The three reasons why China is worried about the war in Ukraine – Corriere.it

from Guido Santevecchi

The Chinese foreign minister admonishes the United States: “If they do not change course on Taiwan, the confrontation will inevitably become conflict.” And he meets, at the UN, the Ukrainian colleague Dmytro Kuleba

The apparent taken away from Beijing
from the Russian military escalation, his request for dialogue for a ceasefire in Ukraine it seems to reopen the road towards a negotiation involving China and the United States in the pressure to lead to a peacemaking agreement between Moscow and Kiev.

Another signal comes from the corridors of the UN headquarters, where this morning the foreign ministers of China and Ukraine met unexpectedly. Wang Yi and his colleague Dmytro Kuleba in recent months had spoken twice, on the phone, in March and April. Beijing let it be known that Wang reiterated to the Ukrainian that “President Xi Jinping stressed the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries”. And then that “the legitimate concerns of all parties in matters of safety must be considered”. Finally that China is “always on the side of peace” and will continue to play a “constructive role”. Phrases not new for the Chinese, but which take on a more interesting meaning now, repeated to the envoy of Ukraine on the day Putin’s referendum for the annexation of four Ukrainian regions to Russia began. Kuleba took the opportunity to post the photo of the handshake with Wang on Twitter, under the side-by-side flags of China and Ukraine. Xi’s minister has lent himself to the media game: and in recent dramatic days, Beijing seems to want to rebalance his position. He certainly did not denounce his promise of “unlimited collaboration” between Xi and Putin, but he did in fact indicate limits, in particular on the irreparable use of nuclear weapons. And then there is the question of the annexation referendum, which is strategically dangerous for the Chinese.

Xi Jinping is playing a double game, in which the Ukrainian tactic serves to cover the strategy on the main target: Taiwan. His foreign minister Wang Yi recalled this in extremely harsh words, speaking to the Asia Society in New York. Wang said that “if the United States does not change course towards China, confrontation will inevitably become conflict.” The diplomat circled Taiwan in red for the umpteenth time, arguing that the Taiwanese issue is growing and becoming “the greatest danger for China-US relations, with devastating potential.” According to the Chinese, in recent months the United States have compared the Ukrainian crisis to the Taiwanese question “despite their nature being completely different”.

Here, then, is what Xi Jinping’s “concerns” about the destabilization caused by Putin’s adventure in Ukraine (which the Tsar had to admit at the summit with his friend in Samarkand on September 15) contain. At number 1 there is the reunification of Taiwan, which Joe Biden said he wanted to defend if he were under attack (and at this point, the clarifications of White House officials who argue that the president has not undermined the principle of strategic ambiguity seem to be superficial). With the so far compact mobilization to stop Russian aggression against Ukraine, essentially in the vision of Beijing, Americans, Europeans and NATO have shown that they could also commit themselves to the democratic island off the coast of mainland China.

Concern number 2, connected to the first, concerns the referendums in the regions of Ukraine controlled by the pro-Russians or occupied during the war: when Beijing says that “territorial integrity and national sovereignty must be respected, according to the UN charter”, think of Taiwan, which according to the international community and the United Nations would formally form part of the “One China” (the one governed by Beijing). The Chinese do not support those referendums, as they did not recognize the one held ten years ago in the Crimea, in order not to create a precedent to serve as a model for the Taiwanese.

Concern number 3 is the “world chaos” unleashed by Putin’s war, which also damages China’s economic interests. When Beijing says that “the war in Ukraine and sanctions are in nobody’s interest”, trying to weaken the Western bloc, it means above all its own strategic interest, the reunification of Taiwan and profitable trade relations with the globalized world. Putin’s discounted gas and oil certainly can’t make up for a drop in Chinese exports to the West.

Beijing also sent an important message in the press, with an article from People’s Daily that accuses Joe Biden of exploiting Ukraine and to use the campaign against Russia to block Taiwan’s unification. “After the partial mobilization of military reserves in Russia, the US-led West has intensified its efforts trying to transform the UN General Assembly into an anti-Russian platform.”

But after the Russian-Ukrainian hat, the Chinese Communist Party newspaper points straight to Taiwan and claims that with this “malicious attempt, Biden and his main allies have tried to weld the Taiwanese issue to the Ukrainian crisis, despite their completely different nature” . The People’s Daily he dismisses Biden’s reference in his speech to the UN as “reckless and dangerous”: “the United States opposes any unilateral change in the status quo.”

The Beijing newspaper concludes that «having faced the Taiwan issue, which is an internal affair of China, before the UN, demonstrates the duplicity of American politics ». Today in New York Wang Yi meets with US national security adviser Antony Blinken. It is hoped that the meeting will serve to prepare the first face-to-face summit between the two presidents, Xi and Biden, who will participate in the G-20 in Bali in November.

September 23, 2022 (change September 23, 2022 | 15:01)

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About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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