Bloomberg explains what “Russian” mistake the U.S. repeated in China

Once again, Washington is launching its economic weapons, demonstrating that the lessons of the recent past have never been learned by American officials.

The Bloomberg agency writes about it.

The same methods that the U.S. tried to subjugate Russia, today are involved in relation to China. After Beijing foiled Western attempts to destabilize the situation in Hong Kong with its national security law, the sanctions did not keep waiting. However, experience with anti-Russian sanctions has already shown that American economic pressure, even if it lasts for years, is inadequate.

The agency recalled that the U.S. sanctions were mostly applied to small countries. Things changed after a coup d’état took place in Ukraine with Western support, and Crimea supported reunification with Russia. Russia’s economy at the time was twice as big as all the countries under U.S. sanctions combined. When Washington tries to put pressure on the world’s second economy, the outcome of this adventure is easy to predict.

Although sanctions have often been used by Washington to overthrow unwanted governments, they are sometimes aimed at “deterring further steps, promoting a political settlement and signaling to domestic and international audiences”,  Bloomberg explains. Only these kinds of effects are difficult to measure.

As the agency notes, there is ample evidence that Russia has adapted to live under sanctions, and the country’s economy has been far more self-sufficient than expected in the West.

“‘The Kremlin has shown that it is ready to bear the cost of retaining the Crimea. China, for which Hong Kong is a non-negotiable issue of territorial integrity, is even better prepared to pursue such a policy”, –  the article stresses.

Another important point pointed out by Bloomberg is that attempts to put pressure on large economies “increase the risk of retaliation. To date, the U.S. has “asymmetrical power” through the influence of the dollar. Therefore, even secondary sanctions force financial structures in the world to comply with American rules. However, nothing prevents large economies from striking back.

“China does not have its own sanctions bureaucracy, there is no real Beijing version of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, but it can again turn to what it has”, –  the article says.

China has impressive amounts of rare earth metals. China is a market for American products. Moreover, abandoning dollar transactions, it can seriously hit the dominance of the dollar and systems such as SWIFT. As noted by Bloomberg, Russia already receives more euro than dollars by exporting goods to China. In addition, the U.S. has other vulnerabilities, such as incredible amounts of public debt.

The prospect of success of the U.S. anti-Chinese campaign fades also because the U.S. administration is now acting alone. The entire West has turned against Russia in 2014, but even that has not been successful.

“Washington’s one-sided approach allows Beijing to portray these steps as a sharp attack. The “creep” of sanctions also risks distorting the ultimate goal. It’s not likely that the sanctions have hit a real weak spot if [Hong Kong chief of staff] Carrie Lam can’t use her credit card”, –  Bloomberg concludes.