“Pick your side” is practically a misconception for US military partners


For more than seven decades, Russia, China, and Iran have successfully denied being reduced to being the vassalage of the United States. During the Cold War years between the United States and the Soviet Union, the geostrategic rapprochement between Washington and Beijing isolated and weakened Moscow. However, under the new Cold War conditions prevailing, the United States must induct the “barbarians” into the orbit of neoliberal global financialization. Or, the recent smiley images of Blinken-Lavrov from Reykjavik might just be a good optic and to Beijing’s relief.


May 20, Moscow weather The website contained a photograph and a news headline, both must have caused enormous anxiety, if not worry, among the mandarins in the Beijing Foreign Ministry responsible for Sino-Russian relations. While the headline read “US and Russia seek to ease tensions in first meeting under Biden,” the accompanying photo of the two countries’ foreign ministers was perhaps the best “smiling picture.” Since the days of Obama, to say the least. the YOUR further citing the Russian Foreign Minister, saying, perhaps causing even more discomfort in Beijing, that he was ready to “dig through the rubble left by the previous US administration”. The next day, Russia today TV news website rt.com commented in an op-ed: “Despite recent relations at an all-time low and growing tensions, Russia is ready to end hostilities and fight for better relations with the West, announced his top diplomat Lavrov after meeting his US counterpart. . “

Oddly, or perhaps as expected, spokespersons for the usually “belligerent” Chinese Foreign Ministry maintained an unusually low tone on the issue. Likewise, Beijing’s generally proactive comments on strategic and security matters were also found missing and hidden. However, it is fairly obvious to anyone following Beijing’s statements and actions closely, what lies behind the “indifferent” pretext are “disbelief” and “concerns” caused by the sudden “expediency” of the situation. ‘Biden administration to “hug” Russia and Putin. . Did Chinese experts and scholars of international relations on US-Russian relations err in failing to assess Biden’s initiative to restore US-Russian relations? Maybe yes. Or has Beijing taken it for granted that Biden’s “America is Back” diplomacy is all about winning back US allies? Probably true.

Biden alone can’t stop China

Last Friday, China’s widely read and influential online platform specializing in international politics and diplomacy, huayuzhiku.com, contained an exclusive commentary titled “US Handshake With Russia Targeting Beijing.” The commentary observed: “Under Trump’s presidency, US diplomacy was viewed by the world as ‘unreliable’ and ‘unpredictable’. Since the change of guard at the White House in January, the Biden administration has vigorously amended Trumpian foreign policy by trying to win over traditional allies and declared “America is back”. In his treatment of Russia, it appears Biden continues to suffer from the legacy of the previous administration. It’s not hard for anyone to see the Trumpian ghost guiding the White House. “(Emphasis added)

It is indeed confusing, because a quick Google search of the internet did not show in the first ten pages a single article about the meeting of the two foreign ministers of the English-speaking media of the PRC. All other Asian news channels or media websites reported the important event, but not Xinhua or CGTN or China Daily or even the Global Times. While not surprisingly, a week before the Reykjavik tête-à-tête in Reykjavik, Chinese media in English and Mandarin extensively reported the scheduled meeting along with editorial comments. On May 13, the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua published an article titled “Lavrov and Blinken in Telephone Discussion of Upcoming Russian-American Summit.” The next day, global.chinadaily.com.cn released a similar report filed by its correspondent in Moscow, noting that the proposed foreign minister meeting was held “amid the biggest crisis in Russian-state relations. -United for years ”.

Chinese media underestimate Reykjavik meeting

On the other hand, the semi-official media in China, especially in Chinese and English, published opinion pieces and comments following the Reykjavik meeting between Lavrov and Blinken. The English language Shanghai Daily was the first to report on the Lavrov-Blinken meeting held in the famous Harpa concert hall in the Icelandic capital. The newspaper showed manifest urgency, and without delay, China’s state media moved forward and relied on reports from foreign news agencies. But unlike the headlines of Russian and world media, Shanghai Daily was quite circumspect in the title: “Lavrov, Blinken Practice Politely On First Face-to-Face Meeting.”

Within twenty-four hours of the meeting, notice of the haiwainet.cn website, which is aimed primarily at Mandarin speakers in North America and is a major branch of the official party journal Renmin Ribao or People’s Daily, described the meeting as the result of a “temptation to meet” on both sides. Lavrov-Blinken met in order to “confirm each other to continue their mutual friction unless there is full-scale combat in the face of hostilities and contradictions,” the website said. The website further quoted Li Yonghui, a senior researcher at the Center for Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies at the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, as saying, “Given the many contradictions and deep-rooted complexities between the two countries, there is no room for a turnaround in Russian-American relations.

Interestingly, while most of the Chinese commentary has focused on highlighting the outstanding issues between the two countries, so far there has been little writing that examines the implications for China if the Reykjavik came to thaw the frozen ties between Washington and Moscow. A key element missing in Chinese opinion columns so far has been the “lack of reaction” on the timing and location of the Reykjavik diplomatic meeting between the two foreign ministers. As according to Nikolas K. Gvosdev, senior researcher at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, “The Arctic is one of the few remaining issues where Washington and Moscow tend to collaborate and share their interest in pushing back on efforts by states like China to insist that a category of “near arctic” states should also have a say in the regional governance infrastructure. ”

Biden keen to meet Putin: deal in deal

Now, as already mentioned, since the state-controlled mainstream media in China was “censored” from commenting on the Reykjavik meeting, a few party-backed and state-sponsored online foreign policy platforms have more that revealed the mood in Beijing on the possible implications of the nudge in person by the two foreign ministers. Based on the comments, the initial reactions to Beijing can be roughly summarized as follows: ffirst, temporary breathing space. Some commentators see the United States’ sudden decision to “embrace and be reconciled” with Moscow as a temporary step in order to 铺垫 Pūdiàn (which literally means “to make your bed”) for the Biden-Poutin meeting to be held in Geneva next month.

The second reason is the rapid diplomatic gain in the short term. Following confirmation last Monday in Washington and Moscow that the first in-person Biden-Putin summit will be held during Biden’s first overseas trip to Europe as president, several opinion pieces referred to the first phone. post-inauguration of Biden-Poutine. call held in mid-April, in which Biden reportedly expressed his wish for a speedy meeting with his Russian counterpart. It is pertinent to recall that Chinese commentators did not fail to note that Biden had offered to meet with Putin amid heavy Russian military build-up on the Ukrainian border. At least one Chinese scholar also stressed that Biden was in a hurry to meet with Putin and “hinted that resolving the lingering differences between the two military superpowers is not a precondition for the summit.”

Third, last but not least, case in case. Last Wednesday, an unsigned comment posted on the Xinhua News Agency’s blog, titled “Shocking how for insignificant gains, Biden can’t wait to meet Putin” claimed to have deconstructed the purpose why Biden is eager to meet Putin. Referring to Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s May 19 announcement of the lifting of sanctions against companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, the commentary called it the first of two deals aimed at achieving the goal of a summit with Putin. Five days later, the meeting in Geneva between the NSA Jake Sullivan and his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev was described by the Xinhua blog as specifically called to strike a deal for the first Biden-Putin summit.

Biden will do everything not to let China ‘ride the tiger’

To conclude, there is no doubt that Beijing is convinced that China is the reason Washington is more than desperate to “please” Putin. Since taking office, Biden and his foreign policy team have relentlessly subjected China to increasing pressure to ‘give in’, but to no avail as China continues 骑虎难下 Qíhǔnánxià or in English “to ride the tiger”. Explaining further, a Chinese scholar said, “Maybe the Biden administration is loosening its policy towards Russia. Indeed, in recent years, the focus of US foreign policy has shifted from Europe and the Middle East to the Indo-Pacific. There, the main target is not Russia but China. In order to defeat China, Biden coerced and attracted Western allies to come together. However, due to the difficult situation of the fighting between China and Russia on both fronts, he is showing unbearable fatigue. Moreover, the EU also does not want to get involved against both Russia and China. Just as Beijing has miserably failed to hide its concerns about the recent success of the United States in forging a Quad Alliance, Chinese pundits must be in a dilemma and under great pressure to tell the party leadership to relax. even as reports from Moscow suggest Putin is equally, if not more, eager to shake hands with Biden instead of a simple nudge!

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