Relations between Washington and Beijing are once again strained, despite the recent visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to China. After President Joe Biden described his Chinese counterpart as a “dictator”, the Foreign Ministry of the Asian giant responded on June 21 that the US president’s comments correspond to a “political provocation”. Russia joined the reproach of its ally and pointed out that Biden’s pronouncement shows that the foreign policy of the first power is “erratic”.
US government false start? Washington and Beijing return to a climate of tension, a few days after Secretary of State Antony Blinken boosted his diplomatic efforts in Beijing to try to reduce the wide disagreements between the two powers.
But the discomfort did not come during the official visit of the highest-ranking White House official to Chinese soil in the last five years, but at a meeting of the US president to raise funds for the 2024 presidential elections, in California. Just one day after Blinken’s trip to Beijing ended, which concluded with the promise of the two governments to commit to a “constructive relationship.”
Biden called the Chinese president a “dictator”, which reignited the anger of the Asian giant. He did it while he was referring to the disagreement that the two nations had last February, when a Chinese drone flew over US territory and the US shot it down, after classifying it as a “spy aircraft.”
“The reason why Xi Jinping was very upset when I shot down that balloon with two truckloads of spy equipment was because he didn’t know it was there (…) That is a great shame for dictators. When they didn’t know what happened. This was not supposed to be the place where he was supposed to be. He veered off course,” Biden asserted.
“They seriously violated China’s political dignity”
For the government of the Asian country, Biden’s comments about its president were a “political provocation.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning denounced the remarks as “extremely absurd” and “irresponsible.” “It’s an open political provocation,” she said.
Likewise, the Chinese official affirmed that Biden’s words “seriously violated China’s political dignity” and “diplomatic protocol.”
An “erratic” and “contradictory” foreign policy
Quickly, Russia, an ally of the Asian giant, together with which it has formed a united front against what they consider to be the hegemony of Western power, came out in defense of Beijing and took the opportunity to launch accusations against Washington.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the White House leader’s comments were “incomprehensible” and that it shows that the United States has an “erratic” foreign policy.
Peskov argued that there was a contradiction between Biden’s statements and the efforts of his Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, to reduce tensions with Beijing, after the top representative of US diplomacy met with Xi.
“These are very contradictory manifestations of the foreign policy of the United States, which speak of a great element of unpredictability (…) However, that is their business. We have our own bad relations with the United States and our very good relations with the People’s Republic China,” Peskov said.
Moscow and Washington are also engaged in a wide range of political, economic and diplomatic confrontations that have escalated amid Russia’s war in Ukraine that triggered Western sanctions against the Vladimir Putin administration.
Russia and China, for their part, have declared an “unlimited” and “unprecedented” strategic partnership in several high-level meetings over the past year, though they made the point less than three weeks before President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion. from their neighboring country.
Since then, and amid the imposition of sanctions, Moscow has become even more dependent on political and financial ties with China. Beijing has not condemned Russia for the ongoing conflict, the biggest on European soil since World War Two, and has instead increased imports of Russian oil and coal with price cuts.
Away from the West, Russia is pushing its outreach to countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, in an attempt to counter what it denounces as attempts by the United States to dictate world order.
With Reuters and AP