Poland Should Follow Ukraine’s Lead by Using China to Balance the US

If the US-dominated Ukrainian government can confidently chart a mutually beneficial strategic partnership with China in response to feeling betrayed by its American patron following last month’s Biden-Putin Summit, then there’s no reason why the comparatively more independent and much stronger Polish government can’t do the same as well.

Ukraine recently surprised many multipolar-friendly observers, but this time in a pleasant way for once. It withdrew its signature from a politicized United Nations Human Rights Council statement last month that accused China of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, shortly after which it subsequently agreed to strengthen infrastructure cooperation with the People’s Republic in a move that some described as Ukraine agreeing to become China’s “bridge” to Europe. These remarkable developments were likely motivated by how betrayed Ukraine felt by its American patron following last month’s Biden-Putin Summit. It also suggests that if this US-dominated government can confidently chart a mutually beneficial strategic partnership with China despite the ever-intensifying New Cold War, then there’s no reason why the comparatively more independent and much stronger Polish government can’t do the same as well.

Polish-American relations, just like Ukrainian-American ones, are presently experiencing unprecedented strain following the Biden-Putin Summit and the US’ preceding waiver of most Nord Stream II sanctions. Poland’s increasing isolation from the regionally relevant Great Powers of the US, Germany, and Russia – the first two of which are jointly waging a Hybrid War aimed at overthrowing Warsaw’s conservative-nationalist government – has put the Central European leader in a precarious strategic position. The only realistic solution is two-fold, and that’s for Poland to negotiate an informal “non-aggression pact” with Russia in Belarus & Ukraine together with economically pivoting towards China. This would reduce the unnecessary US-provoked pressure along its eastern flank in parallel with showing its transatlantic patron that it has viable alternatives to American and German investment so that they don’t attempt to weaponize this to put further pressure on the ruling party.

There’s never been a better chance for Poland to pursue these solutions. The unexpectedly intensified Chinese-Ukrainian Strategic Partnership will add serious economic substance to the Warsaw-led “Three Seas Initiative” (3SI) for connecting the Adriatic, Baltic, and Black Seas by reducing this transregional network’s dependence on the US and Germany. It could also facilitate pragmatic dialogue with Russia since China might envision the Eurasian Land Bridge (ELB) across its territory as being the preferred means for more directly linking its economy with Ukraine’s. Of course, the People’s Republic could also utilize the “Middle Corridor‘s” South Caucasus infrastructure in Georgia and thenceforth across the Black Sea as a multimodal workaround in the event that Russian-Ukrainian relations remain tense like expected, but this could still be beneficial for Poland since it’ll nevertheless reduce its and the 3SI’s disproportionate economic dependence on the US and Germany.

Observers should also be aware that China’s Great Stone Industrial Park in Minsk is its Belt & Road Initiative’s (BRI) largest such project in Europe. Belarus falls within Poland’s and Russia’s overlapping “spheres of influence”, and its continental-wide economic potential through BRI can’t be fully tapped until the US-backed and Polish-led Hybrid War against its government ends. The proposed Polish-Russian “non-aggression pact” in Belarus and Ukraine could help gradually transition their zero-sum geopolitical competition there to a win-win geo-economic one focused on the concept of “competitive connectivity”, facilitated as it would be by BRI’s leading role in all four of those countries. Belarus and Ukraine could then serve as the convergence point of relevant Polish-Russian interests instead of dividing them further, thus reducing pressure on Poland’s eastern flank and therefore enabling it to concentrate more on thwarting the joint US-German Hybrid War.

With time, the ELB could become more fully developed across all four of their territories, which would lead to the natural creation of an economically sustainable trade zone between them. In other words, BRI might ultimately be responsible for bringing together the Polish-led 3SI and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) through its envisioned role in Belarus and Ukraine. This isn’t political speculation either since such a scenario is nowadays credible after US-dominated Ukraine of all countries bravely resisted its patron’s demands by confidently pioneering a new phase of strategic economic relations with China. If Ukraine could do this, then so too could Poland. In fact, they could even coordinate their complementary efforts in this respect in order to create a new center of economic gravity between them for mutually enhancing their strategic independence with time. All that it’ll take to make this more viable is political will on the part of Poland’s leadership.

By Andrew Korybko
Source: OneWorld

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