Espreso. Global

We witness real civilisational split between West and Global South

4 June, 2024 Tuesday

We are witnessing the emergence of a bipolar world out of the Russian-Ukrainian war and the war in the Middle East, with both camps preparing for an important and decisive clash in the future


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China has responded to the statements made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the Singapore Summit. As you know, the President of Ukraine accused the leadership of China of trying to disrupt the Peace Summit, which will soon be held in Switzerland. Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that China's leaders not only decided not to participate in the summit themselves, but also put pressure on the leaders of other countries of the so-called Global South not to go to Switzerland either.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning strongly denied the Ukrainian president's statements and stressed that China does not use coercive tactics or pressure on other states in its foreign policy. This made it clear that Beijing does not accept criticism from the Ukrainian president.

Just before the summit, the Chinese Foreign Ministry unveiled its own vision of how to end the Russian-Ukrainian war, which can be described in one word: freezing. That is, the Chinese plan does not even mention possible security guarantees for Ukraine or options that would allow us to talk about the possibility of ending the Russian-Ukrainian war under conditions that would prevent Russia from creating new risks for Ukraine in the future and maintaining control over its occupied territories.

Moreover, it has become clear that China has not only refused to participate in the Peace Summit in Switzerland, but also offers other countries to do so or at least support the Chinese vision of ending the war in Ukraine, which is now a Sino-Brazilian vision. And the Chinese Foreign Ministry continues its diplomatic efforts to persuade the countries of the Global South to refrain from participating in the summit in Switzerland.

An important indicator of this was the information that the leadership of Saudi Arabia is not inclined to participate in the summit. And this was at a time when it became known that the President of Ukraine was likely to visit this country and hold talks with Prince Mohammed, one of the most influential players in the Global South.

The diplomatic duel between the President of Ukraine and the President of China continues literally before our eyes.

After Singapore, Zelenskyy visited the Philippines and held fruitful talks with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, one of the US's most important allies in the region. As you know, relations between the Philippines and China are rather complicated due to territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Often, it even comes to border incidents. Many fear that disputes between China and the Philippines could escalate into a real war.

During the Singapore Summit, China's Defense Minister actually threatened not only Taiwan but also the Philippines. And the Chinese Foreign Ministry once again addressed the United States with undisguised threats to support its allies who have difficult relations with China.

And at this very moment, the President of Ukraine appears in Manila (Manila is the capital of the Philippines), and the President of the Philippines emphasizes that he will participate in the Swiss Peace Summit.

This is how we understand what the Peace Summit is turning into today, but primarily because of the efforts of China, not Ukraine. It is turning into an attempt to understand which countries are in the orbit of political influence of the United States and other Western countries, and which countries are primarily pursuing a geopolitical orientation linked to the interests of China and Russia.

The Peace Summit is now finally turning into a summit of allies of Ukraine and the United States, and China is trying to turn non-participation in this summit into a sign of loyalty to its own political and economic interests.

Thus, the countries of the Global South, thanks to Beijing's efforts, are faced with a rather difficult choice - to go to Switzerland and support some of the points of Volodymyr Zelenskyy's formula, which means signing a declaration of disloyalty not only to the Russian leadership, but first and foremost to the Chinese leadership, which is responding to President Zelenskyy's statement with absolute confidence and making it clear to those who want to take into account its interests that they must decide with whom they are. With Zelenskyy, who accuses China of trying to disrupt the summit, or with China, which sees a different way out of the Russian-Ukrainian war and is actually creating the groundwork for an alternative conference in which high-ranking Russian leaders will take an important part.

During the negotiations on the Peace Summit, the Chinese leadership said that it could send its representatives only if a Russian representative was invited to Switzerland. Probably Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

We can say that what we are witnessing is a serious change in the entire geopolitical situation in the world, caused by the Russian-Ukrainian war, as we had predicted earlier. At the first meetings of the national security advisers, one could once see the special representative of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Li Hui. The same Li Hui who is now making vigorous efforts to ensure that the summit in Switzerland ends in a demonstrative fiasco.

One of the meetings took place in Saudi Arabia, whose leadership is now trying to build good relations with Beijing and Moscow and is obviously going to refrain from having representatives of the kingdom participate in the Swiss Peace Summit. However, the question arises: why did they hold such a meeting on their own territory if they knew that Russian representatives would not attend? The reason is that the international situation has changed dramatically.

We are witnessing a real civilizational split between the West and the Global South. We are already seeing a bipolar world emerge from the Russian-Ukrainian war and the war in the Middle East, with both camps preparing for an important and decisive clash in the future. Let's hope that it will be an economic clash rather than a military one, but it could lead to unpredictable consequences in the entire history of mankind.

And it all started on 24 February 2022. Let's remember this date.

About the author. Vitaliy Portnikov, journalist, winner of the Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine.

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the authors of the blogs.

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