“If the United States does not learn to live with other countries on an equal footing now, we, together with the international community, have a responsibility to teach the United States a good lesson in this regard,” China welcomed the American delegation to the talks. Yes, the tone of the statements of the Chinese leaders is becoming increasingly harsh – the above words belong to Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and they were said on the eve of the visit to China by First Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
Her trip was the first visit to China by a representative of the new American administration. Before that, only a meeting took place in Anchorage, Alaska, during which Wang Yi and his Politburo chief, Yang Jiechi, in sharp tones reminded the Americans that it is not worth talking to the Chinese from a position of strength. And now Biden has sent Sherman to Beijing to clarify the mood of the Chinese comrades and to clarify the prospects for a summit meeting.
A meeting that the Americans really need, because Biden, at every convenient and inconvenient occasion, talks about how well he knows Xi Jinping, that he spent more time with him than any of the foreign leaders (this, of course, is not so – after all there is Putin, but Biden and Xi really spent many hours on a trip to China, when both were vice presidents), and in general, who, if not Biden, knows how to build relations with the PRC. But tango requires two – and in order to at least demonstrate your ability to speak with Xi, you need an interlocutor, that is, a Chinese chairman.
And he is clearly in no hurry to meet with an old acquaintance – and this despite the fact that Xi flew to Donald Trump literally two and a half months after the billionaire took office. Moreover, Xi even ignored the protocol – according to which it was the American turn to pay a visit – and went on an unofficial trip to Florida.
But then the Chinese did not know what to expect from Trump, who unexpectedly took the White House and promised to start a trade war, and they (and not only Xi) had studied Biden for a long time and well. So Xi’s visit to the United States (and now it’s his turn, because Trump was in Beijing in the fall of 2017) is now out of the question – and Biden will not just go to China, and no invitation has been received. There is only one option left: a meeting on the sidelines of some international summit.
But in the pandemic era, face-to-face summits have become a rarity – the next one is expected at the end of October in Rome. It is on the sidelines of the G-20 that the Americans propose to organize a meeting – and this became Sherman’s main task during his trip to China. Did she handle him? Well, the Chinese will agree to the meeting itself sooner or later – all the same, Xi and Biden will see each other in Rome, so why not hold official negotiations? But on the way to the meeting, Beijing will still shake the nerves of the United States – this can already be seen from the tone of the statements of the Chinese negotiators.
First, even before Sherman arrived, Wang Yi announced the need to teach the States a lesson, adding:
“The United States always wants to put pressure on other countries with its power, believing that they are better than others. However, I would like to clearly tell the American side that no country in this world is superior to others and should not be so, China will not accept any a country that claims to be superior to others. “
Then, after the first day of the American woman’s visit, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said that during the consultations, China “spoke out unequivocally against the United States’ interference in the domestic policy of our country, since it undermines the national interests of the PRC,” and demanded that Washington “correct mistakes”.
What exactly are the mistakes? This was explained by Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Feng, who negotiated with Sherman, and explained directly during a meeting with his colleague:
“The root cause of the stalemate in Sino-US relations is that some in the US see China as an imaginary adversary… Some US experts have made it clear that the US views China as an imaginary adversary, comparing it to Japan in during the Second World War and with the Soviet Union during the Cold War Speaking of the US conflict with China and the challenges facing America, mention is made of the “Pearl Harbor moment” and the “Sputnik moment”.
In addition, the United States is trying to soften the discontent of its people about political, economic and social problems at ho-me and to shift the responsibility for its own deep str-uctural contradictions onto China by demonizing it.
The entire US government is mobilized to contain China, as if it only needs to contain the development of the PRC – and all the most difficult problems of the United States will be solved, the United States w-ill become great again, and its hegemony can continue. The US drags in China on every occasion, as if, if it weren’t for China, they are not capable of talking about anything at all. We call on the United States to change this highly erroneous and highly dangerous policy towards China. “
In fact, Xie Feng not only continued the hard line that Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi took at the March talks in Anchorage, he went even further. Americans are told in their faces that they do not understand China and are deliberately demonizing it, although their own internal and external problems are not related to Chinese power.
And this is absolutely true: the world is crumbling in an American way, first of all, because the States have been torn apart (both internally and globally), and only secondarily, because of the resistance of China, Russia and other powers (and their efforts on the construction of a new system of international relations). But is the United States able to understand this? No, the globalist-minded part of the American elite is absolutely convinced of their right and power to rule the world.
China demands from the States to abandon the demonization of the Celestial Empire, from creating an image of the enemy – but here it demands the impossible. Washington could not live without an enemy before, because it had to justify its expansion, portray itself not as a conqueror, but as a liberator and defender. Hence Pearl Habor, after which the States began the path to world domination, and the demonization of the USSR, which did not thre-aten America’s existence as a state, but hindered the same world domination. Is China bothering Americans today? This is what they say – in fact, they are hindered by all independent powers (not only China and Russia, but also Iran, and Turkey, and India, and even the isolated DPRK), who prioritize the promotion and protection of their own national interests.
China, of course, has long ceased to harbor any illusions about the possibility of reaching an agreement with the United States on peaceful coexistence – more than ten years ago, it rejected the crafty proposals to create a “Big Two”. Although after Trump came to power there was some hope that supporters of abandoning global expansion and focusing on strengthening the nation-state would prevail in the United States, they soon dwindled. And under Biden, Washington openly began building an anti-Chinese coalition. He has no chance of success in this endeavor, but Beijing responded by changing its rhetoric, increasing the pathos of accusatory statements.
The harshness of the Celestial Empire does not mean, of course, that from now on, the Sino-American confrontation will only grow – there may be temporary lulls and even tactical truces.
But strategically, the Chinese made their choice long ago: they do not believe in the possibility of reaching lasting comprehensive agreements with the United States. And in the assurances that Washington “does not want tough and resilient competition to escalate into conflict.” And it is from this that they will proceed. Here is another quote from Xie Feng in which he explains Beijing’s attitude towards Biden’s Chinese policy.
“The US trichotomy of competition, cooperation and confrontation” is a diversion to pressure and contain China, the Chinese diplomat said.
“When you have to ask China for help, you need to cooperate. In areas in which they have an advantage, the United States breaks ties, blocks with sanctions. the American side needs it, they want to benefit unilaterally. Where has this been seen in the modern world? “
The problem for Americans is that they still live in a different world – one that is no longer modern, and even less the world of the future. Therefore, it is impossible to find a common language with the envoys from the already departed world in the American way – neither the Chinese, nor the Russians, nor the rest of the sovereign peoples and powers.