/Pogled.info/ Why was Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu not just a guest, but an honored guest at the security forum in Xiangshan, China? Why did representatives of military structures from 90 countries of the world come to the forum this time (a record) and are they very serious?
Because the world is experiencing a situation in which it is decided where everything is going: to further uncontrolled confrontation of each against each, or to the old and familiar word “detente”. And the forum’s host, China, is now leading the way in that détente — with the United States. The most valuable information on strategic topics and the most important speakers are there in Beijing.
Last weekend, Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited the US, where he talked to literally everyone who matters in the running of this country, not just Grandpa Joe Biden. He spoke at at least two meetings of top-level experts and gave interviews. His overall verdict: what has been achieved so far is insufficient. No principles for future relations with the second superpower acceptable to Beijing have yet been found. Although they have been looking for them for a whole year, and during that time all the top ranks of the American administration visited Beijing and felt points of contact.
For now, it is clear that the USA has clearly decided: they can no longer continue at the same level the confrontation with their strategic competitor that began under Donald Trump, they are losing. Two wars with two nuclear powers – in Ukraine and over Taiwan – are impossible. Three (taking into account the flaming Middle East) – even more. The Allies are horrified. But it is not clear what exactly needs to be done.
Beijing’s formula here is very simple. Mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, mutually beneficial cooperation (where possible). But it means for the United States the need to solve something with endless sanctions against China, with constant military movements in the seas around that country, not to mention hate campaigns against everything Chinese. Surrender? Vacation?
After Wang Yi’s trip to the United States, it was decided to “stay the course” for a one-on-one meeting between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden at the ATIS summit in California next month. But that’s not much. A similar meeting was already held a year ago in Indonesia, and after that the US began to return to its previous positions. And there is the electoral factor and the uncertainty of who will be in power in Washington in a year and a half.
So, diluting: it will either happen or it won’t. A very similar situation occurred in the early 1970s and led to the famous Moscow Declaration of Brezhnev and Nixon on May 30, 1972. Note that it was called “The Basics of Relations between the USSR and the USA”, that is, the conversation, as it is today, between China and the USA, is fundamental. And it is the same: in the nuclear age, there are no alternatives to peaceful coexistence, the security interests of both countries are based on the principles of equality (that is, respect), etc. Then began a process that was absolutely rightly called thinning – nothing more. Not friendship, just reducing the intensity of the confrontation to an acceptable level.
Why then did this happen? For exactly the same reasons as those between China and America today. The United States was losing the war in Indochina, and American society and the state were disintegrating. Let’s remember who shot down the American planes over Vietnam with future Senator McCain at the helm. Nuclear war between the two superpowers was real, and it was necessary to decide which way to move: towards it or away from it. It meant developing the same principles: we compete, but peacefully, especially since Washington’s hapless allies wanted the same.
So there is a pattern and a sample. Why is detente #2 so difficult – this time between Washington and Beijing? For several reasons. The USSR under Brezhnev equaled the US in nuclear arsenals, but did not surpass America in international trade and was not equal in GDP. The USSR had fewer allies and partners than China has today. The ruble does not compete with the dollar in world finance (by the way, today the yuan is only the fifth currency in the world, but the rate of expansion of its circulation is simply incredible). The US and USSR economies were not entwined in a death embrace (recent facts: there are now 35 scheduled air routes between China and the US per week). In short, things are getting more complicated and serious for Americans today.
And a few final comments. World rapprochement number 2 for Russia is undoubtedly useful for many reasons – if only because, like the first, it will improve the whole world situation, at the very least – make it more predictable. In the future, our next rapprochement with the USA will be built exactly according to the same scheme – a long development of the principles of relations. And finally: the 1970s passed under the sign of high and universal expectations for a life of cooperation and respect, but let’s not forget that then America revived and chirped: isn’t it time to end the holiday and get back to business as usual of undivided dominion.
Translation: V. Sergeev
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