How Did He Know About Russia and China?

Russian President Putin (right) and Chinese President Xi at their meeting in the Grand Kremlin Palace on July 4 in Moscow
Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

How Did He Know About Russia and China?

Herbert W. Armstrong predicted Xi Jinping’s comment that Russia-China relations are at their ‘best time in history.’ That’s stunning, but not surprising.

Every now and then when I try to sort through the news, I come across an event that stuns me. But I’m not stunned because I didn’t expect it. I’m stunned by how accurate the predictions by the late Herbert W. Armstrong match it.

Reading that Chinese President Xi Jinping told Russian media that Chinese-Russian relations are at their “best time in history” was one of those moments.

Now, there are better indications of the Russia-China alliance than a comment from the Chinese president on a two-day state trip to Russia from July 3 to 4. Politicians love their hyperbole. Perhaps it would be better to refer to their largest-in-human-history business deals—$400 billion gas supply agreements. Or China’s support for Russia in Crimea. Or their joint vetoes at the United Nations. Or the $10 billion’s worth of agreements signed on the same two-day trip. Or the three joint statements they released on the North Korean situation, the current world situation and their strategic partnership.

Xi’s comment hit me because of another reason. Some of the news outlets covering the story recalled the rocky history of Russia and China’s relationship. cnbc quoted a professor who said their relations “have had a long history of ups and downs.” Ray McGovern, a former Soviet analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, recalled the armed border clashes of the 1960s and 1970s. This rocky history is something the Trumpet touches on in its booklet He Was Right.

The Russia-China alliance is now so well established that we can forget it was not always this way. And we can forget that when Herbert W. Armstrong forecast that Russia and China would eventually lay aside their differences, it was during a time when they were about to go to war.

Those analysts reminded me of that. Mr. Armstrong told them it would happen—while China’s Mao Zedong was criticizing Russia’s Nikita Khrushchev’s “watered-down” and inferior brand of communism.

His December 1959, Plain Truth newsmagazine stated (emphasis added):

Russia’s program is not to take Europe and to attack the United States, first. The Communist program, which our leaders should know, calls first for the seizure of Asia. Lenin wrote that the way to Paris, London and New York is via [Beijing] and Delhi! … China knows, however, that in this highly industrialized age she can accomplish [her] dream only as an ally of Russia. … China is now ready to begin devouring the rest of Asia with Russia’s secret military backing.

Add to this what he said about Russia. As McCarthyism pounced on those dangerous “Reds” and the U.S. government produced “Duck and Cover” films for schoolkids on how to survive an atomic bomb, Mr. Armstrong cried out: “Russia will not attack America!” It was a bold, accurate claim.

Adding the Fourth Estate

Here’s another component of the Russia-China alliance that was spotlighted at the same time.

When Edmund Burke coined the term Fourth Estate—generally regarded as the press—the first three estates referred to the church, the nobility and the commoners. Those are no longer the power bases of society. For Russia’s and China’s cooperation, we could say the first three estates are military, politics and economics.

Now they want to add the Fourth Estate—the news media.

So while President Xi was in Russia doting on the two countries’ relationship (Xi has also said he has a “close personal friendship” with Putin), the China-Russia Media Forum inked 17 agreements.

Such forums are the actions which verify the rhetoric is real.

The big-name media outlets—tass, Sputnik News, RT, Xinhua, People’s Daily—came to the July 4 forum. Goals were to further cooperation, rebalance global opinion in their favor, and develop friendship between the average Russian and Chinese.

According to Asia Times, “despite China-Russia relations being at an all-time high, people-to-people understanding is still limited.” The Fourth Estate is to fix this: “[J]ournalists in both countries should pen vibrant stories about a newfound friendship between their young people, mutually beneficial aspects of Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union and China’s One Belt, One Road, and Chinese-Russian cultural affinity.”

Only days after the forum came another shocker. China has a social media site called Sina Weibo—and it’s bigger than Twitter. Around 340 million people use it each month. When Putin met with President Donald Trump at the G-20 summit, popular Weibo users couldn’t criticize Putin.

In fact, they couldn’t talk about him at all.

If you were a Weibo user with over 1,000 followers, you couldn’t start a thread that mentioned “Putin.” Weibo users who did received a message: “This post does not allow commenting.” Putin was granted, in the words of Newsweek, a “rare honor of immunity from social media criticism in China—treatment usually enjoyed only by China’s Communist party bigwigs.”

Imagine if Twitter had done the same thing for President Trump. The backlash would be huge. The lawsuits innumerable. That’s just a little taste of the power of the Fourth Estate in Russia and China.

These Russian and Chinese media giants are every bit a tool for their governments as an army or navy. The government-run media conglomerates of these two countries working together is as significant as a military alliance.

He Was Right

What about the answer to the question in the title—how did Mr. Armstrong know about Russia and China? Reading that Xi Jinping thinks the Russia-China relationship is at the “best time in history” or that China is barring criticism of Putin on one of its most popular websites is interesting enough. But its real importance is that Herbert W. Armstrong told his readers, as early as 1934, that they should expect such events.

Our booklet He Was Right documents when he made such statements and tells you on what basis he made his claims. I said I was stunned but not surprised—and that’s because I’ve read the chapter on the “Kings of the East.” You can be stunned too, even if you’ve already read He Was Right. Go through the whole booklet if you like. It also covers forecasts for Europe, Anglo-America and the Middle East. Then you can be stunned when you look at the news. Stunned, yes, but not surprised.