Sensitive observers have recently noticed a change in the tone of the Chinese Communist Party’s foreign propaganda. After Xi Jinping’s speech last week, in which he called for foreign propaganda to be “methodical in its struggle” and to promote a “lovely and credible China,” the tone of the CCP’s foreign ministry has really changed a bit. Even when the U.S. military plane landed in Taipei, the Chinese Foreign Ministry only expressed its opposition and asked the U.S. to handle the Taiwan issue carefully. Compared with the previous period, this tone is much softer.
In May, the U.S. military revealed that Defense Secretary Austin called senior Communist Party military generals three times only to have them not listen and “the phone ringing echoed for hours in an empty room.” But in recent weeks, the situation seems to have changed. The Chinese Communist Party has communicated with the U.S. several times, mainly on economic and trade matters for now, of course, but other areas are expected to follow soon.
The CCP’s recent changes are of course very closely related to Xi Jinping’s speech on “methods of struggle,” and the CCP’s biggest problem now is that it has suddenly realized that if the Americans really turn their back, the pressure will be too much for the CCP to handle.
This pressure is all-round, and we are only talking about international politics and diplomacy today.
What the CCP is most concerned about right now is the June 16 summit between Biden and Putin. Prior to the meeting, both sides publicly said they did not hold out much hope. Putin, when talking about relations with the U.S., said the problem is with the U.S. and not with Russia, saying that the U.S. sanctions on Russian companies and not giving them access to the U.S. dollar are a big problem. This is an interesting statement. At the time, when a reporter asked him about the forced landing of a civilian plane in Belarus, Putin said he was not sure what happened, so it was not good to take a position.
This is really old and cunning. No matter what Putin says, Belarus can not get rid of Russia, it has to rely on Russia, but Putin does not take a position of support, which is tantamount to giving NATO, mainly to the United States, a face.
Interestingly, at a forum in St. Petersburg on June 4, the head of Xinhua News Agency asked a question via video, “How do you see the relations between Russia and China? Putin said that the relations between the two countries are very good, and then said that last year the two countries did 100 billion dollars of business, which is the best ever. As a result, the answer was reported by Xinhua as Putin’s “best-ever relations between China and Russia”.
On June 2, Xinhua also reported on a forum held by Russian and Chinese think tanks to “discuss” the Russian-Chinese Treaty of Good Neighborliness and Friendship and to “open up a wider space for cooperation”. Sun Zhuangzhi, director of the East European, Russian & Central Asian Studies Institute, described the new features of Russian-Chinese relations as “comprehensive, solid, tough and mature.
Xie Fuzhan, president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, also spoke highly of the “firm support and close cooperation” between China and Russia in the face of the epidemic, “setting a model for interstate relations” and that the relationship between China and Russia “faithfully implements the concept of “The relationship between Russia and China “faithfully implements the concept of friendship between generations”.
On June 4, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Guiyang. While Wang emphasized during the call that cooperation between China and Russia is “all-round”, the Russian foreign minister focused on “strengthening cooperation in fighting epidemics” and “promoting economic recovery”.
The Russian foreign minister’s attitude is exactly the same as Putin’s, which is to emphasize economic and trade cooperation and cooperation in the fight against the epidemic, but not to talk about “all-round” and strategic relations to avoid giving the impression that the two sides form “allies”.
In fact, after Russia was sanctioned by the United States and Western countries for the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russia began to take the initiative to draw in the Chinese Communist Party to ease the pressure of Western economic sanctions by strengthening economic cooperation with the Chinese Communist Party.
In early June 2019, China and Russia signed a joint statement on the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries. On July 23 of the same year, Russian and Chinese strategic bombers jointly conducted strategic air patrols in Northeast Asia. It is clear that the two sides have formed some kind of strategic alliance; if so, why does Russia, from Putin to the foreign minister, avoid talking about the alliance?
Dr. Timothy Heath, a senior research fellow in defense affairs at the RAND Corporation, has said in previous media interviews, “There is little real affection between Russia and China, and if U.S.-Russian tensions ease significantly, or if Russia one day decides that China is starting to get too powerful, this kind of cooperation between Russia and China could be a good idea. This cooperation between Russia and China could become fragile.”
Voice of America recently reported that Russia’s Fatherland Party published an open letter on May 3 exposing the Russian Communist Party as receiving money and other benefits from the Chinese Communist Party and acting as an agent of the Chinese Communist Party in Russia. The open letter, addressed to Russia’s justice minister, called for an investigation into the Russian Communist Party’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
But the Russian Communist Party has frequently warned voters in presidential elections about the threat from China, and Pavel Grudinin, the chairman of a farm outside Moscow who represented the Russian Communist Party in the 2018 presidential election and is himself a wealthy man, told voters in the Far East that Chinese migration should be limited and Chinese expansion prevented.
The Communist Party leader said that Russia has no friends, only interests.
To be honest, I do not believe that the Chinese Communist Party really believes that Russia can be a real ally of the Communist Party. Russia has done too many things to betray its friends and allies. For example, during World War II, the Soviet Union and Poland had an alliance treaty, so when Germany attacked Poland, the Soviet Union sent troops, and the Poles thought the Soviets came to help them, but it turned out that the Soviets took advantage of the opportunity to occupy half of Poland. Stalin and Hitler had made a pact.
In World War II, the Soviet Union was also worried about the Japanese attack, so it deployed a large number of troops in the Far East. In order to stall Japan, the Soviet Union heavily aided the then Republic of China and supported Chiang Kai-shek’s resistance against Japan. But then the Soviet Union suddenly signed a peace treaty with Japan, recognizing Japan’s occupation of the three eastern provinces, and all support to China ceased, and Chiang Kai-shek was so angry that he almost vomited blood.
Of course, the Russians would not really trust the CCP either. The Chinese Communist Party won the country with the support of Soviet arms and military advisors, and the Soviet Union also supported the Chinese Communist Party in building enterprises in large quantities after ’49, but in the end it was not the opposite and became the number one enemy.
Because China and the United States have turned against each other and each has become the other’s main enemy, Russia is currently in a good position to bargain much higher. So it is in Russia’s best interest to adopt an ambiguous strategy between the United States and China. When will you take advantage if not now?
This is the main reason for Putin’s ambiguous attitude, and the Chinese Communist Party certainly appreciates this change.
Another big diplomatic failure for the CCP is South Korea.
The upcoming G7 summit in the UK, which originally invited only India and Australia, now includes South Korea. This change is related to Moon Jae-in’s trip to the United States to meet Biden.
After Moon Jae-in came to power, South Korea’s foreign policy shifted, stepping on two boats between the United States and China, relying on the United States for security and China for the economy. But the situation has developed to the point where the two boats are going their separate ways, and South Korea faces a choice, or its feet are not long enough to fall into the sea.
South Korea is important because it is an important part of the U.S. West Pacific strategy, the U.S., Japan and South Korea iron triangle. After Moon Jae-in came to power, relations with Japan were completely stalled, and U.S.-Japan-South Korea trilateral military cooperation ceased and became separate for the U.S.-Japan and U.S.-South Korea.
In fact, U.S.-South Korea relations have also cooled considerably. Moon promised the Chinese Communist Party that he would not participate in the U.S. missile defense system, deploy the SAD system, or join the South Korea-U.S.-Japan military alliance, thus breaking the U.S. strategic arrangement of the Iron Triangle of East Asian security.
The three no’s, besides being a statement to China, are also related to Moon’s own political needs, as he needs the support of nationalist groups. That is why relations between South Korea and Japan began to deteriorate after Moon took office, and in 2019 they developed into a tit-for-tat trade dispute, with South Korea even downgrading its description of Japan from “partner” to “neighbor” in the 2020 Defense White Paper.
The Chosun Ilbo reported on June 4 that the U.S. has made the normalization of the trilateral cooperation system between South Korea, the U.S. and Japan a diplomatic priority in order to effectively contain China and deal with the North Korean nuclear issue. It is for the same reason that the first and second face-to-face summit meetings of U.S. President Joe Biden were held with the heads of Japan and South Korea, respectively, after his inauguration.
The report said that the South Korean government believes that trilateral cooperation between South Korea, the U.S. and Japan can help restart the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, and there is a consensus on the need to hold trilateral summit talks. This means that South Korea is willing to participate in the trilateral talks.
Why did South Korea accept the U.S. mediation and accept the trilateral talks?
Mainly because the U.S. is redrawing its economic map, dividing the global supply chain into two parts, the low-end and the high-end, with the high-tech high-end supply chain, which must be decoupled from the Chinese Communist Party. This is reflected in the Innovation and Competition Act just recently passed in the United States. The full decoupling of high technology amounts to a high-tech supply chain restructuring.
In the past few documents, when the Americans were redrawing this supply chain, Europe, India, Japan, and Taiwan were in it, but South Korea was drawn on the outside. Because Korea and the Chinese Communist Party are too close, Korean companies are moving their semiconductor technology and other technologies to mainland China, setting up factories, and so on.
Once this new supply chain is reorganized, the Korean economy may be finished.
In the 1980s, Korea’s economic development level was about the same as Brazil’s, but now it has surpassed Brazil by a lot, and more than 80% of this surpassing is brought by high technology, and 80% of this high technology is brought by the United States, and 20% is brought by Japan. The Americans draw a line in the field of high technology, and if Korea is not in it, the whole high-tech industry stops there.
This is the reason why Moon Jae-in rushed to meet Biden. Of course, the two sides met after the joint statement, the statement of the Taiwan Strait, the South China Sea have taken a stand, Sade system also began to upgrade, the United States also released the missile restrictions on South Korea. Once this pitch is handed over, South Korea is considered to be back in the team.
This is the reason why South Korea is willing to engage in trilateral security talks with the U.S. and Japan.
Since 2018, the biggest diplomatic achievement of the Chinese Communist Party has been to successfully pry the corner of South Korea in the iron triangle of the U.S., Japan and South Korea, but now the gains have all been lost again.
In the past few years, India has lost, Australia has lost, Canada has lost, Britain has lost, and Europe has lost. Russia is left with a vague strategy. Dazed and confused, it has become alone, and is facing, a huge enemy.
This is the context in which the Communist Party recently had to change its strategy, in fact, the momentum had gone and it had to change its position. This change, however, may have come too late.