China and Russia are trying to take down U.S. hegemony. Beijing and Moscow view the U.S. as a major threat to their security after Washington revealed its plans to deploy the THAAD missile system closer to their borders.
Beijing and Moscow feel very vulnerable and threatened now that the U.S. has surrounded them with missiles at their borders and aligned with their neighbors.
After Beijing and Moscow released a joint statement expressing their opposition to the U.S. plans regarding the THAAD deployment earlier this week, it became clear that the two nuclear-powered countries are joining forces to fight U.S. global hegemony together. And while in the past, both China and Russia have separately made comments opposing America’s THAAD, now the two countries, which share a 4,209km-long border, are apparently united in their efforts to wipe out U.S. global dominance.
While Beijing and Moscow voiced their opposition to the U.S.-South Korean decision to deploy the THAAD missile defense system, they also plan to take countermeasures, though neither Russian nor Chinese state media has elaborated on what kind of countermeasures they will be.
China and Russia stand united against U.S. threat
Last Friday, a week before Donald Trump will be sworn in U.S. President on January 20, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the U.S.-South Korea decision regarding the THAAD deployment “has seriously threatened China’s security interest.”
“For the region, it will also break the strategic balance. So it’s completely understandable to see countries in the region firmly oppose this decision,” Lu said.
The THAAD missile system is designed to take out incoming projectiles; both the U.S. and South Korea claim it will be an effective weapon to stop a nuclear attack from North Korea.
But Beijing and Moscow are worried that the U.S. has concealed plans to use the THAAD missile system as a deterrent against not only North Korea, but also China and Russia. Both Beijing and Moscow are worried that the Americans could use the missile system to track missiles from their countries, a move that would allow Washington to geopolitically contain both Beijing and Moscow.
It’s no coincidence that the joint statement from China and Russia comes less than a week before Trump’s inauguration because it is the new U.S. President and his administration that are probably the target audience for the statement.
It’s an opportune time for China and Russia to make the statement, as nobody really knows what Trump’s first foreign policy moves will be. By making the joint statement, Beijing could also be using Moscow’s help since Trump views Russia as a potential partner while considering Beijing America’s enemy.
With this joint statement, Beijing and Moscow may have attempted to let Trump know that they stand united. The statement could be an attempt to warn the new U.S. President that he’ll either have to partner with the two countries at once or no one at all.
Trump’s hostility towards China could lead to armed conflict
China and Russia’s shared fears of the THAAD system and their concerns about U.S. global dominance have drawn the two nuclear-powered nations closer. While China is equally interested in deterring North Korea, the Chinese view the THAAD missile system as a potential threat to its own security as the system will be located near its borders.
Russia shares China’s concerns about the THAAD. The Russians are no strangers to facing U.S. weapons near both its eastern and western borders. But the deployment of the THAAD missile system is being viewed in the Kremlin as a direct threat to Russia’s national security.
While Trump has remained largely pro-Russian throughout both his presidential campaign and since being elected, his comments about China have suggested that the new U.S. President could take a firmer stance to counter Beijing’s expanding influence in Asia.
Apart from promising to slap China with big tariffs on imported goods, a move that could potentially trigger a trade war between Washington and Beijing, Trump is apparently aiming to attack key parts of their relationship.
When Trump took a congratulatory phone call from the Taiwanese President in early December, U.S.-China relations immediately took a turn for the worse. Beijing viewed the move as Trump’s disregard for the “One China” policy, which has been respected by the U.S. since 1979.
Since Beijing views Taiwan as a separatist province and considers it part of China, Trump’s conversation with the Taiwanese president was seen by China as an attempt to challenge its sovereignty. Trump has also publicly condemned Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea.
Beijing regards the South China Sea as a core part of Chinese identity and thinks it’s critical to its border, trade and energy security. Any attempt from the U.S. to cut China’s access to the artificial islands in the region would be deemed by Beijing an act of war.
Warmer U.S.-Russia ties worry China
It makes the future of trilateral relations between the U.S., China and Russia no less confusing that Trump seems to favor Moscow over Beijing.
Trump’s constant suggestions that U.S.-Russia ties could improve the moment he is sworn in as U.S. President on January 20 make the Chinese worried. Beijing is concerned that Trump’s promised warmer ties with Russia could be his attempt to lure Moscow away from the partnership with Beijing.
China would lose big time if Trump goes forward with his plan to review the sanctions against Russia and actually improves relations with Moscow. China, for its part, would end up on the weaker side of the triangle, especially if Trump also delivers all of his anti-China presidential campaign promises.
During the recent few years of outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama, China and Russia have sort of united against the U.S. and the West as a whole. Russia was turned into a bad guy because of its annexation of Crimea and actions in eastern Ukraine, while China has been condemned for its actions in the South China Sea.
But warmer U.S.-Russian relations would leave China out in the cold all alone.