China factor in the Trump world order

This is very telling. While Kremlin mouthpiece RT is now bashing the anti-Trump protesters in the US,  China Daily is gushing with enthusiasm for them. At first, this seems a little counter-intuitive. In some obvious ways, Trump's victory is good news for Beijing. Trump says he will pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on his first day in the White House. (BBC News) On the campaign trail, he blasted the TPP as "a disaster done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country." (ChinaWorker) Beijing views the TPP as a bid for US dominance in the Asia-Pacific region, and a reaction to China's territorial ambitions and superpower aspirations. Just as the US-backed TPP excludes China, Beijing is pushing a rival Pacific Rim trade initiative, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), that excludes the United States. After the US election results, China's Commerce Ministry announced a new push to conclude negotiations on the RCEP. (Reuters)

But Trump of course demonized China relentlessly during the campaign as "taking our jobs and taking our money."  When asked in October how he would respond if China retaliated by denying visas for its tourists to visit Trump's hotels in Vegas, he responded: "They're not going to do it, because if China ever did that, and if we ever cut off relationships with China, China would go bust so fast. I mean, China lives off the money out of the United States. They devalue their currency and they take our businesses."  (The Atlantic, CNN, FollowNews)

The ex-CIA chief now on team Trump, James Woolsey, upon his man's election had an op-ed in the South China Morning Post with the contradictory, passive-aggressive headline: "Under Donald Trump, the US will accept China's rise—as long as it doesn't challenge the status quo." It contained this unambiguous threat: "The US sees itself as the holder of the balance of power in Asia and is likely to remain determined to protect its allies against Chinese overreach. The experience of the last century teaches us that unchecked expansionism and aggression only invites more bad behaviour. We will not repeat this mistake."

We stated months ago that Putin and Trump were in league, hoping to instate a fascist world order after the January inaurguation. Certainly, partners in this project include former rivals Bashar Assad and Recep Tayyip Erdogan—the prior a longtime dictator who has now become genocidal, the latter in the process of consolidating a dictatorship. China is potentially a candidate for membership in this New Order. Beijing has been Russia's collaborator in backing up the Assad dictatorship in Syria. And with political space rapidly closing in China, the party-dictatorship appears to be devolving back into an old-style one-man autocracy under a "paramount leader" in Xi Jinping.

Xi is likely weighing now whether he will be invited to join the New Order—or whether Putin will desert him for Trump, and the two of them will gang up on China. He is doubtless uneasily recalling the history of the Sino-Soviet split.

Throughout the post-war era, China has alternately tilted to Russia against America and to America against Russia. First, Beijing and Moscow were allied against the West—until they fell out in the 1960s over which was to lead the communist world. This conflict took on an ideological cast, but was obviously rooted in territorial and sphere-of-influence rivalries dating back to the Czars and the Celestial Empire—with Mongolia a buffer state and contested territory. The split supposedly began with Mao Zedong rejecting Moscow's policy of "peaceful coexistence" as "revisionist"... except that rejecting Moscow on the ostensible basis that it was too accommodationist toward the West eventually led to Mao sitting down with Nixon in 1972 and forging a de facto alliance with the US against Moscow—which even extended to Beijing and the CIA cooperating to support the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, UNITA in Angola, etc. (Because Hun Sen and the MPLA were backed by Russia.)

This alliance persisted until the 1990s, when Beijing and post-Soviet Russia found common cause in opposing "unipolar" US hegemony, and in jealousy over their respective domination of territories such as Tibet, Xinjiang, Chechnya and Ukraine as the Cold War super-states began to fracture. NATO's "accidental" bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999 symbolized the geopolitical shift. Since then, the anti-West bloc from the dawn of the Cold War has been revived—although utterly shorn of its ideological baggage.

Maybe, with Trump and Putin planning to divide the world between them, another such shift is at hand. George Orwell certainly foresaw this pendulum-like pattern in 1984. Eurasia and Eastasia have been allied against Oceania for a while now. It might be time for a change. But now, for the first time, it could be China standing alone against a united Russo-American bloc. A possibility only likely to spur the paranoid and bellicose tendencies in the new paramount leader.