“Putin is dissatisfied with China”

from Guido Santevecchi

Kung Chan, founder of the Anbound think tank, explains why Xinhua has given voice to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba and his accusations against Russia. Kiev cannot agree to lose its territory. And she was able to point out that the war is not in Beijing’s interests

There is a coded signal from Beijing to Moscow ininterview with the Ukrainian foreign minister published by the Chinese state agency Xinhua? Having given the floor to Kiev is a novelty for China of unlimited friendship with Russia. Dmytro Kuleba replying to Xinhua denounced the Russian invasion, the bombings, the slaughter of civilians, and asked China to guarantee the security of Ukraine when a ceasefire is reached. Reading in Chinese, uncensored, the position of Kiev and words such as invasion and aggression, always avoided by Xi Jinping, remarkable (even if the common Chinese have other things to do than read and analyze Xinhua and it is the Pekingologists who question themselves).

For the Chinese Party-State, which closely monitors Xinhua, Could giving a voice to Ukraine under attack be a diplomatic breakthrough?

Responds from Beijing Kung Chanfounder of the Chinese think tank Anbound, which is independent but also provides its geopolitical and macroeconomic analyzes to members of the government establishment: Xinhua had to move on a tightropeas evidenced by the fact that on the same day he also interviewed the Russian Sergei Lavrov. But even if giving the floor to Kiev was indeed a signal for Moscow, nothing will change because the vision of China has crystallized in the West.

At the record there is the declaration of friendship without limits between China and Russia …
In fact, Vladimir Putin has publicly expressed dissatisfaction with China. He said Russia cannot put all its cards on Beijing to avoid the impact of Western sanctions. Putin is well aware that many Chinese companies do not want to risk “secondary sanctions” and do not intend to be paid in rubles, which can be quickly devalued. The Beijing business community is moving cautiously towards Russia.

What is your opinion on Ukraine’s position? Do you think he really wants to negotiate with Russia?

Kiev certainly wants to discuss the ceasefire. Their cities are in ruins, refugee women and children around the world. The problem is that Ukraine cannot agree to lose part of its territory as a condition for a suspension of hostilities. In that case it would make all the sacrifices made so far useless and meaningless.

But could Beijing guarantee Ukraine’s security after the ceasefire?
In my opinion no. Maybe he could have done it in the past. But China now at war against Covid-19 outbreaks, the impact on the economy strong, growth in doubt. And then the European issues seen by Beijing appear confused. The West says that China is an ally of Moscow, even if on closer inspection since the beginning of the war Germany has bought much more Russian gas than China has received: the Germans 9.1 billion euros; 6 billion Chinese … I believe that China will continue to make efforts to restore peace. I do not rule out more Chinese activism in the future, but I am skeptical about the effectiveness of mediation at this stage of the war: everyone knows the diplomatic style of Moscow and everyone has been able to know the fighting spirit of the Ukrainian people. I think the violence of the confrontation will eventually lead to a rethinking of geopolitical relations: the world will accept Russia’s status as a great power and respect the Ukrainian people for what they deserve.

In an interview with Xinhua, the Ukrainian minister said that “This war is not in line with the interests of China. The global food crisis, the problems of the economy represent a serious threat to China. Also consider that Russia is paralyzing the Belt and Road Initiative launched by your leadership “(the Silk Roads, ed). In your opinion, is Kuleba right about this consideration?

I think the same way. And anyone who knows Chinese economic data can only agree with Minister Kuleba. I must say that I have some respect for the Ukrainian staff who have been able to follow developments in China so thoroughly while they are occupied by the war. But even Chinese diplomats, such as the ambassador to the United States, have made it clear that this conflict is not in our best interest. China-Russia trade is worth $ 147 billion, only 2.4% of China’s foreign trade. Putin has said several times that he would like to increase bilateral trade to 200 billion dollars, but Beijing has not announced the same goal, it has only spoken of increasing trade. After all, I notice that Russia doesn’t produce much besides oil and gas … and the Chinese don’t like vodka.

In addition to consulting on geopolitical issues, Chan deals with the analysis of information methodologies. What resonance did Xinhua’s parallel interviews with the two enemy diplomats have in China?
Just do an Internet search using the terms “Kuleba and Xinhua” with Chinese characters to get over 8.3 million results. With “Lavrov and Xinhua” it comes to 1.1 million. Seven times more attention to the interview with the Ukrainian minister. But this has nothing to do with China or the Chinese press, simply the sign that the Russian minister’s speech repeated well-known and unexciting positionswhile the Ukrainian minister did an excellent job of informing.

May 4, 2022 (change May 4, 2022 | 15:57)

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“Putin is dissatisfied with China”

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