We in the West have a tendency to be Euro-centric when it comes to considering First World powers. Given that inclination, we would otherwise be right to conclude that Putin has sealed his long-term fate no matter how the war ends by isolating himself from international trade to the point where he’ll have plunged his country into a hopeless, lawless, third-world nation. But China’s Xi could throw Putin the type of lifeline that could keep both the war and Putin’s long-term options more open and optimistic than they would otherwise be.
Any direct call between the American and Chinese presidents is important, given our interwoven economic need for each other, this one is more important and more immediate According to Axios:
Biden and Xi will in part discuss Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine after reports indicated that Moscow had asked China’s government for military equipment and other assistance to support its war.
Chinese officials said they were unaware of any request from Russian officials, though U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan this week warned China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi of “consequences” if Beijing materially supports the war.
Clearly, the U.S. has reason to believe that Putin has turned to China and requested some help, whether military or economic, and U.S. intelligence likely has some idea as to China’s response, which must not have been a clear and immediate, “no,” or we wouldn’t be reading about the problem, nor would Biden likely be calling Xi.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Xi have forged deeper economic and military ties over the past several years as tensions with the U.S. have soared.
With Russia facing overwhelming economic sanctions from the U.S. and Europe, Moscow will likely have to deepen its already significant economic reliance on Beijing — though it’s an increasingly lopsided relationship,
It would be wonderful to have the type of leverage that could keep China out of the conflict but we do not. When you buy everything from your phone, your coffee cup, and the computer upon which this is written from China, it’s hard to put any sort of economic pressure on China without hurting ourselves. Additionally, our economy cannot sustain self-inflicted increased pricing in goods.
President Zelensky’s speech to the joint session of Congress was critically important, historical, and led to immediate further support and resupplies. But behind the cameras and the worldwide audience, a phone call is taking place today that will have at least as big an impact on the war and Putin’s place in the world, during the war and after.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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