic extremism on what could spill and inflame Russian borders from China’s soil, act differently from the cold war era.

Both countries entice now, in a love hate relationship which has become their common counterbalance goal towards the US.  China is less ostensibly and aggressive in its global ambition for power as opposed to Russia that feels threatened by Washington on its boders.

One main point in common in the Sino-Russian relationship is energy. Russia has all the oil and gas China needs, both are geographical contiguous and close, both are members of a common geopolitical bloc such as the Shanghai Organization and the BRICS.

That gives us the idea, of at least a very close mutual interest relationship, asymmetrically different than the one between Washington- Beijing or Washington-Moscow.

Regarding a possible confrontation, my thought goes directly to Central Asia’s former belongings, to the so called Near Abroad for Russia now aggressively courted by Beijing in terms of energy alliances and business.

But in my point of view Russia and China are the two most important pivot states in the Euro Asian landmass leading the bipolar world currently on the making process.

If they are seriously planning to reach a point where they can establish, and even an alter system of world currency different than the dollar, then confrontation at least in the short term is totally discarded.

The term of this could be contention and balance. Both countries have strength on the military field, so as far as I can see there wont be a confrontation between Moscow and Beijing unless provoked by the White House on a already known divide and conquer strategy.”



Mr. Iván Gómez.

(Spanish-born political risk analyst, freelance researcher and writer. has been appointed to high responsibility positions in several multinational corporations such as the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ and Zurich Insurance.)

“1) China and Russia are two huge emerging powers at the begining of the 21st century with both making their way through in boosting themselves as very relevant geopolitical powers.

On one side, it is true that Putin’s Russia and China are not liberal democracies and, therefore, are limited in checks and balances that liberal democracies feature, and that help to contend warfare solutions. It is also true that both military clouts are huge and on the rise and already present a potential risk for neighboring countries.

However, on the other hand, Russia and China has just signed a gas pipeline contract for 30 years which means a great deal for both parties; while Russia can expand commercially eastwardly servicing one of the biggest demands of gas in the world and making lots of money (getting richer). China, on its side, meets the offer of a less pollutant energy source in their desperate efforts to substitute the highly pollutant energy source that it currently uses (coal) that is already taking a toll on Chinese environmental issues. (especially in cities).

The point is that they no longer compete, unlike in the 20th century, for developmental resources in the sense of controlling one territory bearing in mind the potential of that territory to become an industrial site.

Both countries compete in the 21st century for the control of natural resources. And, in this case, I assume that commerce triumphs over other expansionist adventures of Russia or China. It makes no sense to disturb current political boundaries that were “revised” as early as in 2008 by both countries.

Despite all this, they don’t have any reason to fear each other further than the observance of both routinary military operations  that both countries might exercise together or separately. Good examples of this military cooperation is as old as 2005 and framed within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and several other bilateral operations that have taken place in 2012.

2) The military power of both countries is immense. China provides to its military more troops than Russia does, but, technologically speaking, both countries are very well endowed to control the Eurasia region themselves and share the cake themselves too.

It is very unlikely that both countries confront each other over borders disputes: First, because, by behaving like that have lots to loose in terms of economic and commercial issues in the current era when governments, not even the most autocratic ones, follow economic and commercial issues more than specific ideologies.

Russia is currently undertaking a “controlled” expansionism which circumscribes within the USSR former satellite states and is only affecting Eastern Europe. I don’t see any move towards Central Eurasia nor to the Pacific.

3) A risk of war between Russia and China today is nearly negligible. It is more likely that the “still” hegemon, the United States is sooner or later draged into deffend NATO allies in Europe or Japan in the Pacific or the middle East. China and Russia keep a strong diplomatic axis in most geopolitical debates such as that of Syria.

4) I do not consider such possibility in the short-to-mid-term.”



Allen Schmertzler.

(He is an award winning and published political artist specializing in figurative, narrative and caricatured interpretations of current events.)

“The 21st century is hardly developed to the point that war is anything but eminent. What kind of war/s and how do parties not directly bordered react becomes the more pressing issue. I do not believe the United States is up for another war soon, and certainly not with a superpower. The U.S. is having a love affair with playing military surgeon.

That is, using drones or agents living in the underbelly to agitate, organize, or directly strike with a surgeon’s approach to take out individuals or pockets of militarized groupings desirous and capable enough to make trouble and hurt U.S. interests. This resembles the policing under  former New York Mayor Giuliani, a zero tolerance broken windows strategy. The U.S. will not directly engage in war with Russia or China unless the world enters the worst scenario of world war engagement.

That being said, there is every reason to believe that localized regional conflicts will continue. India and Pakistan are too heavily equipped with nuclear weapons to cross that red line of doom, but very likely brinkmanship games of small border and land claim altercations that fleck muscle and can serve to keep inside oppositional threats of leadership at bay during “national crises” will game on. This is also likely to play out similarly with Russia and China.

Russia is no longer a big global player or military threat. China can and will kick the vodka out of Russia. But for sure, a bear poked, a bear provoked, a bear hungry, can and will calculate the win versus the loss of regional geopolitics. We have already seen how clever and wanton Putin can be. Small land grabs without provoking major military retribution will continue around regional hot spots. The ebb and flow of power, perceived power, availability of cherished resources, energy and star power will egg on those desirous to fill available and or a perceived vacuum of power.

There currently are enough warning signs in the global arena for concern and careful treading that a war can engulf a weary world. The world is absorbing negatives of unemployment rates, millions of youth around the globe with feelings of nihilism, masses with a sense of disaffection over the failed promises of a greater economic future with the Euro, accelerated and heightened passions of ethnic pride, nationalism, regionalism, xenophobia, anti-semitism, jingoism,  and competitiveness over resources, energy, and a dynamic changing climatic uncertainty threatening lifestyles and densely populated coastal areas is more than enough to trigger a war.

Reading history, we can see a repeat of conditions that fueled previous world wars. All the ducks are aligned. Only if the greater loss is perceived to be greater than the greater gain will somewhat prosperous nations abandon playing the global community role. Developing and de-evolving nations are completely unpredictable regarding what they are willing to do. When the consequences are no worse than the reality why would the global community expect a commitment of peaceful status quo.

We are early into this new century but the global realignments are very much at play. That in of itself can spark nations to throw elbows. China may just believe its time has arrived to sit on The Game Of Thrones. Their long game must include re-incorporating Taiwan. Can that occur without global convulsions that rip long standing alignments? Will Russia quench its thirst to reclaim world player without absorbing previous satellite nations?”



Aditya Pandey.

(Working part-time as an activist for PETA in Bhopal. Also involved in social upliftment through innovation by being a part of UNICEF.)

“I think by asking such questions, you are extrapolating the situation into unreal boundaries. You are building your argument based on a false assumption that Russia is the sole architect of Ukraine Crisis. We need to dig deeper to understand the crisis. First, we need to understand that the ground situation is quite different from what has been projected by the Western media. Not everything being shown is true.

Secondly, military analysts who are conjuring up the idea of a war between Russia and the U.S are no more than fanning the spark caused by EU and United States’ flawed foreign policy, aimed at isolating Russia by attracting Ukraine into its’ orbit.
Talking about a war between China and Russia reflects naivete on your part. Their interests are highly uncorrelated. Moreover, China has always patiently lend its’ ears to Russia. It’s ironical that U.S, the master of expansionist policies, frets Russia and China’s expansionist plans. It seems U.S wants to establish monopoly in this field too.

Although, in South East Asia, China has tried to use its’ military as a conduit to represent its’ dominance and aggression, Russia has not displayed any interest in these regions. India is a key ally and one of the largest defense partner of Russia.”




(Novelist, filmmaker, investigative journalist, poet, playwright, and photographer, Andre has covered dozens of war zones and conflicts from Bosnia and Peru to Sri Lanka, DR Congo and Timor Leste.)

“1) Of course they get alone very well and they do not fear each other. Both powerful nations fear only one thing: Western imperialism and its final assault on our planet. This assault is taking place right now. Both countries suffered numerous attacks from the West. China was colonized and plundered.

Russia lost some 30 million people in one single century, being attacked by German Nazis, by the US and UK forces right after the Great October Revolution, and during the WWI, to name just a few European and the US atrocities.

China, Russia and many countries of Latin America are now forming great front, great opposition to the Western Fascism.

2) First of all, Russia is not ‘expanding’. Let us not use the language of Western regime and its propaganda, at least here, on the pages of journalist forum. Don’t we, at lest most of us, know, what is really going on?

Of course the West and its client states (including Georgia and Philippines, but also Japan) are doing all they can to ‘divide and rule’ the coalition that I described above.

However, this time there is very little chance that two allies would fight against each other. All their small disagreements are nothing compared to a horror that is being spread by Western regime all over the world. It is clear to those in Beijing and Moscow.

3) Definitely not. The US is antagonizing all independent/free nations of the world. The West is provoking China, Russia, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, just to mention few nations. China and Russia are two peaceful countries. But they will not tolerate aggressions.

They will defend themselves and hopefully, defend each other. Russia was attacked by the West again and again, and it always managed to defeat invaders. As the old saying goes: “Those who will come to Russia with a sword, will die from a sword!” China and Russia will never attack each other. They know perfectly well who their real enemies are. As they know it all over Latin America and increasingly, all over Africa.

4) Absolutely nothing. Hypothetically, only if Western manipulations and propaganda and intrigues could succeed. But I don’t think at this point there is much chance that it would happen.”



Shermineh Salehi Esmati.

(Specializing in Political Science and History with a focus on International Affairs.  Her most recent experience researching was for the International Center on Human Rights.)

“In my observation it appears as though China would have great interest in increasing investment into Iran once the negotiations have finished.

I do sense that Russia and China will have a military conflict in the future concerning energy.

My hope is that Iran will have a liberal democratic government at this point when Russia threatens China so that Tehran can appropriately support its ancient Asian ally.”



Themistocles Konstantinou.

(Present Military data Analyst.  Hellenic National Defense General Staff, Athens Greece.University degree on European studies EQF level 6.)

“With the situation nowadays, I can assure you that either Russia or China don’t want to become enemies at all.

The last month they had common naval drills and they shared their experiences. I believe that the disputed areas will be “disputed” for a long time.

Secondly the Russian foreign policy is only focused against NATO. Personally, I believe that the “GAME” is in the energy field and not in the sphere of military.

Military actions are the “key” and not the result. I cannot say more, but as far as I know, nobody is able to be sure about Russia’s next move.

Vladimir Putin focus is now in Ukraine, China  and possibly other nations. The Middle East is another problem. I have issued the problem of Syria in the past with a special article

On the other hand nobody is able to be sure about Ukraine’s situation. The only thing that could possibly happen, is another “cold-war” between Russia and West, nothing more….”



Frank Palatnick.

(Frank’s educational and personal philosophy includes empathy,compassion and humanism.  was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2008 for ” networking global education administrators in order to understand other countries, cultures and specifically studentsin order to create a pathway to a sustained peace .“)

I think this says it all.” 


Jaime Ortega 

(The Daily Journalist.) 

“First, most analyst fail to understand the inner clockwork on how these two countries function when discarding a possible confrontation. Before jumping into any conclusions, we must understand these two are unstable giants that depend on others to subsist as an economy, which interest can and will fluctuate to any direction on any given point in time.

The Russian political system is one of the more recent to embrace democracy but remains deeply flawed in terms of its democratic credentials, overwhelmingly tainted by corruption, and massively influenced by the power and personality of one man, Vladimir Putin. I would not trust a country nor a leader, that kills and prosecutes its own journalist and shows only financial growth in one tinny section in Moscow leaving 90% poverty on float.

China has become the mixture of two separate ideals, the communistic-capitalist run government controlled by the People’s Republic of China and the CPC. Yes, they allow growth for the private Chinese sector (nothing different from the Oligarchs which represent 1%, and control Russia’s brute wealth), but just alike Moscow, 80% of China’s funding goes directly to their military growth. The Chinese private sector has grown significantly better than its Russian counterpart, but still a flawed democracy.

Russia’s economy depends on the Energy the Europeans consume, whereas China depends on the U.S. resource industry to keep their high manufacturer ratio stable. Only China alike India invests money, on East African soil to secure agricultural productivity, since farmers all across china suffer from the insecticides that have exterminated  a significant percentage of the ‘bee’ population in villages across the country.

One underestimated factor, is that China needs to desperately expand their agricultural resources given the increasing population growth. China is not adequately stable, it needs more fertile lands which is why Eastern Africa is for now a viable option. But proximity plays a major problem, so China in the near future has to propose other possible alternatives to keep strong.

To expand east means a possible confrontation with Taiwan, Japan, Philippines and other U.S. and western allies. Going south would be a viable option, but again stepping inside U.S. friendships. Expand North to Mongolia and Russia, or try westward.

There is a lot of fertile lands in countries like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan which are NOT been used…  Analyst do not take into account that China has already considered such moves. These countries, also seek financial prosperity. Would they be better off with China or Russia’s influence? One offers energy, the other offers better industrial capital and overall financial growth backed by the U.S. dollar.

Russia on the other hand, cannot expand west without military and financial confrontations. Russia’s  only option is to go east and create a union of member states that will help the ruble grow.

China and Russia are unfortunately interlocked in the future on a “must move” situation if they want to expand their regional power, and transform it into a U.S. like country with global financial governance.

Both share similar strategic plans. Both spend 70-80%  to keep a strong regional military.  Both depend on other players to subsist and keep their economies strong to fund military developments. Both admire globalization and share anti-western ideals and are not believers in NATO, despite what some analyst want to believe. They both have expansive mindsets, and that makes for a problematic and uncertain future on the eyes of border nations.

The problem for both countries is that necessity holds the two beast chained. As of today, the US military apparatus is the key that holds both beast chained on a pole.

We have to understand both countries already had conflict in the past, during the Sino-soviet war as a show off, for regional dominance.  Yes, they respect each other as of today because they both share the same enemy, the west. But that does not mean both countries would “NOT” conflict on interest in parts of central Asia or oil supplies down in the Middle East.

Let’s not forget the word “friends” has become a diplomatic mirage of uncertainty, rather than an actual term for friendship. Putin and the EU became synergistic partners not long ago to help each other, to exchange energy for financial benefits. The EU has now given Russia financial sanctions that the Oligarchs have to cope with, thanks to Putin’s Soviet dream. Russia two months ago was part of the G8, and now is considered by the west as the new Judas after the annexation of Crimea. As I see it, friendships are nothing more than casual terms to discredit the real intentions that bound interest between temporary partners.

Russia’s problem is that its reemergence as a world power, came at a time where China has experienced the same opportunity. I foresee future problems between the two countries, given their instability and dependence on others to subsist.

This is a excerpt from Richard Weitz, on Russia’s fear of China. With this I end.

“So what are the Russians worried about? Defense leaders seemed more focused on Central Asia, believing that instability in there will increase from the contagion effects of the social, economic and political disturbances in North Africa and from the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan in the coming years. Those I heard from are especially worried about renewed civil strife in Kyrgyzstan, the rise of Islamist militarism in Tajikistan, and the failure of the United States and NATO to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan before they withdraw their combat troops. Russian policymakers fear that complications resulting from these changes will increase the threat of terrorism and narcotics trafficking to Russia, as well as challenge Russian economic interests there, such as access and control over Central Asian oil and natural gas supplies.

To address the very real fears of chaos in Central Asia, Russia is relying heavily on the seven-member Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). One senior general responsible for Russian military planning and operations argued that member states, which include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, had overcome many of the deficiencies that he confirmed the CSTO experienced last summer, when it was paralyzed during the Kyrgyzstan crisis. He said that the CSTO now has the military capacity, the operational plans and the legal foundation to undertake rapid interventions in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, or even possibly Afghanistan under the rubric of anti-terrorism, peacekeeping, or other justifications.

He said he also felt the military leaders of the CSTO members had achieved a genuine meeting of minds about the organization. Kazakhstan, for example, had become an especially close partner of Russia in the building of a new and more effective CSTO, and the general said he is looking forward to the major exercise the CSTO plans to hold this summer and early autumn to confirm this progress. He and other Russians urged NATO to develop relations directly with the CSTO given the likelihood that it will play a greater role in Central Asia when Western troops leave Afghanistan.

 Interestingly, though, it became increasingly clear from our meetings that Russia’s military and civilian leaders view the CSTO’s potential quite differently. In contrast to the optimism expressed by Russian military leaders regarding the organization’s future coherence and capabilities, Russia’s civilian defence policy makers and analysts consider the divergent security perspectives of member states a major problem. For example, CSTO members Belarus and even Armenia are preoccupied with fundamentally different security problems from the four Central Asian members. For this reason, they see the CSTO primarily as a ‘political’ organization confirming Moscow’s primacy in Central Asia, rather than as a major military force.

They likewise downplayed the military potential of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which unlike the CSTO includes China but not Armenia and Belarus. They said they believed it would continue to focus on countering terrorism rather than developing the capabilities for joint military operations among its member states. In their view, the SCO also had a primarily political function, dampening a potential rivalry between China and Russia for control over Central Asia.””

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