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Undoing Nixon | Opinion

The current communist China was not at the foundation of the international order that we have known until now. The Russian empire, even if it was under the communist avatar of the Soviet Union, was one of the two great ones in the post-world war organization and still lives on its rents. The language of history and its commemorations, in addition to being tragic, is often ironic. Now the positions have been reversed: Russia has become a receding, pariah and discredited power, while China is on the rise and even in a position to act as arbiter and founder of the international order that will emerge from the current chaos.

Three days before the Russian tanks hit the Ukrainian border, on February 21, half a century of the meeting between Mao Zedong and Richard Nixon, which opened the door to the incorporation of mainland China into the international community, dealt a blow diplomat to Beijing’s deadly enemy, which was then Soviet communism and was the foundation stone of the happy globalization of the last 30 years. Now, when it’s all over, the positions between the two reconciled neighbors have been reversed: Russia is the junior partner and China is in charge.

Xi Jinping’s reproaches to Vladimir Putin are not known. But they exist. The Russian president lies without batting an eyelid, to Macron or to anyone. He waited until the Beijing Winter Games were over to attack Ukraine, and probably without informing his Chinese ally in detail. And if he did, Xi will not be able to forgive him for the blitzkrieg failure and its effects on the world economy and stability. Russia is now a disruptive and unilateralist force, making profits from chaos, while China prefers stability and considers the territorial integrity and sovereignty of countries sacred and, according to an official expression, “raises the flag of multilateralism”.

There is nothing personal in all this, as is the case with mafia business. It is about power, and world power, which China is extremely interested in. And in these questions, as Master Mao taught, you have to know who the main enemy is. It is the United States and, subsidiary, the European Union, common to China and Russia. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made it clear on Tuesday, adding once again to the Kremlin’s bad excuses for war. He began his press conference by denouncing the discovery in Ukraine of 26 biological weapons laboratories belonging to the United States Army, part of a global virological war plan organized in 336 facilities located in 30 countries. Two weeks after the invasion, Putin already has the weapons of mass destruction that justify his preventive war, and China, by the way, also obtains a symmetrical imputation, in the face of Putin’s massacre and war crimes, which allows him to gain a foothold as an arbiter of a future peace negotiation.

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