Biden-Xi, China will not mediate between Ukraine and Russia

Of Guido Santevecchi

The Chinese: It is up to whoever has put the rattle around the tiger’s neck to remove it. The White House: Worldwide consequences if you support Moscow. And on Taiwan: Don’t touch the status quo

S.it is up to whoever put the rattle at the neck of the tiger the task of taking it off: one of the subtle sentences that Xi Jinping he used in videoconferencing with Joe Biden, while everyone is wondering what the role of China in Ukrainian tragedy. Decoded, the Mandarin proverb means that for the Chinese leader they must be United States And Born to discuss with the Russia to resolve the crisis. No promise of mediation from Beijing, for now it remains thestrategic ambiguity.

All war news in real time

In the nearly two-hour interview, Biden reiterated that China must stay on the sidelines right part of history, namely do not help the Russians in theirs brutal aggressionif you don’t want to run into implications And consequences not only from the American side but from the world side. The White House for days warns the Chinese not to give Putin an escape from economic sanctions and above all he orders not to accept the request for military supplieswhich according to American intelligence, Moscow has addressed to Beijing (wicked disinformation, Chinese diplomacy has branded it).

On the sanctions which according to the Chinese are of no use and in this circumstance they are illegal because they do not agree with the UN, Xi added that they only make people suffer and trigger severe spirals for the globalized economy. The discussion was frank, direct, on the substance, says the White House, synonym diplomat also of hardness. But in the agency report Xinhuato Xi are attributed calm tones: He noted that some in the United States did not follow up on the common understanding reached by the two presidents (in the previous virtual face-to-face in November, ed).

The report

In yesterday’s phone call you can read Chinese caution, so. But no new commitments. There Xinhua was strangely very quick in launching the summary of Xi’s speech, even while the call was still halfway through: a sign that everything had already been prepared in advance and no position adjustments were expected in the face of Biden’s questions. World peace and development are facing new challenges; the events show once again that relations between states must not lead to confrontation on battlefield; a clash between states not in anyone’s interest; we must bring China-America relations to the right track, take charge of our own responsibility of large countries for world peace and tranquility; there Ukrainian crisis something China would not want to see, Xi listed.

Ukraine and Taiwan

From these slogans it is not clear the role that Beijing would be willing to play in order to play an end to the invasion (which Xi insists not to call invasion, only crisis And instability). In the summary of the Xinhuaamong other things, the tensions with the Americans are mentioned first about Taiwan than Ukraine. Again, Xi said some in the United States are sending wrong messages to separatists (and to send an opposite signal, a Chinese aircraft carrier was sent into the Strait). Biden said Washington will continue to oppose to any change of the status quo a Taiwan. The White House explains they weren’t offers carrots to the Chinese to persuade them not to support the Russians.

Putin and friendship without limits

The ancient proverb on the tiger and the rattle it is often used by Xi, particularly when he is convinced that he must teach the interlocutor a lesson. For him, it was theenlargement to the East of NATO led by Washington that unleashed the (Russian) tiger. Come on mistrust and resentment towards the West, friendship is founded without limits with Putin. Xi and Biden broke up, noting that the interview was going on constructiveappointing working groups to continue in their respective efforts to solve the Ukrainian crisis, concludes the Chinese version; the American one says that the communication channel will remain open.


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