They did everything themselves. Destination set at the last minute, Cavalieri Hilton Waldorf Astoria; minivan with tinted windows that access staggered; The first three hours of the interview closed and a long “thinking” paused, without the Italian government knowing the details of US-China bilateral relations but only the outlines, to allow the police to escort the two delegations. The Chinese and Americans are kilometers apart for lunch, before reconnecting threads of morning conversations about the crisis. Two hours stop and go. Indications that the highest face-to-face level between Americans and Chinese since the outbreak of war yesterday, day 19, is not traveling on an encouraging basis.
Neutral Territory, Italy. Russia is at the top of the rankings, with news coming from Kyiv in the meantime: further attacks on the skies of Ukraine, dead and wounded. Before returning to sit down together in the afternoon, at the Hilton, the breaking point had already emerged: that China could be open to providing military assistance to Russia to support the invasion of Ukraine. But it is a possibility, not a fact. This is enough to send the Western notion of the Chinese side into a state of collapse to put pressure on Vladimir Putin. And at the end of a nearly 8-hour marathon, there is a dead end: the meeting concluded without a press conference or joint statement.
Sirens accompany delegations abroad. The Financial Times cites Pentagon sources and adds a piece to the Hilton puzzle: “If Beijing chooses to support Russia financially in this war, there will likely be consequences for China.” In the evening, a note from the White House lowers morale and leads to more constructive aspects of the meeting in Rome between the rising star of American demos Andrew Sullivan, a highly trusted adviser to Joe Biden, and the head of the State Department. Beijing Affairs Committee Yang Jiechi: “The two stressed the importance of keeping the lines of communication between the United States and China open.”
45-year-old Sullivan, formerly Hillary Clinton’s right-hand man, is a “hawk”; The youngest national security advisor in American history. He is under criticism at home for withdrawing from Afghanistan. This time, it is re-launching negotiations to avert World War III. It sets red lines, including (apparently) chemical weapons.
Everyone does their part. Information and counterinformation. Kremlin propaganda says that Moscow will not need support, and insists that China, which is resuming again with its abstention from the “special operation” in Ukraine. “But if they explicitly ask…” is the free interpretation of the insiders. Russia alone will not hold out much in the field, this is the argument of the countries: the Kremlin denies this.
The news of a possible Chinese military “aid”, which the United States has imparted to the allies, fills the presence at the Hilton also from a security point of view. The Chinese delegation returns after the first round. Sullivan, the head of the delegation, has Biden’s mandate to discuss solutions to the crisis, avoiding a pro-Moscow role. Indiscretion is leaking from the White House about concern about the Russian “alignment” in Beijing. But China does not go beyond its equal area.
Sullivan was entrusted with the task of explaining to the strategist Yang Jiechi, head of the foreign policy of the Communist Central Committee, that military support for Moscow would be tragic. This information was denied by the Dragon in the last days. However, Moscow was going to ask for help on the ground. Files from Washington indicate (and continue to do so persistently) that China may send drones to allow Putin to attack ground targets; Already sold in the past to Middle Eastern countries.
Can military technologies reach the Red Army? Under what conditions can Xi Jinping’s help be implemented? Neutral context, geographically, is not enough to square up to the Chinese role and make Putin surrender. Nor the fact that the two heroes of the expedition in Rome knew each other. They actually met twice: March 2021 in Alaska, but the insults there spread across the world. Things went much better last October after six hours of conversation, sharing a more positive atmosphere and laying the groundwork for a video conference between Biden and Xi in November.
From Washington there is talk of an “intensive” discussion between Sullivan and Yang, who also talked about North Korea and Taiwan. But optimism in the gleaming Roman atmosphere is waning. The dragon is again the protagonist in the negotiations. Because there is no meeting between Putin and Biden in proper perspective, he is moving away from Washington. On the other hand, American Sherpas are working on the mission of the President of the United States in Europe. Phase No. 1, Brussels, at NATO Headquarters. Today, Sullivan will meet the Prime Minister’s diplomatic advisor, Mario Draghi, Luigi Mattiolo.
Via Twitter, Botos stated that America has allocated more than 1.2 billion to the security of Ukraine. “We continue to cooperate closely with allies and partners to ensure that the Ukrainian people are able to defend the nation,” he adds.
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