As Xi and Biden meet, Russia relishes divisions between China and U.S.

As Xi and Biden meet, Russia relishes divisions between China and U.S.

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – JULY 29: (RUSSIA OUT) Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks throughout his press convention on the Konstantin Palace on July 29, 2023 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. President Putin hosted simply 17 African leaders on this years’s summit in contrast with the 43 who attended in 2019 take part within the Russia-African Summit. Talks centred with meals safety and the struggle in Ukraine. (Picture by Contributor/Getty Photos)

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There was greater than a touch of schadenfreude within the Russian state media forward of the assembly between Chinese language President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden in San Francisco on Wednesday, with Russia accentuating the geopolitical gulf between the 2 superpowers.

Russia might be watching the talks carefully, given its alliance with China, and any indicators of a rapprochement between Beijing and Washington is more likely to earn a frosty response from Moscow.

Russian media have already reveled in pouring chilly water on the Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation (APEC) summit the place Xi and Biden are because of meet Wednesday. A reporter for Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti information company on Tuesday reported {that a} plenary assembly of the APEC summit chaired by U.S. Commerce Consultant Katherine Tai passed off “in a half-empty corridor.”

“Regardless of the presence of many of the assembly members on the desk, together with the consultant of the Russian Federation, a few of the chairs with indicators remained empty. Dozens of chairs are additionally empty for occasion company,” the information company mentioned, in keeping with a Google translation.

With greater than a touch of glee, RIA Novosti contrasted its picture of a half-empty convention corridor with the U.S. Commerce Consultant Tai emphasizing to delegates “how essential this occasion is for america.” 

Most world leaders and high-profile company on the APEC summit aren’t because of attend the occasion till Wednesday, whereas lower-ranking ministerial conferences have already been held in the previous few days.

Xi Jinping, China’s president, proper, arrives at San Francisco Worldwide Airport (SFO) on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco, California, US, on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023. Xi arrived in San Francisco for a high-stakes assembly together with his American counterpart Joe Biden on Tuesday, because the Chinese language chief’s first journey to the US in six years drew crowds of protesters and supporters onto town’s closely policed streets. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg through Getty Photos

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Though arguably one of many greatest occasions to happen on the summit — Biden and Xi’s encounter on Wednesday would be the first face-to-face assembly between the leaders in a 12 months — it’s being performed down, with the primary intention of talks being to scale back tensions and conflicting pursuits throughout a spread of worldwide points.

These embrace considerably completely different positions over Russia and the struggle in Ukraine, the most recent battle within the Center East and different areas of rigidity and rivalry within the geopolitical and financial area, with a give attention to the Asia-Pacific area.

Russia eager to emphasize variations

Russian information companies had been eager to emphasise these variations and the gulf between the superpowers forward of the Xi-Biden assembly, in addition to specializing in what China and Russia see as Western hegemony and makes an attempt by the U.S. to take care of its dominance in world affairs.

They had been additionally eager to give attention to competing pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel protests happening within the U.S. because the summit equipped for the arrival of dozens of world leaders and lots of of CEOs from the 21 member economies within the Pacific Rim. Russian President Vladimir Putin was not invited because of U.S. sanctions so Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk is representing Russia on the summit.

There was no official remark from the Kremlin on the forthcoming talks between Xi and Biden. CNBC has requested a remark and is awaiting a response.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 14: Supporters of Palestine march to town’s iconic Service provider Alternate Membership the place U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had been attending a fundraiser November, 14, 2023 in San Francisco, California. Close by, the Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation (APEC), drawing dozens of world leaders and lots of of CEOs from 21 member economies within the Pacific Rim, is being held by November 17. Biden and Chinese language President Xi Jinping are scheduled to satisfy. (Picture by Kent Nishimura/Getty Photos)

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State information company Tass famous Tuesday in a Google-translated report that the APEC summit had kicked off “in opposition to the backdrop of protests,” and that whereas “the normalization of political and financial relations and the state of affairs round Taiwan” may very well be mentioned, Washington and Beijing “place completely different emphasis on the agenda of the upcoming negotiations, and expectations of their outcomes.”

Different factors of competition except for tensions over Taiwan embrace U.S. export controls and funding restrictions on Chinese language tech and issues of nationwide safety after the suspected “spy balloon” incident, the company famous.

A variety of Russian newspapers together with Kommersant, Izvestia, Argumenty i Fakty, Nezavisimaya Gazeta and Komsomolskaya Pravda didn’t function any information on the APEC summit or Xi-Biden talks. A lone mainstream media voice, the enterprise newspaper Vedomosti, featured an article summarizing area of interest areas the place there may very well be particular agreements, equivalent to efforts to fight the unlawful commerce in fentanyl and the restoration of army communication channels.

Russia has an curiosity in enjoying down any rapprochement between the U.S. and China and can view enhancements within the relationship with concern. China is certainly one of Russia’s few remaining highly effective allies, with Beijing refusing to sentence Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Putin and Xi have met quite a few occasions in recent times — Xi mentioned final month that he had met with Putin “42 occasions prior to now 10 years” — with the newest engagement happening in October, when Putin travelled to Beijing for an financial summit.

Russia and China are aligned of their mistrust of the Western world, which they see as attempting to impose a U.S.-led worldwide order, and in opposing Western sanctions and what they see as financial coercion.

Whereas tensions proceed within the background, the traces of communication stay open, nonetheless. APEC, to which the U.S., China and Russia belong, promotes free commerce all through the Asia-Pacific area, and the group pledged at its final summit to advertise and uphold a rules-based multilateral buying and selling system.

This pool {photograph} distributed by Russian state owned company Sputnik reveals Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Chinese language President Xi Jinping shaking fingers throughout a gathering in Beijing on October 18, 2023. 

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Nonetheless, Beijing is believed to really feel a deep-seated uneasiness over the financial disruption attributable to Russia’s ongoing struggle with Ukraine. Final month, Xi mentioned Beijing wouldn’t interact in “ideological confrontation, geopolitical video games or bloc confrontation,” in an obvious reference to the West. Analysts consider each the U.S. and China have an curiosity in bettering ties after a chronic interval of rigidity.

“The world’s two strongest international locations neither like nor belief one another. and their relationship is structurally deteriorating as we transfer into a brand new section of “de-risked” globalization, however each international locations are additionally geopolitical adults, preferring stability to chaos and accordingly unwilling to get too near rogue states,” Ian Bremmer, president and founding father of Eurasia Group, mentioned in emailed feedback Monday.

China’s President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden on the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian island of Bali on Nov. 14, 2022.

Saul Loeb | Afp | Getty Photos

“So whereas america and China again completely different horses in each the Russia-Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas struggle, the 2 international locations even have robust pursuits in making certain the conflicts do not increase additional.”

Bremmer added, “China’s strategic pursuits in the remainder of the world are primarily commercially pushed, and Beijing is very risk-averse there given the financial challenges at house … For now a minimum of, Beijing is significantly much less thinking about exploiting world geopolitical crises than in making certain they do not deteriorate additional, threatening China’s economic system and nationwide safety.”

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