The American President’s visit to Russia and the prospects for democratic reform in the next US Senate/Censorship elections — CNN’s opinion —
Editor’s Note: Frida Ghitis, a former CNN producer and correspondent, is a world affairs columnist. She writes for The Washington Post, CNN, and is a columnist for World Politics Review. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. Do you have an opinion on CNN?
Mr. Putin told Mr. Wang that he was looking forward to welcoming the Chinese president to Russia, but he wouldn’t confirm the meeting until later in the day. Mr. Wang responded that deepening the relationship with Russia remained a priority for China.
The US has a good democracy that is important to the autocrats who want to show that democracy is not bad and is better than their autocratic systems. The American President got a stronger hand to play with in the polls.
This was the perfect moment for this meeting to occur due to the United States and its democracy being more important than the US House of Representatives and Senate.
Zelensky’s victory in Kherson, Russia, as seen by the world leaders: The triumphant return of Volodymyr Putin
As Biden and Xi were meeting, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an emotional, triumphant return to the devastated, now liberated city of Kherson, the one provincial capital that Russian invaders had conquered.
After their second meeting in September, Putin admitted that he had concerns about China and China had done little to support Russia. The Russian President was rebuked after he threatened to use nuclear weapons.
Putin andXi, the world’s leading autocrats, looked unstoppable even. Meanwhile, Western democracies appeared unsettled, roiled by sometimes violent protests against Covid-19 restrictions. Putin was preparing for triumph in Ukraine. He was basking in attention as he prepared 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.
Tellingly, Putin chose not to attend the G20 summit in Bali, avoiding confrontations with world leaders as he increasingly becomes a pariah on the global stage.
Putin meets Wang Yi in Moscow, and how to avoid a war with China during the epochal crisis of the US-China diplomatic relationship
Xi’s desire to emerge as the de facto leader of a major strategic bloc, but one with the prestige of a statesman, creates an opportunity for the West to manage the relationship in a way that achieves President Biden’s efforts to compete vigorously while avoiding a war with China. He was talking about the Chinese balloon that went through the US earlier this month.
And yet Xi faces a mountain of daunting problems. The economy has slowed down so much that China is reluctant to reveal economic data. The vaccine was once a tool of global diplomacy, but it is disappointing. And partly because of that, China is imposing draconian lockdowns as the rest of the world gradually returns to normalcy after the pandemic.
Also crucial in the epochal competition between the two systems is showing that democracy works, defeating efforts of autocratic countries such as China and Russia to discredit it and proving that unprovoked wars of aggression, aimed at suppressing democracy and conquering territory, will not succeed.
Russian state media provided a picture of Putin with Wang Yi, China’s top foreign policy official.
The two leaders will talk about their bilateral relations, and discuss regional issues with one another. Peskov said on Thursday.
Though Beijing claimed impartiality in the conflict and no advance knowledge of Russia’s intent, it has refused to condemn Moscow and parroted Kremlin lines blaming NATO for provoking the conflict.
Reconciling China and India with Moscow during the February 23rd Ukrainian War and the Decay of the Stimson Center’s Sun
The world looks a lot different than it did more than ten months ago, and the dynamic between the partners has changed accordingly.
Instead of an anticipated swift victory, Putin’s invasion has faltered with numerous setbacks on the battlefield, 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.
Ukrainian officials have been cautioning for days that Russia is preparing to launch an all-out assault on the power grid to close out 2022, plummeting the country into darkness as Ukrainians attempt to ring in the New Year and celebrate the Christmas holidays, which for the country’s Orthodox Christians falls on January 7.
Xi said the two sides should continue to enhance political mutual trust and “always be each other’s true friends and good partners.” China and Belarus “should support each other’s chosen development path, support each other in safeguarding core interests, oppose interference in internal affairs by external forces, and safeguard the sovereignty and political security of both countries.”
AlfredWu, a professor at the Lee Kuan Yew school of public policy in Singapore, said China is growing more isolated in its stance towards Russia.
Though India has not condemned Moscow’s invasion outright, Modi told Putin in September that now was not the time for war and urged him to move toward peace.
But, experts say, China’s domestic situation has also changed significantly in the months since, which could necessitate a different approach to Putin this time around.
“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.”
Xi’s First Trip to China: A Challenge for the United States, Russia, and the Covid Outrage Over Iran’s Nuclear Activities
However, Wu said, the protests, Covid outbreak and consequent economic toll have placed Xi in a more vulnerable position that could mean less material and public support for Russia.
In a show of unity, the leaders of the two nuclear powers vowed to have a relationship with “no limits.” It looked like a pivotal moment in a global realignment of power.
China and Russia are so close because of their shared animosity toward the US that they’re even closer now than they were just a year ago.
The United States must aim to prevent the creation of a credible unified force of aggressive anti-democratic regimes, in addition to fortifying NATO and strengthening alliances, which the Biden administration has accomplished with great success.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry policy paper outlines a plan that criticizes Russia’s sanctions but also calls for recognition of the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries.
The rule of the strongest doesn’t work if you can’t win, that’s how Russia’s plans started to fall apart
Is the two of them in a relationship? 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 denied it was aiding Russia, but said it wouldn’t give weapons to Russia.
Beijing’s relationship with Tehran is complicated. When Xi visited Saudi Arabia in December, there was a joint statement from the two countries that pointed out Iran’s support for terrorist and sectarian groups.
Iran’s president traveled to China this week for the first time 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.
Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress are worried that China’s support of Tehran will help it evade the consequences of its nuclear and conventional weapons programs.
There is a contradiction in the goals of the man. If you want to elevate your standing to that of a respected global leader, it’s hard to create an alliance of rule-breaking autocrats and assorted dictators, and then expect other countries to join enthusiastically.
On Friday, Beijing released a 12-point position on the “political solution” to the crisis in a document calling for peace talks to end the year-long war. Its release, however, was criticized by Western leaders, who accused China of already having taken Russia’s side.
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.
Wang called on European countries to modify their approach to the war, as European Union leaders were wary of Beijing’s intentions.
Von der Leyen told CNN Saturday that Europe needs more proof that China isn’t working with Russia.
Putin conceded that Beijing had questions and concerns over the invasion in September, but it was not clear if he was trying to admit that there were diverging views on the war.
Wang Yi – who was promoted as Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s top foreign policy adviser last month – is due to arrive in Moscow this week as part of his eight-day Europe tour, a trip that brings into focus China’s attempted diplomatic balancing act since Russia tanks rolled into Ukraine a year ago.
On his way to Russia,China’s top diplomat traveled in the opposite direction, as US President Joe Biden arrived in Ukraine to meet with his counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.
The optics of the two trips – taking place just days before the one-year anniversary of the brutal war on Friday – underscores the sharpening of geopolitical fault lines between the world’s two superpowers.
Wang said in a thinly veiled dig at the US, that China is against reaping benefits from the crisis because they don’t add fuel to the fire.
Some may not want to see peace talks happen. They don’t care about the life or death of Ukrainians. They might have goals bigger than those of Ukraine. This warfare must not continue,” Wang said.
He asked European officials to think about what role Europe should play in bringing lasting peace to Europe.
The Problem of Warfare: China’s Foreign Minister’s Brief, a Russian Foreign Minister, Revealed at a White, Oval Table
U.S. officials have warned that China could seek to support Russia with weapons. But there was no mention of Ukraine or weapons in the seven-minute, televised portion of Mr. Wang’s meeting with Mr. Putin on Wednesday, where Mr. Patrushev and Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, joined Mr. Putin around a white, oval table.
We have made it clear to them that lethal support for us would cause a serious problem for us, and that is the concern we have now.
Responding to the accusations Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry blasted the US for “shoving responsibility, shifting blame and spreading false information.”
The Chinese side doesn’t give a steady stream of weapons to the battlefield. The US side is not qualified to lecture China and we will never accept the US trying to dictate pressure on Russian relations, a ministry spokesman said at a news conference.
Is there a need for dialogue and peace? Who is encouraging confrontation by handing out knives? The international community can see clearly, said the spokesman.
US officials were worried enough with the intelligence that they shared it with allies and partners in Germany, CNN reported. In a meeting with Wang on the sidelines of the conference Saturday, Blinken also raised the issue and warned Wang about its “implications and consequences,” according to a US readout.
The First Anniversary of the War in Ukraine: Moscow’s Unpopularity with China and its Cooperation with the Rest of the World on the Lattice
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.
And while Beijing’s pro-Russian rhetoric appears to have softened in recent months, its support for Moscow – when measured by its annual trade, diplomatic engagements and schedule of joint military exercises – has bolstered over the past year.
Mr. Wang arrived in Moscow after visiting Western Europe, where he attempted to convince European leaders that Beijing is not supporting Mr. Putin.
The fighting in Ukraine was not described in Mr. Wang’s comments, even though they were published. Mr. Wang may be unwilling to expose any deep differences between China and Russia.
As the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine approaches, Mr. Putin is trying to bolster alliances as he attempts to win back territory Russia has lost in the conflict. NATO members from the alliance’s eastern flank congregated in Warsaw to honor President Biden and show their support for him.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Putin said the trade volume between China and Russia would go to $200 billion by this year, compared with $185 billion last year.
“Everything is moving forward, developing, we are reaching new frontiers,” Mr. Putin said. We are talking about economic issues.
Beijing: Prospects for a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between China and Belarus after Lukashenko’s 2019 Presidential Election Win in the Cold War
China’s Foreign Ministry said that Alexander Lukashenko would be having talks with Chinese officials in Beijing on Tuesday and Thursday.
His trip comes after the two leaders agreed to upgrade their countries’ ties to an “all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership” during a September meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan, which Putin also attended.
In response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the US and its allies have imposed large swathes of sanctions on Belarus.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said at their regular briefing on Monday that Lukashenko’s visit would offer an opportunity to further progress the all-round cooperation between the two countries.
The European Union not recognizing the results of Lukashenko’s 2020 election win caused mass pro-democracy protests in the country and led to a brutal governmentcrack down.
Belarus was an early joiner of China’s Belt and Road development initiative, launched a decade ago, and trade between the two last year increased 33% year-on-year to surpass $5 billion, according to Xinhua.
China willoppose external interference and sanctions against the country in a phone call between the Foreign Minister of China, Qin Gang, and his counterpart from the country, Sergei Aleinik.
Chinese state media claimed that Lukashenko was welcomed with a 21-gun salute in Tiananmen Square by honor guard troops who later declared the China-Belarus friendship “unbreakable.”
The leaders of Ukraine and France would like to discuss the policy paper with China’s president, but the United States has been unwilling to do so.
Xi and Lukashenko signed a joint statement on the further development of the “China-Belarus All-Weather Strategic Partnership,” and witnessed the signing of a number of bilateral cooperation documents in the fields of trade, industry, agriculture, customs, science and technology, health, tourism, sports, localities and others.
Lukashenko has been president of the former Soviet republic since 1994, and won a sixth term in 2020 in a election widely viewed as fraudulent. Lukashenko retaining power in aftermath of the election set off months of street protests, which the regime met with a violent crackdown.