“The priority for democracies remains to assess as accurately as possible the reality of the Chinese and Russian threats”

AWhile the pandemic due to Covid-19 is still raging, the noise of boots increases, in Asia and in Europe. For several months, China and Russia have been playing provocations. Moscow is amassing troops on the borders of Ukraine. The Chinese air force has carried out nearly two hundred sorties off Taiwan since October 2021, in the air defense identification zone (ZIDA) of the island, which should not be confused with its space. air.

The two powers multiply aggressive declarations against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), against the West and against the “Outside interference”. But, behind this screen of threats, it is essential to properly assess, to better respond in a coordinated manner, the nature of these threats.

Russia and China partly share the same asymmetric and Leninist strategic culture. The objective is not to face the adversary head-on, but to dissuade him from acting, to impress him and to divide him. Multiplying tensions, giving the impression that we are on the verge of confrontation, in order to obtain concessions at the slightest apparent withdrawal is part of the panoply of the hybrid war exploited in Moscow as in Beijing.

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With Russia, the strategy of tension was followed by a Biden-Putin interview on December 7, 2021, then by the publication of Russian demands, and the announcement of negotiations on arms control and Ukraine. With China, extensive exchanges between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping took place to “Avoid a skid”, while the risks of war in the Taiwan Strait were raised every day.

Alarmist statements

The common point, in both cases, is the exclusion of the United States’ closest allies, in Europe as in Asia; a return to the management of the world – if not to its sharing – between “adults”, the capacity for nuisance serving as an entry ticket to the club. Inflating the military threat also serves Washington’s interests. In the event of conflict, the United States are in fact the sole guarantors of security and their preeminence guaranteed.

Multiplying tensions, giving the impression that we are on the verge of confrontation, in order to obtain concessions at the slightest apparent withdrawal is part of the panoply of the hybrid war exploited in Moscow as in Beijing.

American experts and some officials have multiplied alarmist statements about the Chinese threat. The common point of many reports is to stress the weakness of the United States, “Beaten in all cases in 2030”, and the reversal of strategic balances in Asia. The will to alert can be understood to cause a shock of consciousness and an increase in resources. But the exaggeration of the threat and the multiplication of defeatist analyzes are also integrated into the pressure strategy implemented by Moscow and Beijing.

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“The priority for democracies remains to assess as accurately as possible the reality of the Chinese and Russian threats”

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