Xi Jinping returns to travel after 3 years: in Samarkand he will see the Russian president, Putin. With him I will also discuss the situation in Ukraine, gas, common strategies: but Moscow knows that Beijing does nothing for nothing, and political scientists do not foresee any direct involvement in the war. Because there are no eternal allies
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT FROM BEIJING
Xiplomacy is back, announces Xinhua greeting the departure of the presidentissimo of China for Central Asia, where he is now engaged in attendance, for the first time in almost three years. The spotlight is onSamarkand meeting between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin: the Russians say they are sure that China has decided to grant enhanced support to the Ukrainian company.
Xi and Putin have promised each other unlimited collaborationthey are pushed into each other’s arms by the common suspicion and resentment towards the West.
But even if they sleep in the same bed, they don’t have the same dreams. Xi’s diplomatic action, the Xiplomacy touted by Xinhua, can be summarized in four points.
1.Reviving the Silk Roads, bogged down by the pandemic and the international debt problems that plague many countries involved in the Chinese megaproject. It is no coincidence that Xi starts traveling again with today’s stop in Kazakhstan, where in 2013 he spoke for the first time about Yidai yilu (a belt, a road), the Mandarin name of the plan that promised to invest more than 1.3 trillion dollars in 2,000 infrastructures to be disseminated in a hundred countries.
2. Tomorrow the Xiplomacy calls at Samarkand in Uzbekistan, where the annual summit of the Shanghai cooperation organization is held, another Chinese creature that brings together eight countries. It was founded in 2001 by China, Russia and four former Soviet republics (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan). It was to be a forum for security dialogue focused on countering terrorism and separatism. Now Beijing says it has great economic potential, because the math shows that the SCO brings together 41 percent of the world’s population and 24 percent of global GDP. Iran will also be welcomed in Samarkand; another patrol of countries, from Turkey to Saudi Arabia, already has the role of observer. Putin too can be satisfied with the development of the organization dear to Xi: he can help Russia escape the isolation sanctioned by the West.
3.The face to face between Putin and Xi dominates these Asian maneuvers. Moscow announced last week that the 39 summit between the two leaders will be held in Samarkand; Beijing did not confirm for days, to give a signal of the superiority of the party-state general secretary, who deigns to accept invitations when he deems it appropriate. There is no doubt, however, that the face-to-face will be held tomorrow or later. This morning the Kremlin re-announced it, promising a discussion on the war in Ukraine, the situation in Taiwan and other regional and international issues. The aim is to show an alternative to the Western world, the Russians point out..
Operations in Ukraine are going badly and Putin needs support: sonder what the boundaries of unlimited collaboration are promised last February by Xi. The Tsar realized that Beijing does nothing for nothing: in Samarkand I will discuss a lot about gas. This summer, Beijing increased its demand for Russian gas by 60% and is estimated to buy 20% of Moscow’s oil production. Now it is planned to build a new gas pipeline, the Power of Siberia 2 that will give an outlet to Russian production, now that the West has decided to free itself from dependence on Moscow. Russia is also asking for high-tech supplies made in China and Chinese currency for payments, as access to the dollar has been significantly reduced by Washington sanctions. Jokingly, but revealing the reality, Putin just said in public that Chinese friends are tough negotiators, they look first and foremost to their own national interest. Beijing has increased its trade with Russia, but in recent months it has been careful not to run into the risk of secondary sanctions.CopyAMP code
4. With the Red Army struggling in the face of the Kiev counter-offensive, the Ukraine dossier that Putin most needs to share with Xi.
But China will continue to avoid any involvement in Russia’s war, especially now that Putin’s forces are failing on the ground, explains Shi Yinhong, professor of international relations at Renmin in Beijing. In the analysis of the political scientist, the sympathy or diplomatic and political support offered by China will not be of real help, even if the jump in energy purchases since April have given little non-military support. In March, political scientist Hu Weiwho in Shanghai in the executive team of a government-associated think tank, had sent an analysis to the American Carter Center in which he predicted Putin’s defeat, political if not military, and recalled that there are no eternal alliesn perpetual enemies, only China’s national interests are eternal and perpetual.
Xi’s China interest to drive a reshuffle of international order, resist US encirclement attempt. Also contrast with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization the various Asian alliances woven by Joe Biden. Russia serves this Chinese geopolitical strategy, says Yun Sun who heads the China Program at Washington’s Stimson Center. And he concludes by trying to read Xi’s mind: If Russia can win in Ukraine, China will have a very strong ally. If Russia loses, it will become a vassal, but always useful in the anti-Western conflict.