The Berlin/ Moscow/ Beijing Axis

In the course of the resurgence of the Eurasian continent, new axes of power are emerging. The central players in this emerging order are China and Russia, the two Eurasian giants, but also Germany, the Western anchor on the European continent. Iran, the natural link between the Caucasus, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, and potentially Turkey, the ruler of the Bosporus, which gives this country an important role in international politics, form the potential link for this economic area.

Moscow/ Beijing: Cooperation between Moscow and Beijing is likely to be the most advanced in this selection of countries. Although there have been frequent conflicts between the two countries in history, particularly due to similar interests in what is now the Russian Far East province, a certain relationship of trust has been established under the direction of Putin and Xi Jinping, from which both states benefit enormously today, particularly with regard to their conflicts with the United States. For example, for its current buildup along the Ukrainian border, Russia has concentrated enormous troops on the country’s western border, while massively reducing its troop numbers in the east of the vast state. This would not have been possible without some basic trust in the Chinese leadership.

Berlin/ Beijing: Even though there are political differences en masse between the two countries, be it issues over Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet or Xinjiang, this does not stop either of them from maintaining their extensive business relations. The German auto industry, in particular, is now dependent on its revenues from the Middle Kingdom to a significant percentage. For the foreseeable future, therefore, there is unlikely to be any significant interruption in this economic relationship, and both countries will seek to increase their profits from this exchange without much agitation.

Berlin/ Moscow: The relationship between Germany and Russia today is complicated, to put it simply. While both states are predestined to discuss a European order together due to their geographic location, sheer mass, and a turbulent but often closely intertwined common history, these discussions hardly take place today. NATO’s eastward enlargements over the past two decades have steadily eroded mutual trust, which finally erupted in the Crimean crisis of 2014. Since then, the U.S., Poland and the Baltic states in particular have been at pains not to allow closer cooperation between Moscow and Berlin. Paradoxically, it was Germany’s military restraint that presumably limited NATO’s push to the east, but at the same time ensured that Russia only recognized the United States as an equal partner. The means by which Berlin is trying to keep the pressure on Russia from becoming too great are proving to be an obstacle to a closer relationship between the two countries. Germany’s military weakness is keeping this fragile order from collapsing.

In the long run, the economic integration of the Eurasian continent will not be prevented, no matter how many sanctions are imposed on this or that state. The U.S. rightly sees its global supremacy in danger, since it cannot (any longer) develop the same power in the vastness of Asia as it can in the seas of this world. Germany fears an awakening from their thirty-year geopolitical dreamscape, in which they did not have to fight and could go about their business in peace. For Russia and China, on the other hand, there is an opportunity to reshape the global order and deprive the U.S. of its total superiority. The Eurasian order is not long in coming.

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