“China plays on several boards”: what tactics did Xi Jinping choose


China began to actively express its position on Russia's war against Ukraine. This suggests that Beijing is entering the proactive phase of its foreign policy strategy.

Political scientist Oleg Sahakyan told Channel 24 about this. According to him, earlier the Chinese authorities were busy with internal problems in the country.

In particular, Xi Jinping needed to be re-elected to the presidency of the PRC for a third term.

Now that Xi Jinping has already consolidated his power, he has entered the foreign arena. Moreover, China is playing on several boards at once. Sahakyan said.

According to him, China began to get involved in the topic of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

  • Beijing proposed a “peace plan”.
  • There is information that Xi Jinping may visit Moscow. However, the possibility of such a visit to China was neither denied nor confirmed.
  • Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang equated the possible supply of weapons to Russia with US military support for Taiwan. According to Sahakyan, in this way Beijing hinted that the issue of Moscow's support will depend on whether Washington will support Taiwan .

China seeks to gather “neutral” countries around itself

As the political scientist explained, all these facts indicate that the Chinese authorities are trying to develop several vectors of the game at once.

First, China is trying to form a third agenda in the world, which is different from the Russian and Western vision of the war in Ukraine.

This is the agenda of conditionally “neutral countries”. China is trying to gather under its flags those who do not agree to stand on one or the other side of the barricades, Sahakyan noted.

According to the political scientist, Beijing needed Russia and Ukraine to reject its “peace plan”.

“Then China could say that the United States is adding fuel to the fire by supplying weapons to Ukraine. They say that all this continues the war. And China acts as a kind of peacemaker. And since its “peace” proposals were rejected, it will rally countries that do not involved in the conflict in Ukraine,” Sahakyan said.

However, Xi Jinping fails to play the role of a peacemaker, so China is leaning towards informal support for Russia.

Oleg Sahakyan explained China's policy: watch the video

How Ukraine and the West beat Beijing

As the political scientist noted, in the case of the “peace plan” Ukraine and the West beat China.

  • First, Volodymyr Zelensky made a smart move, saying that Ukraine does not exclude China's “peace” proposals, saying that there is work to be done there.
  • The President of Ukraine also said that he would like to talk with Xi Jinping.
  • And then came a cascade of statements from Western politicians, including US President Joe Biden, trying to diplomatically “troll” China. Like, “Xi Jinping, call Zelensky, he is waiting for a call.”

According to Sahakyan, such steps by Ukraine and the West have reduced the level of China's ambitions.

The war in Ukraine as an instrument of influence on the United States

The second board China plays on is Taiwan and Russia. The political scientist recalled that the Chinese media published a forecast about Russia's victory in the war in the summer of 2023. Sahakyan noted that this is also a peculiar game of China.

The results of the US elections in 2024 actually depend on when and how the war in Ukraine ends. And China can influence the duration of the war, for example, by giving or not giving weapons to Russia, the political scientist said.

He added that China hinted to the States: “Look, we are now considering whether to help Russia. But since this may affect your elections, let's negotiate.”

Putin has become the object of China's game

The political scientist added that there is no Vladimir Putin as a subject in this global game of China.

From the moment Beijing proposed the peace plan, Putin has been the target of Chinese politics. After all, China's proposals are contrary to Russia's interests,” Sahakyan said.

He added that the “peaceful decisions” clauses from Beijing actually suggest that Russia should withdraw from all territories of Ukraine. After all, China did not recognize Ukrainian territories as part of the aggressor country.

The political scientist added that Russia is now only a geopolitical asset that China began to trade with the West

How has China's position towards Ukraine changed: briefly

  • For a year since the outbreak of a full-scale war in Ukraine, China has remained aloof from this situation. However, now Beijing has decided to try to get certain dividends from it.
  • Political scientist Igor Reiterovich noted that China will continue to keep the Kremlin on a short leash. In his opinion, China cannot allow Russia to win in Ukraine the way Moscow sees fit. On the other hand, China cannot allow Russia to lose the way Ukraine and our partners see it, for example.
  • Russian human rights activist Mark Feigin believes that China is really trying to resolve the issue with Taiwan with its stormy activities around the war in Ukraine.

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