Ukrainian Conflict Developments


weig2000

Senior Member
This Foreign Affairs article talks about taking tougher sanctions against Russia in case of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Going through the arguments and suggestions, there aren't whole of viable ideas. And any success of sanctioning Russia to change the cost-and-benefit calculus would require Chinese cooperation, as it turns out.

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THE CHINESE FACTOR

The United States didn’t have to carefully weigh China’s potential reaction to imposing sanctions on the Kremlin in 2014. This was largely because the measures didn’t hit China in a meaningful way. Few Chinese-made goods were affected by the export controls, and China had no meaningful investments in Crimea. As a result, Beijing could condemn the sanctions but allow its companies to abide by them in the few instances that they had an impact on business.

But if Washington imposes much harsher sanctions, the Chinese response might be far different. China is Russia’s largest trading partner, after all. It’s unclear if Chinese companies would stop dealing with a major Russian firm that the United States chose to blacklist. Doing so would help strengthen U.S. financial power—and prove the potency of tools that could easily be used against China in the future. Russia and China have already collaborated to
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if U.S. sanctions obstruct their banking systems. If China chose to reject U.S. sanctions and its companies didn’t comply, it would put Washington in a tight spot. Chinese companies would be in violation of U.S. law, but any legal action against them would require risky escalatory measures such as imposing penalties on major Chinese firms.
The alternative, however, would be to accept that China need not follow U.S. sanctions, which would dramatically undermine their economic reach. The same dilemma applies to the Biden administration’s threat to cut off Russia’s ability to buy semiconductors, smartphones, or airline parts. Smartphones are mostly produced in China, for example, so any export controls on smartphone components would work only if China were willing to enforce them. Beijing could buck U.S. sanctions and dare Washington to retaliate—which would open a second front in a great-power financial war.

China has previously taken humiliating steps to avoid violating U.S. sanctions. Chinese state-owned banks, for example, refused to open accounts for Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, after the United States imposed sanctions on her.
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that have a chance of changing the Kremlin’s calculus, however, could force a rethink in Beijing. If there were ever a time to try to undermine American financial power, this would be it.

After all, in terms of their impact on the global economy, tough financial sanctions on Russia could well be the largest use of sanctions since the United States targeted Japanese finance and oil imports before World War II. This is why Russia may think the United States is bluffing when it threatens dramatic sanctions. The Kremlin believes it has a far higher tolerance for risk than its American or European counterparts.

If Biden is serious about using sanctions to shape Russia’s calculus, his administration needs to sharpen its messaging. The administration should name the Russian banks it would blacklist, the specific transactions it would prohibit, and the companies that would be in danger of going under. Then the Kremlin might start taking its sanctions threats more seriously.
 

Overbom

Captain
Registered Member
This Foreign Affairs article talks about taking tougher sanctions against Russia in case of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Going through the arguments and suggestions, there aren't whole of viable ideas. And any success of sanctioning Russia to change the cost-and-benefit calculus would require Chinese cooperation, as it turns out.

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The last part about suggesting targeting sanctions and preparing the ground well before is a good point.

If the US simply puts wide ranging sanctions, China would 100% oppose them. However if the US makes targeted sanctions and prepares the ground before imposing them, then that would force China to have a cost-benefit calculus on what extend to follow the sanctions

This would constitute a face-saving deal between all 3 parties, US-Russia-China.

China would follow some sanctions (or all, depending on how light the sanctions are).
US gets the "face" that its sanction power is still there and doesn't get globally humiliated
Russia sees that China didn't totally throw it to the wolves and actually stood with it on some sanctions

It all depends on how well crafted the sanctions would be. Not too hard to force China to retaliate, but not too soft which would signal to the world that the US is afraid and thus losing deterrence and credibility. While also taking into account that it also isn't too hard that Russia would lash out in unexpected ways.

IMO I don't think the US is capable enough to get this delicate balance right...
 
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weig2000

Senior Member
The last part about suggesting targeting sanctions and preparing the ground well before is a good point.

If the US simply puts wide ranging sanctions, China would 100% oppose them. However if the US makes targeted sanctions and prepares the ground before imposing them, then that would force China to have a cost-benefit calculus on what extend to follow the sanctions

This would constitute a face-saving deal between all 3 parties, US-Russia-China.

China would follow some sanctions (or all, depending on how light the sanctions are).
US gets the "face" that its sanction power is still there and doesn't get globally humiliated
Russia sees that China didn't totally throw it to the wolves and actually stood with it on some sanctions

It all depends on how well crafted the sanctions would be. Not too hard to force China to retaliate, but not too soft which would signal to the world that the US is afraid and thus losing deterrence and credibility. While also taking into account that it also isn't too hard that Russia would lash out in unexpected ways.

IMO I don't think the US is capable enough to get this delicate balance right...

Disagree in principle. China would need to support Russia in essence, but do it in a way that gives the US some leeway to interpret it as minimally compliant to avoid economic MAD.

There are two areas of the US/Western sanctions that potentially can have relatively large impact on Russia and collaterally on China. One is financial system, or more specifically dollar-related transactions, the other is technology, or specially semiconductors and ICs.

For financial systems, China should take the sanctions as an opportunity to set up an alternative system to get around dollar. This system will be open to everyone but particularly to Russia, Iran and other countries and entities under the US sanctions, including Chinese entities. Russia and Iran (and Venezuela etc.) have oil, gas and other commodities, while China has big market for them. The system and trades and transactions will be conducted in yuan and other currencies willing to participate (Euro and yen are welcome). China will have its dollar-dealing institutions separately (or the same institutions with separate systems) unless and until the US takes on China, when it will become an all out financial and economic war. This alternative system will serve as a deterrence to the US abuse of dollars' reserve status. The burden is on the US to go nuclear.

For the technologies, again, a separate, de-Americanized supply chain is needed, something that China is developing currently anyway because many of its companies are under the US sanctions already. Some areas are still to be affected at least in short-term, particularly in B2B market involving large, critical equipment (EUV and like), but I struggle to imagine how the sanctions are going to be enforced in consumer industries and many of the secondary markets for equipment, especially when there are numerous of them. China will not actively enforce them. It will be on a case-by-case basis.

The key thing to remember is that China is in this fight not just for Russia; if Russia is significantly weakened because of western sanctions, China will be next. Think of this way: when Mao was facing the decision on whether to enter the Korean War, it was not about fighting the war or not, it was about fighting the war in Korea now or fighting the war on Chinese borders or even Chinese territory later.
 

ansy1968

Major
Registered Member
Disagree in principle. China would need to support Russia in essence, but do it in a way that gives the US some leeway to interpret it as minimally compliant to avoid economic MAD.

There are two areas of the US/Western sanctions that potentially can have relatively large impact on Russia and collaterally on China. One is financial system, or more specifically dollar-related transactions, the other is technology, or specially semiconductors and ICs.

For financial systems, China should take the sanctions as an opportunity to set up an alternative system to get around dollar. This system will be open to everyone but particularly to Russia, Iran and other countries and entities under the US sanctions, including Chinese entities. Russia and Iran (and Venezuela etc.) have oil, gas and other commodities, while China has big market for them. The system and trades and transactions will be conducted in yuan and other currencies willing to participate (Euro and yen are welcome). China will have its dollar-dealing institutions separately (or the same institutions with separate systems) unless and until the US takes on China, when it will become an all out financial and economic war. This alternative system will serve as a deterrence to the US abuse of dollars' reserve status. The burden is on the US to go nuclear.

For the technologies, again, a separate, de-Americanized supply chain is needed, something that China is developing currently anyway because many of its companies are under the US sanctions already. Some areas are still to be affected at least in short-term, particularly in B2B market involving large, critical equipment (EUV and like), but I struggle to imagine how the sanctions are going to be enforced in consumer industries and many of the secondary markets for equipment, especially when there are numerous of them. China will not actively enforce them. It will be on a case-by-case basis.

The key thing to remember is that China is in this fight not just for Russia; if Russia is significantly weakened because of western sanctions, China will be next. Think of this way: when Mao was facing the decision on whether to enter the Korean War, it was not about fighting the war or not, it was about fighting the war in Korea now or fighting the war on Chinese borders or even Chinese territory later.
@weig2000 correct bro, It's War and China will go all out cause Half Hearted measure ensure certain defeat.
 

Overbom

Captain
Registered Member
The key thing to remember is that China is in this fight not just for Russia; if Russia is significantly weakened because of western sanctions, China will be next. Think of this way: when Mao was facing the decision on whether to enter the Korean War, it was not about fighting the war or not, it was about fighting the war in Korea now or fighting the war on Chinese borders or even Chinese territory later.
^^good point. We must not be too much narrow-minded and only see whatever is in front of us. Sometimes the greatest danger is just around the corner and is better to fight it from afar alongside strong friends than standing alone.
Strength in numbers, strength in unity
 

Anlsvrthng

Senior Member
Registered Member
This Foreign Affairs article talks about taking tougher sanctions against Russia in case of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Going through the arguments and suggestions, there aren't whole of viable ideas. And any success of sanctioning Russia to change the cost-and-benefit calculus would require Chinese cooperation, as it turns out.
Why anyone think that hte Russian will invade Ukraine ?

The Russian military and the polical decision designed along mathermatical game theory , means all of them came from calculation, not from emotions or short term policial gains at home, like in the case of Ted Cruz and generally the USA military and policial decisions.

Problem for hte USA is if they control the richest and not war raged country on the earth , and controlling big part of the world trade then there is lot of room for error, but it doesn't means that the actions that they make not straight stupid , AND doesn't means that they enjoy supremacy at the moment against Russia.
 

ansy1968

Major
Registered Member
^^good point. We must not be too much narrow-minded and only see whatever is in front of us. Sometimes the greatest danger is just around the corner and is better to fight it from afar alongside strong friends than standing alone.
Strength in numbers, strength in unity
@Overbom bro from my understanding, China is courting Russia since 2012, the year of Xi ascension, Russia only reciprocate after the 2014 Maidan Color Revolution, BUT still have some hesitation hoping Trump will be different. The Deal breaker is Russia gate and trying to impeached Trump, the involvement of the Deep State.

Russia gained a lot of leverage with China on her side, same with China. So Bluffing your way out is now history, a more realist policy is being accepted. Welcome to a new Multi Polar World.
 

james smith esq

Junior Member
Registered Member
@Overbom bro from my understanding, China is courting Russia since 2012, the year of Xi ascension, Russia only reciprocate after the 2014 Maidan Color Revolution, BUT still have some hesitation hoping Trump will be different. The Deal breaker is Russia gate and trying to impeached Trump, the involvement of the Deep State.

Russia gained a lot of leverage with China on her side, same with China. So Bluffing your way out is now history, a more realist policy is being accepted. Welcome to a new Multi Polar World.
Yes, maybe, now, Putin will be disabused of his western and European obsession. But, I doubt it; Eurocentricity and “whiteness” are hard habits to break!
 
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drowingfish

Junior Member
Registered Member
@Overbom bro from my understanding, China is courting Russia since 2012, the year of Xi ascension, Russia only reciprocate after the 2014 Maidan Color Revolution, BUT still have some hesitation hoping Trump will be different. The Deal breaker is Russia gate and trying to impeached Trump, the involvement of the Deep State.

Russia gained a lot of leverage with China on her side, same with China. So Bluffing your way out is now history, a more realist policy is being accepted. Welcome to a new Multi Polar World.
Russia's turn against the US go further back than Ukraine. I would say that obama made an attempt at the reset but clinton scuttled it all with her overtures during the mess surrounding Putin's 2012 election. Since Putin faced some push back from some factions of the russian elite in that episode, it really made him weary of dealing with the US. and of course the about face with libya also played a very important role.
 

james smith esq

Junior Member
Registered Member
Russia's turn against the US go further back than Ukraine. I would say that obama made an attempt at the reset but clinton scuttled it all with her overtures during the mess surrounding Putin's 2012 election. Since Putin faced some push back from some factions of the russian elite in that episode, it really made him weary of dealing with the US. and of course the about face with libya also played a very important role.
Russia lost a major defense contract when the west deposed Qaddafi!
 

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