by Observer R for the Saker Blog
On February 4, 2022, on the occasion of the opening of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, the presidents of China and Russia issued a document entitled:
Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development
This document sets a new level in the cooperation between the two countries in foreign policy and is their exposition of a common viewpoint for setting out the rules that the world should follow in politics among nations. A key section up front contains the following: “The sides call on all States…to protect the United Nations-driven international architecture and the international law-based world order, seek genuine multipolarity with the United Nations and its Security Council playing a central and coordinating role….”
The reliance on the United Nations (UN) as the major guiding rulemaker is an important point. A major question concerning this reliance is the extent to which the design of the UN matches the current reality of the world distribution of wealth and power. The UN was set up in 1945 according to a design that reflected the post-WWII distribution of economic output and advanced weapon systems. Overall, it was based on the outcome of that war, with the winners getting the spoils and the losers getting the left-overs. After some seventy-seven years, the situation has radically changed. According to the CIA Fact Book, China now has a larger economy than the US, India is independent and has the third largest economy, and India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea have become nuclear powers. Japan and Germany each have larger populations and economies than either Britain or France. And yet, the permanent members of the UN Security Council with veto rights are the same nations that were made members in 1945. This is not a recipe for sustainable development of UN-based rules for a peaceable world.
Of course, there have been many calls for reform of the UN ever since it was founded. A quick search for “reform of the united nations” turns up a cornucopia of websites dealing with the topic. Everything from Wikipedia, various think-tanks, to the United Nations University has articles on the subject. They point out in great detail the many reforms proposed and the far fewer reforms completed over the seventy-seven years. All of them, however, tend to point out the immense difficulty in getting any agreement on any changes to the Security Council.
UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL ACTIONS
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) regularly concerns itself with various controversies around the world and adopts measures intended to ameliorate difficult situations. However, there appears to be a lack of foresight in considering how the measures might be lifted when no longer needed or appropriate. For example, the UNSC placed sanctions on North Korea over the nuclear proliferation issue, but now Russia and China would like to have the sanctions lifted, but this is blocked by the United States (US). The UNSC also placed sanctions on Iran, some of which have now expired, but which seemed mostly to support the US interests. With the benefit of hindsight, it would appear that Russia and China may have done better simply to have informal agreements with the other permanent members of the UNSC to institute sanctions and other measures when useful, thus leaving the two countries free to change tactics when the measures were no longer useful from their viewpoint. This is especially true since both Russia and China are claiming to uphold the UN as the proper international body for making rules and would suffer great loss of face if they broke one of the UN rules. The same is not true for the US since it is quite adept at following the “international rules-based order” that it conveniently makes up as it goes along. The US claims to follow a higher order that is based on democracy and humanitarian issues. Perhaps Russia and China knew what they were doing at the time, but it would be helpful to have an expert analysis of how they plan to avoid being trapped like this in the future.
UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION
Permanent membership in the Security Council is a bone of contention that will likely get worse as the years go by since some major countries are excluded, while some less prominent countries are included. If China can be a member, then it will be more and more difficult to explain why India is not a member. If Russia is a member, it still will be a question as to why Japan is not. Having permanent members confined to the countries on the winning side in WWII will not be an adequate answer three-quarters of a century later and in light of all the changes that have transpired since the war. If Britain and France are members, why not Germany and Brazil? Is the criteria the possession of nuclear weapons, or the size of the economy, or the land area, or the population? Now that India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea have nuclear weapons, should they become permanent members? Russia and China are again in an awkward position claiming the UN as the organizing force in the world, when the UN is obviously not structured to match the actual makeup of the world. In addition, the UN headquarters was located in the US, reportedly because that was an inducement for the US to join the organization. The fact that New York was undamaged by WWII and transportation was by steamship made it a logical choice at the time. Now, however, travel is by air and there are many locations with good facilities and transport options. In addition, the US places travel restrictions on diplomats trying to attend UN meetings in New York, and the UN employees also are subject to US rules. Consequently, it would appear that a proper world management organization should be located in a small neutral country that possesses modern facilities and means of communication, and excellent air travel options to all other countries. Another example of stress is the continuing issue of the Palestinians and the votes in the UN General Assembly on this topic. The votes overwhelmingly go against the US position and yet next to nothing seems to ever be done. There is no doubt that “safety in numbers” is a factor here—the US cannot sanction nearly 200 countries because they vote the “wrong way” at the same time. In any event, the current UN setup is likely to experience continuing severe stress and instability in the coming years, unless these issues and likely others are addressed. Some solutions could be helpful here also, since it bears directly on the Russian and Chinese positions concerning who makes the rules for the world.
Another factor that China and Russia need to address is the question of independence, neutrality, and impartiality of the various international organizations that promote and enforce international rules. Several news reports and allegations have arisen concerning the activities of three such organizations: Interpol, OPCW, and IAEA. Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization) is the subject of controversy because a general from the UAE was just selected as President despite vigorous opposition due to his qualifications and background. The OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) is in the news with complaints over its investigations of chemical weapons in Syria. Whistleblowers have come forth with damaging accusations about the organization’s activities and its alleged bias. The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) is in a difficult position in checking up on Iran’s nuclear activities while not being able to check up on other West Asian countries’ nuclear activities. The Director just called for a change in the rules so that the IAEA could check up on Israel’s nuclear activities. Many analysts suggest that there exists an undue influence on these organizations by the US, which prevents them from impartial operation. Consequently, if the world is to move forward in a rules-based order using rules made by the UN and the affiliated international organizations, then China and Russia will need to exert more effort to ensure impartiality and more universal coverage of said rules. This issue also applies to “international law” as it appears in court cases such as at the International Criminal Court (ICC), and in the various treaties such as the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This is especially pertinent now that the US has announced that it will move from containment of China to competition with China. The competition appears to be focused on the US and its allies in the West attempting to have more influence over the system of international rules than China. The European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy essentially admitted that basis for competition when he stated in essence: He who sets the standards, rules the world.
The Joint Statement places a lot of emphasis on the various regional organizations that China and/or Russia belong to. There is a favorable reference to the grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China, & South Africa (BRICS), although political changes in the constituent countries have made it less coherent. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is Asian-based, as are several others, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The document contains many proposals for widening the involvement of these organizations in the many pressing issues confronting Asia. A reading between the lines suggests that China and Russia plan to go ahead with getting a more robust set of rules for Asia, even if there is less prospect currently for agreements on world-wide rules.
China and Russia have issued a very long and very detailed statement of their goals for the future. They specifically mention many international organizations and agreements, and provide concrete details about what they support and what they would like changed. It is much more than a listing of political pious platitudes. Nevertheless, it reads in large part like a political campaign statement for their domestic audiences and marching orders for their officials and bureaucrats. It is, therefore, likely to be disappointing to those analysts who had perhaps expected something more concerning rules for the world. The statements about relying on the UN and international law are fine as aspirations, but lack any specific proposals as to how to turn sentiment into reality. For the past seventy-seven years, the UN has been under the major influence of the US and international law has been under the influence of the rules-based order designed by the US. The Joint Statement does not directly provide clues about how China and Russia propose to deal with this situation during the next seventy-seven years.
Welcome to the Aquarian age!
Sorry, you already missed the boat on the Age of Aquarius … that was the Woodstock Generation.
IIRC, there was even a popular song.
You’ve even missed the decapitation attacks and the propaganda smears and soft-power and the “lock them up” campaign that ended it, although there are still a few of us remnant dead-enders still singing “give me love, give me love, give peace on earth”
Astronomically/astrologically, the Age of Aquarius will last for just over 2 millennia, so it’s hardly one generation that it covers….
What you will likely see is the increasing fracturing of the world with conflicts between different geopolitical blocs–if not, God forbid, World War.
The United Nations will reflect this fracturing and conflict and thus increasingly not be able to come to agreement on much of anything. No real consensus or action plan will be implemented to address the pressing problems of our era. Rather, acrimony and conflict will reign supreme.
In short, the United Nations will become even more like the United States Congress. ;-)
God Forbid or the UN will become like the Dodo bird, extinct.
Mark my words, as the living legend Bob Dylan penned, for The Times They Are A Changing; One-by-one those two-faced cowardly vassal cockroaches/rats will desert the rotten USS Shipwreck.
Ok, but some analysts should be more than filled or satisfied: The statement shows why a high Chinese functionary said Russia and China, or “the sides” here, were more than just allies. It reads like a more special relationship. It may be the only one that could be compared to the unique or “unbreakable bond” relationship said to exist between Israel and the United States (now we have two to compare). I also think that the Chinese have never before been accepted, respected and admired by any other nation as they have been by this Russia, and that they are deeply touched, and that this also is why they refer to this relationship as more than an alliance.
Historia est magistra vitae. The West learned how to retreat. Thanks to me, it does not be the war.
If the UN was worth a shit, the US would be heavily sanctioned and all its voting rights withdrawn.
>…”If the UN was worth a shit, the US would be heavily sanctioned and all its voting rights withdrawn.” …<
Maybe it´s time to bury the old UN and move on to a new world organisation more representative of the new world economic, military and political order. How about, say, a new Security Council evolving from the SCO / CSTO?
The US has committed far more crimes and for 10 times longer than Nazi Germany. I will not be happy until these War Criminals and Thieves are on Trial. All of them! We should even exhume ex-Commander of Hayat Tahrir Al- Sham (HTS aka Al-Qaeda ), John McCain and put what’s left of his rotting corpse on trial.
Go after them all, confiscate all of their holdings, even if it means we have to pull their spawn from the ivy league colleges, mid term.
Should be quite easy to get one of those sneaky bastards at McKinsey to do a forensic audit of Hillary Clinton and Tony Blair.
Very thorough Observer R, most enjoyable.
I’d like to ask you, colleagues, Saker, to give a detailed description of the ‘hullabaloo’ now going on in various institutions connected to The Great Central Bank Financial Ponzi Scheme, 1913 – Present Day.
In fact, I’ve had a snippet from a few ex-banker friends of mine who reckon there’s enough rotten eggs, err, worthless paper out there that the EU could burn and be independent of Russian Gas supplies till late August of this year.
In America, its obvious that the elites regard the system as so fragile that they can not let Wall Street decline by any significant amount.
Everything is leveraged. There are $Trillions in derivatives, and it was these that caused the last Great-Not-A-Depression. Most everything is collateral to some loan or deal. If the value of the collateral declines, there will be trouble.
Its been quite obvious that they can not let Wall Street drop, or the whole thing explodes. They’ve been printing $trillions of dollars so fast the printing presses are smoking, and they’ve decided that killing 900,000 Americans “is worth it” to keep the billionaires afloat. The Fed began pumping money into Wall Street in Sept, 2019 (see repo loans), well before the pandemic hit.
The #1 problem is there’s no mention that the UN Charter was very extensive in its primary function to eliminate Unilateralism, but then succumbed to that very force wielded by the Outlaw US Empire as soon as it came into force in October 1945. Thus, the sad reality: The UN Charter and its fundamental tenets of International Law was aborted at birth. That situation has continued daily since primarily by two nations, the USA and UK, which together are the Outlaw Anglo Empire. One year ago this March, an organization known as The Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations was formed with Russia and China being the two premier members. At the time, it was clear to me that this was just the foundation for something far more important. That was revealed by the one sentence, paragraph long manifesto at the beginning of the Joint Statement:
“The sides call on all States to pursue well-being for all and, with these ends, to build dialogue and mutual trust, strengthen mutual understanding, champion such universal human values as peace, development, equality, justice, democracy and freedom, respect the rights of peoples to independently determine the development paths of their countries and the sovereignty and the security and development interests of States, to protect the United Nations-driven international architecture and the international law-based world order, seek genuine multipolarity with the United Nations and its Security Council playing a central and coordinating role, promote more democratic international relations, and ensure peace, stability and sustainable development across the world.”
Writing prior to its publication, Alastair Crooke sensed something big was afoot:
“If they were not intended as a basis for negotiations, what then were Russia’s treaty drafts about? It seems that they were about Russia and China coming down off the fence. This is much more important than many appreciate. It marks the beginning of a period of rising tensions (and maybe clashes), until a modified Global Order emerges.” [My Emphasis]
The world majority is with Russia and China, not with the former Imperialist powers and twin remaining Empires–The Outlaw Anglo and Outlaw US Empires–who’ve been in constant violation of the UN Chater and in the case of the USA its own Constitution since 1945. The World will be treated to a Reset, but it won’t be the one envisioned by the Davos set and their Imperial, Neoliberal parasitical partners.
Thank you Karlof1.
More clarity to my befuddled mind !
That all makes sense.
The joint declaration was a manifesto. Not a plan of action.
Hence the lack of details.
UN represents nobody and is completely under the American control. But then till adequate alternatives emerge, China and Russia will have no option but to say UN when they mean multilateral international cooperation.
People just don*t got it. Today on press conference with Macron, Putin very explicitly explain what gonna happened. Solovyov analyzed Putin*s very tough talk and he was pretty afraid. ALL these comments about this article are just bla bla bla. People are not able to comprehends what happened in Peking. Advice for Saker: put video interview Solovyov with Lukashenko and with Lavrov and press conference and Solovyov*s analyze and translate those to English. Like I said before Russians need to nuke those missiles bases in Poland and Romania.
One step at a time. First force the West to follow the existing UN rules and then start moves to reform it. If China and Russia were to propose reform measures now it would end in useless and endless diplomatic arguments while the West continues trying to play according to the “rules based order”.
Washington is absolutely desperate to go to war with Russia. It’s latest ploy is to install THAAD missile batteries on Russia’s border near Kharkov in Ukraine. These things can be used as first strike offensive weapons–the very point of Russia’s “ultimatum” to the warmongers in Washington. Clearly Russia cannot allow this to stand and must destroy this provocation ASAP. Of course, that will be represented as an “invasion” of Ukraine to be sure. Get ready to rumble. I just don’t see how the demented Yanks can be so self-assured that they won’t get their teeth kicked in when Russia defends itself. They were specifically told that such a scenario would be interpreted as American aggression and met with all necessary force.
Excerpt from article in RT: “Kiev has reportedly reached out to Washington, seeking to have “several batteries” of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile interceptors deployed in the country’s eastern region of Kharkov, along with “corresponding radar equipment,” the source told the news agency.”
Only Washington could come up with the sequence of 1) start a war, then 2) deploy the weapons.
Anyone else would do it the other way around.
“Rules for the World”
The resort to “Rules” have often been catalysts of connotations of coercion as functions of projection, and hence is misrepresentation/obfuscation of present interactions predicated upon, and in encouragement of, illusions of hegemony.
In present context some insist on conformance with a “rules based international order” – the de jury option to restrict change to the linear (changing to remain the same) , whilst some offer invitations to co-operate in developing changing social relations – the de facto changing lateral options.
The Age of Aquarius understood this. Thus, their response of “F#[email protected] your rules”. They were quite explicit about this, making the four-letter word a routine part of their language to express their rebellion and disgust. But they also used the four letter word because it really PO’s the squares. People who’ve been propagandized and trained to obey the rules get really mad when someone flagrantly disregards their precious rules.
Russia can not allow ABM systems such as THAAD into the Ukraine. ICBMs are very slow when launched and ABMs in the Ukraine could destroy Russian ICBMs on the way up, The Russian position is very reasonable. Missile bases in Poland and Romania are destabilizing. Only lunatics dream of a “First Strike”. Biden should denounce George Bush as an insane maniac and pull the bases out.
Biden loves to talk about all his great friends on the Republican side. I’m sure he and Dubya got along wonderfully. Two peas in a pod. Pretty sure Biden voted for the Iraq War. I know he voted for the Afghan War, because in the whole Congress there was only one No vote, and that was an African-American lady representing Oakland who knew that rich guys from Delaware would not be the ones dying.
Consider that even after an attempt to overthrow the Constitution, Biden’s Mantra is “American Needs a Strong Republican Party”. Biden does not say, our opponents just made a huge blunder and lets take advantage. Nope, Biden props up his opponents and helps them to get their legs back under them they recover from the blow.
Expecting Biden to disavow Bush, well forgetaboutit.
Of course, Uncle $hmuel has major influence over the UN. He pays most of the bills. Like
NATO, the UN probably would cease to exist if the U$ were to pull out.
What’s the economic value to NYC of the whole world camping there to work at/report on the UN?
I’d say that it more than covered the US inputs to running the UN…..
An interesting analysis. The final two sentences are where the truth lies, but as is all too often the case, the root cause of the problem lies in open view, unrecognised and thus unacknowledged.
“For the past seventy-seven years, the UN has been under the major influence of the US and international law has been under the influence of the rules-based order designed by the US. The Joint Statement does not directly provide clues about how China and Russia propose to deal with this situation during the next seventy-seven years.”
For the past 77 years, the US has been under the influence of a Zionist lobby who have almost total control of its political, bureacratic and financial apparatus. Douglas Reed laid it out in his “The Controversy of Zion” available as a pdf on line. Anything not seen as being in the interest of that Zionist lobbby does not happen. Over that same period it’s infrastructure has declined, education has become almost totally worthless, it military has become bloated, inefficient and soft, it’s diplomacy has devolved to incoherence and bullying and it’s economy is mired in bankruptcy to the tune of trillions of US $ the rest of the world is steadily loosing faith in. It is in terminal decline. According to Netenyahu, that was always the plan. What, or who gets used next is an interesting question, for later discussion.
Clearly the two sides see the inevitable decline of the US, and may be anticipating a time when the UN can, absent the US veto, be reformated to something more compatible with a multipolar world under the rule of just laws, and absent the constant narcissistic manipulations of the Zionist lobby, but that is not at all obvious in anything I have seen or heard. Until it does become obvious I fear the world will continue its path to chaos and destruction. That lobby has always been, is, and always will be, entirely dedicated to manipulating any and all human coperative endeavors to serve it’s own agenda, which is total domination of humankind.
Only when that unpleasant truth is confronted will a peaceful humanity living in harmony with nature and devoted to exploring its fullest potential be possible. Until then humanity will be constantly manipulated, herded, milked and culled to the benefit of a small group of psychopathic narcissists who have the delusion they are gods chosen people, destined to rule over all.