The Russian Federation is looking more like a Chinese colony than an independent nation each day.
Vladimir Putin just signed a series of deals; that will effectively give China a wide variety of Russian assets, in exchange for cash to keep his bankrupt regime running. Putin was in Beijing to sign a series of deals to strengthen what he calls a strategic partnership with China on June 25, 2016, The Guardian reported.
The “strategic partnership” effectively turns a large swath of Russia’s economy over to China in exchange for money. Here are some of the benefits the strategic partnership will bring to the People’s Republic:
A 40% stake in a new petrochemical complex’ that Russian oil giant Rosneft plans to build in the Far East.
A 20% stake in Rosneft’s oil refining subsidiary.
The creation of a yuan clearing mechanism in Russia; that might allow China’s currency to supplant the worthless rubble. That would make it possible for average Chinese to spend yuan; in Russia and buy up Russian assets at low prices.
2.4 million tons of crude oil.
58 other deals potentially valued at $50 billion. The details of those deals were not divulged, but if they are anything like the rest they are more giveaways.
A future deal granting the Chinese permission to build a high-speed rail line across Russia to Europe. That would benefit China which would use it to export finished goods to Europe; and European farmers who would be able to ship food to China, but not Russia.
Long term plans for a “Hyperloop Silk Road;” that would use the superfast transportation solution, to create a freight conveyor between Europe and China.
In exchange for all that; Putin received a vague statement that from China criticizing the deployment of US anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe. Chinese President Xi Jinping did not say he would actually do anything about the anti-missiles, beyond criticizing them. Whether Xi will even bring the subject of the missiles up with President Obama; or his successor, is open to debate.
Russia is now a Chinese Colony
Putin acted more like a bankrupt man at the pawn shop than the leader of a former superpower. The Russian president was so desperate for cash he gave the Chinese everything they wanted.
It sounds as if Russia is fast becoming a colony that exists to supply resources to Chinese industry; rather than a functional nation state. Even Russia’s greatest resource; its geographic location, is now up sale.
Putin; and his Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov, recently announced plans to build an ambitious example of the American Hyperloop superfast transportation system in Russia’s Far East. The Hyperloop would whisk cargo containers from China’s Jilin Province to the Russian Port of Zarubino at high speeds, not carry Russian goods. It will also serve as the first segment of the “Silk Road.”
That would benefit Chinese manufacturers and American importers; but not necessarily Russia. The newest Russian Technological marvel will serve Chinese interests, not Russia’s.
The port of Zarubino itself is a sign of Russia’s almost total dependence on China. The former Soviet fishing village has been transformed into a massive modern container port; that will be used to ship around 10 million tons of cargo a year, much of it Chinese by 2018.
A Nuclear Armed Chinese Colony
This situation is bizarre and dangerous; because Russia is still a major military power; with 7,300 nuclear weapons, more than the USA’s 6,970. Russia also has a large and well-trained army and air force with a large arsenal of technologically advanced weapons.
One has to wonder if the Russian military will be willing to serve Chinese interests. Will Russian soldiers be willing to fire on a mob of angry Russians trying to storm a Chinese owned oil refinery? More importantly, how will the Russian people react, when they realize that their nation has become a Chinese colony?
The Russians are a very proud people who have been willing to fight to the death for their country in the past. How will the crowds in Moscow react, when they realize what Putin and company have done?
My guess is that there will be a nationalist backlash; similar to the one that produced the Brexit in the United Kingdom. That backlash is likely to be violent, because of Putin’s repressive tactics.
Putin’s recent actions prove that Russia is no longer a great power. Instead it is a completely bankrupt nation; desperately trying to avoid economic and political collapse by any means possible. Disturbingly some of Putin’s actions might hasten that collapse; by exposing how shaky the nation’s economy really is.
We must ask ourselves what will happen if Russia collapses completely. Will any nation; even China, be able to benefit from that? The strategic partnership might turn out to be as bad a deal for China, as it is for Russia.