NEW YORK – Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold talks with Ukraine. A A gesture signifying a new “balance” of Beijing’s closeness with Moscow.
The Beijing government has been struggling to reshape its position on the Ukraine situation since Xi signed the Declaration of Extraordinary Solidarity with Putin earlier this month, a decision taken under the influence of the Chinese diplomatic corps, confirming that Putin has no intention of going to war.
According to Chinese newspapers, Xi Putin was contacted by phone and told that “China supports Russia and Ukraine in resolving their conflicts through negotiations” and has always defended the United Nations-centric international body. According to the Kremlin, Putin would have responded by saying that Russia was ready to talk to Ukraine “based on recent signals from Kiev.”
The day before yesterday, China abstained from voting on a draft UN Security Council resolution prepared by the United States.
The Beijing government has for weeks rejected repeated warnings from the United States and its European allies about an impending Russian offensive, and blamed Washington for raising the threat of invasion.
But China had to recalculate that such a position would drastically undermine its many years of trying to stabilize its position as world leader and champion of developing countries.
Until this week, when clear signs of an occupation appeared, the well-known and well-connected Chinese foreign policy scholar spoke to a group of concerned investors and analysts, calling his dissertation a war that never happened. .
“The chances of Russia going to war with Ukraine unilaterally are slim,” Shen Yi, a professor of international relations at the University of Shanghai Futan and an adviser to the Chinese government, told a telecommunications company organized by the investment firm. Of that meeting.
Within 48 hours, Putin launched a full-scale offensive against Ukraine.
China’s multifaceted strategy in recent years, aimed at attracting more countries in the orbit of economic influence, has included funding programs in both Russia and Ukraine as part of the new Silk Road.
Beijing has stepped up its cooperation with international organizations such as the World Trade Organization and the United Nations, and has established itself as a world power by donating the Kovit-19 vaccine to countries in Africa and Southeast Asia.
But by siding with Russia during the Ukraine crisis, China has now presented itself as a guarantee of a country that is universally condemned.
China has been in a very difficult diplomatic situation since the first Russian tank crossed the border into Ukraine. On the one hand, it must respect its alliance with Russia As both sides said a few weeks ago, “there are no limits”, but without abandoning its commitment to a policy of “non-interference” in foreign policy matters, it will no doubt force Russia to reprimand. Attack.
We must add to that balanced figure the will of Beijing, which does not fully hate the United States and Europe.
“They are so tight-lipped that they have to balance these goals in speech and action, which are ultimately irreversible,” said Evan Fiekenbaum, vice president of research at the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Beijing has not publicly called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an invasion.
The US-centric foreign policy orientation established by Xi a decade ago has now shifted to one of focusing on confronting the United States, and is gaining momentum as it is an agenda shared with Putin.
Putin was able to pull out of that relationship, at least in China where he seems to have a powerful ally.
As for China, so far, the benefits are still opaque. The Russian leader, popularly known as “Putin the Great” by many in China, helped save China’s face at the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Only Putin can boast of Xi as a true VIP guest, as major Western powers have arranged to boycott the games.
The leaders later released an extraordinary joint statement, which brought China-Russia relations to its closest point since the early years of the Cold War. Ukraine was not mentioned in the statement, which put forward a united front against the US-led West. After Putin’s departure, China’s top leaders locked themselves up for several days in an attempt to retaliate for the crisis with Ukraine.
In recent days, Beijing’s response has oscillated between very clearly opposing an invasion and providing moral support for Moscow’s security demands, while continuing to accuse the United States and its allies of exaggerating the threat posed by Russia.
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