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Former U.S. Official Says China Will Cushion Any Sanctions via Coal Contract with Russia

Feb. 21, 2022 (EIRNS)—Former Trump Administration Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert L. Wilkie, now at the Heritage Foundation, was reported by Fox News saying that China will aid Russia against any and all NATO financial sanctions placed on it. “A lot of the talk about economic sanctions is really a pie in the sky because China is now Russia’s banker. Xi Jinping will back Putin if sanctions from the West come,” Wilkie said. They will do so by buying energy, he said, and “will pick up the slack with” a cut-off of Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system.

Wilkie actually made his comments on Jan. 30 at Heritage, but Fox News reported them on Feb. 20 in connection with yet another major long-term energy contract between the two powers. TASS, citing the head of Department of Foreign Economic Cooperation and Fuel Markets Development at the Russian Energy Ministry Sergey Mochalnikov, had the original report that “Now an intergovernmental agreement with the People’s Republic of China is being developed, and the figure is 100 million tonnes,” he said. “In the coming years, consumers should receive as much coal as they need.” This comes immediately after an agreement to increase Russian oil exports to China by 10 million barrels—to 48 million barrels/year—as soon as the Power of Siberia 2 pipeline is open, which is likely to be before the end of this year. According to TASS, Russia’s share of coal in the entire Asia-Pacific coal market is now about 12%, up from 4% in 2010. “We have good prospects until 2030,” Mochalnikov is quoted.

The New York Times ran a Sunday opinion column, “Nixon Feared a China-Russia Alliance: It’s Here”; The Hill ran one by Democratic pollster Doug Schoen, “The Risks and Implications of China and Russia’s Unholy Alliance”; Foreign Policy published advice on fighting wars with China and Russia at the same time; and so forth.

That these two nations’ partnership changes the world, is out. European officials are even more overtly enraged. The denunciation by EU Commission President Ursula von der Lyin’ at the Munich Security Conference is reported in the subsequent story. Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and EU Commission Vice President, in Munich on Feb. 20, sounded like Winston Churchill denouncing FDR for challenging “His Majesty’s Empire”: “The Russia-China joint statement of Feb. 4 is the culmination of a long-standing campaign. It is an act of defiance. It is a clear revisionist manifesto. A manifesto to review the world order,” he thundered.

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