A top foreign official of China Wang Yi met with the Russian President in Moscow, illustrating the deepening of bilateral ties and convergence of geopolitical interests.
Dragon’s move in the Ukraine war
Symbolism in international relations is very significant. It reveals what the official statement hides. The top Chinese foreign policy official, Wang Yi, visited Moscow on February 22, 2023. Unlike previous occasions, Putin was not sitting across a long table; it was a small oval table and a firm handshake when the President of Russia and Wang Yi met, illustrating the closeness and comfort in the bilateral relationship Moscow and Beijing are exhibiting. telling the world that their relationship is becoming a “no-limit partnership.”
Wang Yi, after coming out of the meeting, which was high on symbolism, proclaimed that Russia and China are promoting “peace and stability” in the region. It’s no secret that Beijing is trying to position itself as a neutral mediator, but its actions and words don’t sync up and appear to double-speak.
European “game of thrones”
The anniversary of Russia – Ukraine conflict saw the geopolitical landscape becoming radioactive, with high-profile stakeholders visiting the frontlines and justifying the principles they are holding.
The President of the United States of America paid a surprise visit to Kyiv and addressed the countries belonging to the eastern flank of NATO in Warsaw, Poland, declaring that Kiyv stays strong despite the expectations.
Putin addressed his nation in Moscow on 21 February 2022 accused the West of taking the Ukrainian people hostage, and said that Western elites are trying to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia and Russia is only responding in kind.
Us secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that China could provide lethal material support to Russia and double-use weapons and ammunition. China denied the claim.
China in the Munich security conference declared that China is neither sitting idly nor throwing fuel into the fire.
So far, Chinese support for Russia has been only limited to rhetoric and political statements, and UN voting politics.
Though Chinese are often trying to walk a fine-often contradictory line on the Ukraine invasion, and adopting the position that the Chinese are following the principles of peace talks on the Russia-Ukriane issue.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine made the bilateral relationship between Moscow and Beijing deeper and no doubt more unbalanced in favor of Beijing.
Russia’s dependency on china was pronounced before the invasion and is likely to worsen and tilt more in favor of Moscow. Except for energy, the trade balance is not in favor of Russia. Chinese are following the same principle of debt-diplomacy as Russia also, that is Oil for loans. Between 2005-2021, Chinese state companies invested US$95 billion in energy infrastructure in cash-strapped Russia.
Russia and China have recently completed many strategic joint infrastructure projects in far-east resource-rich Russia. On the Defence front, China has bought the S400 missile defense system from Russia and so India. Fascade of Chinese neutrality exposed? Beijing’s top foreign official diplomat stated that a time of crisis called for China and Russia to deepen their comprehensive strategic partnership.
The strategy of a warring state is the ancient treatises of China, and one such strategy suggests that it is prudent to prepare the ground till one gets the best opportunity to strike. Is Beijing doing the same?
This strategy seems to be playing out in the ongoing war. PRC’s public position is of peace talks and de-escalating tensions, as evidenced by President Jinping’s warning that nuclear states should engage in hostilities and aggression.
However, the Chinese have been using aggression against the West to bolster an anti-west agenda that suits the narrative of the CPC. To some observers, China is using the American bogey as a pretext to build an alternative security architecture in Asia.
The ancient Chinese stratagem of deceiving the heavens & crossing the ocean and killing with a borrowed knife, exemplifies the Chinese position on the Ukraine war, Russia, and the west.