Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on March 20 and offered a more reserved vision for Russian-Chinese relations than what Putin was likely seeking. Xi and Putin touted the strength of Chinese-Russian relations in their meeting on March 20, but offered differing interpretations of the scale of future relations in articles they published on March 19. Putin published an article in Chinese state media in which he argued that Russia and China are building a partnership for the formation of a multipolar world order in the face of the collective West’s seeking of domination and the United States pursuing a policy of dual containment against China and Russia. Xi offered a less aggressive overarching goal for Russian-Chinese relations in his article published in Russian state media outlet Rossiskaya Gazeta, in which he noted that Russia and China are generally pursuing a multipolar world order but not specifically against an adversarial West. Xi instead focused heavily on presenting China as a viable third-party mediator to the war in Ukraine whose plan for negotiations ”reflects the unity of views of the world community on overcoming the Ukrainian crisis.” Putin wrote that Russia welcomes China’s willingness to ”play a constructive role in crisis management” regarding the war in Ukraine, but Putin likely was hoping for Xi to adopt a similarly aggressive rhetorical line against the West.
Xi’s refusal to explicitly align China with Russia in Putin’s envisioned geopolitical conflict with the West is a notable departure from China’s declared “no limits partnership” with Russia preceding the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Xi’s rhetoric suggests that he is not inclined to fully give Russia the economic and political support that Russia needs to reverse setbacks in Ukraine. Putin and Xi offered somewhat similar visions for increased Chinese-Russian economic partnership, and it is likely that the two will sign bilateral trade and economic agreements during Xi’s visit, some of which will likely aim to facilitate schemes for sanctions evasion. Xi will also likely offer a more concrete proposal for a negotiated settlement to the war in Ukraine, although it remains unclear what his proposal will entail and how receptive the Kremlin will be to it. The prospects of China supplying Russia with military equipment also remain unclear.
Comment: In spite of any past announcements of a limitless partnership between Russia and China, China is going to do what’s best for China. In my opinion, Xi has no desire to tie himself to Putin. His eye is on a far wider goal, one that involves safeguarding the international order, as China sees it, and expanding global trade opportunities.
China does what is best for China, and Russia does what is best for Russia, and the two are not mutually exclusive. Xi arrived with 120 of China’s top bureaucrats, they didn’t come for no reason.
Oh dear! Could the ISW please hire someone with a good appreciation of Chinese culture?
“ Putin likely was hoping for Xi to adopt a similarly aggressive rhetorical line against the West.”
Comment: No Putin wasn’t. The Chinese tend to avoid direct confrontation
. They don’t do aggression and rhetoric like we do. They rarely say what they really mean unless we are talking money. Putin understands this.
“ Xi’s refusal to explicitly align China with Russia in Putin’s envisioned geopolitical conflict with the West is a notable departure from China’s declared “no limits partnership” with Russia preceding the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Xi’s rhetoric suggests that he is not inclined to fully give Russia the economic and political support that Russia needs to reverse setbacks in Ukraine.”
Comment: Since when will any Chinese “explicitly align “ with anything? It would be regarded as the height of rudeness to even have such a conversation. Of course there is a “no limits partnership” does that mean China will support Russia to the hilt? On paper and in speeches, well, sort of.
The Chinese are very subtle most of the time, except where money is involved. To doubt that China is Russias best friend is rude. The chinese aren’t called inscrutable for no reason, they are subtle, hence the Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.”
Two leaders that have no use for ESG. If we don’t crush ESG soon going to make it much easier for them to roll on us.
“Fie on goodness”
Xi does not want to lose his profitable exports with Europe, North America, Japan and SK. I’m no economist but doubt he could make up that loss with exports to Russia, NK, Iran, Africa and South America. MIT’s Observatory of Economic Complexity seems to show that is true. Anyone have stats that show different?
There is no question that is true. But US companies have likewise tied themselves pretty close to China. Every time I read “Apple is going to move their iPhone manufacturing to India” I fall down on the floor and roll around laughing. China is going to limit it’s “friendship” with Russia but any big rupture between the US and China will hurt both sides pretty badly.
That may be true James. What of Europe, Canada, Japan and SK?
And perhaps Walrus or Peter W will tell us how will Australia and NZ react?
India? I have no clue. They seem to be pro-Russia but anti-China.
Yup. Scaremongering for arms sales + looking tougher on china than the Dems or republicunz depending on which party you are. Don’t forget several generous doses of “I hate de commies mor’n youz guys do” even though communism if it ever existed was buried by Stalin and later Deng. Most ridiculous place on earth is home sweet home America and always will be. Safer than any place on earth, more armed and more fortified than any place in history, most wealthy and most afraid of everything under the sun.
There is no way possible for Apple to get out of China. No place on the planet could handle the workload and never mind the price point…meh. Some companies have done it and can do it but there is a threshold where it is no longer an option for companies like Apple.
“Xi does not want to lose his profitable exports with Europe, North America, Japan and SK.”
But what if he is of the opinion – and it is not an unreasonable suggestion – that once Russia is dealt with then China is next.
That would mean that no matter what he does/doesn’t do he is going to lose those export markets.
I mean, honestly, yours is kindergarten strategy. It assumes that because you can’t think more than one step ahead then you can’t conceive of the concept that the Chinese can and do think several steps ahead.
This is a very simple concept: once “the West” breaks up Russia then China is the next target.
Once you comprehend that – and it ain’t difficult – then you can understand how naïve your thinking is.
Leith, you are stuck in a time warp, and so are many of your favorite commentators.
Short answer: China couldnt give a proverbial about losing “his profitable exports with Europe, North America, Japan and SK.”
Reason? Total Exports are $2.65 trillion, the Chinese economy is at least $ 18 trillion. Exports to western nations are nice to have but are no longer critical to the Chinese economy, the domestic market is now China’s focus.
Your model of Chinese being dumb copiers of Western ideas – manufacturing sub standard copies in mud -floored huts, watched over by armed guards and uniformed commissars, is totally and completely wrong.
The Chinese woke up to the British manufacturing game* at least 40 years ago. They now insist that any new investment has to be state of the art.
Australia is caught like a Deer in the headlights by China. Its worse for us than 1938. We demolished our manufacturing and defence industries at the urging of idiot economists “because imports were cheaper”. We didn’t build our own nuclear weapons when we should have and the rest of what passes for industry policy makes me want to cry. If we are very lucky, the USA might save us again
but the cost will be high.
* The British manufacturing game.
1. Invest in brand new manufacturing plant in Britain,
2. Ship the antique 100 year old plant to India.
3. Install old manufacturing plant in mud floored huts in INdia, hire poorly trained indians to make cheap low quality product.
@Walrus – “Your model of Chinese being dumb copiers of Western ideas – manufacturing sub standard copies in mud -floored huts, watched over by armed guards and uniformed commissars, is totally and completely wrong.”
That is not and has not been my model Walrus. I neither said nor implied such a thing. The link I posted above showed that a major percentage of exports to the US and the West are high tech items – brodcasting equipment, computers, integrated circuits, office machines and parts.
Your comment on the downfaall of Australian manufacturing sounds much like what we did to ourselves here in the States.
As I recall from the thing we can’t call the China virus the loss to the US of China’s output was crippling. It was seen again in miniature with the events at the Port of Los Angeles. It would be warfare by economic means rather kinetic ones. They are winning. Don’t mention the leak killed how many people across the globe and just how unusual the Chinese travel patterns were at the start.
No, China does not care that much about export to USA and Europe. Yes, they want money and access to technology. But they care more about other things. That is why they have only ever paid lip service to GAAP, intellectual properties, etc etc.
Their actions with TikTok and other recent trade disputes illustrate that. They will use WTO and other tools to milk the trade gravy train as long as possible, with doing the least compliance they can get away with. But not if it conflicts with more important strategic goals.
Thinking that they only care about money, you are at least 10 years out of date with that analytical paradigm. The CCP has pivoted.
The pro-Russian partisans are loving this:
Xi Jinping: Change is coming that hasn’t happened in 100 years. And we are driving this change together.
Putin: I agree.
Xi Jinping: Please, take care, dear friend.
Putin: Have a safe journey!
So much for western sanctions.
Seems like every Drang nach Osten starts the same and ends the same.
It seems to me that the smart move is for China and Russia to set themselves up so they can support each other structurally in times of war. If they can be positioned to provide each other with inputs like semiconductors, nitrocellulose, strategic tools & dies, etc. – that would fall short of providing weapons but be almost as helpful.
Limeys are sending uranium tipped artillery shells to Ukrainium. Time to get busy, Vlad.
His nibs announced it at a press conference with the Chinese President, by the way. Maybe the Russian Federation can refuse to import Colman’s mustard in the premixed form while holding out on the powder in tins.
The West brought a nuclear component to the conflict in Ukraine.
London announced the delivery of tank shells with uranium tips to Ukraine. This decision caused a sharp reaction in Russia. Vladimir Putin said that the West is beginning to use weapons with a nuclear component in Ukraine. And Sergei Shoigu regarded these actions of London as another step towards a nuclear clash.
Along with a company of Challenger 2 battle tanks, the UK will also supply Ukraine with ammunition, including armor-piercing shells containing depleted uranium, Baroness Annabelle Goldie, Deputy Minister of Defense of the United Kingdom, said. “Such projectiles are highly effective against modern tanks and armored vehicles,” Goldie said in a written response to a related question from House of Lords member Raymond Jolliffe.
Now Camit Cavedov here is a guy with the right attitude in my opinion.
PS to the board here: This is how those deranged Tinglish will end up getting us all killed here in the US. Is it their secret plan – to take over after the US, China and Russia wipe each other out? Nothing would surprise me. I lived in England as a kid.
Even better – enjoy:
Islam Itlyashev – Салам Алейкум братьям!
I could listen to this forever. And watch it too.
F&L. Depleted uranium has been used on artillery shells for decades to provide higher penetrating on hardened targets. Nothing new here or of major consideration
It’s a heavy metal and highly toxic, especially when exploded and circulating in dust. I understand that it’s not as radioactive as pure U235. All sorts of crimes have been practiced for decades and centuries and millennia. Can we return to burning witches and sacrificing 13 yr old virgins – after all our ancestors did so and it still goes on believe it or not. Maybe we should decapitate 8 year old boys and run counterclockwise 40 times around a cabin with the bleeding body to dedicate new naval ships – after all it works for dedicating war canoes on remote Pacific islands as recently as the 1990s.
It’s not even as radioactive as natural all-isotopes-mixed uranium. Depleted uranium is what is left over after the U235 has been extracted out of it. Here is a simple wikipedia article about it.
I suspect the RussiaGov side knows very well that DU is not a radiological weapon. But the word “uranium” is a scary word and offers the RussiaGov an opportunity to make accusations of “nuclear escalation” in order to describe the placement of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus as mere parity restoration or “catching up”.
Too bad tungsten is so expensive or we could make the high-speed armor-piercers out of tungsten, which the RussiaGov could hardly call radioactive or “nuclear”.
Depleted uranium will be a nightmare for whomever ends up on the land they are used, ethnic Russians or Ukrainians.
Fourth and Long
Maybe Russia should stop selling Uranium to its enemies.
I agree, they most certainly should.
I recall Col Lang used to note the passage of St Patrick’s day. A belated nod to those great people who somehow produced our present pretzeldent.
Sham Rock – Tell Me Ma
TTG, you have provided a link to Kagan-world’s view of the Russia-China summit.
For an alternative view, please let me add a link to Larry Johnson’s view of it:
CNN also has a rather different view of the summit, putting a focus on the war in Ukraine:
The difference in focus is instructive.
Some links that do a far better job than I could at pointing out the absurdity, stupidity and desperation of the recent ICC charges against Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova:
The idea that, after Putin, the main enemy of humanity is the Commissioner for Children’s Rights, who, judging by her background, really loves children (five of her own & four adopted), whose main fault is that she is evacuating children from a war zone, is simply a caricature.
Many of those involved in the abduction and reeducation of Native American children in the US and Canada were also firmly convinced of their righteousness and were convinced they were doing God’s work. That didn’t make their actions any less of a genocidal act. That Lvova-Belova appears to truly love children and is undoubtedly convinced she is doing good is immaterial to the fact that she is key to implementing this genocidal Russian government policy.
I’m in agreement that the road to hell is often paved with good intentions. Here’s a perfect and very disturbing illustration by the way, very much on topic .. I will assume you know who Ed Rollins is – managed Reagan’s 2 campaigns and much else.
Since you likely don’t have time to watch the entirety, fast forward to the last two minutes to hear Ed Rollins’ outlook on Ukraine going forward. My estimation of the west, especially the Brits and the maniacs running Biden is that they want precisely what Rollins foresees so as to infinitely demonize Russia. I hope: I’m wrong And that the Russians understand I might not be wrong.
Andrew Napolitano interviews Ed Rollins on Republican nominees in 2024 race and Ukraine (very recent):
It’s a great pity, if I may be allowed to say so, that someone of your caliber, TTG, is throwing around the term “genocide” with such abandon. Not only because it is an exaggeration, but because it is inflammatory to lesser minds and has a non-zero chance of leading to situations such as the one Rollins foresees at the end of that clip above, or more accurately my pessimistic but realistic estimation of western intentions.
And by the way – are you aware of the massive child murder industry in the European countries during the 18th and 19th century – the foundling homes where unwanted children were intentionally starved to death slowly and unseen by the many many thousands? Several women who did this as a profession were eventually hung sometime near the end of the 19th century. This woman is but one of many, but particularly notorious. Several were executed on charges of being responsible for approximately 400 murders each. Historians blame the industrial revolution and its upheavals, Satanic mills etc. The topic is exceedingly complex and of universal significance, in fact it is the central topic of Goethe’s Faust – Dr Faustus and Mephistopheles defending poor Gretchen against the charges of infanticide.
Interesting clip in your video where they talk about John Kirby (representing Biden), Xi, and Putin:
Your clip immediately follows that discussion.
Correction: that should have been
Yes, that was remarkable.
This snippet is also full of wisdom of sorts – Rollins recollects China’s martial prowess vis a vis the US in Korea & Vietnam.
U.S. policy in Ukraine will not remove Putin. Ed Rollins, fmr Ronald Reagan advs.
I’m throwing around the term “genocide” because I believe it’s entirely appropriate to describe Moscow’s intentions and actions in Ukraine. I know the term conjures up images of concentration camps, gas chambers and the final solution. Genocide can be far more subtle than that. In this case it begins with the pronouncements from the top that Ukraine is not a real country, nor a real culture. The deportation and reeducation of Ukrainian children is just one step in this process. The theft of art and other cultural artifacts is another step. There’s much more. It’s a relentless process. And it has to be fought just as relentlessly.
Rollins’ view in that interview is a widely held realist view, that Russia will not be expelled from Ukrainian territory she has already occupied. If Ukraine accepts a ceasefire that leaves Russia free to solidify her gains to date while sanctions gradually are lifted and relations with Russia normalized, Russia will win this war of aggression. She won’t win all that she set out to do, but it will be a win for Russia and the notion that aggressive war to expand national territory remains proper international conduct.
I don’t believe Russian victory, even partial victory, is inevitable. But a premature declaration of a frozen conflict will, in all likelihood, guarantee a Russian victory and a horrible defeat for those Ukrainians who would be forced to live under Moscow’s rule.
You’re quite right to point out that no one has a monopoly on claiming to have been victims of genocide, though a huge number of my late dad’s relatives will never stop believing otherwise. Why right here in the good old USA we have a prestigious Ivy League University – Amherst – named after a British general who distributed blankets to Native Americans which were infected with smallpox, for which they possessed no natural immunity, killing them like flies. And we, the Americans, get to be blamed for it though it was not us, it was those limey bastards who as you know I love so dearly and truly.
I read a scholarly tract on genocide yrs ago that counted the eradication of north American grey wolves and carrier pigeons as instances of genocide. Mao had a distinct aversion to sparrows which didn’t turn out so well either.
It’s easy to get all up in a huff over that stuff. In my opinion we, the humans, are a genocidal species. You might enjoy reading E.O. Wilson’s The Social Conquest of Earth. I did, years ago. Talk about depressing .. .
Putin ain’t Daddy Warbucks rescuing poor orphans from the likes of Amelia Dyer or Aggy Hannigan. To my old eyes he is much more akin to one of the Dickens’ villains that beat, cheated, and exploited fatherless & motherless British children of 19th century .
Where putinophiliacs get their ideas on this is way beyond my ken. Has the Kremlin’s attempts at propagandization and zombification of the Russian populace flowed outside its borders and affected Europe, the US, and Australia? I realize his PR guys have for decades spread the spin that he is the coolest prez ever, a glamorous James Bond turned to politics. But I guess I mistakenly thought that we in this country were cynical about spin and were able to see through the smoke and mirrors.
With the exception of a few countries we are the most propagandized brainwashed country there is.
Maria Lvova-Belova is not Putin. She is indicted by those bureaucrat ICC whose chair just coincidentally had his pedophile homosexual brother released from prison two weeks before the charges were made. It’s ridiculous hypocrisy anyway – it was a purely political move made to precede by mere days the visit of the President of China to the Russian President. You couldn’t have missed that with ten Hubble telescopes. The Poles did a similar move with their declaration that they would enter the fray if Ukraine collapsed. And why mention that Polish soldiers are already in the fight in considerable numbers? Because it’s true, that’s why not, and our media is pure 100% propaganda for years now. It was always controlled by the CIA but that was supposed to be secret. Now it’s right out in the open – CIA, FBI and Military brass are on the networks, Fox, CNN and MSNBC 24/7. If you like living in a military police state, welcome to America, prisoners. Highest % incarcerated? Oh yes but also highest absolute number even compared with so/called “communist” China which has 4 times the population. And every single mouse click and keystroke monitored by the NSA, and numerous private companies. Should the mass killings of citizens be mentioned everyday for years now – more mass shootings per year than there are days in the year by a factor of at least 2. Imagine if the definition of mass shooting was changed from 4 per incident to 3 or 2? And this is the country you proudly defend and support.
A few of us are Gordon. But the majority see through the BS.
Yes, Ivermetcin was “horse medicine” and now its not. Quite a few others out there too.
I see see married an Orthodox priest. Church lady. I know a few of those whose opinions, whatever they might be, are utterly unshakable. She strikes me as a true believer in whatever Russia might be as well.
I too cringe a bit at the term coined to describe the horror of the Third Reich and partially what the Turks did to the the Armenians being tossed around the way it is today. If the same word can be applied to those atrocities applies to what this church lady is trying to do it has become all but meaningless and I would not be in the least bit surprised to see it being used to describe the condition of Texans being forced to learn evolution next week.
However….it is what it is. Definitions inevitably change with time. There is no stopping that. We must accept the current usages or live in our own private verbal Idaho.
The Chinese are on their best behaviour so far, TTG, as are their fellow neocon targets, the Russians.
The reason’s simple enough. They’re working away at establishing a nexus of trade links outside the West. And both of them are trade giants.
Chinna has a real economy that’s already larger than we have in the West. Russia has fossil fuels in abundance and plenty else besides. Russia also has a far more substantial industrial base than our neocons reckoned with, though obviously not the size of the Chinese.
Two very big players then, and on their best behaviour because they want to draw the non-Western countries into their non-Western trading nexus.
For the Chinese that means they mustn’t be seen to be using their trading weight to extend political controls to neighbouring countries. That’s SOP for most trading giants. The British did it in spades when we had trading supremacy. More recently, for the EU their immense trading weight is the only weight they’ve got and they explicitly use it in order to “project the power of a continent”.
The Chinese declare they have no intention of power projection. At present they’re holding to that declaration. They have a host of less powerful countries who wish to be part of the new trading nexus, but not if it means domination from outside. So the Chinese don’t play the sanctions game – “if you don’t do what we want we’ll mess up your trade” isn’t at present in their lexicon.
The Russians are in a similar position. They mustn’t be seen to use their fossil fuel and other supplies to threaten the countries they’re supplying.
This is why, incidentally, we don’t see much in the way of Russian counter-sanctions against Europe, Not because they’re fond of the Europeans. On the contrary, they are angry as hell about the Barbarossa 2 that Europe, Scholz at the helm, attempted to unleash on them. But if they impose significant counter-sanctions on Europe, countries like India will see that and think, we’re not going to go to the trouble of getting stuff from Russia if the Russians can cut us off every time we fall out.
It has not been understood in the West that the Russians tune their response to the recent European assault on them with those considerations first in their minds. They have lost the propaganda war in Europe. That, they have sense enough to know is a lost cause so they scarcely bother to fight it. And of course similarly in the States. But they do want to win friends and influence people outside the West.
Only by understanding that can we understand how they have played the SMO. They’re not worried on the military side. Scholz’s Barbarossa 2 is negligible militarily and the American don’t have forces available to give him much of a boost there even were they to choose to do so. The sanctions war is also a non-event. Again, there wasn’t much the Europeans could do to hurt Russia with sanctions and the US sanctions, the financial sections that were expected to have real bite, also proved a flop.
So there was never much threat from Europe, even backed by Washington. The West powerless, the Russians have a free hand in the Ukraine and can deal with the problem we’ve set them there any way they please. But as far as Asia and the Global South is concerned, the Russians do not have a free hand. Asia and the Global South is the gallery they play to and they will play to it carefully.
We in the West still find significant the hot air put out by Blinken or Sullivan or Biden. Not so much that put out by Scholz or Macron – they stopped being players after February 21st and even we in the West sense that. But to the Russians all that hot air is just that, hot air. They scarcely bother to pay attention to it because they need not. But they pay great attention to whatever comes out of the non-Western countries. That’s their future now.
So this meeting between Putin and Xi, any amount of sidekicks in attendance, is the most important meeting going. From it will come decisions on how to deal with remnant Ukraine, and on how it will be necessary to deal with Europe. Ironic that the continent of Europe, that was the centre of the world for so many centuries, is now reduced to the role of passive observer as its fate is decided elsewhere.
Scathing but fair.
Even a little too stinging.
To say that the West (and especially the EU) will no longer make history is too quick.
Our resources are still huge.
Do we have the political staff capable of not wasting them? Seeing the actions of the current minus habens, one can doubt it.
One can only doubt that, looking at the shambles the “political staff” of the West have made of this enterprise.
D74 – I believe that after Ukraine is over the Russians might return to their late 2021 European security demands. What’ll happen if the European politicians again tell the Russians to get lost on those demands? That’s presumably something Xi and Putin will want to have a coordinated approach to.
Of course the Russians might be content to leave those 2021 security demands unmet. If they’re not, then “how it will be necessary to deal with Europe” will be one of the things being discussed at that meeting in Moscow.
I agree with Michael Pettis that Fareed Zaharia and the many other pontificators don’t know anything about global financial flows, trade finance or balance of payments accounting. We keep getting so many posters arguing without much knowledge about “petroyuan” and “petrodollars”.
The fact is that USD use by the private sector which is substantially larger than the state sector is growing. And that the dollar as reserve currency is not beneficial to many segments in the US. A huge failure in US policy is allowing the Fed to assume powers not inherent in the legislation. They have no legal mandate to backstop Wall St financial speculation. However Congress has no knowledge about the financial plumbing and buy into Wall St and Fed sophistry as they’re bought with enormous campaign contributions. Only when we can take out big money from political campaigns can we refocus economic incentives to production and real financial performance.