China’s Xi Jinping, the World’s New Peace Statesman

by Wall Street Rebel - Michael London | 03/17/2023 9:15 AM
China’s Xi Jinping, the World’s New Peace Statesman

Xi Jinping, is scheduled to meet with the President of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, the following week. Xi Jinping will also likely talk with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. It would seem that China is taking on the role of a mediator in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.


Xi Jinping, the leader of China, has positioned himself as a global statesman by mediating a peace agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran and praising the benefits of "Chinese answers and knowledge" in addressing the world's most pressing security issues.

Now Mr. Xi is inserting himself into the middle of Russia's struggle with Ukraine, maybe portraying himself as a mediator to conclude the drawn-out conflict.

China has already presented a peace deal, despite the fact that it does not address critical elements such as whether or not Russian soldiers would depart from the area. A face-to-face meeting between the Chinese leader and Russian President Vladimir V. Putin is scheduled to take place, and a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky may follow. On Friday, an official from China said that Mr. Xi's trip to Russia was "for the interest of peace."

To oppose what Mr. Xi referred to as "containment, encirclement, and persecution of China" by the United States, Beijing's campaign for legitimacy as the head of an alternative global order to the one controlled by the United States is at risk. This position has been pursued with increased urgency by Beijing.

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Russia and Ukraine see China as a transformational force capable of ending the stalemate. But, both Moscow and Kyiv recognize that a more direct involvement for China in restocking Moscow's dangerously depleted arsenal may drastically change the battlefield dynamics.

Beijing's own perception of China's rising global prominence after the pact between Iran and Riyadh is reflected in the words of Shi Yinhong, a professor of international affairs at Renmin University in Beijing.

One of Mr. Xi's most important priorities is mending Beijing's relationship with Europe, and he might get a leg up on this repair by riding the wave of momentum and jumping into the midst of the fight. Now that China's economy is in shambles, he is trying to keep the region from joining the United States in imposing trade and investment restrictions on China.

Analysts believe that for Mr. Xi to accomplish this goal, he will most likely need to display a strong enough effort to terminate Russia's conflict. This will be done in an attempt to exploit fractures within the European Union about the US drive to fight China. If he is successful, this might benefit nations like Germany and France, who are ready to ratchet up their economic engagement with Beijing. If he is not successful, this could have the opposite effect.

According to Danny Russel, vice president of the Asia Society Policy Center and former U.S. assistant secretary of state, "Western Europe" is Xi Jinping's real aim, not Russia or Ukraine. Ultimately, he wants to make it seem like he at least tried to the Germans and the French.

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The conditions that Russia requires for peace negotiations are rather stringent. The West has made withdrawing troops a prerequisite for discussions, but Moscow has rejected this demand. When Mr. Putin meets with Mr. Xi, he will probably prioritize asking for assistance in replenishing supplies of military-grade components and expanding shipments to China to fatten the Kremlin's war purse. Also, it will allow Russia to highlight that the international community has not ostracized it.

China has long been seen as a possible lifeline for Ukraine because of its influence over Russia, which is sufficient to impact the conflict. Mr. Zelensky has been making efforts, with the assistance of Washington, to conduct conversations with Mr. Xi over the last several months. Even further, he instructed his wife, Olena Zelenska, to hand a letter asking for a meeting with the Chinese delegation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The situation in China is complicated. Chinese officials have tried to present their country as a neutral observer of the conflict, but Beijing has continued to provide diplomatic and economic assistance to Moscow despite this.

Last month, the United States government warned that penalties would be imposed on China if it went through with its plan to sell deadly weapons to Russia. China has refuted the claim and blamed Washington for provoking "conflict and hostility" between the two nations.

Last month, the United States government warned that penalties would be imposed on China if it went through with its plan to sell deadly weapons to Russia. China has refuted the claim and blamed Washington for provoking "conflict and hostility" between the two nations.

It is very doubtful, according to analysts, that China would accept the risk of providing Moscow with weapons and ammunition unless Russian troops were near collapse. The Chinese government is willing to support Mr. Putin so long as he stays in power and the country can present a unified front to the West.

"Beijing is indifferent about the war," said Alexander Gabuev, an expert on Russia's ties with Asia at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. They want to avoid a loss so devastating that Putin feels threatened.

Personal chemistry between Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin, leaders of the two nuclear powers who pledged a "no-limits" collaboration just before the invasion of Ukraine, is reported to have strengthened the already strong bonds between their countries. As time has passed, Russia's dependence on China has risen.

Russia said in its announcement of Mr. Xi's visit, which will begin on March 20 and last for three days, that the two nations would address "problems of further development of the comprehensive relationship" between them and "deepening Russian-Chinese collaboration on the international arena." A state visit is the most important level of bilateral discussions that may take place at the Kremlin and is often reserved for the most trusted of partners.

When asked about the visit on Friday, Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry, stated that "maintaining world peace and promoting common development are the purposes of China's foreign policy." He went on to say that when it comes to the issue of Ukraine, China has always taken the position of favoring peace, dialogue, and historical accuracy.

There has been no announcement of a phone contact between the presidents of China and Ukraine, which will make the etiquette around the call more difficult to manage when Russia is involved.

It is still unknown whether or not Mr. Xi would bring up the possibility of peace discussions during his trip or whether or not he will embrace the opportunity presented by the agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The circumstances under which the pact was made were quite different. They had talked things out and were both eager to make amends. When it comes to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, however, neither side shows any signs of wanting to put an end to the bloodshed.

China argues that its vision of a new kind of global governance, which prioritizes conversation and communication above military deterrence and intervention, is reflected in the Saudi-Iranian pact. Chinese experts believe Beijing was able to mediate effectively between Iran and Riyadh because it has maintained friendly relations with both governments and has avoided playing on any tensions between them.

The Ukrainian government's opinion of China might be a deciding factor in any talks mediated by Beijing. China and Ukraine had a flourishing trading relationship and rising weaponry sales before the conflict.

China's passivity on the problem for over a year and its amplification of Moscow's propaganda about NATO assault has severely damaged Beijing's credibility, even if Ukraine has been circumspect in its criticism of China's covert backing for Russia's incursion.

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There are ways in which the conflict has been beneficial to China. As a result of the battle, China can buy oil from Russia, which is under strict sanctions, at a significant discount. It has also given Mr. Xi a better chance of driving a gap between the United States and a war-weary Europe that is hesitant to endure another winter with high energy costs.

In particular, the conflict has diverted U.S. resources from Asia, where China poses a larger long-term threat to the Western-led international order than Russia.

Mr. Xi claims appears to be on a mission of "national rejuvenation," drawing attention to the obstacles he sees posed by the United States. As the United States fortifies security connections with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Australia, Mr. Xi can see why Mr. Putin is concerned about NATO's incursion.

And one way Beijing is hoping to deter U.S. influence is by asserting itself more centrally in maintaining international peace and order.


                       Can China broker peace between Russia and Ukraine?

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