President Xi Jinping has hurled BRICS through the window of a summit named after an acronym.
Taking aim at the United States, the European Union and its allies, he warned against weaponizing economic sanctions against Russia after Moscow’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.
Comrade Xi reiterated his loathing of tightening the boycott on President Vladimir Putin’s administration as the war drags on.
Speaking at the geopolitical group of BRICS nations in Beijing, he backed his “best friend” Putin and delivered a verbal broadside at advanced economies.
“The Ukraine crisis is another wake-up call for the world,” Xi said in a keynote video address this week to launch the virtual summit involving the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa or the BRICS organization.
“It reminds us that blind faith in the so-called ‘position of strength’ and attempts to expand military alliances and seek one’s own security at the expense of others will only land oneself in a security dilemma,” he added as reported by the state-controlled Xinhua News Agency.
If there was any doubt about the main culprits for the conflict in the Eastern European democracy, China’s state-run media swept away any ambiguities.
“This is direct criticism toward the US and some Western countries who instigated problems between Russia and Ukraine via NATO expansion and forced or threatened other countries to join their sanctions against Russia after the crisis,” Global Times, owned by the voice piece of the ruling Communist Party of China, the People’s Daily, stated.
BRICS in the wall:
- Xi’s blunder to support Russia with a “no limits” trade pact has backfired.
- Key to China’s Foreign Policy is the Five Principles, including “to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of others.”
- Beijing’s closest international “buddy” Moscow has trashed that “principle” with its Ukraine invasion.
- It has also dented China’s credibility on the world stage.
- Still, Putin mingled virtually with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at the opening ceremony.
- He must have been delighted with X’s speech, particularly his line about “politicizing the global economy” and turning “it into” a “weapon.”
Delve deeper: But China’s support for Putin’s war has come at a huge cost. Cheap oil is the price that Moscow has had to pay even though Xi shares Putin’s fear of NATO, and military and economic alliances brokered by the United States.
Little brother: “In a reverse from the Cold War pattern, Russia will be the junior partner to a more powerful China. That will irritate Putin,” Matthew Kroenig, the deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security in Washington, told Politico.
Big picture: Russia’s military failures have left China holding all the economic cards. Even so, Beijing and Moscow both share the common goal of undermining the power of the US and its allies in world affairs.
Autocrats v democrats: “Both countries are ruled by anti-democratic regimes that share a strong common interest in resisting the influence of liberal Western values within their own countries,” Nigel Gould-Davies, of the Russia and Eurasia department at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told the Al Jazeera news network.
War of ideas: “They also have a strong shared interest in undermining the states and alliances, beyond their own borders, that embody liberal values. So, their main common interest is in effect, an ideological one – they seek to undermine the democratic and liberal West,” Gould-Davies said.
China Factor comment: Comrade Xi is starting to believe his own propaganda in a country where free speech is not tolerated. His latest address simply underlines how out-of-touch he is with global public opinion.