By Peter Koenig and Press TV
Global Research, March 24, 2023
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As reported by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, President Xi’s special plane arrived at the Moscow Vnukovo Airport around 13:00 local time. As he stepped out of the plane, President Xi was warmly greeted by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko and other senior Russian officials by the ramp.
The Russian side held a grand welcome ceremony at the airport. The military band played the national anthems of China and Russia. President Xi Jinping inspected the honor guard of the three services and watched the march-past.
President Xi Jinping delivered an arrival statement, extending warm greetings and best wishes to the Russian government and people on behalf of the Chinese government and people. He stressed that China and Russia are friendly neighbors connected by shared mountains and rivers. Our two countries have consolidated and grown the bilateral relationship on the basis of no-alliance, no-confrontation and not targeting any third party, and set a fine example for developing a new model of major-country relations.
The growth of China-Russia relations has not only brought tangible benefits to the people of our two countries, but also made important contributions to the development and progress of the world.
President Xi noted that both being major countries in the world and permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia play important roles in international affairs.
In a world of volatility and transformation, China will continue to work with Russia to safeguard the international system with the UN at its core, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. China will work with Russia to uphold true multilateralism, promote a multi-polar world and greater democracy in international relations, and help make global governance more just and equitable. He is confident that the visit will produce fruitful results, and inject fresh impetus into the sound and steady growth of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era.
These are the PressTV questions.
PressTV: How important is this visit and what message is it sending?
Peter Koenig: It is important these days for the world to know that there is a close association between the two countries and close friendship by the two leaders.
It again signals that China and Russia are moving towards a multi-polar world and that China is cooperating with Russia in finding a solution of PEACE for Ukraine.
President Xi’s trip to Moscow is of further significance, because the global situation calls for an intensified understanding of the wider context of what is going on in the world. Sino-Russian relations are key for addressing the external challenges that both countries face.
In February 2022, Moscow launched military operation in Ukraine, seeking to eliminate the Nazi-regime, and the Nazi remnants in the country, widely called the Azov Battalions, who were fighting for Hitler’s Third Reich; as well as to defend and protect the self-declared independent Donbass Region which was under constant assault from Ukraine military and terror groups since the 2014 Maidan coup (more than 14,000 people were killed during this period, at least half of whom women and children); and finally, to show the world that President Putin was – and is – serious when he drew a red line with regards to NATO moving ever closer to Moscow.
In the course of the year this has turned out to become a proxy war between the US / NATO and Russia. The west, especially NATO countries is heavily involved by supplying Ukraine with by now close to 130 billion dollars-worth of weaponry and cash, supposedly to run the overly indebted and corrupt Ukraine Administration.
Never mind, that only about a third of the weapons supplied by the west are used at the front. The vast majority ends up on the black market. These weapons might eventually hunt the west in the form of “terrorist attacks”.
This is well-known by the west, since Ukraine has hardly any trained military personnel to handle these weapons, and simply because the country is so corrupt that the money generated on the black market with this weaponry will flow into the pockets of politicians and military cadre.
Nevertheless, the two leaders are also expected to talk about how to achieve a lasting peace in the region. China had proposed a comprehensive and valid 12-point Peace-Plan ready for negotiations, but Washington – yes Washington and NATO, not Ukraine leadership, have rejected the plan before it was even discussed.
The west does not want peace. They want to weaken Russia as much as possible, before possibly launching an all-out attack on Moscow. This is what the ten-year long “hidden war” (1991-2000) by father Bush did to Iraq. It weakened the country to pave the way for the 2003 criminal “shock and awe” attack.
Destroying Russia has been the plan for over a century, to take over and control Russia, an extremely resources-rich country.
WWI and WWII were made for it. Hitler was funded by Washington to invade and conquer Russia. Hélas, he failed, but the tragic result were 25 to 30 million Russian deaths.
PressTV: Before the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping met in the Chinese capital. The two pledged ‘no limits’ to the Russian-Chinese partnership. This partnership has grown over time but recently it has become even closer and stronger. How important of a moment is this for the two countries relations?
PK: Well – as stated above, this meeting between the two presidents is of utmost significance.
It sends a clear message to Washington but also to Europe that there is no limit to the cooperation between the two countries.
And it shows that there is an independent Powerhouse, without that powerhouse wanting to have supreme power over the world, as Washington pretends to have for itself.
Russia and China are not seeking hegemony, but are rather aiming at a multi-polar world. The nefarious neocon plan of a One World Order, propagated by the World Economic Forum (WEF) is the opposite of what China and Russia are aiming to promote: Peaceful cooperation among sovereign countries, aiming at using their own political, financial, and human resources to forge associations in trade, manufacturing, research, infrastructure development and more.
Many western countries are drifting eastwards, as we speak, with the idea of abandoning the western dominated, sanction-prone hegemonic, coercive, and war-mongering world.
Existing eastern organizations, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), are attractive and sought after for integration; case in point is Iran – and others.
BRICS-plus are strongly seeking integration into the eastern politico-economic fold. The “plus” stands first for Iran who is a prime candidate to join the BRICS alliance, as well as SCO. But it refers also to at least a dozen more western candidates.
These nations not only are intending to free themselves form Washington’s political hegemony, but also from the US-dollar dominance and dependence.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – a President Xi idea, launched in 2013 in Kazakhstan and Indonesia – will be an excellent tool for eastern integration. China for the past year or so has reoriented BRI towards the BRICS countries.
It is likely that Presidents Putin and Xi Jinping will also talk about the process and development of BRI, in order to further Eurasia’s development and integration in a peaceful manner. In fact, it is likely that Eurasia – the largest contiguous landmass of 55 million square kilometers – an old / new market – may have a special place in the two leaders discussions.
It would fit their overall strategy – away from Globalization and towards a multi-polar world. How Europe, floating between west and east, will react, remains to be seen. If Europeans are interested in their survival, there is no other way than opening up and reestablishing strong relations with Russia and China – and becoming part of a new Eurasia market and socioeconomic development area.
PressTV: While western countries led by the United States have been pressuring and provoking Beijing and Moscow at increasing levels, it seems the two are moving closer together. Analysts believe that the US itself has invigorated this alliance, and the closer ties between Russia and China is a response to the Washington’s antagonizing behavior and is in competition with the US and its own alliances. Do you see in that light as well?
PK: Yes, I do believe that the western antagonism against Russia and China played an important role in bringing the two countries closer together. By now, however, their friendly and strategic relationship has generated its own dynamics, independent of western aggressions.
The ramifications of this strategic alliance and the personal friendship of the two leaders, generates motivation and trust of western countries to detach from the western warrior economy and join the east.
This trend becoming increasingly visible is a sort of competition between east and west. It is, however, not one based on aggression, but rather one that is evolving by its own.
PressTV: The meeting is focusing on bi-lateral ties, but much has been projected on China’s proposal for a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine. How much sway do you think Beijing has right now to effect negotiations regarding Ukraine?
PK: This is difficult to say. Russia has always expressed their willingness to negotiate.
On the other hand, NATO and Washington have just said within the last 48 hours that there should be no negotiations. It clearly shows who calls the shots on Ukraine. It is certainly not Zelenskyy. Ukraine has long ceased being a sovereign country. Since the Maidan Coup, in February 2014, instigated by Washington, NATO and the EU, Ukraine is no longer an independent nation.
Under these circumstances it is not easy to achieve peace.
To any thinking person, it is clear that Ukraine will never win this war, no matter how many arms they get from the west. In all this mega anti-Russia propaganda, the people of Ukraine are suffering. Especially those who do not have the means to leave the country. At the end of 2021, before the war began, Ukraine had a population of 43.8 million.
Today, there are barely more than 30 million left in the county. And it’s those left in the war-torn country, who are suffering from the conflict, and this not so much from Russia’s aggression, as President Putin has given clear instructions to Russia’s military, to avoid to the extent possible civilian targets, including people and infrastructure.
By independent journalists’ account, often Ukrainian troops destroy their own neighborhoods, including with Ukrainian casualties, to blame destruction and victims on Russia. Western media pick up the lie and propagate it in the west as truth about Russian aggression.
It would indeed be a miracle, if the two Presidents were to find a solution on how to embark on Peace negotiations. But sometimes miracles do happen.
PressTV: On the issue of Taiwan, under Joe Biden the US has been more vocal of military support in favor of Taiwan. What is Washington pursuing here? Is it trying to prod China into giving a dramatic response? What does China and Russia’s growing alliance mean for the US and its policies in South-East Asia?
PK: It is unlikely that Washington will begin supplying Taiwan with weapons. This would bring about a live confrontation. As retired U.S. Army Colonel, Douglas Macgregor has said on many occasions, the US cannot afford another war, not financially, not by military personnel, nor by war technology. So, whatever the US is saying and boasting about is probably nothing more than propaganda bluff.
Besides, what the western media never report on, is the close relationship the two parts of China already have, in terms of tens of thousands of Taiwanese regularly working in mainland China and vice-versa. Also, there is a massive exchange of investments on both sides which further links the two entities of the same nation together, so that Taiwan will eventually peacefully integrate into mainland China.
That’s what President Xi has often predicted, there will be a peaceful integration of Taiwan into the PRC – the People’s Republic of China.
Joe Biden’s talk about an independent Taiwan, and his sending Congressional and business “missionaries” to Taiwan for holding “strategic talks” with Taiwan’s leadership, is nothing but provocation. Beijing is well-aware of it – taking such US “advances” with calm.
More worrisome may be the hundreds of US military bases surrounding Russia and China, especially in the South China Sea. Nevertheless, the South China Sea is still controlled by China, no matter how many US war vessels circulate on a regular basis through the South China waters.
PressTV: Having in mind the recent rapprochement between Iran and Saud Arabia that was mediated by China, will Beijing’s links with nations in the region begin to enhance?
PK: China’s diplomatic overture, bringing the two feuding nations, Saudi Arabia and Iran again together, is President Xi’s extraordinary diplomatic gain. We just hope it will last and that it will also bring lasting Peace to Yemen.
This success is also a sign that China is indeed well-seen in the Middle East, and, yes, it is well foreseeable that China will in the future have more impact in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world – also in Latin America – with her diplomatic approach – more so than the west.
China has clearly stepped on the world stage as a power that is trusted. Many countries, in the west, as well as in the east – trust China and are happy to be able to abandon their western allies to join the peaceful and cooperative east. Again, the Belt and Road is an excellent tool to bringing the world closer together, to bring about international cooperation, while maintaining each country’s sovereignty.
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Peter Koenig is a geopolitical analyst and a former Senior Economist at the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), where he worked for over 30 years around the world. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals and is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed; and co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020).
Peter is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow of the Chongyang Institute of Renmin University, Beijing.
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Copyright © Peter Koenig and Press TV, Global Research, 2023