The war in Ukraine, the Chinese turning point comes from Jeddah: Beijing, the “south of the world” and the challenge to the West

The war in Ukraine, the Chinese turning point comes from Jeddah: Beijing, the “south of the world” and the challenge to the West

in a meeting grandmother in Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaPerspectives Russia And Ukraine They look like opposites. About the Kremlin spokesman: Dmitry Peskov “There is no precondition for peace and the military operation will continue in the near future.” About the Ukrainian envoy Andrey YermakInstead, the meeting was required by the Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman “It was a step towards the practical implementation of the peace initiatives proposed by Ukraine.” Perhaps the truth is in the middle. Russian bombs over Ukraine, Kiev planes against Russian ships and positions, or directed against Moscow indicate that at present, the battlefield decides the fate of a conflict that has dragged on for more than 500 days.

there counterattack Ukraine, according to many Western experts, is moving between Russian minefields and fortifications. Some have even suggested mistakes in training by countries child, so much so that Kiev units on the front lines would have to revert to old Russian-Soviet tactics. However, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky He sure seems not wanting to come down to waivers So the process gets a result that looks very complicated nowadays: Complete liberation of the lands occupied by the Russians. And by that we mean not only the territories conquered after February 2022, but also Crimea. The positions of the two sides are irreconcilable. This is also evidenced by the fact that Kiev has also made it clear in Arabia that the starting point for peace is the Zelensky plan, while Moscow denies any kind of value for a summit without the Russian Federation. However, the impression is that the Jeddah meeting could have been presented Ideas for future negotiations. And this impression is given above all by the guests. First of all, compared to the Copenhagen summit, the Jeddah meeting witnessed the presence of a “southern hemisphere”.

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If the meeting in Denmark seemed to be confined to the western bloc and the most famous allies of the occupied country, the delegations of about 40 countries including Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt, India and South Africaeven South America Argentina, Brazil and Chile. It states that if they have never been opposed to the Ukrainian cause, they have certainly never emerged as staunch opponents of the Kremlin. Moreover, the presence of a delegate from China, the Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs, played an essential role Lee Hui. And since the ideas of the People’s Republic, an “unlimited” ally of Russia, have great weight in the movements Russian President Vladimir PutinThe fact that an envoy was present at the summit Xi Jinping It is definitely an item that should not be underestimated. Important above all for two reasons. The first is contained in the fact that Li Hui said, at the end of the summit, that the meeting helped “strengthen international consensus on resolving the Ukrainian crisis”. A phrase that should not be translated, as happened in recent hours, into China’s explicit support for the Ukrainian plan, but in any case it reveals a renewed interest on the part of Beijing in defining the conflict that Moscow launched.

A war that has begun is difficult to sustain even for the Chinese establishment, which must constantly play a balancing act between strong ties with Moscow and the desire not to lose economic ties with the West, and avoid remaining anchored to the Russian narrative. In this sense, Li Hui’s statement also serves to mitigate the negative reactions that arose after his European tour in May, when, in addition to restating the validity of Xi’s famous 12-point plan, the Beijing envoy apparently hinted at a possible consideration, as basis for future negotiations, the ceding of the occupied regions to Moscow. The hypothesis that he was waiting for the Ukrainian counterattack, was not well received either by Kiev or by Western advisors. The second reason why Li’s presence was considered important was also the image Beijing wanted to give the Jeddah meeting. This applies to both bin Salman’s diplomacy and Xi’s global ambitions, especially toward the “global south”.. Li’s absence in Denmark and his subsequent presence – which sources say is very active and dynamic – in Saudi Arabia confirm the Chinese Politburo’s desire to highlight the understanding with the monarchy in Riyadh. A partnership based mainly on oil, but now it also appears political, as demonstrated by the “blessing” of the agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran to normalize relations. This diplomatic breakthrough was perhaps the most eloquent image of bringing China into the complex chessboard in the Middle East, but it was also a sign of bin Salman’s desire to renew his image on the regional scene by standing as a key figure compared to other players in the Middle East. region, from the United Arab Emirates to Türkiye. Supporting Beijing in this Saudi geopolitical projection could be very important, if not decisive.

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In addition to supporting the Saudi move, China also wanted to show that it does not stigmatize peace initiatives when they come from actors other than the Western bloc. For Xi, it is important to reassert his leadership in what is now called the “southern hemisphere”. And the fact that both of them were present at this meeting brix Certainly other partners in Asian power have also served China to assert its image as a global player, fully engaged in the world outside the West and not unconcerned with peace (as evidenced by the fact that Cardinal Zubi is expected to arrive in Beijing). This is without alienating Russia, which remains useful as a partner in the challenge facing the United States and in various regions of the world, starting with Africa. It is no coincidence that Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a phone call with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, in which he not only reiterated that “more than 20 countries have expressed their desire to join” BRICS, emphasizing the importance of that bloc, but also that the Chinese government ” It will maintain an independent and impartial position” on the war in Ukraine with an “objective and rational voice,” because Russia and China can count on each other as “good friends.” If Kiev was happy with the Chinese presence in Jeddah, Moscow still appears to have received guarantees from the Middle Empire.

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