China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin are waging an intellectual offensive after months of listening to US President Joe Biden proclaim democracy to be in a deadly battle with tyranny.
Xi condemned the United States and its Western allies last month, saying they were attempting containment from all angles, encirclement, and oppression against us.
Putin approved a 42-page paper detailing an anti-Western foreign strategy.
China’s anti-Western stance takes center stage in the public messaging coming out of the Xi-Putin alliance. The escalation of hostilities between the United States and China is nothing new.
A more robust anti-containment effort mirrors Beijing’s growing acceptance of Russia. While it is unknown what is said between Xi and Putin behind closed doors, the “body language” shows that Xi does not put significant pressure on his “dear buddy” to halt the conflict in Ukraine.
Putin and Xi signed a statement that didn’t ask Russia to pull its soldiers out of Ukraine, respect Ukraine’s internationally recognized border, or even reiterate Beijing’s request for a ceasefire from its 12-point “position paper” on resolving the war from last month.
Instead, it used obfuscation to pin the blame for Russia’s invasion on Nato expansion, arguing that “legitimate security concerns of all nations must be acknowledged and bloc conflict should be averted.”
The document also called for adherence to the United Nations Charter, but it did not refer to Moscow’s egregious breach of the section of the Charter that prohibits the “use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.”
The world no longer sees China as a credible mediator in this issue. After visiting Moscow, many expected Xi to call Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. But this has not happened. Russian air attacks blasted Ukraine again.
The next challenge is to see whether China’s economic backing for Russia also includes the provision of deadly help from Beijing to Moscow. Officials in China have said they don’t intend to do that. China’s anti-western stance has caused severe collateral damage. The world’s second-biggest economy is seeing increasing economic decoupling, causing business uncertainty.