Just a morning note on this constantly-discussed China-Russia "alliance" and a favorite Western media shtick of pointing out that Russia is a junior member of such an alliance.
China’s government has told at least two of its state oil companies to avoid purchasing Iranian oil as the U.S. prepares to impose sanctions on the Persian Gulf state, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The freeze on imports by China National Petroleum Corp. and Sinopec is temporary and purchases may resume depending on the outcome of negotiations with the U.S., said the people, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. Companies that continue buying Iranian crude after sanctions take effect on Nov. 4 face the risk of being cut off from the American financial system.
Speaks volumes, doesn't it? It is especially remarkable against the background of this (as Bloomberg's article continues):
The Chinese government’s move is in contrast to India, which has said it plans to continue taking limited volumes from the Persian Gulf state in November.
If true, I underscore it, because US media are as much a propaganda machine as they are news organizations, then it should not create any illusions on who is "senior" or who is "junior" partner in Russian-Chinese arrangement. As I always say, much more goes into the meaning of Superpower than merely the size of economy--I already made some use of National Status model starting here, and will continue to elaborate, once the "news cycle" calms down a bit (Yes, and the monkey will fly out of my butt, as Wayne used to say). I will repeat--I know, it is ad nauseam by now--Barnett's classic definition of the national power:
In other words--one has to behave like a Superpower and that skill is not easy to come by.For the power of the nation-state by no means consist only in its armed forces, but also in its economic and technological resources; in the dexterity, foresight and resolution with which its foreign policy is conducted; in the efficiency of its social and political organization. It consists most of all in the nation itself, the people, their skills, energy, ambition, discipline, initiative; their beliefs, myths and illusions. And it consists, further, in the way all these factors are related to one another.
Meanwhile, in related news--of course these were Russians! We knew it all along. But you ain't seen nothing yet--some Arab media also report (in Russian) that these were Russians who were guilty of killing Khashoggi. I knew Russia was powerful but to be omnipotent. Hey, the proof is in the pudding--the combined West, even when one discounts purely propagandist deliberate hysteria, is scared to hell with Russians, much less so than with Chinese and there are reasons for that--see Barnett's definition of power.