The First Day of China’s Cold War: German-US Relations After Scholz’s First Day in Beijing, and the Implications for the United Nations
Friday’s one-day trip to Beijing is Scholz’s first as Germany’s chancellor. Since the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of China delivered the third term of party secretary, there has been no other head of state that has met with him. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there has been a wedge in ties between Western European countries and Beijing.
According to the Xinhua News Agency, during Friday’s meeting, the Chinese president said that the world should reject the threat of nuclear weapons and advocate against a nuclear war.
Scholz was widely criticized in the German press, and by fellow politicians, in the run-up to his Beijing trip — which he took with CEOs of German companies whose business relies on China’s market — for placing short-term business interests over long-term strategic concerns and European Union unity.
Immediately following his meeting with Xi, Scholz appeared in a press conference with Li, the outgoing Chinese premier. All members of the United Nations have agreed to protect the rights of ethnic minorities, and so if China wants to take military action in Taiwan, that’s not interference in China’s internal affairs.
The world will not afford any more escalates inUkraine, said Li. China is an attractive place to invest in and both China and Germany support multipolar solutions to international problems.
The US believes that the summit in Indonesia gave two important outcomes, including an expected restart of talks on climate between the US and China and a joint position that Russia must not use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine.
Biden, meanwhile, reported that he stressed to Xi that Beijing also has an obligation to temper North Korea’s destabilizing missile and nuclear activity that has the Pacific region on edge.
The world is suffering when Washington and Beijing are not talking to each other, as they have in recent months.
The talks were productive. The Chinese said that they were honest and constructive. Biden said, “We were very blunt with one another” but agreed to try to avoid a new Cold War. It wasn’t “Kumbaya,” the President said, but the two sides are perhaps less likely to start an accidental war against each other.
Leon Panetta was a former White House chief of staff, defense secretary and CIA boss who dealt with US- China relations for decades.
“If the result of this meeting is to put the relationship back on a more diplomatic plane, in which instead of beating each other up they can begin a dialogue on the kind of issues that need to be dealt with, I think this meeting could very well be pivotal,” Panetta told CNN’s John King on “Inside Politics.”
But at the summit in Bali, Indonesia, it was clear that while both sides want to avoid a clash now, their goals – China wants to be the preeminent Asian and potentially global power, as does the US – remain fundamentally incompatible.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that neither side should attempt to subvert the other’s system.
The Chinese officials have used their narrative in different ways. Wang made a lot of attractive pledges during his Europe tour, but whether they will translate into a consistent message for Putin when they meet at the Kremlin this week isn’t certain.
That means making sure that Russia doesn’t win in Ukraine, but also prying apart Moscow and Beijing (echoing then-President Richard Nixon in the 1970s) and countering China’s efforts to forge stronger bonds with Iran.
Xi’s “no-limits” friendship did not pan out quite as Putin might have expected. Beijing has never condemned the unprovoked attack of its neighbor, and China still refuses to call the Russian military campaign an invasion. China has warnings against Russia using nuclear weapons, and has not armed Russian forces.
The story of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in the aftermath of the G20 summit: What he learned from Bali, Indonesia, during the February 11 elections
Editor’s Note: Frida Ghitis, (@fridaghitis) a former CNN producer and correspondent, is a world affairs columnist. She is a weekly columnist for The Washington Post, a columnist for World Politics Review and a weekly opinion contributor to CNN. The views expressed are not of hers. More opinions on CNN can be found here.
It took two years after Joe Biden was elected US President before the leaders of the world’s two most powerful countries could finally speak in person, but when Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping finally met in Bali, Indonesia, on Monday on the sidelines of the G20 summit, the timing could not have been any better for the United States, for democracy and for the world.
Biden pointed out that the results of the midterm elections “sent a very strong message around the world” that the US will remain engaged. There was a bigger message. The most important signal to the world from the midterms is about the health of America’s democracy. The US elections went perfectly and peacefully, but they also dealt a blow to the antidemocratic elements of the country.
This meeting was possible because it was the perfect moment for this to happen: There is more to this than who controls the US House of Representatives and Senate.
Zelensky said that the beginning of the end of the war was when Russian forces abandoned Kherson. After meeting with Chinese President Xi in Beijing, the Ukrainians succeeded in getting the attention of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who started his invasion just a few days later.
Moscow and Beijing have drawn closer in recent years, with Xi and Putin declaring the two countries had a “no limits” partnership weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
Putin and Xi, the world’s leading autocrats, looked ascendant, unstoppable even. Meanwhile, Western democracies appeared unsettled, roiled by sometimes violent protests against Covid-19 restrictions. Putin was preparing for triumph in Ukraine. During the Olympics, he was basking in attention and preparing to solidify his control of China.
Putin’s adventure turned to disaster as the Ukrainians defended their country with unexpected tenacity and as Biden rallied allies in a muscular push to support Ukraine.
Putin decided to stay away from the G20 summit in Indonesia, avoiding confrontation with leaders as he becomes a pariah on the global stage.
Putin’s third term in Ukraine and the prospect of a peace summit around the anniversary of Russia’s war with the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres
The other leader is not the only one with a strong hand. Having secured a third term as China’s leader, Xi can now rule for as long as he wants. He doesn’t have to worry about elections, about a critical press or a vociferous opposition party. For a long time to come, he is the absolute ruler of a mighty country.
The policy tools that are used to support Russia are limited now. Domestic support for the leader of the free world has fallen dramatically. His third term doesn’t start with a rosy picture.
The competing systems have to show that democracy works, that unprovoked wars of aggression, meant to destroy democracy, will not succeed, and that it can prevail despite efforts by countries such as China and Russia.
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s foreign minister on Monday said that his government is aiming to have a peace summit by the end of February, preferably at the United Nations with Secretary-General António Guterres as a possible mediator, around the anniversary of Russia’s war.
Russia could not be invited to a summit if it faced a war Crimes tribunal first, according to the Foreign Minister.
Kuleba said he was very happy with the results of President Zelenskyy’s visit to the US, and that the U.S. had made a special plan to start the missile battery. It can take up to a year to complete the training.
Kuleba said during the interview at the Foreign Ministry that Ukraine will do whatever it can to win the war in 2023, adding that diplomacy always plays an important role.
Security Guarantees for Ukraine: a U.S.-based Viewpoint of a High-Energy Security Council Report of Zelenskyy
He said that the UN could be the best place to hold the summit because it was not about making a favor to one country. “This is really about bringing everyone on board.”
At the Group of 20 summit in Bali in November, Zelenskyy presented a 10-point peace formula that includes the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, the release of all prisoners, a tribunal for those responsible for the aggression and security guarantees for Ukraine.
About Guterres’ role, Kuleba said: “He has proven himself to be an efficient mediator and an efficient negotiator, and most importantly, as a man of principle and integrity. So we would love for him to participate.
“They say that they are ready for negotiations, but everything they do on the battlefield proves that’s not true,” he said.
Zelenskyy’s visit to the U.S. was his first foreign trip since the war started. Kuleba praised Washington’s efforts and underlined the significance of the visit.
Kuleba, who was in the delegation to the U.S., said that it shows how important the US is for both Ukraine and the US.
He said that the U.S. government developed a program for the missile battery to complete the training faster than usual “without any damage to the quality of the use of this weapon on the battlefield.”
Kuleba didn’t mention a time frame but he did say that it would be less than six months. He said that the training will be done outside of Ukraine.
During Russia’s ground and air war in Ukraine, Kuleba has been second only to Zelenskyy in carrying Ukraine’s message and needs to an international audience, whether through Twitter posts or meetings with friendly foreign officials.
Russia should be removed from the UN Security Council and its status as a permanent member revoked, according to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. Kuleba said they have been prepared for this step in order to uncover the fraud and deprive Russia of its status.
The Foreign Ministry says that Russian didn’t have to go through legal procedures to join the UN Security Council after the fall of the Soviet Union.
The Kremlin meets Putin – a strategic partner in Syria and the worst Covid outbreak in a decade of the Cold War
The Kremlin said the presidents of Russia and China will speak through a video conference on Friday, with analysts watching to see if there is a change in the Chinese leader’s support for Putin as China faces its worst Covid outbreak.
The two leaders will primarily discuss bilateral relations between their countries, and exchange views on regional issues and their strategic partnership, Peskov said on Thursday.
China claimed impartiality in the conflict and did not know of Russia’s intentions but still blamed NATO for provoking the conflict.
But more than 10 months into the grinding war, the world looks much different – and the dynamic between both partners has shifted accordingly, experts say.
Putin’s invasion has faltered with many setbacks including a lack of basic equipment. Morale within parts of Russia is low, with many civilians facing economic hardship during the bitter winter.
On Thursday, Russia launched what Ukrainian officials described as one of the biggest missile barrages since the war began in February, with explosions rattling villages and cities across Ukraine, damaging civilian infrastructure and killing at least three people.
Russia is going to plunge the country into darkness in the middle of the year as it launches an attack on the power grid, and Ukrainians are going to be out of power for several days as they ring in the New Year.
Alfred Wan, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore said that China is becoming more isolated in its stance towards Russia.
Xi’s New Face of China’s Diplomacy: From U.S.-China Relations to Beijing-Taiwan Partnership
Modi told Putin that the time was not right for war and that he should move toward peace.
“Now with domestic issues out of the way, Xi is in a better position to work on Russia,” said Stimson Center’s Sun, referring to his consolidation of power in October.
She added that trade between the two countries had increased this year due to high energy prices globally – and the two leaders could “reaffirm their vows to cooperate economically.”
The protest, Covid outbreak and economic toll have put Xi in a worse spot, meaning less material and public support for Russia.
The appointment, which was announced Friday, comes as Beijing’s relations with Washington continue to show strain over a range of issues from trade to Taiwan. He replaced Wang Yi, 69, who was promoted to the politburo of the ruling Communist Party in October, and is expected to continue to work in foreign policy.
Qin is already a familiar face to Chinese citizens and Beijing-based foreign journalists. As a spokesperson and a deputy director-general of the Foreign Ministry’s Information Department between 2005 and 2010, his aggressive approach to reporters’ questions typified what’s become known as China’s “wolf warrior” diplomacy.
But the new face of China’s diplomacy has a long to-do list, ranging from U.S.-China relations to Beijing’s partnership with Moscow, says Sun Yun, director of the China Program at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C.
Asked by a foreign reporter in 2008 about Guns N’ Roses’ album “Chinese Democracy,” which Chinese state media called a “venomous attack” on the nation, Qin chided the journalist: “Many people don’t like this kind of music because it’s too raucous and noisy.” I think you are a mature adult, aren’t you?
The university said on its website that he “never skirted around a question”, when he was promoted to a vice minister.
In 2013, he articulated his thinking on diplomacy in an interview. “Diplomacy is complex and systematic work. He said it can be hard with either a soft or hard surface. It can be either hard or soft. Time and situation can change, making the two into each other.
After joining China’s foreign ministry in 1988, Qin was first assigned to work for the Beijing bureau of the United Press International, a U.S. news agency, on a short stint. At the time, non-Chinese news outlets could not directly employ Chinese nationals and were assigned local employees by the authorities.
Later, as a diplomat, he cultivated a specialization in Western European affairs, serving twice in the Chinese embassy in London in the 2000s – first, as a third and second secretary, and later as a minister.
Wang insisted that peace in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world is Beijing’s top foreign policy priority, as is respect for the sovereignty of independent nations. Within the same breath, he warned against international interference on the issue of Taiwan. Wang said that maintaining peace across the Taiwan Strait meant opposing Taiwanese independence forces.
He warned that a military conflict could break out between China and the United States if the Taiwanese authorities keep going down the road for independence.
In a show of unity, the leaders of the two nuclear powers vowed to have a relationship with “no limits.” It looked like a big deal in the global realignment of power.
The US should aim to prevent the creation of a credible force of aggressive antidemocratic regimes in order to fortify NATO and strengthen alliances.
But the rule of the strongest doesn’t work when you can’t win, which is how Russia’s plans started to unravel, and China had to rethink its commitment.
Is the man with Putin in or out of the picture? Xi seems to want it both ways. He wants the relationship with a country that has invaded its neighbor without provocation, but he’s trying to present himself as a responsible global leader; an alternative to the democratic Western model for other countries to follow.
According to US intelligence, Russia has bought artillery shells from North Korea, another notorious dictatorship, which denies its involvement in a war whose morality is beyond the pale.
Iranian drones have been one of the weapons of choice as Russia kills Ukrainian civilians and destroys Ukraine’s infrastructure. Tehran first denied it was arming Russia, saying it “has not and will not” provide weapons to Russia.
Iran, whose repressive, interventionist regime has also turned it, like Russia, into a pariah to much of the world, now finds itself being courted by both Moscow and Beijing.
This week, Ebrahim Raisi became the first Iranian president to visit China in 20 years. The trip, at Xi’s invitation, ostensibly aims to implement an agreement for a 25-year strategic cooperation pact the two reached at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 2021.
Democrats and Republicans in Congress fear that Beijing could help Tehran dodge sanctions related to its nuclear and conventional weapons programs, support for terrorism and human rights abuses.
Territorial and sovereignty integrity of all countries will be respected in China’s proposal, Wang said, adding that Beijing will continue to work for peace.
At the security conference, Wang made a speech about China’s commitment to peace, while attempting to drive wedge between Europe and the US.
CNN asked European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday whether she believed, after hearing Wang’s speech, that China is listening to Europe’s message to not support Russia. She said the opposite has been seen so far.
In September 2022, Putin conceded Beijing had “questions and concerns” over the invasion, in what appeared to be a veiled admission of diverging views on the war.
Russia’s foreign ministry reported Tuesday that China’s top diplomat Wang Yi arrived in Moscow, and will have a meeting with the Russian foreign minister on Wednesday.
The meeting will be held in Germany at the global security conference in which both are attending, according to a source who was not authorized to speak to the media.
The U.S.-China Correspondence after the Feb. 4 Shoot-down of a Chinese-Biden Surveillance Balloon
Tension between China and the United States has spiked since the Feb. 4 shoot-down of what the Biden administration says was a Chinese surveillance balloon that had floated across the continental U.S.
Beijing claims that shooting down the balloon was a violation of international practice, and that it was a civilian craft for scientific research.
The incident came at a time of already heightened strain between Beijing and Washington — but with both sides starting to take small steps to try to prevent relations from deteriorating further. The trip to Beijing was scrapped after the balloon was spotted over Montana.
It’s not clear how helpful a meeting between Blinken and Wang would be, given that both sides are still not happy about the meeting.
A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said the U.S. could not demand dialogue while it was also taking steps to deepen the crisis.
But the vague mention of the proposal was met with suspicion from some Western leaders who are closely watching for any support China lends to its northern neighbor – especially assistance that could help Russia on the battlefield.
US officials have been concerned enough with the intelligence that they shared it with allies and partners in Munich, according to CNN reporting. According to a US readout, the issue was brought up and warned of the consequences of its use in a meeting with Wang Saturday on the sidelines of the conference.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised the issue when he met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, on Saturday on the sidelines of the conference, officials said.
“The Secretary was quite blunt in warning about the implications and consequences of China providing material support to Russia or assisting Russia with systematic sanctions evasion,” a senior State Department official told reporters.
What can we learn from the Munich Security Conference if we do not know what to do next? U.S., China and Russia are worried about the future
The warfare has to stop. We need to think about what efforts we can make to bring this warfare to an end,” Wang said at the conference.
That equipment has included items like flak jackets and helmets, multiple sources familiar with US and European intelligence told CNN. China did not give Russia the lethal weapons systems it wanted because it did not want to be seen as a pariah on the world stage, officials said.
The information we have that they may provide lethal support confuses us, and we have warned them that it would cause a serious problem for us and our relationship.
Neither China nor Russia said if Wang would meet with Putin. However, on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “we do not exclude a meeting” between Wang and Putin.
The Munich Security Conference attracts heads of state, generals, intelligence chiefs and top diplomats from around the world.
President Zelenskyy urged Western leaders to act instead of talking and warned that supplies on the battleground would be running out in three days.
A record number of delegates, including bipartisan and bicameral representation from congress, made the US presence felt at this year’s gathering.
But with delegations attending from every continent, beyond Europe and the members of NATO, broader geopolitical issues were at play, both on the conference stage and on the sidelines.
Russia has no choice but to cooperate: a United Nations spoke out against “Russian war crimes” on the issue of peace and security in Ukraine
The U.S. government has already formally concluded that Russian troops are committing war crimes in Ukraine. Now they have gone one step further by classifying Russian atrocities as crimes against humanity. The Vice President said justice must be served and the perpetrators must be held to account.
Harris said that there is evidence of rape, torture and execution-style killings by the Russian army, as well as children who have been cruelly separated from their parents.
She urged delegates to look in the same direction, and think of the four-year old girl who the United Nations reported was sexually assaults by a Russian soldier.
The secretary of state said in a statement that crimes against humanity determinations need to be reserved for the most egregious crimes.
Wang – who is heading to Moscow after the conference – called for peace talks and asserted that “some forces” have no interest in seeing the war end soon because of “bigger strategic goals than Ukraine.” He did not elaborate on who he meant, but the message chimes with claims from Russia that NATO is unwilling to enter into peace talks.
After much “will they, won’t they”, Blinken and Wang sat down together on the last night of the conference, in the first high-level meeting between the two countries since the U.S. shot down an alleged Chinese surveillance balloon.
In a statement, the U.S. State Department said thatWang was warned not to help Russia and not to give anything to China.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told member states to work with the defense industry in order to scale up the production of munitions for Ukraine as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Europe can’t replace them quickly.
Conference host, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz firmly asked his European partners to follow up on their pledges to deliver battle tanks to Ukraine without delay. After being put under pressure to deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine in the past, he joked it was ironic that he’s now having to urge others to do the same.
Scholz’s new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius continued in the same vein and pushed for higher military spending within Europe and NATO. He went one step further than Scholz’s promise to meet the NATO target of spending 2% of GDP on defense, and called on the NATO alliance to agree on 2% as a minimum commitment, aiming for higher. Germany is not expected to meet its 2% target for at least another two years despite an additional 100 billion dollars boost to the budget.
On several occasions, Scholz publicly said no to requests fromUkraine to send fighter jets. He said Germany’s support for Kyiv is resolute but warned against hasty decisions and the dangers of escalation.
The Russian-Russian War on Cascades: What Does China Need to Learn? Beijing’s Foreign Minister Accused Beijing of Biden’s Visit to Ukraine
Prominent Kremlin critics who were offered seats instead were the wife of a jailed opposition leader, and a chess champion.
The conference was not intended to serve as a podium for Russian propaganda, but it was known for promoting dialogue, even between adversaries.
Heusgen – who served as former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s top foreign policy aide – admitted in an interview earlier this week that he left last year’s conference convinced Russia would not invade Ukraine. Four days later, the invasion began.
China’s top diplomat was travelling in the opposite direction on his way to Russia as US President Joe Biden arrived in Ukraine to meet with his counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.
The sharpening of tensions between the worlds two superpowers is underscored by the two trips being taken just days before the one-year anniversary of the war.
“We do not add fuel to the fire, and we’re against reaping benefits from this crisis,” Wang said in a thinly veiled dig at the US, echoing the propaganda messaging that regularly made China’s nightly prime-time news program – that the US is intentionally prolonging the war because its arms manufacturers are earning fat profits from weapon sales.
He asked Europeans to think about what they should do to bring lasting peace to Europe.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry accused the US of faking responsibility, shifting blame and spreading false information.
The US side supplies more weaponry to the battlefield than the Chinese side. The US side is not qualified to lecture China, and we would never accept the US dictating or even coercing pressure on Sino-Russian relations,” a ministry spokesperson said at a regular news conference.
“Who is calling for dialogue and peace? And who is handing out knives and encouraging confrontation? The international community can see clearly.
The Last Three Years: The Phenomenological Status of the Yeast Problem in the Cold Cold War and the Viability of Russia’s Role in the Dialogue of Putin
Previously, Beijing had carefully avoided actions that could trigger secondary sanctions, which would deal a devastating blow to an economy hampered by three years of costly zero-Covid policy.
In recent months, Beijing has softened its pro-Russian rhetoric, but its support for Moscow has not wavered over the past year.