The one thing that China and Russia both realized a few years ago is that to dominate the West, it would not require military intervention, but instead all it would take was to use the original economic models that had once made Europe and the United States the most powerful entities in history.
Take for example economic sanctions against Russia. These sanctions had initial effects on the Russian economy because with the dollar being the reserve currency, and still laying claim to the petro-dollar at the time, it effected their primary revenue streams of oil and natural gas, as well as their currency and bond markets.
But these sanctions also had the effect of forcing Russia to expand their markets, and in doing so became even stronger through their myriad of partnerships with China.
Now let's look at what has happened to Europe following Russia's punitive sanctions against their businesses in response to them following lockstep with the U.S..
In the span of three years time since the Game of Sanctions has been played against them, the European economy as a whole has lost an estimated 100 billion euros, and the potential of two million jobs. And it has also led to political turmoil that could see the leaderships in France, Italy, and the Netherlands change hands, as well as the even the crown jewel of the EU, Germany.
And the question to ask then is why couldn't European nations affected by Russia's reverse sanctions simply seek other markets like Russia did? Because Europe is not a capitalist economy anymore, and the ruling elites in Brussels ensure that individual nations cannot seek their own agreements outside the EU without approval from the oligarchy.
In addition to this, economic sanctions against Russia have ended up being about as flimsy as paper, since European businesses have bypassed them to trade with Russia by using Crimea as sort of a 'duty free zone' because the West continues to delude itself in believing that the Crimea is still controlled by Ukraine.
“Products of European companies is delivered from Russia to Kerch via ferry.
Products of German retailer Metro and French Auchan (Auchan) are sold in the Crimean stores and delivered via the port of Kerch, in spite of the EU sanctions against Russia. About it writes Reuters.
At the same time, European companies are prohibited from doing business with the Kerch ferry port, because of EU sanctions imposed against Russia after the annexation of Crimea. The mentioned companies claim that they do not violate sanctions since the Crimean shops run their Russian subsidiaries, are not subject to EU sanctions.
Thus, the representative of Metro, said that the chain stores are managed by independent Russian companies, which do not fall under the sanctions. “Metro is fully aware of and follow the laws and rules of the EU, in this particular case, the applicable sanctions,” he said.
The representative of Auchan also claims that the company always operates within the rules, including the decisions of the EU. “This is contrary to the spirit of the sanctions, but in the absence of trade embargoes, there is always a fine line between compliance and non-compliance”, – commented one of the officials on condition of anonymity.
As explained by the Agency with legal experts, transportation of goods to the Crimea may fall into a “gray area” of sanctions, because the relationship between parent companies to subcontractors is often difficult to define.”
And now the plot is getting even more ironic as the new Trump administration appears to be soon bypassing his nation's own sanctions by reportedly planning to send delegates to the upcoming St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June.
“Representatives of the United States may take part in St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in June amid US and EU sanctions on Russia, a source in the forum’s organizing committee told Sputnik Wednesday.”
— Sputnik News
Thus in the end what good are sanctions against an economy that has not only proven to be above their reach, but has also grown to become the best market in Europe for 2016, and quite possibly the largest one by 2030?
The answer of course is that there are no good reasons for either Europe or the U.S. to continue to play political games with Moscow, and continue on with economic sanctions, especially when you consider that each may soon find themselves needing Russia far more than they could ever have imagined.
And as for Vladimir Putin, the gambit he played in response to Western sanctions has proven to not just simply be a vindictive revenge ploy against Europe and Washington, but it has also escalated naturally into a geo-political victory that could soon see the European Union break apart completely, and leave European countries coming to Moscow with hat in hand to seek Russia's favor when it comes to trade and saving their economies. And that will be the biggest coup so far of the 21st century.