China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi told US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in a phone conversation that took place on February 22 about China’s concerns over the worsening of China-US relations that in his opinion was a direct result of Washington’s actions. According to the Chinese foreign minister, Beijing is ready to build relations with the US “based on three principles: mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation.” However, as you can see, Washington’s hegemonic ambitions result in the US taking a very different approach, in particular by naming China its principal rival in America’s new Indo-Pacific strategy and by taking all actions to contain China, up to those leading to the destruction of PRC’s state identity.
And in this regard, Washington’s use of the “Taiwan card” against Beijing is just one, albeit a quite striking example. Today the status of Taiwan is the key issue in the relations between the two countries. The PRC is known to consider the island its territory, but several countries have recognized it as an independent state. The US itself has not officially recognized Taiwan’s independence, but it maintains close ties with it, including in the defense sphere, increasing the amount of weapons sold to the island and promising Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen its aid in the event of an attack by Beijing. Qin Gang, the Chinese ambassador to Washington, in an interview with US radio station NPR recently warned that the US support for Taiwan’s independence aspirations threatens an armed conflict between the US and China. The Chinese diplomat called Taiwan “the biggest gun-powder barrel” in the relations between the US and China, noting Beijing’s desire for peaceful reunification with the island, but stressed that it would not give up force as a deterrent.
“Washington is making the historic mistake of pushing China and Russia too far at the same time,” the Chinese newspaper Global Times points out. “It has overindulged the expansion of egocentrism, and fabricated lies that China and Russia have “broken international rules” and “challenged the international order.” It has created strong faith in these lies in the West, forcing itself to engage in dangerous confrontations with China and Russia… To contain China and Russia simultaneously is arrogant thinking. Although the US has an advantage in terms of strength, it cannot crush either China or Russia. Having a strategic collision with any of the two countries will bring unbearable costs to the US. It’s a nightmare for Washington when China and Russia join hands,” the Chinese newspaper warned Washington.
But separating Taiwan from China is not the only goal in Washington’s current policy, which seeks to fragment the PRC into smaller principalities to facilitate the task of completely defeating it. In doing so, the US is trying to exploit the sharp differences between China’s regions, which are most pronounced in the rivalry between Northern and Southern China. Despite belonging to the same country, Chinese regions have significant linguistic, cultural, historical, economic, and even geopolitical differences. Each region has its own development paradigm. Apart from South China, with its special language and mentality, the Shanghai region, Northwest China or “the Silk Belt”, North China, Central China and the Sichuan region stand out. Thus, people from Beijing and Guangzhou will not understand each other in a conversation, but they can engage in written correspondence without difficulty, because the characters are the same. The written language unites the multilingual population of China into a single community, enables them to communicate with each other, to feel a sense of belonging to a common civilization. Case in point – the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where 53 languages and many different religions coexist, unlike other regions of China.
Based on these and some other specific features of the PRC, the subversive strategies of the US and the UK, its main assistant in the struggle with Beijing, intend to stimulate the self-identification and isolation of various Chinese regions and to maximize socioeconomic diversification up to and including maximum federalization and transition to a confederal system. This has always been the classic Anglo-Saxon divide and conquer tactic. However, this successful implementation will require a Chinese leader, ready to make concessions to the West, primarily in opening the Chinese society to the Western “liberal values.”
It is not surprising therefore that the current “crusade” by Washington has focused on undermining Xi Jinping, whom American billionaire and financial adventurer George Soros called “the greatest threat that open societies face today” on Twitter. In his anti-Chinese rhetoric, George Soros went so far as to compare China’s leader to… Hitler. According to Soros, Xi Jinping is allegedly using the 2022 Olympics in the same way as the Führer of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler, did in 1936, i.e., “to win a propaganda victory for his system of strict control.” At a lecture at the Stanford University and at a lecture at the Hoover Institution on January 31, 2022, Soros expressed hope that the current Chinese leader would be removed from power by his intraparty rivals and replaced by “someone less repressive at home and more peaceful abroad.” The above assessments certainly reflect the position of not only Soros himself and his Open Society Foundations, deemed undesirable in Russia, which can be assumed to have very serious transnational backing, but also the political program of the current US political establishment.
However, the US does not seem to understand that the world has already changed irreversibly, and its threats, as well as its insidious plans, no longer scare anyone. Especially in the light of a strong rapprochement between China and Russia, as well as the political positions of leaders of those two countries, which may turn into a real “nightmare” for Washington itself.
Valery Kulikov, political expert, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.