Head of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping refused Joe Biden in a personal meeting, reports FT. An offer to meet came from the US President during an hour and a half telephone conversation with the Chinese leader last week. It is difficult to imagine such a step performed by the President of Russia.
Biden, according to the sources of the publication, hoped to “get out of the impasse” in which the relations between the two countries found themselves. However, Xi Jinping insists that Washington first change its tone towards Beijing to “less harsh”. Biden himself did not confirm the details of this story to the press.
Meanwhile, China launched a counterattack. The PRC representative at the UN office in Geneva called for an investigation of the killings and torture committed by the United States during the years of the occupation of Afghanistan. Previously, such calls were heard only from Washington against the “rogue countries.”
One way or another, the world is witnessing a positional struggle between the two superpowers for leadership in the world. The third party in this company could be Russia – the legal successor of the USSR, but it does not exist. Self-isolation Vladimir Putindespite explanations from the Kremlin, it happened at the wrong time.
But maybe this is a geopolitical game? One of the reasons for the “covid” version of Putin’s refusal to attend the SCO summit in Dushanbe on September 16-17 may be Xi Jinping’s unwillingness to come there. If it is impossible to look on an equal footing with China, then it is better to avoid the visit, send Shoigu with Lavrov?
He shared his understanding of the current state of affairs in the confrontation between the United States and China American political scientist, expert Center for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Konstantin Blokhin:
– It used to be believed in China that Trump – a temporary phenomenon and when he leaves, a new president will come and everything will fall into place. But then it turned out that Biden was essentially continuing Trump’s policies. This also applies to China and other areas – the same Afghanistan.
Beijing realized that the policy of containing China is a long-term, systemic, bipartisan policy, and the United States is unlikely to abandon it. Therefore, China stopped trying to pacify Washington, soften the blow of the Americans and began to respond to them.
I think it started in Anchorage, Alaska, when the meeting of the Chinese and American delegations was held in a raised voice. Also, recently, one can observe extremely aggressive statements by Chinese diplomats, including ambassadors, against the United States on social networks.
“SP”: – A thin world, they say, is better than a good quarrel …
– Beijing has finally understood that it is impossible to come to an agreement with Washington on this issue. They don’t want to be number two in the world, and China is objectively becoming number one. For the United States, this is a question of their messiahship, exclusivity. Therefore, no one wants to give slack here.
“SP”: – Maybe it’s all about the failure of the United States in Afghanistan? Akela missed …
– They began to think about the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan even during Barack Obama… But then it would be perceived as a defeat. Obama could not afford this and tried to shift the responsibility to the next administration. Under Trump, they began to talk about it out loud. And under Biden, they carried out the withdrawal. That is, the force of inertia was great.
And the fact that other powers, like China or Pakistan, will try to fill the power vacuum in Afghanistan is not so important for Washington. Well, let them fill it. The Americans have a sad experience there, and so do we. Afghanistan is not the United Arab Emirates. There are more risks and costs than profits. The US spent $ 2 trillion there – hundreds of times more than Afghanistan’s GDP.
Therefore, I do not think that the Americans have failed in Afghanistan. Their departure is interpreted as such by Biden’s enemies. But the United States cannot always be in Afghanistan. The withdrawal of troops will strengthen America, as its financial and military-political losses will stop. The resources freed up will be directed towards a more effective containment policy for China and Russia.
He spoke about the place of Russia in the “showdown” for the leadership of the United States and China Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation Leonid Krutakov:
– We must face the truth: economically, Russia is not an independent country. We cannot provide a sovereign closed loop of the economy. We are enormously dependent on the export of resources. If the USSR, which had a large internal market, could ignore the world financial system and live according to its own ideas, then Russia cannot yet. And it is unlikely that in a truncated form, having lost Ukraine, Belarus and Central Asia, he will be able to. With the current number of inhabitants, the internal market does not provide economic reproduction. Therefore, Russia can act as a global player only in cooperation, offering its foreign policy competitive advantages in the global market.
“SP”: – Have you lost everything yet?
– At Yeltsin for a long time we knocked on the doors of the West, assured us that we were our own, “bourgeois”, and we were ready for anything for a basket of cookies and a barrel of jam. They even liquidated their railway nuclear complexes (the project is now being revived – Auth.) – the only weapon that the United States could not track. In fact, they handed over national security in exchange for loans. At that time, we were offered cooperation from the East, but we did not pay attention. But after 2000, when Putin came to power, negotiations began on the demarcation of borders with China. The process is painful, but after its completion in 2008 (Russia donated something from the point of view of the jingoistic patriots), a strategic alliance with China became possible.
Today, the global conflict that previously developed between the United States and the USSR is developing between the United States and China. But for all the economic power of China, it does not have enough military and political power. The only world player comparable to the United States in military terms is Russia. The legacy of the Soviet military-industrial complex provided the groundwork for years to come. Experts know that the same “Calibers” are from the Soviet Union. Therefore, although formally relations between Russia and China are not of a bloc nature, in reality there is a close rapprochement in the military and foreign policy spheres. For example, Russia and China were not allowed to demolish in Syria Bashar al-Assad, to adopt a UN Security Council resolution against him.
“SP”: – But in economic terms, Beijing is closer to Washington than to Moscow?
– China depends on the United States in exactly the same way as the United States depends on China. They resemble economic Siamese twins. Because China has long been an industrial offshore in the United States. The Americans brought technologies and industrial lines there and, with the help of cheap Chinese labor, ensured the growth of their domestic consumption. Most of Chinese goods are exported mainly to America. Therefore, if tomorrow the relations between the United States and China are severed, the former will face a banal shortage of goods, and the latter with a classic crisis of overproduction. Since it is not clear what to do with factories without orders and people who will be left without work and wages.
Some call this economic construction “Chimerica”, some call it G-2. But the United States could not agree to this, as it was losing its potential and each subsequent step worsened their position.
Freedom of decision-making in this design is not very much for both of them. That is why the conflict between the superpowers is developing gradually. The economy does not allow for drastic steps. China, as a negotiator, is very tough, understands where you can yield and where you shouldn’t, otherwise the United States has nowhere to go. The Americans, too, are weighing their steps so as not to push Beijing into a tough retaliation. So far it looks like a verbal, debatable war. The countries exchanged not so much blows as slaps in the face. And they realized how dangerous it is for both.
“SP”: – These are the problems of the strong. I would like Russia to be a global leader too …
– Russia does not have the strength to act as an independent integrator. But on the other hand, there is a genetic experience of building a civilizational system – the USSR, which China does not have. In addition, Beijing evokes a sense of danger not only in the United States, but also in the countries of the region: Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia. And the United States is diligently playing on these fears, fomenting military conflicts. And in these conditions, China needs Russia as a third-party guarantor of relations. Russia acts as such a guarantor and arbiter in the same SCO, where there are regional competitors India and China, India and Pakistan. The American withdrawal from Afghanistan is a blow to the SCO. The interests of its members will begin to clash. But the SCO is the only alternative to NATO and the united West.
Now it is Russia, not China, that acts as the military-political “frontman” of a major conflict: in Syria, in Ukraine. A difficult game is in progress.