Thanks to Xi Jinping’s performance at the G20, China is back on the world stage. Government leaders lined up for bilateral talks with the boss of the world’s second economy and China has also made it clear to the left and right, and especially to US president Biden, where it draws lines in the sand. China has positioned itself, and this is widely reported in Chinese media.
With regard to China’s attitude towards the war in Ukrainethere is no question of the turnaround that the West had hoped for. “Not at the moment. It’s not clear what happened. Xi maintains his positions, reiterating that he does not want to call the raid a war, China voted yesterday at the UN against a resolution asking Russia to make reparations. China will not abandon Russia now, but it remains to be seen what path China will find for itself in it.
Why government leaders lined up for a conversation with Xi is obvious: it was not possible to talk face to face with Xi for a very long time. China is the second largest economy in the world. It had to be talked about, there is now a downward spiral, you have to put a bottom on that at some point.
While China and the West are pursuing normalization of relations, the West is at an awkward juncture as far as China is concerned. On the one hand, it wants to trade and maintain normal relations with the country, on the other hand, the West is very keen to become less dependent on Beijing.
When it comes to technology and chips, medicine and rare earth metals, that’s where the dependence is, you have to reduce that. But removing chip production, for example, takes years. Many initiatives are already being developed in this direction.
If you look at what Kaag has done and what is happening in Europe, there is really a bet on it. A letter went to the House of Representatives last week about strategic autonomy. A strategic dependencies task force will be established in December. Work is also underway in Europe, steps are being taken in a broad area to reduce dependencies.
The Chinese, in turn, see the G20 as an excellent opportunity to re-position themselves as a major power. That is also widely reported in the Chinese newspapers, it is also said that the world has a lot of support for the Chinese ideas about world peace. Furthermore, Beijing has clearly drawn red lines in the talks with the US when it comes to Taiwan.