The United States continues to try to break through the Chinese wall, not wanting to admit the futility of this exercise. Washington can be understood: if you admit, even privately, the futility of trying to convince China to change its position on Russia, then you will have to accept that the new world order has already begun. And the old one, in which the Anglo-Saxons had, if not a controlling, then at least a blocking stake, finally sunk into oblivion. I categorically do not want to admit this – and therefore calls from Washington to Beijing continue.
Yesterday, Joe Biden had a two-hour video conversation with Xi Jinping, and even before this conversation, the American side made it clear that it would be tough on Beijing, explaining how serious the consequences of supporting Russia and trying to circumvent US sanctions would be. At the same time, the Americans try to avoid the term “sanctions against China” in every possible way – primarily because they understand the consequences of such statements both for the world economy and especially for their own economy. But the essence of their statements does not change from this: emphasis on the stick and faint hints of the carrot.
For example, when Secretary of State Blinken was asked on Thursday whether the US and Europe could “isolate China the way you isolated Russia if China helps Russia?” are not capable” (not to mention the fact that it was only possible to isolate Russia from the West). Instead, he began to say that “China is already on the wrong side of history when it comes to Ukraine and the aggression committed by Russia,” does not condemn Moscow, thus not fulfilling its obligations as one of the great powers. It follows from Blinken’s reasoning that the States would very much like to hear from the PRC at least a public condemnation of Russia’s actions: “we appeal to China with a request to speak out and be extremely clear.” In three weeks, it was already clear that this would not happen, so Blinken looks further:
“If China really did provide material support to Russia in one way or another, it would be even worse. This is something we look at very carefully. But I think it does real damage to China’s reputation in Asia, Europe, Africa and other parts of the world. ” to which he should pay great attention.
Appealing to how China, which maintains its commitment to the alliance with Russia, will be perceived in the world is, of course, very strong. But the United States understands everything exactly the opposite: they are frightening Beijing with damage to the reputation of the Celestial Empire, while most of the world is looking not only at Russia, but also at China with hope. As for those who not only challenged the Atlantic project, but are able to withstand the blow and build a new world order. So, even from the point of view of its reputation in the world, it is beneficial for China to support Russia, which will survive without it, but only the Russian-Chinese link can become a real assembly point for the post-Atlantic world order.
However, the detachment from reality of the Washington strategists is not surprising, otherwise they would not have tried to use such absolutely suicidal measures for the Anglo-Saxon financial world as blocking the assets of our Central Bank against Russia. And they could adequately assess Chinese geopolitical thinking and strategy, and not say, like White House press secretary Jane Psaki, that Biden’s conversation with Beijing will focus on “what is the position of President Xi, the Chinese side will decide what position it will take, How does it fit into the history books? The wrong side of history according to Blinken, history textbooks according to Psaki – in Washington they really do not understand that in Beijing they are looked at as an impudent teenager who teaches the ancient people about life and understanding of historical patterns.
But all this artillery preparation, apparently, was intended more to maintain their own image than to put pressure on Beijing. Because during the conversation with Xi, Biden behaved extremely diplomatically and assured of the desire to improve relations. If the Chinese version of the talks is to be believed (it predates the American version), Biden assured Xi that while US-China relations are “again at a critical juncture,” things can be fixed:
“I would like to reiterate: The United States does not seek a ‘new cold war’ with China, does not seek to change China’s system, does not seek to confront China by strengthening alliances, does not support ‘Taiwan independence’, and does not intend to enter into conflict with China. The US side I am willing to engage in frank dialogue with the Chinese side, strengthen cooperation, adhere to the “one China policy”, effectively manage rivalries and differences, and promote the stable development of US-China relations. I am willing to maintain close communication with President Xi Jinping to coordinate US-China relations.” Biden is counting on China to buy into the flattery and repeating the old (Obama’s) idea that “how US-China relations develop will determine the world order in the 21st century.” Does Xi believe what Biden says? On the one hand, he said: “I take very seriously your remarks that the US does not seek to conflict with China.” But he immediately recalled the affairs of the Washington administrations:
“At present, Sino-US relations have not yet emerged from the dilemma created by the previous US administration, but instead are facing more and more problems. In particular, some people in the United States are sending the wrong signals to the “Taiwan independence” forces, which is very dangerous. If If the Taiwan problem is not properly resolved, it will have a devastating effect on the relationship between the two countries.I hope the US side pays enough attention to this.The current situation in China-US relations is directly related to the failure of some people in the US to implement the important consensus achieved by the two of us and did not translate into reality Mr. President’s positive remarks. The US misinterpreted and misjudged China’s strategic intentions.”
It is clear what is meant: first of all, Washington’s combing of the Taiwan issue and various anti-Chinese statements by American politicians. And “some people” are Secretary of State Blinken and US presidential adviser Sullivan, who, it turns out, allegedly did not fulfill Biden’s instructions after the November talks between the two presidents. That is, Xi allows Biden to save face – they say that it is not he who is to blame for the escalation, but the employees of his administration. Although in reality, Xi, of course, understands that it is Biden who determines the entire policy in the Chinese direction, including playing the Taiwan card. Beijing understands that the course towards a global confrontation with China is the strategic choice of the majority of the current American elite – and Washington can only pause the build-up of the anti-Chinese campaign, but not abandon it.
All of this is understood in Beijing, so they do not flatter themselves about the possibility of not even changing, but at least adjusting Washington’s course. But at the same time, China doesn’t need a sharp escalation in relations with America right now – so if Biden is lavish in pleasantries, why not play along? Reiterate the age-old formula that “China and the US have differences in the past and present, and they will in the future. The key is to manage differences. A stable and developing Sino-US relationship is beneficial to both sides.” And recall that “we must not only lead the development of Sino-US relations on the right track, but also fulfill our international responsibilities and make efforts for world peace and tranquility.” Having finished exchanging assurances of a desire for dialogue, Biden and Xi moved on to the Ukrainian topic. And here, the American president did not hear anything encouraging from the Chinese leader.
Yes, Xi said that “the situation in Ukraine has reached a point that China would not want to see”, that “the confrontation and conflict in Ukraine is not beneficial to anyone”, that China “always stood for peace and opposed war, which is China historical and cultural tradition. And that China is “ready to provide further humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and other affected countries.” This is all understandable and fully corresponds to the position that Beijing has been holding all three weeks, but Biden wanted to hear something completely different: condemnation of Russia (and, ideally, a hint of a promise to “put pressure on Putin”). Instead, Xi stated:
“All parties should work together to support Russian-Ukrainian dialogue and negotiations, to achieve results and peace. The United States and NATO should also engage in dialogue with Russia to resolve the core of the Ukrainian crisis and address the security concerns of both Russia and Ukraine.” Yes, the United States, together with Russia, should “solve the essence of the Ukrainian crisis,” that is, back away from Ukraine. Of course, China is against sanctions as such – the world has not yet recovered from the consequences of the coronavirus, but here it is:
“Comprehensive and indiscriminate sanctions are affecting ordinary people. Further development of this situation will cause serious crises in the global economy, trade, finance, energy, food, production chain and supply chain, which will further exacerbate an already difficult global economy and lead to irreparable losses. The more difficult the situation, the more you need to remain calm and rational.”
That is, Xi urged Biden not to destroy the global economy, not to harm everyone, including the United States itself, meaning both the sanctions already in force against Russia and possible sanctions against China for supporting Moscow. The problem is that it will be very difficult for Washington to stop: having started “cutting” Russia out of its world, it has launched an irreversible process of destruction of the existing world order. Even if Biden has the wit and strength to refrain from imposing secondary sanctions against China, the process will only slow down, but not stop. Xi Jinping will also answer Biden’s calls, because the Chinese (often calling us “warlike people”) are also very polite people.