War in Ukraine: Russia, China, USA: a global confrontation | Opinion

It is not possible to understand the unspeakable aggression against Ukraine by Russia only from the personality of Vladimir Putin; His attitude can be integrated into the context of a wide-ranging strategic reorientation elaborated in recent years by the Russian president, in full harmony with the Chinese vision of world geopolitics, particularly with regard to the conflictive relations with the United States. In 2008, just after taking office, President Barack Obama manifestly relegated Russia as a secondary power, henceforth centering the strategic axis of US policy on Asia vis-à-vis China. Many witnesses have heard Putin say that he would not forgive the US for this humiliation. The failure of NATO in Afghanistan, the progressive start of a European defense policy due to the intervention in Africa (the deployment of the Berkane force), the refusal of several European partners to increase their financial participation in this organization, had generated , since the presidency of Donald Trump and later, with Joe Biden, a new reflection on the objectives of the Atlanticist organization. The blocking of the 2015 Minsk agreements, together with the repeated requests (backed by the Eastern countries) of Volodímir Zelenski to join the EU and NATO, were interpreted by Putin as an advance of a new global order of extension American, which would continue to dominate Europe despite the Afghan disaster, and, at the same time, would allow it to surround Russia.

This paranoid vision of harassment finds its echo in the perception of Chinese leaders, who dismiss the US focus on Asia as a war strategy, not only because of economic competitiveness, but also because of the tension caused on Taiwan. This is how they translate the hegemony that the US has recently achieved in the Indo-Pacific with the sale of American-British nuclear submarines to Australia.

Consequently, for Putin and President Xi Jinping, Ukraine is only one part of this global confrontation. China thinks that the conflict with the US will get worse, a pessimism that Putin shares, creating an unbreakable bond of solidarity between the two countries: “What NATO, led by the United States, has done is what has gradually led to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine to the limit,” said Zhao Lijian, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This concordance of geopolitical interests between China and Russia strengthens Putin’s position. The Russian occupation of Ukraine is very likely to last until an agreement is reached between the US, Russia and Europe on the security architecture on the European continent. China will be able to count on Russia’s strong support in Asia, particularly in its claim on Taiwan. In this great geopolitical conflict, it is essential that Europe, beyond total solidarity with Ukraine, continue to favor dialogue with all the actors and be part of a future commitment. It is the best way to stop the threatening dynamics of world war.

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