Unfolding the scenario of the "Arab Spring" in Ukraine, the United States set itself the goal, among other things, to drive a wedge in the relationship between Russia and the EU, and it must be admitted that they are succeeding in this. It's not a secret for anyone that the power of Russia rests on the export of hydrocarbons. Europe is the main consumer of Russian gas and oil, so the damage that the Russian Federation will incur from breaking ties with the Europeans cannot be overestimated. The logical result of the current crisis in the western direction is the building of closer relations with China. It is believed that Russia will need about 3-4 years to reorient oil and gas flows to the east, and there is reason to believe that the Americans will make every effort to prevent the establishment of cooperation between Moscow and Beijing. It is very likely that in the near future the West will try to shake the situation in China itself, thereby weakening two geopolitical rivals at once.
Do not assume that too close economic relations between the United States and China, characterized by the term "Chimerica", will not allow the Americans to bring confusion in the Celestial Empire. The break in relations between Russia and the EU is also costly for the Europeans, which local entrepreneurs periodically remind European officials of, but this does not deter the latter from introducing more and more sanctions. Of course, this is being done under strong pressure from Washington, which has long been trying to impose the project of a transatlantic free trade zone on Europe, which clearly does not accord with the interests of both Russia and China.
It should be noted that we are not talking about unleashing a direct confrontation or cold war between the United States and China. But the West will definitely try to spoil the lives of the Chinese, while formally distancing itself from this process in order to avoid accusations of interference in the internal affairs of another state and, as a result, retaliatory measures from Beijing. The main goal is to occupy China with internal problems so that it has no time for external ambitions. In addition, destabilization in the region will force capital to leave Asian markets in search of quieter and more secure financial havens that the United States intends to provide.
The West has already begun to take preventive measures to protect itself from the negative consequences of the worsening situation in the PRC. Recently, there is a process of withdrawal of foreign companies from China. Once the transfer of production facilities to the Middle Kingdom allowed the United States and Western European countries to overcome the consequences of the economic crisis of the 70s. Today, European and American corporations are returning factories to their home countries or relocating their production to countries with cheaper labor, such as Vietnam, Pakistan, Indonesia, India or Bangladesh. Obviously, there are objective reasons for this - it is becoming less profitable to produce goods in China. But all this largely unties the hands of Western, primarily American, politicians. The departure of foreign companies will lead to a further decline in the Chinese economy, which, among other things, will complicate the situation with the provision of jobs and, as a result, increase social tensions.
It is the problems of a social nature, of which more than enough have accumulated in the Celestial Empire, that can be used by external forces to destabilize the situation. On the whole, the factors are the same as in the Arab countries and in Ukraine - the gap between rich and poor, corruption, and the absence of American-style democracy. It is worth adding to this list also the ecology, the state of which in the PRC is undoubtedly very deplorable, which today is already becoming the reason for mass demonstrations ending in pogroms and clashes with the police.
The uneven economic development of the coastal and mainland regions of China strongly affects the stratification in the level of income of the population depending on the region, which leads to the aggravation of contradictions within the Chinese society. It is worth remembering that this situation became one of the key internal problems of the collapse of Yugoslavia.
The increased frequency of terrorist attacks, which in most cases are usually attributed to Uyghur separatists, also do not contribute to social stability. But when incidents occur in southern provinces far from XUAR, and the perpetrators are ethnic Han people, official statements are often in doubt.
The issue of separatism is not new to China. It is unlikely that the West does not use ethnic conflicts within the PRC in its own interests. The Arab Spring project, as conceived by its American ideologists (it is worth noting that not everyone in the Western leadership shared this idea), was supposed to raise a wave of controlled chaos that swept through the Caucasus and Central Asia and struck not only the Islamic regions of Russia, but also went to the Chinese Xinjiang. The stumbling block in this regard was Syria, on which Moscow and Beijing took a categorical position, well aware of what it threatens both of them. Compensating for the loss on the Syrian front, the Americans had to prematurely launch a similar scenario in Ukraine, which was planned for 2015-2016. But the fading civil war in Syria is still far from over. Added to this is the unrest in neighboring Turkey. In general, regardless of how the events in the Middle East develop, the next step is to expect an aggravation of the situation in the countries of Central Asia (especially after the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan), which, in turn, will affect Xinjiang, which is sensitive for China.
Another unreliable region is traditionally considered Tibet, which, not without the support of the West, is fighting for its rights. It was Tibet that was used to annoy the Chinese leadership on the eve of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Actually, these and other events show well that the West has the ability, through Tibetan leaders and organizations scattered throughout the world, to influence the population of Tibet. Today, demonstrations and acts of self-immolation are the forms of protest that Tibetans resort to, but they could potentially develop into a full-scale insurrection, as was the case in 1959. By the way, the Arab Spring also began with the self-immolation in Tunisia.
Less well-known in terms of separatist sentiments is the territory of Inner Mongolia. The indigenous population of these lands does not strongly favor the Han people, but the problem is that due to the policy of the Chinese leadership to populate this region with Chinese, no more than 20% of the Mongols themselves remain. Despite this, during the last turmoil in the Middle Kingdom, attempts were made to create an independent (or semi-independent) state in Inner Mongolia. In addition, the call for reunification with Outer Mongolia, which already has independence, can be used as a reference point. Now the People's Party of Inner Mongolia, headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, USA, where this organization was founded in 1997, is fighting for the right of the Mongols of the PRC to self-determination.
Recently, there have been more calls in Taiwan to declare the island's independence from mainland China. Of course, the PRC and the Republic of China in fact exist as separate sovereign states, but so far Beijing and Taipei, each in their own way, continue to declare the unity of the Celestial Empire. The official proclamation of Taiwan's independence will severely hit the image of communist China and quite possibly force it to take decisive action, regardless of their cost. In the East, it is dangerous to “lose face”; together with it, you can lose power.
After Crimea was reunited with Russia, the domestic fifth column and some Western experts began to actively popularize the idea that the Crimean precedent could be used by China to separate the Far East from Russia. The main goal of such a company is to influence public opinion, both in Russia and in China, and thereby create additional problems on the path of rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing. In fact, Crimea is far from the first case, and the legal foundations were laid back in Kosovo, the Comoros, etc. In general, this is a Western practice to promote its interests, and it is very doubtful that China would want to resort to such tactics. But there are no guarantees that such a scenario will not be implemented in relation to the Celestial Empire itself. Beijing was already unequivocally hinted at this when, during Xi Jinping's last visit to Europe, he was presented with a 1735 map of China printed in Germany. As it turned out, the map lacks many territories that are officially considered the original and integral parts of the Celestial Empire: Tibet, Xinjiang, Manchuria, Inner Mongolia. It is difficult to imagine that the European high officials and their consultants did not know how sensitive the Chinese were to ancient cartography. Rather, it was done deliberately in an attempt to pressure the Chinese leadership by reminding them of their own internal problems. At the same time, a completely different map, published in London in 1844, on which lands were part of the Chinese state, some of which now belong to Russia, became widespread in the Chinese segment of the Internet. This naturally triggered an anti-Russian wave in the Chinese blogosphere, which immediately drew attention to the Russian opposition, as well as a number of foreign media outlets.
It is necessary to clearly understand that the alliance between Moscow and Beijing, in any form, seriously complicates the task of the West, especially the United States, to maintain its dominant position in the world. Therefore, the destabilization of the situation both around Russia and China and within them is a highly desirable and much less costly way to contain their geopolitical rivals than direct confrontation or military conflict.