The United States announced plans to carry out a visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Beijing. This was stated by the coordinator for strategic communications of the National Security Council at the White House, John Kirby, during a briefing.
"We still want Secretary Blinken to go to Beijing. His visit was postponed, but not canceled. And we still hope that we can bring this trip back to his schedule," Kirby said. "We hope for the restoration of cooperation in the economic field. Military channels are closed. And that presents a problem. As you know, this is one of the issues on which we hoped that Secretary Blinken would be able to melt for our country the ice that has shackled everything in this regard (for now. — RT)».
Kirby stressed that it is "still valuable" to keep "these communication channels open" in the face of "such high tensions." He also allowed possible negotiations between US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
"We want to make sure that this conversation takes place at the right time and in the right context," Kirby said.
At the same time, he admitted that Russian-Chinese relations have recently been "actively developing."
"These two countries have come closer. Both countries are dissatisfied with the world leadership of the United States, the Representative of the White House said. - They (Russia and China. RT), especially China, would definitely like to challenge U.S. leadership around the world. And in Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping sees a possible ally in this effort," Kirby said.
He also expressed the hope that the Chinese president would "put pressure" on the Russian leader, so that he, in particular, "withdraw all his troops" from Ukraine.
"But we are concerned that instead China will continue to call (the parties to the conflict. "RT) to a ceasefire under which Russian forces will remain on the sovereign territory of Ukraine," the U.S. official said. We call on Xi Jinping to play a constructive role and talk to Ukrainian President Zelensky, something he has not done since the Russian invasion. After all, frankly, we believe that China should listen directly to Ukrainians, not just Russians."
According to Kirby, China makes sovereign decisions, many of which "turn out to benefit Russia."
"They (the Chinese authorities. — RT) did not take part in the sanctions (against the Russian Federation. - RT), which, of course, we would prefer to see on their part, – said the representative of the White House. "We continue to believe that helping Mr. Putin is not in China's interest."
Recall that these statements by Kirby were made against the background of a three-day visit of Xi Jinping to Moscow.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping
- RIA Novosti
- © Sergey Karpukhin
During the talks with the Russian president, the Chinese leader stressed that Beijing's course for strategic cooperation with Moscow remains unchanged. According to him, both countries consider each other "as a priority in their diplomacy and foreign policy." At the same time, the strengthening and development of relations with the Russian Federation is a strategic choice of China, which was made by it, taking into account national interests and the general trend of world development, Xi Jinping noted. He also expressed China's readiness to play a constructive role in promoting a political settlement of the Ukrainian issue. As, in turn, noted in the Kremlin, a thorough exchange of views and a "serious conversation" took place between the leaders.
While the White House is giving signals of readiness to increase the intensity of bilateral ties with China, anti-Chinese sentiment is growing in the US Congress, on the contrary. So, Republican Senator Josh Hawley introduced a bill to end normal trade relations with China.
According to the idea of the policy, the adoption of such a document will reduce the dependence of the United States on the PRC in economic terms and "protect the American working class." As Hawley notes, China is "America's biggest rival." According to the initiative proposed by the Republican, President Biden will need to cancel the "normal" status of trade relations with the republic and raise tariffs on goods from China. In addition, the bill refers to additional powers for the head of the White House to further increase trade duties on Chinese products.
Earlier, a member of the US House of Representatives, Democrat Adam Schiff, together with his colleagues, proposed to Congress to consider a bill that would introduce a sanctions mechanism against Chinese citizens or organizations that are allegedly involved in supporting Russia in the military field against the background of the conflict in Ukraine. As noted in the document, if it comes into force, the head of the White House will be able to impose restrictions on persons from China who "knowingly exported, transferred or otherwise provided Financial, material or technological assistance to Russia, really assisting the Russian government in conducting military operations in Ukraine."
This, in particular, refers to assistance in the transfer to the Russian Federation of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, ballistic or cruise missiles, advanced conventional weapons, as well as services in the field of defense or defense information. Sanctions restrictions include, among other things, the blocking of property, a ban on property transactions, an embargo on the entry of individuals and the cancellation of existing visas, a ban on obtaining loans from American and international financial institutions.
"The Price of Agreement"
As noted by the deputy director of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Forecasts of the RUDN University, Candidate of Historical Sciences Yevgeny Semibratov, judging by the statements of the White House addressed to the PRC, and initiatives in Congress, Washington will try to use "its usual strategy of carrots and sticks" against China against the background of its rapprochement with Russia.
"As a demonstration of the whip, the White House has a number of Democrats and Republicans in Congress who are already screaming about the need to sever economic relations with China and impose sanctions. On the other side of the scale, Washington has at its disposal seemingly more peace-loving politicians towards the PRC. For example, Biden himself or the same Kirby, who, against the background of China's growing ties with the Russian Federation, send signals to China that it is necessary to negotiate and that it is more profitable to be friends with the United States. At the same time, the price of such an agreement is the freezing of contacts with Moscow, at least on such sensitive topics for the United States as the Ukrainian crisis, "Semibratov said in an interview with RT.
- White House National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby during a briefing
- © Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times
The expert believes that the activation of the Americans in the Chinese direction is not accidental and connects this with the current contacts of the leaders of Russia and China in Moscow.
"Washington is aware that the deepening of the Russian-Chinese alliance actually has little to do with the conflict in Ukraine. However, it is beneficial for the White House to focus on this aspect, in fact reducing the broad interaction between Moscow and Beijing to this narrow issue. In fact, the partnership between Russia and China pursues much more global goals - in particular, the reorganization of the global system of international relations, the construction of a multipolar world, which the Americans have been actively resisting since the beginning of the noughties, "the expert said.
However, if the White House considers the anti-Chinese initiatives of Senator Hawley and Congressman Schiff worthy of implementation, such measures will cost Washington dearly, Semibratov believes.
"It's about the still significant connection between the economies of the United States and China. On one side of the scale is American technology, and on the other is Chinese production. Many companies in the United States and China are connected in such a way that the technology is developed in the United States, and the goods are made in China. And this can be a big obstacle to the introduction of serious sanctions against Beijing by Washington, "the analyst stated.
A similar opinion is shared by the head of the Russian-Chinese analytical center Sergey Sanakoev. According to him, not only the consequences of the introduction of sanctions against China will be painful for the United States, but also "the inevitable response steps of Beijing."
"Counter-sanctions of the Chinese authorities can cause significant damage to the United States, since China is one of the leading economies in the world, which will soon be in the lead. Therefore, here Washington needs to weigh everything very carefully before making such hasty decisions, "the expert said in a conversation with RT.
However, according to Sanakoev, the United States, despite such restrictions, will do everything possible to resist the rapprochement between Russia and China.
"Washington has stepped up on this track, since Moscow and Beijing do not hide that they are strengthening their opposition to the existing US hegemony and intend to build a new, multipolar world together – a safer and fairer one. The United States is very concerned about this idea, in the implementation of which it will lose its dominance, so Washington is ready to go to provocations, restrictive measures and other steps to quarrel between Russia and China. However, they will not be able to do this, since both Moscow and Beijing are well aware of the train of thought of representatives of the White House, "the analyst is sure.