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OPINION

US, China harmoniously play "Russia is a third wheel" game

20 November, 2022 Sunday
23:30

There is no reset of relations between Beijing and Washington. This is not even a subject for the near future

On the sidelines of G-20 summit, Xi Jinping and Joseph Biden, during their first direct meeting, continued dialogue they started during a video meeting a week before N. Pelosi's visit to Taiwan (she was a guest on August 2).

At that time, the formation of new bipolar parity in the world - parity between the People's Republic of China and the USA - began. I remind you that "Taiwan crisis" ended in a "draw" for Beijing and Washington.

However, the relationship has not been reset and will not be in the coming months.  Because the US, together with its allies, is introducing new technological and other restrictions on Chinese business and Chinese public sector. American trade restrictions are not being lifted or eased.

As before, the US continues to build various economic and international political configurations in the Indo-Pacific region to "contain China". In Beijing, such actions are considered destructive. This situation will continue for quite some time.

We cannot talk about a reboot, because the essence of relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China has not changed. Geopolitical context has changed, and format of relations has changed somewhat, but the quality of these relations has not changed.

Dialogue launched by Xi Jinping and Biden in late July is a discussion of problems and differences in order to maintain balance between the two countries, which realize that they are each other's main competitors. It's like a match with the rules, not a partnership.

This new parity is based on 2 consensuses.

  1. Washington shares Beijing's thesis that two most influential states in the world are the People's Republic of China and the United States, which the whole world looks to as guarantors of security and development. This thesis was voiced several times by Xi Jinping (during 20th CPC Congress, during a video meeting in July, during a direct meeting at the summit). This thesis was also voiced by head of Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang Yi.

  2. Beijing's tacit public agreement with Washington's statement that China is main competitor and partner in discussions for the United States. Both states play "Russia is third wheel" game more and more harmoniously.

Of course, each of them plays this game with their own "specific style", which must be understood.

Consensus is important for Ukraine

On the sidelines of G-20 summit, for the third or fourth time since the beginning of 2022, a statement from Chinese government about inadmissibility of the use of nuclear weapons and threats to use such weapons was made.

Now, Xi Jinping emphasized this in the context of Putin's war against Ukraine and the hints of various Russian figures regarding possibility of using nuclear weapons.

This time, it was essentially an announcement of consensus position of the People's Republic of China and the United States, because it happened during the discussion between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden about war on the territory of Ukraine.

Putin and Russian leadership cannot ignore such a clearly expressed consensus. Because this is a "red line" already drawn by Beijing, thanks to which Russia did not find itself in greater economic isolation, in which it could find itself.

About the author: Volodymyr Volya, political scientist, internationalist.

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

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