This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's focus on the fallout of nuclear "spin."
The China-Iran-Russia axis has been dubbed "that other axis" by Asia Times' Jephraim P. Gundzik, who wrote June 9, 2005, that "Beijing's increasingly close ties with Moscow and Tehran will thwart Washington's foreign policy goal of expanding US security footholds in the Middle East, Central Asia and Asia. However, the primacy of economic stability will most likely prevent a proxy-style military confrontation, in Iran or North Korea, between China and the US." 
"Initially, Moscow supported Washington's 'war on terrorism'. However, the US invasion of Iraq changed this support into resistance, and later into active efforts to counterbalance the US. In the past two years both Washington and Moscow have sought to strengthen their influence in Central Asia and the Caucasus. ... More significantly, Moscow is working diligently to strengthen its ties with Iran, Syria and China - countries that Washington considers to be adversaries," Gundzik wrote in March 2005. 
Additionally, since the "beginning of the war in Iraq," he said, "Beijing has worked feverishly ... in an apparent effort to prevent US military action against the remaining 'axis of evil' members, Iran and North Korea. In addition to recent massive energy deals with Teheran, which place Iran in China's security web, both Beijing and Moscow have accelerated the transfer of missile technology to Teheran, while selling the Islamic republic increasingly sophisticated military equipment.
"Armed with a vast array of anti-ship and long-range missiles, Iran can target US troop positions throughout the Middle East and strike US Navy ships. Iran can also use its weapons to blockade the Straits of Hormuz through which one-third of the world's traded oil is shipped. With the help of Beijing and Moscow, Teheran is becoming an increasingly unappealing military target for the US." 
"Both North Korea and Iran are following a course of action that is putting them directly at odds with U.S. interests. North Korea declared that it possesses nuclear weapons and that it will continue to build up its nuclear arsenal unless it receives certain concessions from the United States, and Iran has firmly expressed its desire to control the nuclear fuel cycle, raising concerns that it plans on developing covertly its own nuclear weapons," Erich Marquadt wrote in May 2005. 
"It will be important for the United States, which benefits tremendously -- strategically and economically -- from its immense influence in East Asia, to prevent China from gaining hegemony over the area. In order to stunt this possibility, Washington will need to devise methods and strategies to meet increased Chinese regional influence," Marquardt commented in July 2004. 
Related External Resources
- Jon Dougherty, "Russia spreading influence in Asia, Mideast. Experts concerned over major arms deals with India, China, Iran," WorldNetDaily, February 16, 2001.
- Al Santoli, ed., "Iran-Russia-China axis seeks to limit US power; Chinese nuclear scientists visit Pakistan military," China Reform Monitor/American Foreign Policy Council, April 3, 2001.
- "Russia's resurgence reshuffles global oil industry," Reuters, December 12, 2001.
- R. Ebrahimi, "The Russia-Iran-China triad. Its imperatives and its viability, from an Iranian perspective," IranMania, June 27, 2002.
- Ariel Cohen, "Comrade Jiang & the Ayatollahs. China and Iran step up anti-American rhetoric," National Review Online, May 15, 2002.
- Dave Eberhart, "CIA Warns of Russia, China, Iran," News Max, January 13, 2003.
- Ariel Cohen, "Russia and the Axis of Evil: Money, Ambition, and U.S. Interests," Heritage Foundation, February 26, 2003.
- Erich Marquardt, "China's Support for North Korea Lies in its Fear of the United States," Power and Interest News Report, September 3, 2003.
- Matthew Riemer, "Overlapping Flashpoints in Eurasia," Power and Interest News Report, September 12, 2003.
- Yevgeny Bendersky, "Russia and China: Business Partners, Weary Neighbors," Power and Interest News Report, August 6, 2004.
- David Isenberg, "How Russia keeps China armed," Asia Times, November 19, 2004.
- Kaveh Afrasiabi, "China Rocks the Geopolitical Boat with Iran Oil Deal," Asia Times, November 6, 2004.
- "China and India wrestling for Iran's oil," China Economic Net, November 22, 2004.
- Michael A. Weinstein, "China's Geostrategy: Playing a Waiting Game," Power and Interest News Report, January 7, 2005.
- Muazzam Gill, "Outside View: Energy tsunami unleashed," UPI, January 14, 2005.
- Andy Mason, "Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions – Western Buffer, Eastern Bulwark," worldpress.org, February 11, 2005.
- Chietigj Bajpaee, "Setting the Stage for a New Cold War: China's Quest for Energy Security," Power and Interest News Report, February 25, 2005.
- "Russia to develop cooperation with China, Iran in atomic energy," TASS/ACSNA/IRNA, February 26, 2005.
- Dr. Subhash Kapila, "Iran in the Strategic Matrix of Russia, China and India: An Analysis," South Asia Analysis Group, March 9, 2005.
- Jephraim P, Gundzik, "Resurgent Russia challenges US," Asia Times, March 18, 2005.
- Eric Marquardt, "Intelligence Brief: North Korea," Power and Interest News Report, May 12, 2005.
- Jephraim P. Gundzik, "The ties that bind China, Russia and Iran," Asia Times, June 4, 2005.
- Jephraim P. Gundzik, "The US and that 'other' axis," Asia Times, June 9, 2005.
National Security: Competition / Threat
The China-Iran-Russia axis, according to Gundzik, is also "challenging US interests in Central Asia," with Washington "working feverishly to gain security footholds in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan to complement existing US military bases in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. China and Russia are working equally hard to assert their influence in Central Asia," particularly "under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO.)" 
Additionally, "Beijing's expanding foreign relations both within and outside the China-Iran-Russia alliance and China's growing militarism have begun to repaint Washington's perceptions of US-China relations. These perceptions have been echoed by Washington's closest allies in Asia - Taipei and Tokyo. In mid-2004, reports by both the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) and the Pentagon depicted China as a major threat to US national security," Gundzik said. 
Related External Resources
- Bill Gertz, "Russia, China aid Iran's missile program," Washington Times, September 10, 1997.
- David Isenberg, "All eyes on Sino-Russian sub deal," Asia Times, July 2, 2002.
- Sergei Blagov, "Russia now the world's leading arms exporter," Asia Times, July 3, 2002.
- Francesco Sisci, "Russia joins the China game," Asia Times, July 9, 2002.
- Ehsan Ahrari, "China and the US: Parry and thrust," Asia Times, July 18, 2002.
- David Isenberg, "China's Military Might. Security report: Caution or confusion?" Asia Times, July 23, 2002.
- "U.S.-Russia arms treaty: 'A worthless scrap of paper'," Socialist Worker Online, May 24, 2003.
- Erich Marquardt, "China's Distant Threat to U.S. Dominance in Asia," Power and Interest News Report, September 8, 2003.
- Hooman Peimani, "American Military Presence in Central Asia Antagonizes Russia," CDI Russia Weekly, October 23, 2003.
- Stephen Blank, "Defense diplomacy, Chinese style," Asia Times, November 11, 2003.
- Keith Andrew Bettinger, "US edged out as China woos Indonesia," Asia Times, November 13, 2003.
- Pepe Escobar, "Touching base," Asia Times, November 15, 2003.
- Pepe Escobar, "Russia's 'liberal empire'," Asia Times, December 18, 2003.
- Stephen Blank, "Central Asia's great base race," Asia Times, December 19, 2003. This is part 11 of the Silk Road Roving series.
- Erich Marquardt, "Beijing Tests Washington's Resolve in East Asia," Power and Interest News Report, July 28, 2004.
- Chietigj Bajpaee, "China fuels energy cold war," Asia Times, March 2, 2005.
- P.R. Kumaraswamy, "US hands Israel a red card over China," Asia Times, May 24, 2005.
- Federico Bordonaro, "The Darfur Question at a Time of Increasing U.S.-China Competition," Power and Interest News Report, June 2, 2005.
- National Security Directive 54 (NSD-54): Subject: "Responding to Iraqi Aggression in the Gulf (U)," January 15, 1991:
- "Access to Persian Gulf oil and the security of key friendly states in the area are vital to U.S. national security. Consistent with NSD 26 of October 2, 1989, [Subject: "U.S. Policy Toward the Persian Gulf"] and NSD 45 of August 20, 1990, [Subject: "U.S. Policy in Response to the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait" (C)], and as a matter of long-standing policy, the United states remains committed to defending its vital interests in the region, if necessary through the use of military force, against any power with interests inimical to our own. Iraq, by virtue of its unprovoked invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990, and its subsequent brutal occupation, is clearly a power with interests inimical to our own."
Maps, Charts & News Links
- Oil Production Graphs of 42 Countries, dieoff.org.
- Maps of the Oil Corridor: Iraq/Iran, RumorMillNews.
- "George W. Bush - Terrorist in the White House. Oil & Empires," nogw.com; maps, charts, and links to current news.
- Behu Ceyhan Campaign website.
- "Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century," Report of an Independent Task Force Sponsored by the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of Rice University and the Council on Foreign Relations, 2001.
China and Disarming Iran
In his January 22, 2006, TIME magazine article "The New Power in the Persian Gulf - Forget the U.S. and Europe. China is the key player in the Iranian nuclear crisis," Bill Powell discussed China's control in any decision to have Iran give up its nuclear ambitions.
- "From the beginning of the Iranian crisis, the eventual diplomatic response to Tehran was always destined to be settled in one place, far from 'the West.' For whether the world stands any chance of eventually imposing sanctions that might get the mullahs' attention will be decided in China, by President Hu Jintao and the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.
Powell identified three "critical facts".
- is one of five permanent UN Security Council members, giving a veto vote over all resoloutions;
- has a voracious need for oil and gas, and is looking to the mideast to assuage it; and
- does not view an Iranian Nuclear Power as a direct threat.
- "Few major powers practice a more coldly realist foreign policy than China. Beijing's external affairs are closely intertwined with its domestic policy, and the watchword that drives both is stability."
- Hu will want a quid pro quo for no veto. Powell mentioned a few possibilities. China may sacrifice Iran if in return the US:
- leaves North Korea alone;
- does not stop European Union weapon sales to China; and/or
- does not interfere in the market processes as China seeks other sources for its growing oil needs.
Control of Eurasia: Historical Perspective or Long-Range Plan?
Zbigniew Brzezinski -- co-founder of the Trilateral Commission, Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor, and who gave intelligence advice to presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush -- wrote in his 1977 book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives that
- "The key to America’s control of the world in the 21st century is the control of Eurasia. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions and ... about three-fourths of the world’s known energy resources ... without an attack in the order of Pearl Harbor or without a direct external threat, there is no way the American people would support the imperial mobilization necessary to control central Asia."
Blogger NEOminous, whose posting this was on Nightly.net, commented that Brzezinski "even plotted out points where we needed to attack and Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran are part of those many points." 
Related SourceWatch Resources
- American-Ukranian Advisory Committee
- Bush lies and deceptions: Uzbekispin
- Cheney Energy Task Force
- China: The next economic superpower
- China APPG
- China's Corporate Friends in High (and Low) Places
- China's oil industry
- global security
- India's oil industry
- Karshi-Khanabad (K2) Airbase
- National Committee on United States-China Relations
- New World Order
- Oil and War in Iraq
- oil industry
- outposts of tyranny
- Pax Americana
- Pax Americana, Africa
- peak oil
- peak oil: we have oil
- rogue state
- Russia's oil industry
- Russia-China-India "strategic triangle"
- Shanghai Cooperation Organization
- Sovereignty over natural resources
- sustainable development
- Timeline to global governance
- US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce
- war on terrorism
- weapons of mass destruction
Additional External Links
- Michel Collon, "Say 'No' to the war! Against misery you do not fight with bombardments," Media Monitors Network, September 14, 2001.
- Norman D. Livergood, "The New U.S.-British Oil Imperialism," Z Internetu, .
- Dr. Lee Warren, "The Iraq Problem: OIL, OIL, OIL…," PLIM Report, 2002.
- Larry Chin, "Enron: ultimate agent of the American empire" (seven-part series), Online Journal, February 2002.
- Larry Chin, "The United States in the Philippines: post-9/11 imperatives" (six-part series), Online Journal, July 17-August 22, 2002.
- "Gazrpom Wants a Share in Kazakh Gas Transportation System," MosNews, May 7, 2004.
- "Putin Strikes Strategic Deal with Uzbekistan," MosNews, June 17, 2004.
- "Russia to Invest Heavily in Uzbek Gas," MosNews, June 17, 2004.
- Kevin Etta, Jr., "Hawking Nigeria," Alexander's Gas & Oil Connections, June 28, 2004.
- Michael Isikoff, "The Iran Factor. Tehran may have facilitated terror by giving safe passage and 'clean' passports to Al Qaeda members, says the panel investigating the attacks," Newsweek, July 17, 2004.
- "Gazprom Start PSA Project in Uzbekistan," MosNews, August 4, 2004.
- Jim Lobe, "Neo-Con Agenda: Iran, China, Russia, Latin America ..." Inter Press News, November 5, 2004.
- "Lukoil Ratifies $1Bln Gas Field Development Deal With Uzbekistan," MosNews, November 26, 2004.
- P.R. Kumaraswamy, "Return of the Red Card: Israel-China-U.S. Triangle," Power and Interest News Report, May 23, 2005.
- Jephraim P. Gundzik, "The ties that bind China, Russia and Iran," Asia Times, June 4, 2005.
- Henry A. Kissinger, "China: Containment Won't Work," Washington Post, June 13, 2005.
- Billmon, "China Syndrome," Whiskey Bar, July 5, 2005.
- Sergei Blagov, "China knocking on Russia's door," Asia Times, July 6, 2005.
- Paul Craig Roberts, "Why is VP Lobbying for a Boost in China's Nuclear Capablity?" Human Events Online, August 10, 2005.
- Arun Sahgal and V.K. Anand, "China and Russia, the new shooting stars," Asia Times, September 9, 2005.
- Peter Finn, "Chinese, Russian Militaries to Hold First Joint Drills. Alliance May Extend to Arms Sales," Washington Post, August 15, 2005.
- Sergei Blagov, "Russia, China water down problems," Asia Times, December 17, 2006.
- "OPEC has 'no worries' about rising Russian output," Forbes, December 26, 2005.