china Ray McGovern Russia

‘Dear Friends’ Xi and Putin: Project Unity

The 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on September 16, 2022. Prime Minister’s Office, GODL-India https://data.gov.in/sites/default/files/Gazette_Notification_OGDL.pdf, via Wikimedia Commons

By Ray McGovern / Antiwar.com

In the official Chinese and Russian statements regarding Thursday’s meeting between Presidents XI Jinping and Vladimir Putin in Samarkand lies not a scintilla of evidence that China’s support for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has weakened.

In my view, if Putin decides to up the ante in Ukraine, XI would be likely to support him. Most analysts of China doubt that this would extend to China’s stirring up trouble in the South China Sea or opposite Taiwan, but most Chinese analysts did not expect China to tolerate, much less endorse, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. So your guess is as good as mine.

Underneath the ‘Dear Friend’ professions of solidarity lies a concrete-reinforced commitment, so to speak, indeed a China-Russia entente that bespeaks an intention to coordinate closely – including before any major military initiatives against the U.S. or its proxies.

Some of the mutual statements of solidarity may sound boilerplate, but it is important to remember that the boilerplate has acquired additional steel reinforcement, so to speak, in the crucible of this year 2022. Each country has pledged strong support for the other’s “core interests” – for Russia, re. Ukraine; for China, re. Taiwan.

The “core interest” mutual support was given prominence in the official Chinese readout of the Putin-Xi conversation:

“President XI emphasized that China will work with Russia to extend strong mutual support on issues concerning each other’s core interests….

“President Putin noted that the world is undergoing multiple changes, yet the only thing that remains unchanged is the friendship and mutual trust between Russia and China.

“The Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination is as stable as mountains. … The Russian side is firmly committed to the one-China principle and condemns provocative moves by individual countries on issues concerning China’s core interests. Russia will consolidate and deepen bilateral and multilateral communication and collaboration with China and expand cooperation in key areas such as trade and energy.”

In his remarks, Putin emphasized the “key role” played by “the foreign policy tandem of Moscow and Beijing” in ensuring global and regional stability and took another potshot at the undefined “rules-based” order promoted by Washington. He also expressed appreciation for “our Chinese friends’ balanced position in connection with the Ukraine crisis.”

Putin also fleshed out the progress in Russia’s trade with China:

“Last year, trade grew by 35 percent to over $140 billion. In the first seven months of this year, our trade increased by another 25 percent. I am convinced that by the end of the year we will reach new record high levels, and in the near term, as agreed, we will bring our annual trade to $200 billion or more.”

On a personal note, in the early 60s when I was responsible for analyzing Sino-Soviet relations, mutual trade amounted to $200 million. Granted: bilateral relations back then were in the pits. But still, $200 million to $200 billion is something we never imagined in our wildest dreams.

The Chinese and Russians can thank the reckless-feckless team of Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, as well as their immediate predecessors for helping that increase to be as large as it it.

Finally, right after the Xi-Putin meeting yesterday, ABC’s Martha Raddatz read the following words of wisdom into the TV camera:

“Given what has happened in Ukraine, with Russia losing territory and its forces exposed as weak and hapless, even if Russia gets nothing [from XI], the meeting will signal an anti-Western bond which is significant – it IS significant.”

I believe Martha got that last part right. We shall have to wait and see how this all plays out regarding Ukraine and Taiwan.

Ray McGovern
Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President’s Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

11 comments

  1. What exactly is this rules based order? Does is agree with the US Constitution and the definition of democracy? Did anybody ask we the people about this?

    1. Rules are those set by the US, play by them or be sanctioned by the cabal of US run western nations who run the financial world. Another step in the pursuit of Hegemony. The public doesn’t have a clue and that is what makes running this plutocracy for the benefit of the privileged so easy.

      1. Also, those American /western rules and regulations will be changed whenever necessary to preserve supremacy and advantages. In order to be exceptional, no one else can be as rich or powerful

  2. To begin with, it’s a little impossible to believe that war-weary Ukraine, roughly the size of Texas alone, is defeating a “hapless invasion” by world nuclear superpower, Russia. And secondly, China and Russia began repairing their relationship, resolving their conflicts, some years ago as a result of the high volume of today’s US war mongering.

  3. all Russian objectives being realized in Ukraine while angloshere NATO desperate impotent—Iran to enter SCO. the culturally economically ossified NATO nations descending into poverty disunity failure

  4. They project unity because they are unified by the specter of an insane and irrational United States.

    They know they either stick together or die alone.

    Could there be a better motivator for good relations?

  5. This is what America didnt want ,but they achieved it none the less sadly, this proxy war was instigated by their financing of the coup and the removal of the previous leader, and Victoria Newlyn and john Kerry and the maiden riots ,they have been pouring weapons into there like no tomorrow, it’s scary it seams that American foreign policy is designed and made by the military industrial complex,
    Even Eisenhower said they should beware of the military industrial complex when he became their president ,it seems they never listen.

  6. Here I am again, the guy who is smarter than all the people on Sheer post. Really.

    I am amused by all the people who have accepted the idea that Russia’s army has been ‘weak and inept’ and Ukraine has won a victory. Russia has not even mobilized. It has not deployed its best weapons. It is using only a small force. It is winning its war.

    When I run out of other things to blog about, I will do a write up about that. Meanwhile, I do not think I have yet entertained Sheer post people with my take on what a new word war would look like. Go to https://yaxls.wordpress.com/2022/08/19/get-ready-for-world-war-two-and-a-half/

    It is hard to keep track of where I I have posted all my stuff, but it is a good way to beat the shadow ban on anyone with lots of smarts and no money, and talking about what you know who doesn’t want talked about.

    Russia’s strategy in Ukraine is the best way to insure we do not get to a world war and the possibility of a nuclear spazz out.

    1. The war lovers.in the US are dumb enough to believe that they are immune to death by radiation .They are mistaken

    2. see Ritter’s examination—he perceives some errors; however long term he believes ukraine will need to accept all Russian conditions—his timeline 10-12 months

    3. Tim, Enjoyed reading your take on the future. More and more people are seeing the current geo-political world as 1984. The warmonger lackeys running the US are so beholden to their overlords that they have no concept of reality. They actually believe in the propaganda spewed by the elitist-run media whores.
      I’m just sitting back with my popcorn and waiting for the next scene in this horror show

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