So why is the APR for the United States becoming number one? The answer is obvious from storiesdescribed above. The United States simply does not have the strength to keep control of the number XXUMX or number XXUMX. The Eurasian space is given to Russia. Just before they leave, the Americans are setting fire to all there and plant everyone on Afghan heroin. Russia is facing Europe for influence in its regions, and they want to finally beat Ukraine to the EU with an association agreement. Let the Middle East is torn by Sunni and Shiite religious wars, Israel is like a bargaining chip there. Africa is flooded with Islamists, France is trying to grab its piece, despite the fact that in France itself is brewing madhouse. South America is captured by left-wing ideas, although this continent is also in the US sights.
Why precisely Asia Pacific, and not the Middle East or South America?
In my opinion, the USA today is a state of TNK. And the share of the Asia-Pacific region accounts for almost 60% of global trade. Almost 70% (if you include India) of the entire population of the planet lives in this region, that is, it is the largest consumer market. This is an oceanic region, which means that here is the cheapest sea transport that is available everywhere. At the beginning of mining in the offshore zones - this is the largest stock of resources. And the USA has a huge influence in this region and almost no competitors, no matter how strange it may seem.
This can finish the historical background and return to the main topic of the article.
So. What are the players and why not just two? To answer this question, I described the events that led the US to the APR, but these same events have their influence in the APR.
China - and this says a lot - is huge and is gaining momentum. For any "quack" modern China - this is the same threat as the USSR in 60-80-ies. More tales and fiction, as well as horror stories.
What about the other side? What are the United States and its allies? What kind of allies are these? Japan - the country subjected to nuclear bombardment by the United States, is still occupied. South Korea is a torn piece of Korea with a very dangerous northern neighbor and territorial disputes with both China and Japan. The Philippines fought with the United States at the beginning of the last century. They were occupied before 1946. The Japanese once walked in this country ... Well, Australia and New Zealand are fragments of Britain, like the United States, so they are in the same boat.
Will only the threat of China be able to keep such allies in the same boat, as NATO once rallied the threat of the USSR? The question is very controversial and, in my opinion, not the most important. It is necessary to consider each player individually, to assess its impact and capabilities in the long term.
Let's start with China. China is the most important player and the root cause of the start of the game. But what is real China today? Its strengths are well known, but the weak ones are often ignored. Modern China is a strip of territory along the East Coast with a population of about 300 million. This China is not built by the Chinese, but by world-class TNCs, and belongs to these TNCs. The stratification of “new Chinese” and ordinary Chinese is the same as between earthlings and Martians. Only the Chinese have a slightly different civilization model than the Russians or the Europeans. The concepts of compassion for others are as far away as the precepts of Mao's grandfathers. They have access to the benefits and will not want to lose it. This is a huge prerequisite for internal conflict.
The other side of modern China is extremely difficult problems with ecology and demography. This is not to say, but China is at the peak of the demographic wave. The population is rapidly aging, and soon the trend will begin to reduce the number of people. Already in China there are difficulties with working hands in some industries.
And the most important question: the economic future. China's economy is up, but it can easily fall. China is dependent on foreign markets. And if the United States stops buying or cannot buy Chinese goods, it will bring the whole country down. Moreover, even now many TNCs are starting to withdraw business from China, and this trend will only increase. Of course, the myth of cheap Chinese labor is also becoming a thing of the past, in some neighboring countries the cost of “work force” is two times lower. For example, in Bangladesh.
China’s military power continues to grow, but how long the country can maintain such a pace is not known. And we need to understand that the current level of the Armed Forces is not enough to solve the tasks facing China in the near future. China cannot ensure the safe transit of its goods and resources from Africa if its opponents want it. In China, Islamic separatism is only beginning to fuel itself. There are many other weaknesses of modern China that are not voiced here. However, with the vector of development of this player in the ATP, everything is quite definite.
China will not go "to seize Siberia." China wants to maintain its position in the international distribution of labor. China wants to secure its southern trade routes and reach the “operational scale” in the Pacific. The maximum goal is Australia’s “decolonization” as an intact bank of world resources. The climate for the Chinese there is more suitable than in Russia.
What does China need for this? Preservation of the current economic vector, when global TNCs invest resources in production on its territory and help to sell its goods abroad. Providing yourself with a resource base, safe transportation of resources from Africa and access to these resources. Normalization of relations with all neighbors, covering the rear areas in case of conflict with the United States.
Internally, everything is much more complicated. Solving social issues in an acceptable way for all Chinese is not yet possible, the stratification of society will continue. It is also impossible to resolve environmental issues, as this is the price for rapid economic development. Raising domestic consumption is also impossible without a self-sufficient resource base. So, the threats of the Chinese economy with changing external conditions will persist for a long time.
I would like to pay close attention to the fact that there has never been a statement from the Chinese leadership that China should become the number one state in the APR. All the myths that the Chinese threat is growing are the products of propaganda of Western civilization. China itself does not officially claim the role of world leader and policeman. China just wants to take its rightful place on the world Olympus, depending on its merits. The history of China itself has few pages of aggressive expansion, unlike in Western countries.
Russia's place in relations with China can vary greatly depending on external conditions. It is important to understand our geopolitical advantages in this game. We can give China a covered rear in case of its active confrontation with the West. Provide a resource base. And we can block, support India and Vietnam with technologies in order to cut off the southern transport routes and bleed China in the face of the “Western Union”. The Chinese understand this, because they are trying to make friends with us. The recent agreements between the Russian Federation and China are proof of this and are beneficial for both states.
China has a lot of internal uncertainty and economic prospects in the event of a change in demand for Chinese goods. However, the vector of its movement and geopolitical perspectives are quite obvious. It is much more interesting to consider another camp. And here the main player, in addition to the United States, I see Japan.
Japan is the unsinkable US aircraft carrier. Everyone knows and remembers this. Japan is a loyal ally of the United States, and so on. This was the case during the Cold War, and this is possible today. However, such a status of Japan is one of the cold war relics.
The real desires of the Japanese and their rulers lie in a completely different plane. Japan is occupied by the United States. The Japanese want to remove the US bases from their territory, or at least move them "away." Japan wants to regain its influence and take the place of the "empire of the rising sun." The Japanese mentality cannot accept American values and models of society — even after 75 years of occupation. The Japanese did not become traffickers, and remain samurai in the service of the emperor.
However, all this is under the carpet, because they are occupied, and now they are intimidated by the “Chinese threat”. However, this situation is already changing. It is precisely because the United States is not static and is losing its influence. In Japan, they also felt this and are looking for a way to regain their sovereignty. Strangely enough, but this is a huge chance for Russia.
Japan has a very developed civilian industry, but the military industry is not so successful. Today, in the Land of the Rising Sun, the question of creating full-fledged armed forces, the first element of the sovereignty of the state, is being raised. And the old allies are not in a hurry to help the Japanese; instead, they want to push their military-industrial complex goods at inflated prices. However, Japan wants to regain the status of the beginning of the 20 century, and for this you need an independent military-industrial complex and a powerful army comparable to the armies of its neighbors.
And here Russia can offer its services. The Japanese want to get away from dependence on the United States, and our military technology is the perfect choice. Only Russia and the United States produce the full range of weapons. Wanting to get away from one, you will come to another.
We have more connection points than conflict points. The biggest problem is the Kuril Islands, the second place is the spread of Russophobia. Both of these issues can be solved for the benefit of both countries. Of course, transferring territories is unacceptable, but sharing is useful. To do this, just start to act on the information field of Japan. Raise the facts of real history, not one. that is imposed on the USA. To "pedal" the topic of American occupation and nuclear bombing, to "hint" that the Chinese threat did not appear by itself, but under the financial injections of the United States. Explain that the United States merges Japan as a supplier of high-tech products in the United States, and put China on this place. Americans want to throw the Japanese, depreciating Japan’s accumulated US debt. And many many others. In order to take someone’s place, first “someone” must be moved in the information space.
At the same time, real steps in the economic sphere are needed. Question number one is the Kuriles. It is necessary to raise the question: what do the Japanese need from them? Besides the “historical justice”, are there any economic prospects? If there is, then start the joint development of these territories in the format of a special economic zone in Russia.
Also, the Japanese need to be involved in large projects for the development of the Far East. You can assist in the elimination of the accident at Fukushima. Chernobyl was a terrible and bloody tragedy for the USSR, but it also gave invaluable experience and knowledge of how to prevent similar disasters in the future and how to work if tragedy nevertheless occurred. There are a lot of Russian developments to prevent radiation leaks. This is a very important social issue in Japanese society, and visible help in solving this problem may force Japanese society to take a different look at Russia.
Obviously one thing. The Japanese want to regain their sovereignty and participate equally in the game for leadership in the APR, but without an ally that does not restrict their sovereignty, they will not succeed.
The next player I would like to consider is Korea. I must say that it is not South or North, but a united Korea. Today, the Republic of Korea, as well as Japan, is a US-occupied state. All the military-political influence of South Korea is leveled by its northern neighbor. Therefore, despite some ambitions, Koreans are very reserved. However, here it is necessary to understand that, despite the difficult internal problems on the Korean Peninsula, its geopolitical position is very precarious and largely based on the United States. South Korea has territorial disputes with Japan and historical differences with China. Korea - as between the hammer and the anvil. But at the same time it is a very developed state, which also claims to play a role in the “world game”. Today, Korea needs an ally and patron, and the United States occupies this place. However, the United States is deflated, and when needed, they will “sell” the Koreans, without wincing and with great pleasure. For Korea is also a US competitor in many types of goods. And this situation in Korea is understood, therefore, with careful steps, they also grope the road to unity and sovereignty.
The question of the unification of the “two Koreas” is the most important and complex. I will not go into it, I just want to note that there are several ways out. This is not only the accession of the “hungry north” after an internal uprising or military operation to overthrow the North Korean leadership. It is also likely that the emerging financial crisis will hit South Korea hard or that the country will lose out in competition with neighboring China. In such conditions, the emergence of internal contradictions in society and the strengthening of left-wing ideas, which will lead to the assimilation of South Korea into North. It is also possible and the seizure of power from the DPRK.
There are less dramatic scenarios, and some of them are already being implemented today. In the DPRK, a new leader is a more “secular” one. Certain positive changes are going to the DPRK, and I think that they will only increase. The problem of North Korea is not in ideology, but in the fact that the country is always in a state of martial law. Something similar was with the USSR. In such conditions it is very difficult to develop the economy and society, since the lion’s item of expenditure goes to the army. If the military threat decreases, new opportunities will emerge for the development of the state and the weakening of political freedoms. The example of socialist China is a clear confirmation of this. Moreover, Russia plays one of the main roles in this process. We have good relations with both the South and the North. There are a number of joint projects both on gas pipelines and by rail. The Kaesu industrial zone is another example of mutual benefit. These processes are strongly hampered by the United States, then conducting provocations with the undermining of ships, then conducting large-scale military maneuvers. The United States is trying in every way to leave South Korea its dependent patrimony, but the reduction in the capabilities of the United States and the common sense of the Koreans can win.
In the case of the unification of Korea, it can become a weighty player in the APR, primarily due to the mentality of close Western civilization, unlike the Japanese and Chinese. Without being a contender for dominance in the APR, Korea can become a conduit for the interests of many other countries that have no direct access to the APR. Developed shipbuilding and trade ties will allow Korea to feel like a full-fledged player with its large neighbors.
The player who is not directly attributed to the APR is India. However, its influence on this region is extremely significant. First, China’s position on the security of southern trade routes largely depends on India’s position. Geopolitical confrontation with China will also constantly raise the importance of India. Many people want to face India and China with their heads and to feast on their fragments. The role of India will grow in all directions, and for the role of the new superpower, India is even more suited than China. However, the mentality and the "caste" legacy make India a dark horse in all these games. Nor should we forget that India is a legacy or a fragment of British colonialism, with all that it implies. I see India’s influence on the APR more through the mediation of some third country. Perhaps Vietnam. One thing is clear here: India is one of the main players in the 21st century. This state has no such problems as in China, although a high level of poverty threatens stable development. India has the resources, the people, and the money to become the number one country in its region. However, at one time the British tried to put this Asian tiger in a cage. Nuclear Pakistan is a major factor in the future of India. If a catastrophe happens, and Islamist fanatics control destabilized Pakistan, then India’s promising future can be forgotten.
Another “unaccounted” player is the countries of South America. In many ways, the lack of attention to this region is due to the fact that the integration processes on this continent have not yet been completed. There is a socialist bloc. There are Brazil and Argentina. So far, there are no serious prerequisites for talking about South America as an independent player in the APR. However, if the left movements continue to gain strength, then their alliance with China is quite possible, as opposed to the anti-Chinese alliance of the United States. Russia will need to closely monitor the situation in Venezuela and continue to develop relations with Brazil in order to be able to influence this continent.
The time has come for the main player in the region. The United States is rapidly losing its strength and influence throughout the world, including in the APR. However, the level of this influence is still unattainable for the majority of states on the planet. The biggest problem for the United States is the “virtuality” of their economies, the huge foreign debt and social obligations for future generations.
The United States is making great efforts for new industrialization. The main question is whether they have enough time and shrinking confidence of other countries to pay for this industrialization. Both the technical and scientific potential in the United States is one of the highest in the world, but the material needs of their populations are very high.
So for the United States in their current position it is very important to maintain the current world order, so that the dollar continues to be a reserve currency and that the governments of all countries continue to buy treasuries.
To do this, the US needs to suppress all other centers of power on the planet and discredit them in the eyes of neighbors, as well as to maintain the general stupidity of the population. From this came the "bloodthirsty Russians" in the spaces of the former USSR and Eurasia, as well as the "Chinese threat" in the APR.
The United States will try, as always, to set everyone up against everyone and become a lifesaver for everyone. The creation of an anti-Chinese union is a project of today. But what happens when China itself collapses because of internal problems? What will cause other countries to cave in under the USA and push their buns apart to get another “democratization” portion? The very concept of the American way of life is antihuman in nature, consuming everything and everything does not work out. The planet cannot bear it. But it never bothered Americans, and it won't be a concern, not that mentality.
The United States still has a lot of resources, and almost all world institutions are under their control. But time plays against them. The fact that the Americans no longer control the entire planet and concentrate their efforts on one region clearly gives them a good chance of success. So far, they manage to frighten all of China’s neighbors with the threat of its military expansion.
However, other players do not stand still.
I deliberately did not paint the role of Russia in this game, because I think that Russia needs to deal with its internal issues. But it is impossible to completely ignore the role of the APR in the future of our country. The government is making great efforts in this direction and is working for the future. A strategic alliance with China is a very good decision. China acquires a certain resistance against blackmail from the United States, and therefore the United States will have to spend even more efforts to neutralize China, distracting them from subversive activities against Russia. Russia also has the opportunity to show the Europeans that we have other buyers, you do not want to be friends in an amicable way, we will go east. This gives operational space for maneuver and strengthens the position in the negotiations on energy supplies to Europe.
At the same time, Russia is strengthening its relations with India in the military-industrial complex, and is negotiating with Vietnam about joining the CU. Both of these countries are geopolitical opponents of China, which ultimately is a deterrent for China’s ambitions for Russia.
Russia has been in conflict with Japan over the past century, but this state of affairs can be changed, and this chance needs to be seized. Russia, unlike all the great states of the world, does not need external expansion. Own resources and territories will be enough for us for at least a century of non-stop development, but it is impossible to delay. The development of Siberia and the Far East is a priority task for our people. But these areas are extremely difficult, and we need both technology and financial resources for successful development. Helping neighbors will not hurt.
ATP is also important as a potential buyer of our raw materials and military products. However, it will be extremely difficult for us to compete at the level of household goods, as well as in the capital market. In the current situation of the Russian Federation, it is better not to make rash moves on this chessboard, but rather to choose a friendship strategy with everyone and stay away from the nascent conflicts. Focus on the internal development and construction of the Eurasian Union. And over time, cut a path to this region through one of the possible allies.