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Friendship is not against the USA, but for the sake of common interests

Xi Jinping, China's leader, is to pay a state visit to Moscow early next week. Here are the words from the transcript of the Russian-Chinese talks last December 30, published on the Kremlin website: "We are expecting you, dear Mr. President, dear friend, we are expecting you next spring with a state visit to Moscow," Vladimir Putin said to Xi Jinping during the videoconference. In general, this could be regarded as quite an ordinary event. Mutual contacts between the Russian and Chinese leaders take place regularly, usually two visits a year, excluding meetings on the margins of international summits. According to Chinese Ambassador to Russia Zhang Hanhui, there have been about 40 such reciprocal visits since 2013, when Xi Jinping became the head of the country. But today is a special situation. First, this visit is the first foreign trip of the Chinese president since his reelection to his third term. In diplomatic practice, this is considered a signal: this direction of foreign policy is regarded as a priority. The fact that Xi's trip to Moscow will take place during the acute phase of the special military operation that Russia is conducting in Ukraine, essentially fighting for its interests against the collective West, adds a special character to the trip. The trip also has great significance against the background of the sharp deterioration of relations between China and the United States and the intensification of Western sanctions against Beijing. In this regard, there is a widespread version that the Chinese leader will "promote" the proposed plan for the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine. It is written that this plan is allegedly not beneficial to Russia. Well, the Chinese peace proposals may become a topic of discussion during the upcoming Russian-Chinese talks. Chinese diplomacy has just been brilliantly demonstrated by the reconciliation of bitter enemies, Saudi Arabia and Iran. An agreement for the full restoration of diplomatic relations between these countries was signed in Riyadh under the mediation of the head of the CPC Central Committee's Foreign Affairs Commission, who moved to that post upon the completion of his tenure as China's foreign minister. "The deal brokered by China overturns Middle East diplomacy and challenges the United States," said the New York Times in its assessment of Chinese peacemaking efforts. So why shouldn't China mediate on Ukraine as well? Another widespread version of the main theme of the talks says that in Moscow, Russia and China will establish an even closer alliance. It is often added: finally. All we can say about this is that certain circles not only in Russia but also in China are in favor of such an alliance, including a military one. However, the leadership of the two countries has repeatedly assured that a bloc policy is not our choice and that both countries do not consider it possible and necessary to bind their hands and feet. According to Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, this is "not an exclusive bloc, but an honest partnership. "Relations between China and Russia are based on the principles of non-alignment and non-confrontation. We are not friends against anyone, we do not threaten anyone. And no one can break us up," the diplomat said. And it seems quite reasonable. It is hard to imagine how the world would change if such an alliance were indeed established, and a dozen countries that are not under American protectorate would also join it. In addition, the current basic treaty between China and Russia already contains a provision on mutual support for the protection of state unity and territorial integrity. There is also a point of view in Russia that China is not an ally and not a friend. It is said to be acting exclusively in its own interests. Although it is not clear why a sovereign country should compromise its interests, even if it is in favor of a friend, nevertheless Xi Jinping's trip to Moscow immediately after his reelection demonstrates this friendship. Consequently, Russian and Chinese interests largely coincide. The confirmation of this thought is in the words of the President of Russia, who in December 2022 announced the Chinese leader's visit to Russia: "You and I share the same views on the causes, course and logic of the ongoing transformation of the global geopolitical landscape, in the face of unprecedented pressure and provocations from the West, we defend the principal positions and protect not only our interests, but also all those who stand for a truly democratic world order and the right of countries to freely determine their fate." According to the Russian leader, the visit will demonstrate "to the whole world the strength of the Russian-Chinese ties on key issues." Didn't the President of China, after his re-election, first of all go to the United States or Europe, where, according to the logic of many commentators, are the main economic interests of China? Chinese Ambassador to Russia Zhang Hanhui succinctly explains the philosophy of our relations: "We are more than allies, we stand back to back. In this sense, it is useful to quote the popular Chinese (Xiangsu) newspaper South China Morning Post: "Xi Jinping's trip would be an important event in Chinese diplomacy with far-reaching consequences for his international position and ties with the United States and other major powers. Such a visit would underscore Beijing's strategic choice to stand with Moscow in its geostrategic rivalry with the West and send a message of defiance." And the answer to the question of why China is doing this is contained in the words of the head of Chinese diplomacy Qin Gang: "The more lack of stability in the world, the more important it is to strengthen Russian-Chinese ties. According to him, the U.S. has "lost all common sense" in its approach to relations with China. "Washington's preached "competition" with China is nothing but an attempt to contain and suppress China, and its rhetoric of "non-conflict" suggests that China will silently tolerate attacks. But this is simply impossible!" - stressed the head of the Chinese foreign ministry.

America, hit the brakes!

Washington calls Beijing the main enemy, Chinese officials accuse Americans of provoking direct confrontation. In recent months, since the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China, everyone with little interest in politics must have concluded that relations between Washington and Beijing have sharply deteriorated. The statements of high-ranking officials on both sides, additional U.S. sanctions against China and some actions by U.S. lawmakers testify to this. The U.S. National Security Doctrine last year called China a strategic (the only one capable of challenging) adversary. But the projection of this definition at the highest levels of the U.S. establishment is impressive, showing a deep hatred that reaches the point of hysteria. How, China dares to challenge? Then it must not only be contained, but destroyed. At the very least, destroy its ability to resist America. "Communist China is the strongest and most disciplined enemy we have ever faced," said Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley. - Never in my life did I think Americans would look up into the sky and see a Chinese spy balloon looking at us. It was a national embarrassment. I can't believe Joe Biden is letting China get away with it. Chinese companies now own more than 380,000 acres (1,538 square kilometers - Auth.) of American land, some right next to our military bases. We must never allow the enemy to buy land in our country. The definition of "enemy" in relation to China is increasingly common in the American political lexicon. The Chinese threat is seen not only in China's high-tech companies, but literally in everything Chinese that, for obvious reasons, surrounds Americans. From the latest news. The U.S. Congress passed a special resolution to investigate ... Chinese port and storage cranes. It is strongly suspected in the U.S. that they not only monitor all U.S. trade, but already almost control it. This hysteria, however, mirrors the views of the American electorate. According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans continue to view China as the greatest enemy of the United States for the third year in a row. Today more than 50% of Americans said that China is their country's worst enemy. Only 32%, however, put Russia in first place. Interestingly, the North Korea, which held the palm of power among U.S. antagonists (for example, in 2018 the DPRK was considered the main enemy by 51% of Americans), is now disliked by only 7% of Americans. But in China, which for many decades has avoided direct, even verbal confrontation with the United States, apparently realized that the conflict cannot be avoided and it is better to prepare for it and prepare the population. And during the main political event of the year in China - a session of the National People's Congress - we heard unusually harsh statements. Moreover, they do not use the definitions typical of the diplomatic Chinese like "the countries concerned," but refer directly to the United States. Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang frankly warned of a clash with the United States if Washington did not stop its efforts to contain Beijing, stressing the Chinese Communist Party's concern about escalating tensions between the rival superpowers. "If the United States does not hit the brakes, but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing, and there will surely be conflict and confrontation," Qin Gang said. - What is the point of making loud statements about respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity in the issue of Ukraine, but then not respecting China's sovereignty and territorial integrity in the issue of Taiwan? Why, on the one hand, do they demand that China should not provide weapons to Russia, and on the other hand, sell weapons to Taiwan in long-term violation of the joint communiqués?" There is also a reference to Russia: "Thanks to China and Russia joining forces, the movement toward a multipolar world and a more democratic international system has gained momentum, and global strategic balance and stability have gained a guarantor. The more turbulent the world becomes, the more China-Russia relations must move forward." The fact that this was not an impromptu speech by the minister, but a new vision of foreign policy is evidenced by the words of the newly reconfirmed as Chairman of the CPC, Xi Jinping, addressed to the delegates: "The Western countries, led by the United States, are carrying out a comprehensive containment, encirclement and suppression of us." Chairman Xi, in his usual diplomatic manner, confined himself to this. Or maybe we don't know everything he said on this subject. But a number of principal decisions adopted by the National People's Congress indicate that China is about to undergo profound reforms. Not the least of their objectives: to concentrate power, rebuild the economy and the financial sphere in the face of the beginning global confrontation with the United States. Of course, Minister Qin Gang makes a diplomatic curtsey toward the United States: "What should define China-U.S. relations are common interests, shared responsibility, and friendship between our peoples, but not the domestic politics of the United States and the hysterical new McCarthyism." Indeed, China is ready to reduce the heat of passion and not to move from peaceful competition to confrontation. But the answer is contained in the words of Michael Gallagher, head of the newly created U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Existing Threat (Chinese). It is no longer a question of some kind of containment, but of "an existential struggle over what life will look like in the twenty-first century." In fact, he is right. Conflict is inevitable on ideological grounds as well. The problem is to prevent the entire human civilization from perishing in this confrontation.

Blinken was told in Astana: We do not need to be protected from Russia

On February 28, the head of the U.S. Department of State paid an official visit to Kazakhstan and simultaneously held a meeting in the "C5+1" format. In other words, the Secretary of State spoke with colleagues from five countries of the former Soviet Union – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. On the one hand, this visit follows the old (and even outdated) strategy of isolating Russia around the world, in which Blinken rushes around the continents trying to force everyone to "cancel Russia." On the other hand, the visit is within the framework of the new tactic of enforcing anti-Russian sanctions, which means twisting arms and blackmailing those who have the audacity to trade with Russia. As for Central Asia, the task here is difficult, to say the least. Since the beginning of the special military operation, all five former Soviet republics in Central Asia have not supported any UN resolution condemning Russia for its actions in Ukraine. Including the most recent one, which called on Russia to withdraw its forces and surrender. It also turns out that the anti-Russian sanctions had an extremely positive effect on the economies of these countries, which are successfully taking advantage of opportunities to make money by circumventing these sanctions: parallel exports to Russia and exports of our products, including to the EU. And in this area the Americans have little prospect of convincing our neighbors. After all, Russia accounts for 60-80 percent of trade of these countries. Gas for the eastern regions of Kazakhstan, markets, transit revenues – all this is Russia. According to the President of Kazakhstan Tokayev, the GDP of this country grew by 4 percent last year, which is a lot for a pandemic year. And this is the official data. In Kazakhstan, they say that Russia makes a significant contribution to economic (and technological) growth. The situation in the other countries of the so-called "C5" is similar. The only difference is that a large part of their GDP is created by migrants from these countries working in Russia and sending their salaries back home, for example, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. The Americans have only some forceful methods of pressure, up to and including the military. But how can this be done when there is a Russian military base in Tajikistan and the region is part of the CSTO sphere of responsibility? Blinken, of course, hinted at secondary sanctions in Astana. But somehow passively, as if he knew in advance that threats would not achieve much here. Judging by the reports, he could not offer anything in return, except promises of investment. Nevertheless, during all the talks and press conferences, Secretary of State advertised the Initiative for Economic Stability in Central Asia that was launched by the US State Department last year: $25 million was allocated for it, and Blinken promised to add another $20 million this year. It turns out to be $9 million per country. Not much. In this program behind beautiful words about "diversification of trade routes, expansion of investments in the region, and employment opportunities by providing the Central Asian population with practical skills for modern labor market" is laid the well-known American methods of interference in internal affairs of sovereign states. The allocated millions will mostly go to structures and NGOs close to the U.S., but it is mere pennies compared with $6 billion, which was enough for Ukraine to "decide on its European future." Instead of carrots, Blinken showed a touching concern for independence, supposedly for which Washington genuinely cares "in connection with the imperial ambitions of Russia and China." The U.S. White House envoy urged Central Asian states not to fear Russia because Americans "are willing to guarantee their sovereignty." This message caused bewilderment not only among local political analysts, but also among participants of the "C5" meeting. It turned out that they are not afraid of Russia. It is well understood in Kazakhstan that if Russia had somehow encroached on this sovereignty, it could easily have used last year's rescue of Tokayev from reprisals (including physical) during the uprising – up to and including replacing him with a politician loyal to Moscow. And the CSTO Allied Forces, which were 90 percent of Russian troops, could still be in the republic. Well, there are already anecdotes and jokes all over the world about the sovereignty of countries ensured by the U.S. Therefore, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, in oriental style, cordially thanked Blinken "for consistent and unwavering support of independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty". But Mukhtar Tleuberdi, head of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, gave a substantive answer: "We don't see or feel any risks or threats from Russia at the moment," he said at a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. According to the minister, Kazakhstan is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and the CIS, "so we see relations with Russia as an alliance that functions within these multilateral structures." "Kazakhstan continues to pursue a multi-vector foreign policy, thereby trying to maintain a system of checks and balances to ensure mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries of the world," added Tleuberdi. This is not only about Russia, but also about China, which also plays an important role in the region and will not allow the U.S. to strengthen its influence. Incidentally, Kazakhstan, as well as other states in the region, supported China's peace plan for the settlement in Ukraine. Actually, in Astana, Blinken was orientally polite, if not to say obsequious. He even forgot about the "bloody January" of 2022 in Kazakhstan, about the usual accusations of human rights violations, he abandoned the eternal calls for democratic reforms, the release of political prisoners and similar American chatter. Even on the State Department website, information about meetings with President Merziev of Uzbekistan is limited to general phrases about an exchange of views and Washington's support for reforms in that country. We can assume that no breakthroughs have been achieved here either. But it should be noted that Washington's level of diplomacy seems to be constantly not just deteriorating, but culminating in its imperial vision of the world space. In preparing for Blinken's visit to Central Asia, the State Department failed to take into account that the foreign ministers of these countries are not at all equivalent to Blinken himself in terms of influence on policy. They are merely officials who carry out the will and instructions of the presidents. Therefore, the arrival of an overseas guest is certainly an important and notable event for the region, but more of a ceremonial nature. Maybe this is why Moscow practically ignored the visit of the State Secretary, seeing no special significance or danger in it. However, it does not mean that Russia can relax here. The U.S. will continue to try to drive a wedge between Moscow and its traditional partners in Central Asia. Washington's pressure on them will increase.

India knows which side of history is right

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in Bangalore went so far as to make direct threats against the official delegation of Russia. Last meeting of the G20 finance ministers and heads of central banks in Bangalore, India, did not bring many surprises. Despite the efforts of the Indian presidency and most of the representatives to work out a joint position on the key problems of the world economy, the final communiqué could not be adopted. After all, consensus is a prerequisite for its adoption. However, not only Russia, but also China could not agree to the introduction in the economic communiqué of purely political points concerning the conflict in Ukraine. Accordingly, for the third time (earlier in Bali, in Washington – in 2022), the final communiqué was replaced by a statement of the chairman, in this case by India. This happened despite Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's direct call for the G20 financial leaders to focus on "the world's most vulnerable citizens" and not politicize the economic agenda. Opening the meeting in Bangalore, Modi said that the COVID-19 pandemic and "growing geopolitical tensions in different parts of the world" have led to unsustainable debt levels in several countries, disruptions in global supply chains and threats to food and energy security. It would seem that such topics cannot afford delay. Nevertheless, representatives of the G7 insisted on the Ukrainian agenda here as well. The Russian Foreign Ministry's official statement on the occasion emphasized the West's destabilizing role in the failure to adopt collective G20 decisions. During the meeting, representatives of financial institutions of the G20 countries developed measures for the growth of the global economy and financial markets. The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that the BRICS countries and especially the Indian presidency have made a positive contribution to this project. But ... "Our opponents, first and foremost the United States, the EU and the G7, are still not slowing down in their paranoid attempts to isolate Russia and shift the blame for the provoked problems in international security and the world economy onto it," the statement read. "We urge the collective West to abandon their destructive course as soon as possible, realize the objective realities of a multipolar world, and start building normal relations with new centers of power in the international arena, such as Russia, on the principles of sovereign equality of States," the Russian Foreign Ministry added. A similar protest against the actions of the West followed from the Foreign Ministry of China. "Here we see a shift in the Chinese position, and that is very unfortunate," German Finance Minister Linder lamented, while officials from Russia, China's strategic partner, insist that discussions should concern only "technical issues of the international financial architecture. So, the U.S. and its allies (or, more correctly, vassals) on all international platforms set a goal of forcing everyone and everything "to stand on the right side" of history, twisting the arms of those who do not agree. And regardless of the subject of discussion: politics, economics, climate, humanitarian issues. The hypocrisy has no limits. In particular, here is a passage from the proposed points of the communiqué: "Peaceful resolution of conflicts, efforts to resolve crises, as well as diplomacy and dialogue are vital" and "Today's era should not be a war." Who would argue with this, if we discard double standards and if we were not talking solely about Ukraine. We are told about peaceful conflict resolution, crisis management and diplomacy by those who rejected all of Russia's peace proposals, who forced Kiev to withdraw from peace talks last year. It is inconceivable that similar points appeared in the communiqués of international meetings during the U.S. and coalition attack on Iraq. There was no condemnation during the destruction of Libya by NATO and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. And only because then NATO burned and killed supposedly in the name of democracy, while now Russia has opposed the sacred principles of the "free" world. But this approach is no longer acceptable to everyone a priori. The West has failed to twist India's arm. Prime Minister Modi's speech to the Bangalore summit is a vivid example of this. There is no condemnation of Russia in it. Indeed, as G20 chair, India is interested in compromises and signing final documents. But, as they say, everything has a limit. And this limit was also marked during the just-concluded visit of the German Chancellor to New Delhi. Scholz failed to put India on the right "side of history," although he made attractive offers to the Indians, including in the trade, economic and defense sectors. But a country with a population of 1.4 billion that is rapidly developing (and without Western aid), but faces considerable social and economic problems, believes that "one old friend is better than two new ones." India remembers its colonial past and is not ready to exchange its time-tested friendship with Russia for short-term promises, behind which there is political pressure. Minister Siluanov and Central Bank Governor Nabiullina were not present at the last G20 financiers' meeting in Bangalore. Although it is said that the Indian side would like to see them there. But taking into account the situation in Moscow they decided to lower the level of representation. However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected to visit Delhi on March 1. In addition to meetings with Indian counterparts, he will take part in a meeting of heads of diplomatic missions of the G20 countries. It is expected that the main topics of talks with Indian Foreign Minister Subramaniam Jaishankar will focus on trade and investment, transport and logistics cooperation, as well as the use of national currencies in mutual settlements and promising projects in the field of energy. "The ministers will exchange views on current international issues, including interaction in the framework of the Indian presidency of the SCO and the G20, as well as coordination of approaches in the UN, BRICS, RIC (Russia, India, China)," said the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova. A number of regional issues will also be discussed, in particular the formation of a security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region, the situation in Afghanistan and the situation in Ukraine. We remember Western countries' provocations against Lavrov in Bali in 2022. Nevertheless, he decided to personally present the Russian position. Let's see what will happen in India. One can get an impression of how the representatives of the so-called "free democratic world" behaved in Bangalore from the reports in the Western press. Here, for example, is what The New York Times writes. "I urge Russian officials here at the G20 to understand that their continued work for the Kremlin makes them complicit in Putin's atrocities," U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen said in a closed-door meeting, as a Treasury Department official told the newspaper. – They are responsible for the lives and economic damage to Ukraine and the world. It is clear that there is no question of diplomacy here. Instead, there is a hint of a direct threat to people who are simply doing their jobs, and a call for treason. But unlike the meeting in Washington last year, where the Yellen-led "fighters for good against bad" tried to boycott the heads of the Russian delegation, in Bangalore they listened intently to what the Russian representatives had to say. The behavior of Yellen and her Western colleagues (including Canadian Finance Minister Freeland, the successor of the Ukrainian Banderites) had no effect on the Russian delegation. But Western methods and policies are a clear lesson not only for non-Western members of the G20, but also for the rest of the world. The approach of the global South was recently formulated by Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. In short: The West has colonized us, killed and robbed us, and now it demands that we support it in a war against Russia, which has never colonized or humiliated us and, on the contrary, has supported our quest for independence and justice. According to Indian Foreign Minister Subramaniam Jaishankar, who will chair the forthcoming meeting of heads of diplomatic missions in Delhi, "Europe must stop thinking that Europe's problems are problems of the world and that the problems of the world are not problems of Europe." To paraphrase in a modern way in the style of the old Reagan: There is something more important for the collective South than Ukraine.

Balloon Diplomacy

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text The US Secretary of State unexpectedly postponed his visit to Beijing, scheduled for February 5-6. What would that mean? On February 3, the head of American diplomacy announced that he had decided to postpone a visit to the Chinese capital scheduled for Sunday. According to Blinken, the United States has informed China about this step at various levels. At the same time, the Secretary of State refused to announce new dates, making it clear that it would be premature to talk about this before resolving the current incident. According to the American ABC News channel, Blinken does not want to cancel the visit in order not to "inflate" the situation. In addition, the Secretary of State allegedly does not want the "balloon theme" to be dominant in the negotiations. "It's hard to imagine a worse "warm-up" ahead of Anthony Blinken's critically important talks in Beijing, which are expected in the next few days, than the news that a suspected Chinese spy balloon is merrily hovering over the United States." This is how CNN political analyst Stephen Collinson assessed reports of an alien balloon flying over American territory. The cancellation two days before his visit, which had been preparing since last summer, became an information bomb. And no wonder. After all, the American media made big plans for this trip. Blinken was to meet with the re-elected leader of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, the head of the office of the International Affairs Committee of the CPC Central Committee Wang Yi, as well as the new Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang. They talked about "restarting US-China relations, relieving tensions in the trade and economic sphere," talking about global security and "helping Russia circumvent sanctions." But it seems that the cancellation of the visit was the only reaction that the United States could afford in connection with a very curious situation that arose during the flight of a Chinese research probe over American territory. A scandal has arisen in the USA. The radicals accused the administration of passivity, began to demand an immediate harsh reaction. The Republican leader in Congress, Kevin McCarthy, for example, said that China "committed a destabilizing act, brazenly violated the sovereignty of the United States, and President Joe Biden cannot remain silent." The American right saw in the story of the balloon an additional reason to attack the president, whom they consider soft towards China: they say, there is a violation of US sovereignty, and the administration does not react properly. As a result, the US State Department and the US Defense Ministry were forced to accuse the PRC of violating the airspace, the country's sovereignty and the norms of international law. To which the Chinese Foreign Ministry calmly stated that the probe of a civilian purpose, research, does not pose any threat, turned out to be over the territory of the United States by accident. The wind blew. Like, why make so much noise?! Let's resolve everything peacefully. The head of the office of the CPC Central Committee's foreign affairs commission, Wang Yi, reacted to the Secretary of State's decision to postpone the planned visit: "Beijing does not accept any unfounded speculation and hype." He stressed China's exceptionally responsible approach, and also recalled that China has always strictly adhered to the norms of international law. Even in this case, Beijing adheres to international law, the probe flies almost in the stratosphere, just below the satellites, where there is no air as such. And the fact that the winds brought it, they say, is force majeure. With whom it does not happen. A strong reaction could be the destruction of the probe and the implementation of Blinken's visit according to plan. But on what basis should we eliminate a scientific probe that accidentally flew into the Americans and is also moving at a high altitude? It would be even stronger to show evidence that this is not a scientific probe at all, but an intelligence one, which the Pentagon accuses the Chinese of. But then you need to knock it down so as to save the equipment. But with this, apparently, the Americans have big problems. The strongest and most equipped army in the world turned out to be unarmed in front of a "peaceful" Chinese balloon. As it turned out, knocking him down is far from an easy task. The Pentagon, pathetically justifying himself, said that he allegedly had F-22 fighters ready to destroy the balloon if an order came from above. But, ultimately, at first the military decided not to do this, ostensibly so as not to put people in this sparsely populated state at risk. As if a lot of debris could form during the destruction, falling on their heads. And by the way, in Montana, where the balloon flew, there is a warehouse of American strategic missiles. The probe first appeared over America on January 28. Then he barged over Canada for a couple of days without causing any reaction. As Biden himself said, he was informed about a strange object on February 1, and the US president immediately gave the order to shoot down the balloon as soon as possible. But it was only on February 4 that his order was carried out. That is, for a week, the Chinese probe calmly traveled over American and Canadian territories and, as stated by US Secretary of Defense Austin, observed strategic objects. The Envoy of the People's Republic of China only one day did not live up to one of the favorite Chinese holidays – the Lantern Festival (Yuanxiaojie), which this year fell on February 5. Traditionally, on this day, the Chinese hang colorful holiday lanterns and launch them into the air. It seems that this year in China this day was celebrated with special pathos, sending millions of balloons into the sky. After the tragic death of the Chinese probe, the Chinese Foreign Ministry regretfully stated that the actions of the United States in relation to a peaceful balloon were disproportionate and even reserved the right to protect the company that launched the flying object and to retaliate. In the United States, many, including famous personalities such as Elon Musk, allowed themselves to mock the actions of the White House. The Chinese balloon was compared to a copy of the globe, a symbol of peace, and Biden was compared to a villain who brought down fighter jets and missiles on a defenseless flying object. Several decades ago, at the height of the Cold War with the USSR, the Americans themselves actively used such means of espionage and provocations. And they were justified by the fact that their probes were flying in the stratosphere, which is not airspace. According to some reports, not one, but about five thousand similar balloons flew over the territory of the USSR. About one thousand of them were shot down. To combat such objects in our country, special high-altitude aircraft were used and special missiles were developed. Apparently, there were no such people at the ready in the United States, and the Pentagon was thinking for a long time about how to carry out the president's order. The US Department of Defense is most likely lying. If ordinary Americans had not discovered the balloon, the US military would simply have remained silent. Why make a fuss if Chinese reconnaissance satellites are flying a little higher, and nothing happens? Here it is appropriate to recall the notorious American spy planes U-2, which plowed the space over the USSR with impunity for many years until high-altitude anti-aircraft missiles appeared in our country. Generally speaking, there is a lot of guile here. For example, American ships regularly pass near the island of Taiwan, which is a province of China. Moreover, the United States officially recognizes this. That is, they deliberately enter the territorial waters of the PRC, violate the sovereignty of China. China is not ready to react accordingly yet, although last year after Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, the Chinese military demonstrated how they can block shipping in this area. By the way, a naval blockade can be that non-lethal means of returning Taiwan "to the bosom of the motherland." That is, China is quite capable of winning here without a war. And the supply of the Taiwanese puppet administration with American weapons is not a violation of the sovereignty of the PRC? If the flight of the balloon and the American reaction are not part of a sophisticated geostrategic plan, then why would the Chinese not be lying against this background, too? Maybe this Chinese balloon got to the Americans by accident, because of the weather conditions. Maybe there was nothing in it but air. Or maybe, on the contrary, Chinese technologies have stepped so far that even American strategists are not able to decipher them. But in fact it turns out that the Chinese have shown how they can disarm the enemy without war and military action. This is just in the spirit of the canons of Chinese martial art. China's social networks and even newspapers are full of cartoons about how "a Chinese balloon is floating merrily over the USA." They write that Chinese science and technology is able to produce thousands of such balloons that will fly all over the globe. Exclusively for scientific, peaceful purposes. And the fact that the ball was eventually shot down doesn't matter anymore. And as for Blinken, sooner or later he will get over it and come to Beijing. Despite the many claims against the United States, the PRC does not seem to refuse dialogue either. When diplomats speak and balloons fly, guns are silent. So we still need to talk.

Moscow and Beijing are global partners

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text The Chinese leader confirmed his readiness to develop close strategic relations with Russia. The conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping on December 30 was the fourth substantive meeting of the leaders of the two countries in 2022, which in itself speaks about the level of partnership. They spoke on the phone several times. No other country can boast of such an intensity of contacts with the Chinese leader. Rumors about these negotiations have been going around for a long time, there were many different assumptions and speculations, but even after they took place, the situation did not completely clear up. Communication took place via closed videoconferencing channels. For obvious reasons, the content is disclosed very limited. Earlier, Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov outlined the range of topics in an extremely lapidary way: bilateral relations, including economic ones. As well as acute problems that concern China and Russia, including the conflict in Ukraine. At the end of the talks Dmitry Peskov said: "The President expressed confidence that through joint efforts it will be possible to bring cooperation between the countries to a new, even higher level for the benefit of the Russian and Chinese peoples, in the interests of strengthening stability and security on the regional and global dimensions." At the beginning of the meeting, President Putin said in general terms that it was devoted to summarizing the work and plans for the further development of Russian-Chinese relations, as well as exchanging views on the most pressing international issues. It is noted that "in the conditions of increasing geopolitical tension, the importance of the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership as a stabilizing factor is increasing. Our relations stand up to all tests with dignity, demonstrate maturity and stability, continue to expand dynamically, are the best in history, and represent a model of cooperation between major powers in the XXI century." The Russian President noted the increase in the volume of trade between the two countries, the strengthening of military and military-technical cooperation and the restoration of humanitarian exchanges. The Chinese leader confirmed all this in his response, expressing his satisfaction with the development of multifaceted relations with Russia. A version is actively circulating that the leaders of the two countries also discussed in the closed part of the conversation what was contained in the message of the President of the Russian Federation, which was delivered to Beijing on December 21 by Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev. According to Dmitry Peskov, the message of the President of the Russian Federation to the President of the People's Republic of China again concerned bilateral relations, the international situation and partnership between Russia and China. There were few specifics. "The parties checked their watches on a number of significant international issues, noting the broad coincidence of Moscow and Beijing's approaches to the most pressing world problems, touched upon the subject of strategic foreign policy coordination, including within the UN and other multilateral platforms, including the SCO, BRICS and the Group of Twenty. "The situation in the post–Soviet space, including the Ukrainian crisis, was discussed," the secretariat of the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation reported. It is hardly by chance that Medvedev's trip coincided with the voyage of the President of Ukraine to the United States. "While Zelensky is visiting Washington, Putin is sending an assistant to Beijing. The Kremlin spread the news about the visit to China just a couple of hours after the information about the Ukrainian president's trip to the United States was made public," the American edition of Politico noted. Chinese media reported about the talks of the leader of the People's Republic of China not with the deputy chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, but with the chairman of the United Russia Party, who came to China at the invitation of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Which was quite true. Dmitry Medvedev arrived in Beijing precisely as the leader of the ruling United Russia party and was accompanied by a party delegation, which included, in particular, the Secretary of the General Council of United Russia, Vice Speaker of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Andrey Turchak and the head of the United Russia faction in the State Duma Vladimir Vasiliev. And in this sense, Dmitry Medvedev and Xi Jinping met on equal terms – as leaders of the leading political forces in their countries. Commenting on the talks, Dmitry Medvedev noted that, among other things, they discussed issues of interaction "between the two ruling parties" – the CPC and United Russia. This is all the more curious, since leadership in inter-party cooperation with a neighbor previously seemed to belong to the Communist Party. But recently, a different track of negotiations has appeared here. After receiving the message, the Chinese leader said that China is ready to move closer to Russia for the sake of more equitable global governance, and assured that the development of the Sino-Russian partnership is a long-term strategic choice made by both sides. It's worth a lot. However, with one caveat. On the one hand, the Chinese side makes it clear that it would like an early cessation of hostilities in Ukraine, on the other hand, it expresses understanding of the origins of the conflict and Russia's concerns in the sphere of ensuring its security. President Putin has put the closeness of views in such a formula: "You and I have the same view on the causes, course and logic of the ongoing transformation of the global geopolitical landscape, in the face of unprecedented pressure and provocations from the West, we defend principled positions and defend not only our interests, but also all those who stand for a truly democratic world order and the right of countries to freely determine their fate." Xi Jinping replied in the affirmative: "In the face of a difficult and far from unambiguous international situation, we are ready to increase strategic cooperation with Russia, provide each other with development opportunities, and be global partners for the benefit of the peoples of our countries and in the interests of stability throughout the world." The result is as follows. It is obvious that all attempts by the West to drive a wedge between Russia and China, to drag China "to the right side of history" have failed. And at the meeting, the leader of the People's Republic of China once again confirmed his principled position of support for Russia. Over the past year, Beijing has never voted for an anti-Russian resolution at the UN. The foreign ministries of the two countries continue to coordinate the policies of the two countries in the international arena. Cooperation has intensified within the framework of international organizations – BRICS, SCO, as well as the integration of the "One Belt, One Road" and Eurasian integration projects. The day before, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi scolded U.S. Secretary of State Blinken by phone, who tried to inquire about the content of President Xi's conversations with Dmitry Medvedev and made hints about Sino-Russian relations. And this is despite numerous warnings that this does not concern anyone except Russia and China, and even the United States – the global controller – is the third extra here. The strategic partnership between Russia and China also has an increasing military component. As the official representative of the Ministry of Defense of the People's Republic of China Tan Kefei stated on December 29, the Sino-Russian naval exercises of the fleets of the two countries held in the Far East in December 2022 "further deepened the comprehensive strategic cooperation between China and Russia in a new era." "The navies of both countries have demonstrated the determination and ability of China and Russia to strengthen the joint response to threats to maritime security, as well as to maintain peace and stability at the international and regional levels," Tan Kefei said. He also stressed that the exercises "further deepened the comprehensive strategic cooperation between China and Russia in a new era." By the way, this is already the 78th joint military exercises, which have become more frequent since 2014. That is, there is absolutely obvious progress in relations between Russia and China, even despite the military actions in Ukraine. There is also a fairly noticeable increase in trade turnover, which this year will be a record. However, this growth, still calculated in US dollars, is partly due to rising energy prices, as well as due to Russian exports to China. Chinese supplies to Russia so far leave much to be desired, especially in terms of high-tech products, in which Russia is interested after the departure of Western companies and the cessation of imports from unfriendly countries. Maybe the leaders of the two countries talked about this, too? Nevertheless, this year's trade turnover will probably amount to at least 180 billion dollars. And maybe more. That is, for the second year in a row, it has increased by a third, and, apparently, the task set by the leaders of the two countries – to reach the $ 200 billion mark in 2024 – will be successfully completed and even exceeded. The turn to the East took place completely. Although at the moment there are bottlenecks in the development of trade. In particular, problems with the transportation of goods, which, according to Chinese Ambassador Zhang Hanhui, arise, among other things, due to bureaucratic delays on the Chinese side. Sometimes these obstacles can be removed only during contacts at the highest level. Probably, this topic could also be raised by the President of Russia. Of course, we are still a long way from the United States, which trades with China annually for $ 750 billion. But in the wake of the deterioration of political relations, mutual criticism and sanctions, the growth in the volume of Sino-American trade in the first seven months of this year amounted to 9.5%, that is, the growth rate is inferior to the Russian-Chinese, and there is a tendency to strengthen this dynamic. But shouldn't we take a step back and look at the situation from a certain historical perspective? "Ten years have passed since President Xi Jinping was elected General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, and President Putin was re-elected President of Russia. Over these ten years, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, and Sino-Russian relations have also entered a new era." It is obvious that now we can sum up the results of the decade during which Russia and China radically converged and moved away from the undivided orientation of the two countries to the West. It is worth remembering that the first foreign country visited by Xi Jinping after taking office as President of the People's Republic of China was Russia (2013). In his speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Xi Jinping for the first time proposed to the world the concept of a "Community of the common Destiny of Mankind", presenting China's plan to cope with changes in the world. This was, in fact, the starting point of changing the vector of China's foreign policy. Over the decade, President Xi Jinping and President Putin have held about 40 detailed meetings, and their contacts by phone and correspondence have exceeded a hundred. The frequency, breadth, and depth of their interaction are unique for the leaders of major powers. This has determined a high level of political mutual trust, the dynamics of strategic cooperation, and the development of relations in all spheres. As a result, the volume of trade between the two countries has doubled from $88.16 billion in 2012. We sometimes predict that in the coming years China will completely sever its relations with the United States and reorient itself to Russia. Of course, China will not do this, it is governed by pragmatists, proceeding primarily from national interests. But Beijing will objectively push the US foreign policy, the general course of development of global processes. The deep contradictions between China and the United States, with all the versatility and depth of their relations, will increase, and this is already happening. The sanctions war, political and military pressure on China are forcing Beijing to reconsider its approaches in the field of foreign policy. Here, a reliable partnership with Russia will be of increasing importance for China. It is difficult to expect that in the coming years Russia will be able to replace the United States as one of China's main economic partners. But nevertheless the trend is on the face. Along with the reorientation to its own forces, to interaction with the countries of the "One Way", China will expand trade and economic relations with our country. The question here is even more, what can we offer our neighbor besides hydrocarbons and raw materials? During the meeting on December 30, an agreement was reached on the state visit of the President of the People's Republic of China to Russia, which is to take place in the spring. "This will demonstrate to the whole world the strength of Russian-Chinese ties on key issues, will become the main political event of the year in bilateral relations," the Russian president said on this occasion. It can be added that the upcoming visit will open a new decade of deepening and expanding Russian-Chinese cooperation. As the Chinese say, relations are in a "new era".

Beijing will get oil and a new level of relations with the Arab world

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text The official visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Saudi Arabia is taking place on December 7-9. The trip goes far beyond the framework of bilateral relations. "At the kind invitation of the custodian of the two shrines (Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – Ed.), the President of the People's Republic of China will pay an official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from December 7 to 9, 2022," the Saudi state news agency SPA said. It is reported that during this visit, a Saudi-Chinese summit will be held under the chairmanship of the leaders of the two countries. It is characteristic that this message appeared only on December 6, literally on the eve of the Chinese leader's arrival in the UAE. On the same day, the Chinese Foreign Ministry officially notified about the planned visit.  CNN, which "knows everything and about everyone," notified the world about this visit only on December 5. It is possible that the dates were kept secret until the last moment. And this is not surprising. The Chinese leader's trip was postponed several times and, apparently, carefully coordinated. It is possible that one of the reasons is the pressure on Riyadh and the entire Arab world from the United States, which actively put sticks in the wheels. Washington can be understood. After all, we are talking about the visit of the Chinese president to a country that was previously a key ally of the United States in the Middle East and led the entire Arab world into the "hedgehog embrace" of the United States. Now it's not like that. "Chinese President Xi Jinping intends to arrive in Saudi Arabia on a state visit amid high tensions between the United States and the two countries," CNN regretfully reports. – Xi Jinping's trip to Riyadh will begin on Wednesday and will include the "Saudi-Chinese summit", the Sino-Arab summit and the China-GCC (Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Persian Gulf) summit. At least 14 Arab heads of state are expected to attend the Sino-Arab summit, according to an Arab diplomatic source, who called the trip a "milestone" for Arab-Chinese relations."  Some experts have already dubbed the visit historic. Perhaps it is. At least, we are talking not only about bringing Saudi-Chinese relations to a new level, but about a new stage of cooperation between China and the entire Arab world. The source of the US headache is obvious. "Reports of the long-awaited visit come amid disagreements between the United States and Beijing, as well as between the United States and Riyadh, and relations between China and the UAE have only strengthened in recent years, to the horror of Washington," CNN writes. – The United States and Saudi Arabia are still embroiled in a heated quarrel over oil production, which in October ended with harsh rhetoric and trade accusations, when the Saudi-led OPEC+ oil cartel cut production by two million barrels per day in an attempt to "stabilize" prices. The decision was made despite an active US campaign against him. Being a strong ally of the United States for eight long decades, Saudi Arabia has become embittered because, in its opinion, the US security presence in the region is weakening, especially against the background of growing threats from Iran and its armed Yemeni proxies." It is symptomatic that the Saudi agency SPA gave a "historical report" on 80 years of strengthening relations with China. Beijing now has close ties not only with the UAE, but also with the absolute majority of the 22 countries of the Arab League, regardless of their political system and ideological orientation. Huge foreign trade turnover is complemented by Chinese investments in infrastructure facilities in the region. And for oil, China can already offer not only a high price, but also advanced technologies, including military ones. On the contrary, all of President Biden's attempts to save US-UAE relations, including his summer visit to Riyadh, were unsuccessful. The carrot and stick policy did not work. Moreover, Saudi Arabia, like China, refrained from approving sanctions against Russia, and Riyadh has repeatedly argued that Moscow is a key partner in energy production, which should be consulted on OPEC+ decisions. After the massive reduction in oil prices last month, some US officials accused Saudi Arabia of siding with Russia and helping President Putin in his special operation against Ukraine. So, 80 years of cloudless relations between the UAE and the United States are coming to an end, and with China, on the contrary, they are reaching a strategic level. Moreover, taking into account the PRC-Arab League summit and the participation of numerous Arab leaders, it seems that we are talking not only about oil prices and the stability of its supplies, but about a new format of relations and the new role of the PRC in the region. This will most likely be fixed in the relevant documents. As for purely oil, even here, according to leaks and forecasts, something epoch-making is expected, for example, the rejection of the dollar in calculations. China is a world leader in the introduction of digital currency and blockchain settlement system. His People's Bank (Central Bank – approx. Auth.) succeeded in promoting the digital yuan much more than the leaders of the Western financial world in promoting the digital dollar. So it may be extremely interesting to the Arabs in an era of international turbulence and trade restrictions. Russia may also be interested in all this. Our country shares first or second place with the Saudis in terms of oil supplies to China. Stability in this market, in which China's position is strengthening and the United States is weakening, is also in our interests. There will be less politics and military provocations to manipulate prices. Well, as for the displacement of the dollar from the system of payments for oil, there is nothing to say. Beijing's position on Arab countries is close to Russia's on many points. China does not pretend to be the gendarme of the region, which was performed by the United States. But the growing influence of the PRC in the Arab world will contribute to strengthening the economic independence of this region, closer political interaction in the realization of their interests in spite of the United States. Of course, the United States will not leave the region. Their numerous military bases, close ties with many countries, and dependence on supplies from the United States, including the military, remain there. But the process went much faster than could have been expected.

Gaps in the Great Anti-Chinese Wall

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text The visit of the German Chancellor to China is just one of the evidences of the strengthening of Beijing and the fallacy of US policy. Olaf Scholz's trip to China caused outright irritation in the United States. The media space controlled by the Americans is full of cartoons in which Scholz goes to bow to the "Chinese emperor" or crawls half-bent like a dog to his "Chinese master". The press writes: the visit outlined a clear split in the ranks of the "anti-totalitarian" Western coalition. They assure that the Chinese leadership will not fail to take full advantage of it. The authoritative Chinese newspaper "Huangqiu Shibao" on this occasion noted: "Of course, this is definitely not the scheme of Sino-European relations that the United States wants to see, stuck in a vicious circle of containing China." According to the publication, before Scholz's visit to China, the hype in Germany around Chinese companies acquiring shares in the terminal in the port of Hamburg "undoubtedly brought "sinophobia" (not to be confused with "Russophobia" – approx. the author) to a new climax." "In Germany, the system of Sino-German cooperation and strategic partnership carefully built up over generations has become an "original sin." Speaking about Sino-German cooperation, some politicians are forced to call it a "threat to national security," writes Huanqiu Shibao. The wave of indignation in Europe is summed up by the French Le Figaro, which claims that the allies criticized German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for "acting contrary to the common European line." The author of the article is sure that "Berlin's policy towards Beijing can be successful only in one case if it is combined with the European one." In France, the visit of the German Chancellor caused particular offense due to the fact that the Chancellor personally refused to take President Macron with him to China, although in 2019, the French president, receiving Xi Jinping at the Elysee Palace, invited then German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to a meeting. But those were different times… Scholz, as if justifying himself, published an article in the American edition of Politico, in which he explains, among other things, that his trip to China is inaugural – the first after Xi Jinping's re-election to the post of CPC Secretary General, and is also timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of German-Chinese diplomatic relations. What does it have to do with Macron, they say? But the split, apparently, is still there. Germany, cut off from Russian energy resources and the Russian market, does not want to die quietly, putting ideology and politics ahead of economic interests, repeating a similar "circumcision" with China. This reluctance is evidenced by the numerous team of German business captains who accompanied Scholz in Beijing. It is characteristic that the visit was undertaken despite the shouts from Washington and the continuation of the US sanctions war against China. As you know, since mid-October, the Biden administration has actually banned trade with China in advanced semiconductor technologies, equipment for the production of microchips. A ban was also imposed on US citizens and green card holders to work with Chinese companies in this area. Commenting on these measures, the American press wrote that "overnight, the Chinese microchip industry was torn to shreds," and President Biden inflicted such damage on the Chinese economy as the customs and tariff war unleashed by his predecessor Trump did not cause. However, since then there has been no horrifying information about the mass flight of American top managers from Chinese high-tech companies. Although the American media claimed that at least 43 senior managers in 16 Chinese semiconductor companies holding positions from CEO to vice president are from the United States. Almost all of them moved to the Chinese chip industry after several years of working in Silicon Valley for American chip manufacturers or semiconductor equipment manufacturers. This was the result of purposeful actions of the Chinese leadership to attract foreign highly qualified specialists who received high salaries and ample opportunities for implementation in China. Some of them were attracted by such Chinese initiatives as the national program "Thousand Talents", which was put into effect by the Chinese government back in 2008. There is no data on the "collapse" of the Chinese semiconductor industry due to the ban on exports from the United States. Firstly, because besides the USA there are other leaders in this industry, in particular, the Netherlands and Japan. For example, chip manufacturing equipment currently accounts for more than 4% of Japan's total exports. Of these, about 970 billion yen is accounted for in China, equipment exports to China have grown by more than 600% over the decade. Will the Japanese agree to lose profits easily? There is also Taiwan, whose natives are happy to work in their historical homeland. In addition, the light did not come together with a wedge on American specialists. Some of them, under the threat of losing their citizenship, biting their elbows, will decide to quit a high-paying job, but techies from other countries and Chinese specialists will come to these places. The choice is this: with US citizenship, but without money and work. So far, there is no data on mass flight from China. In China, over half a million people work in this industry, many of whom studied in the West, but have been working in China for a long time, using the acquired knowledge and experience. A huge high-tech industry has been created in China, which is able to develop independently. Since 2014, 110 manufacturing associations producing semiconductor products have been opened in China. Now 38 more factories are being built. In 2020 alone, 22,800 startups were created in China that have some kind of relation to the semiconductor industry. So the measures taken by Biden are somewhat late. China has been preparing for their introduction for a long time. Now, according to the same Western media, the Chinese leadership is preparing additional answers. One of the steps is the creation of private–state enterprises, the entry of the state into the shareholders of private companies operating in this strategic area. For control and additional investment, if necessary. So American assessments of China are far from ideal, and actions to contain the PRC are unlikely to be as effective as they are presented in the West, and will achieve their goals. But they contribute to the consolidation of Chinese society, the growth of anti-Western sentiments, strengthen the determination of the Chinese people to prevent the humiliations that had to be accepted from the West in previous centuries and to give a worthy rebuff. This, by the way, also concerns the problem of Taiwan. Betting only on confrontation instead of the civilized competition offered by China can play a cruel joke with the United States and its allies. In the West, it is mistakenly believed that the re-election of Xi Jinping leads to the degradation of power and management systems in the PRC. Based on the ideas of democracy, again in its Western sense, they believe that Comrade Xi, as has already happened in China and other countries, will be mired in a cult of personality and will not be able to govern the country, and the PRC will slow down and rot. In general, this is an old song about China's "braking" in new ways. In fact, a strong leader, exposed to great powers and the trust of society, will be able to take such steps that no Western democracy is capable of. In addition, there will be no cult of personality in the previous sense. But it's not just about Xi Jinping. In the coming years, China expects an explosive effect from the huge investments that were made in previous decades in physical infrastructure and human capital. China is on the verge of a rapid flourishing of talents in science and technology, where huge investments have also been made. Since 2019, China has been conducting more research and development than the United States and Europe combined, and spending more money on it. A higher percentage of Chinese studies ranked among the top 1% of articles by citation in the world. China has long registered the largest number of patents in the world. Comparisons with the USSR of the 60s-70s are appropriate here, when investments in economic recovery, the creation of a modern industry affected, as a result, a breakthrough into space, an atomic project and rapid economic development took place. But these are not the last trump cards of the PRC in the confrontation that the Americans impose on the country. In general, the US trade restrictions on China are also late. On January 1, 2022, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world's largest free trade agreement, began operating. It includes ASEAN (the first Chinese trading partner – Brunei, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines), as well as 5 states with which ASEAN has already signed free trade agreements (Australia, China, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and Japan). that it is not the US, but China that will soon determine the rules, open or close markets. And there is also the Chinese formula of "two circulations", which is mysterious for foreigners – a combination of domestic and foreign markets with an emphasis on the first. It led to the rapid growth of China's retail market, which increased from $2.3 trillion (much less than $3.9 trillion in America) in 2010 to $6 trillion in 2020 (exceeding $5.6 trillion in the United States). China has become a self-sufficient country, where sellers, investors, specialists, and capitals strive. So efforts to contain China will have the opposite effect. Perhaps Chancellor Scholz, going to Beijing, realized this. It is possible that he wants to try to adhere to the policy of "equal distance" from Washington and Beijing. And although it is too early to talk about a split in the Western coalition, as well as about the formation of the Beijing-Moscow-Berlin axis, it is nevertheless obvious that the rivalry between the United States and China is reaching a new level, and Washington's positions here are not as firm as it seems to him.

When will the "Pakistani stream" flow?

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text Moscow and Islamabad, despite the machinations of the West, are putting pressure on gas. Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif recently rushed to Beijing. He became the second foreign guest (after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz) who met with President Xi Jinping at the end of the Twentieth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. They agreed that China and Pakistan "will further strengthen communication, coordination and cooperation on regional and international affairs, defend true multilateralism, international honesty and justice, and contribute to the promotion of peace, development and prosperity." "The two countries have supported each other in recent years amid unstable changes in the international landscape, demonstrating their iron friendship," Xi added. Among other important issues, the negotiators discussed the "Afghan case". Pakistan is looking for a common language with the Taliban* in order to open a vital path for economic (and, first of all, energy) cooperation with Russia and the countries of Central Asia. This year Islamabad finally managed to establish a relatively stable transport corridor in this direction, through which Pakistani trucks were able to deliver hundreds of tons of cargo to our country. However, the Taliban do not control the whole of Afghanistan. In the north, the Uzbek-Tajik opposition, supported by the West, dominates, in the south and in a number of central regions, the influence of Daesh is still strong*. Islamabad's plan is to attract to this project such a key player as China, which has a special influence not only on the Taliban, but also on other Afghan players. And who is able to change the rules of the game in the region, giving guarantees of the safety of this transport artery. In this case, Pakistan will be able to safely proceed with the implementation of the "Pakistan Stream", through which Russian gas, so necessary for this country, will flow. It is noteworthy that Prime Minister Sharif decided to leave the country for a meeting with the Chinese leader at an alarming time – after the assassination attempt on his predecessor and political opponent Imran Khan, who in April of this year was given a vote of no confidence for the first time in Pakistani history. A few days ago, ex-Prime Minister Khan was seriously injured in both legs after the car he was in was fired at a protest march of his party demanding early elections. In total, seven people were injured and one killed as a result of the attack. Its participants planned to reach Islamabad from Lahore by November 11. After the assassination attempt on Khan, they said they would continue the action. By the way, such crimes, when scores are settled with undesirable politicians by force, are in the order of things in Pakistan. In 1996, Benazir Bhutto, the first female prime minister of this Muslim country, was killed at a rally of supporters. Her predecessor, Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq, also did not die a natural death: the plane he was on board lost control as a result of the terrorist attack and crashed to the ground. However, let's return to Imran Khan, who has not left us yet. He underwent surgery, doctors assess his condition as stable. So, his official visit to Moscow as acting prime Minister fell on February 23-24, when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a special military operation in Ukraine. The guest not only refused to negotiate, but also defiantly laid flowers at the grave of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin Wall. It turned out that the speech in the Russian capital was just about the construction of the "Pakistani Stream". At that time, this topic was not officially advertised, since there were many "pitfalls" (not least Western sanctions against the Russian Federation) that prevented the implementation of this extremely important project for both participants. What is the loud statement of US President John Biden, who called nuclear-armed Russia and Pakistan "the most dangerous countries in the world". Khan, by the way, after his resignation, directly accused Washington of plotting to overthrow his government, calling on the Pakistani people to revolt against the United States. I will especially note that a vote of no confidence was announced to him shortly after his trip to Moscow. Fusing together? We still have to figure out where he "flew" from. The arrest of one of the attackers is reported. He claims that he acted alone, at the behest of his heart. Agree that it is hard to believe in this. Now about the "Pakistani Stream", which is being looked at with curiosity in the East and with irritation across the ocean. This is a "remake" of the American project of Unocal, which in the mid–1990s was going to build a gas pipeline from Central Asia to Pakistan, and then to Mumbai (India). But then the United States recklessly introduced its troops into Afghanistan in 2001 and had to forget about the implementation of the project. Later it reappeared, but as a Russian one. In 2015, the governments of Russia and Pakistan signed an agreement on the construction of a gas pipeline. It was planned that our side would own a controlling stake, assume 85% of the costs and manage it for 25 years. For information: the projected capacity of the "Stream" is 12.4 billion cubic meters per year with the possibility of increasing to 16 billion cubic meters. The approximate cost is 2-2.5 billion dollars. In November 2020, Moscow and Islamabad revised the terms of the agreement. The share of Pakistani companies increased to 74%, while Russian companies decreased accordingly. In short: everyone seemed to be in favor, but the process progressed very slowly. The Pakistanis were clearly in no hurry to implement the project. The country lived off imports of liquefied natural gas, but recently suppliers broke long-term contracts and sent LNG to Europe, ready to pay any money for energy. Guard! And that's when President Putin took up the case. The Russian leader has already communicated with Pakistani prime ministers three times this year: in addition to the February meeting with Khan, in September he met Sharif twice (in Samarkand "on the sidelines" of the SCO summit, and then in Astana, where the VI summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence–building Measures in Asia was held. And everywhere the main theme was "The Pakistani stream". The result is as follows: a few days ago, the Pakistani Ambassador in Moscow Shafqat Ali said that "the implementation of the project (read – the beginning of construction. – Ed.) may begin next year." Looks like the ice has broken. * Terrorist organizations banned in the Russian Federation.

Violent games in Korea. For what and against whom?

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text The US is provoking Pyongyang again, preparing the "death of the regime". On November 4, all Western and non-Western news agencies reported that the DPRK had lifted into the air about 180 military aircraft that were conducting maneuvers near the border with South Korea. South Korea, of course, reacted immediately – about 80 combat aircraft, including F-35 stealth aircraft, took off on alarm. Another round of high tension on the Korean peninsula has taken place. Now that North Korea possesses nuclear weapons and their means of delivery, this is fraught with unpredictable consequences. And near the borders of Russia. At the same time, in the West, of course, few people ask the question: what forces Pyongyang to conduct such military activity and what goal are the North Koreans pursuing at the same time? Meanwhile, the restoration of the chronology of events makes it easy to answer this question and explain the "inexplicable and unprovoked" actions of the DPRK. In particular, the demonstration of the capabilities of the North Korean air force on the night of November 4 is a response to the next large-scale US–South Korean maneuvers in close proximity to the borders of the DPRK. By the way, Pyongyang warned in advance that it could take decisive measures in response to the exercises. About 240 aircraft were simultaneously involved in these American-South Korean games under the conditional name "Vigilant Storm". Including 140 aircraft of the South Korean Air Force: F-35A, F-15K, KF-16 fighters, KC-330 tanker aircraft. On the American side – about a hundred aircraft, including F-35B fighters, EA-18 electronic intelligence aircraft, U-2 spy plane. For the first time, an Australian Air Force KC-30A tanker aircraft and an F-35B stealth fighter from Iwakuni Air Base in Japan were connected to the exercises in South Korea. On the ground, units of the Marines and ground forces of the United States and the Republic of Korea participated in the maneuvers. Moreover, the scenario of these exercises openly involves practicing strikes on decision-making centers in the DPRK and destroying infrastructure. And against this background, statements are being made from Washington and Seoul that they are preparing the death of the North Korean regime. Isn't this a blatant provocation and a direct threat that requires a reaction? By the way, 10-11 large-scale military exercises are held annually near the borders of the DPRK, which are directed against this country. One of them, held this year, which is literally called the "Butcher's Knife", was aimed at working out the destruction of the top military and political leadership of the DPRK. The logic of the United States and its allies in the region is as follows: the military exercises they conduct are "good", they should not be afraid, even if at any moment they can escalate into hostilities. We must sit quietly and wait for missiles and bombs to fall on Pyongyang, without even declaring an air alert. But the North Koreans are not ready to die quietly, so they demonstrate their determination to fight back against the aggressor and their readiness to defend their country with all available means. In particular, they are rehearsing an air force response. In the West, in turn, they say that they are forced to allegedly respond to North Korean missile launches and even a possible nuclear weapons test. But again, Pyongyang's actions are provoked by the inability of the United States and its allies and their veiled desire to hide their aggressive plans. After talks between US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore in 2018, Pyongyang unilaterally refused to test nuclear weapons and their means of delivery in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions and the "new policy" of the United States towards the DPRK, the rejection of hostility. North Korea has even destroyed its nuclear warhead test site. But in fact, it turned out to be another American trick, the purpose of which was unilateral disarmament on the part of the DPRK. There has been no lifting of sanctions, as well as changes in Washington's attitude towards Pyongyang. The United States continued to equip South Korea with modern weapons and conduct large-scale military exercises near the borders of the DPRK, preparing for the physical elimination of the North Korean regime. During this period, new sanctions were also imposed against the DPRK (about 20). This once again showed Pyongyang (and those in the world who are able to reflect) that it is impossible to trust the leaders of the United States and South Korea, and the only way to protect the country or at least raise the threshold for aggression is to possess nuclear weapons and their means of delivery to the United States. This explains the frequent test launches of North Korean missiles in recent years, which usually coincide in time with the military maneuvers of the United States and its allies or are carried out in response to other unfriendly actions. It should be noted that the United States has repeatedly "thrown" Pyongyang, not fulfilling its obligations given during the negotiations. The North Korean nuclear weapons program itself arose at the end of the last century after the refusal of the next American administration from the so-called nuclear deal, according to which the United States pledged to build nuclear power plants in the DPRK. And also after Washington's refusal to withdraw nuclear weapons from the south of the Korean peninsula and give security guarantees to the DPRK. Do not forget that formally the DPRK and the United States are at war, the hot phase of which was on the Korean peninsula in 1950-1953. A few years ago, due to the hostile actions of the United States, as well as the refusal to sign a peace treaty, the DPRK announced that it did not consider itself bound even by a temporary armistice agreement. And why, if the United States does not withdraw its 30,000-strong military contingent from the south of the peninsula (possibly with nuclear warheads) and constantly conducts military maneuvers near the borders, threatening to eliminate the North Korean regime? After another escalation of tension caused by the US-South Korean "Vigilant Storm" maneuvers, on November 4, Washington invited Pyongyang to sit down at the negotiating table without any preconditions and discuss the nuclear-free status of the Korean peninsula. But this is nothing but a return to the well-forgotten old. And it is unlikely that the DPRK will accept such a proposal, which means the unilateral disarmament of the republic in the face of an impudent aggressor. Pyongyang remembers well how the flirtation with the West of such leaders as Gaddafi in Libya and Hussein in Iraq ended. And their own experience of communicating with the United States speaks of the insidiousness and incompetence of Washington, which understands only the language of force. In this situation, we can regretfully recall that Russia in previous years supported almost all the sanctions against the DPRK that were imposed by the UN. Thus, for the first time, our relations with a country with which Russia has an Agreement on friendship and cooperation were under international (and in fact – American) control. We have to account for every unit of goods delivered to the DPRK. Speaking out against the DPRK on international platforms, Russia was actually speaking out against its natural ally, a country created with our direct participation. In addition, we must also be aware that if the DPRK had not stood up against the United States in this endless war, which has lasted for more than 70 years, American troops would already be standing on the current border of the DPRK with Russia (albeit not very long). Now we ourselves have found ourselves under sanctions and have fully experienced the treachery and hypocrisy of the Western allies, who have actually unleashed a war against Russia. The DPRK leadership, in response to President Putin's congratulatory telegram on the day of the liberation of Korea from Japanese invaders on August 15, stated that this country and Russia are now on the same side of the front in the fight "against the military threat, provocations and self-will on the part of hostile forces." Recently, we have increasingly heard statements about the need to restore trade relations with the DPRK, despite all the sanctions imposed against this country. Not so long ago, a decision was made to resume railway communication with Pyongyang. Russia is taking cautious steps towards the DPRK. But what exactly needs to be done is to stop replicating Western assessments of this country and its actions in our media space. After all, we are talking about our natural ally, albeit a rather peculiar one. Everything that is being done against the DPRK is ultimately being done against Russia and China.

The twentieth CPC Congress: will global challenges affect the country?

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text It will be possible to draw conclusions about the decisions of the twentieth CPC Congress only after the elections of the Central Committee, the Politburo, the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee and the publication of the full texts of the forum documents. All this will happen after the end of the congress on October 22. But preliminary results can already be summed up. The main thing is that the congress (contrary to the hopes of the USA) did not become sensational. China will continue to develop, following the strategy of building "socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era" and "the revival of the Chinese nation." Judging by the report of the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping (unusually short – only 2 hours), the PRC will focus on ensuring security, accelerating the modernization of the armed forces. The PLA should "protect the dignity and basic interests of China," Xi stressed. "We will modernize our military theory, personnel and weapons faster," Xi said to the applause of the congress. "We will strengthen the strategic potential." By the way, Reuters calculated that Xi uttered the words "security" and "defense" 73 times – against 55 at the previous XIX Congress in 2017. Relying on military and economic power, China intends to continue its peaceful foreign policy, advocate for a multipolar world without dictate and violence. "We comprehensively promote the diplomacy of a major power with Chinese characteristics, resolutely defend impartiality and justice in international relations, advocate for genuine multilateralism and practice it, take a clear position against hegemonism and the policy of brute force," Xi said in his report to the congress. Focusing on achievements, Xi Jinping made it clear that the country is developing and will develop according to plan, and global challenges do not affect it. From the words of the Secretary General, it becomes clear that the line will continue to ensure the economic and technological sovereignty of China, which relies on a self-sufficient market and appropriate resources. The development will be a combination of two circulations: the domestic market and foreign trade with an emphasis on the former. Goal: to improve the quality of consumption and life and ensure the growth of the welfare of the population. Xi did not say anything about his re-election for a third term. But the calmness in the ranks of the members of the Central Committee and some other signs indicate that this matter is resolved. He simply has no competitors, he is supported by colleagues in the politburo, who are also afraid of the beginning of a struggle for leadership in the CPC. The presence in the front row, next to Xi, of his predecessor as General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Hu Jintao, as well as former Premier of the State Council Wen Jiabao and a 105-year veteran of the CPC (who helped Xi at the beginning of his career) speaks of a consensus on this issue in the ranks of the party. By the way, according to the US scenarios, it was the old guard of the CPC, the former leaders had to "start an internal party revolt against Xi." But the performance did not take place and, most likely, was a stillborn invention of American political strategists. In this context, it is impossible not to turn to the article in the American Washington Post, which was published exactly on the day of the start of the congress and is clearly timed to it. The newspaper calls the re-election of the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee for a third term "an inevitability that should never have happened." Because according to the American establishment (the article is editorial, reflects the spirit and approaches in the American beau monde), this allegedly leads to dictatorship and the strangulation of human rights in China. "The dictatorship, not global cooperation and human rights, are its guiding stars," the newspaper laments. What follows is a confession: Xi's reappointment does not justify American "optimistic" expectations, but will correspond to the conviction of the Chinese leader and his party colleagues that the political and economic openness that destroyed the Soviet Union can destroy China if the party does not double what Lenin called democratic centralism. Frank recognition and accurate knowledge of Chinese realities. That is, firstly, the United States did everything to prevent Xi from going for a third term, and tried to destabilize the country as much as possible. But, it didn't work out. And secondly, Xi will be reassigned already on the grounds that the Chinese elite fears the arrival of a "hidden Gorbachev" with the support of the United States, who will ruin the country and plunge it into chaos. And this is the absolute truth. Moreover, so that this does not happen again on Chinese soil, there are entire scientific centers in China that study the experience of the USSR and Russia in order not to repeat it. The newspaper could not avoid propaganda cliches about the strangulation of dissent, the "subjugation of Tibet, Xinjiang" and the "slave labor" of the national minorities there. This is about how the US is going to continue to put pressure on China in an attempt to provoke internal instability. At the same time, the Washington Post rightly draws attention to those points in the report of the CPC Secretary General at the congress, where he talks about strengthening the army and ensuring the security of the country, coupled with the provisions of the policy towards Taiwan. And Xi expressed himself quite clearly about Taiwan: we will do everything to return the province to the bosom of the motherland peacefully, but we do not refuse the military option. Translated from Chinese, this means that there will be no deviations from the Constitution of the People's Republic of China and the security law. And there are situations in which military force can be used: the declaration of independence by the local administration and the intervention of a third party. And Washington should know about it. Since this article was published simultaneously with the beginning of the twentieth CPC Congress, it is curious that it refers to the US National Security Strategy just signed by the US president, where China is called "the only competitor that intends to change the international order and has economic, diplomatic, military and technological power for this." (No offense to Russia will be said) CPC congresses usually do not condescend to specifics in domestic and foreign policy, they determine the strategy. Naturally, Xi Jinping did not mention Russia and Ukraine in his report. But the Washington Post writes in this context, reflecting the spirit of the congress: "Mr. Xi has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin more often than with any other world leader. He called the author of the aggressive war in Ukraine his "best friend and colleague", with whom he is "similar in character." China condoned the Russian invasion from the very beginning in February and has not done anything significant to curb it since then." That's right. And the main thing is that the congress will not change this situation, but, perhaps, will lead to the activation of China in foreign policy. So the Americans' fears are not in vain. As for the rest of the posts in the top leadership of the CPC, the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post, which is fond of quoting in the West, writes that more significant changes may occur here than previously thought. But this is quite understandable if Xi goes to a new term and forms a team of younger nominees capable of solving difficult development tasks. Now the second position in the power structure of the People's Republic of China is occupied by Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Li Keqiang (67 years old), the third is the chairman of the National People's Congress (Parliament of the country) Li Zhanshu (72 years old), the fourth – chairman of the National Committee of the People's Political Consultative Council Wang Yang (67 years old), the fifth – chairman of the CPC Central Committee for the management of activities in the field of strengthening spiritual culture Wang Huning (67 years old), the sixth – secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection Zhao Leji (65 years old), the seventh – First Vice Premier of the State Council Han Zheng (68 years old). These people make up the standing committee of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee. Who of them will leave and who will stay will be determined after the congress forms a new composition of the Central Committee on October 22, which in turn will hold its first plenary session to approve the composition of the politburo of 25 members and the standing committee of the politburo of seven members – the highest decision-making body. But the Hong Kong newspaper makes a forecast, relying on its sources and reminding that in Chinese politics everything is discussed in advance, decisions are made through consultations and not overnight. So: it is assumed that the chairman of the National People's Congress Li Zhanshu and Vice Premier Han Zheng, who have already reached retirement age, can resign from their posts. The second person in the Chinese hierarchy, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Li Keqiang is one year younger, and he can stay for now. By the way, the Americans assigned him the role of the main oppositionist. The new Prime Minister of the State Council will be officially presented only at the annual parliamentary session in March next year, but it will be possible to assume who will take this post when the new composition of the Politburo standing committee becomes known. They are likely to be the second person in the party hierarchy. Among those who can join the standing committee of the politburo, the Hong Kong newspaper calls the secretary of the CPC City Committee of Chongqing Chen Miner, the head of the office of the CPC Central Committee Ding Xuexiang, who is a trusted assistant to the Chinese leader, the head of the party committee of Guangdong Province Li Xi and the head of the CPC City Committee of Shanghai Li Qiang. But this, in fact, is not so important, because with the change in the composition of the politburo and its standing committee, China's domestic and foreign policy will not change radically. It is only obvious that Xi Jinping will remain the "core of the party" after the congress, and he will have free hands to carry out reforms and more active actions abroad.

USA: we want to fly and float wherever we want

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text Washington continues to escalate the situation around Taiwan. The aggravation that arose after the visit in the Taiwan Strait does not weaken. Following a series of military maneuvers conducted by the Armed forces of the People's Republic of China off the coast of the rebellious island, US Navy warships passed through the Taiwan Strait. The American strike group headed by the largest aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan continues to remain in the region. In this regard, the Chinese Armed Forces were put on alert. This is how it looks from the point of view of White House Press Secretary Karin Jean-Pierre: "Indeed, on August 28, our ships made a routine call into the Taiwan Strait, which fully complied with international law and demonstrated our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region… We intend to continue flying, sailing and passing wherever international law allows, in accordance with the principles of freedom of navigation." According to Jean Pierre and, accordingly, the US president, this line of behavior meets Washington's goals – to protect the security and stability of the region. That is, security protection, according to their ideas, consists in balancing on the verge of a military conflict with the largest nuclear power. At the same time, Jean-Pierre cynically added that Washington does not abandon the "one China" policy, but will protect Taiwan's security interests. It turns out that in words Washington considers Taiwan to be part of China, but in fact supports the separatism of the island. Moreover, it supports visually, with the help of military equipment. It is not only about the passage of American warships through the Taiwan Strait – actually the territorial waters of the PRC – but also about the ongoing supply of weapons to Taipei. As Politico newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources, US President Joe Biden intends to soon appeal to Congress with a request to approve the sale of American weapons to Taiwan in the amount of about $ 1.1 billion. According to the publication, we are talking about 60 AGM-84K Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles and 100 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. Where is the USA and where is Taiwan? And why do Americans consider it a zone of their immediate interests? Is Washington seriously ready to sacrifice the island's 23 million population to defend the notorious independence? At the same time, risking entering into a full-scale war with China, which is not going to give up its province. Obviously, high democratic ideals have nothing to do with it. The United States has long despised the principle of "one China". We are talking about creating a hotbed of instability, or even better, a war in order to weaken its main global competitor. China, of course, once again demanded that the United States stop selling weapons to Taiwan and abandon military contacts with Taipei in order to avoid further escalation of tensions in the region. "The sale of weapons by the United States to Taiwan seriously violates the principle of "one China" and the provisions of the three joint Sino-American communiques, encourages separatist forces advocating Taiwan independence, and leads to an escalation of tensions in the Taiwan Strait," said Liu Pengyu, a representative of the Chinese Embassy in Washington. But where there! The coordinator for Strategic Communications at the White House National Security Council, John Kirby, confirmed Washington's firm intention to "continue to provide security assistance to Taiwan," adding that the United States still does not support the idea of gaining independence. That is, the United States is preparing to blow up the region, fighting, if necessary, with China "to the last Taiwanese." The situation around the island increasingly resembles Ukraine. China is no longer limited to warnings, demonstrations of military power and sanctions against Taiwan. In response to Pelosi's visit, Beijing terminated cooperation with the United States in eight key areas: contacts of defense departments, repatriation of illegal immigrants, legal assistance in criminal cases, combating transnational crime, combating drugs and on the topic of climate. All these are very sensitive areas for the United States. The ink on the official statement of the Chinese Foreign Ministry on this occasion did not have time to dry, and the US Department of Defense, trying to regain what it had lost, hastened to declare that America does not support the "movement of the island to independence." But this did not affect the decision of the PRC. Serious hype arose in the United States about the refusal of China to cooperate on climate issues, without which the Paris Climate Agreement would have been impossible in principle. The US President's Special Envoy on Climate Issues, John Kerry, expressed deep disappointment: "From the first day, the US made it clear that our climate cooperation with China should stay away from other difficult issues that our countries face. There is a simple reason for this: we are the two largest economies and the largest sources of emissions, and the whole world will suffer the consequences if we cannot play a leading role in climate action together. The climate crisis is not a bilateral problem, but a universal one. This is not about geopolitics or ideology, and no country should hold back progress in solving existential transnational problems because of bilateral differences. The suspension of cooperation does not punish the United States – it punishes the world, especially the developing world. The human and financial costs will be catastrophic if the international community cannot put aside its differences and unite to fight the climate threat that we all face," he said. Beautifully articulates. Well, that is, the "Washington regional committee" has finally disconnected from reality and moved into its own special world, in which the United States does whatever it pleases, and everyone else must walk in formation and keep alignment with Washington to the detriment of their interests. The White House invites to put aside differences, ideology, and even geopolitics in the name of combating the climate threat, but its inhabitants themselves are not ready for this and reserve the right to act in their own narrow-minded interests. In fact, the reason for the suspension of cooperation on climate, which the Biden administration considered key in the Chinese direction, was not only Pelosi's visit. The point here is in shifting responsibility for climate change to other countries, and in the inaction of the United States itself. The Chinese Foreign Ministry and U.S. Ambassador to Beijing Nicholas Burns even argued on Twitter on this topic. The Foreign Ministry, explaining the termination of the climate dialogue, called on Washington to stop doing nothing, and Burns asked to return to cooperation. The official representative of the ministry, Wang Wenbin, noted: "The United States must seriously take responsibility and fulfill its duty in the field of climate change, and also stop looking for excuses for its inaction." Burns, justifying himself, said that Washington was taking measures "on climate change issues" and said that Congress had approved a draft law on climate investment and the American authorities would be able to "reduce emissions in the United States by about 40% by 2030." Under this law, the US government will allocate $370 billion for clean energy and achieving climate goals. "China should pay attention to this and reconsider its decision to suspend cooperation with the United States in the field of climate," Burns pleaded. The Chinese Foreign Ministry praised the United States for passing the law, but questioned its implementation. In fact, the United States, as a country vulnerable to the risks of climate change, is much more interested in such cooperation than China. China and the US contribute the most to pollution. China accounts for 27% of emissions, and the United States for 11%. That is, without China, all efforts to counter climate change are meaningless. But China has clarified its position, which is that refusing to cooperate with the United States does not mean refusing to cooperate with other countries. It's just that Beijing is tired of following Washington's lead on this and other issues. "The United States is far from the whole world," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said ironically about this. An even more hysterical reaction was caused in Washington by Beijing's decision to suspend anti-drug cooperation. The fact is that historically China has been a sphere of drug distribution and, due to its geographical location, remains a transit territory for drug trafficking. Nearby, the so–called "golden triangle" (a zone located in the mountainous regions of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos) is a traditional center of drug production. And, of course, Afghanistan, which the United States has turned into a global drug den. Huge trade flows from China to the United States are an extremely attractive route for the transit of drugs to America. For their part, the Chinese authorities are conducting a comprehensive fight against the importation, production and distribution of drugs. This fight is supervised by a special State Committee for the Fight against Drugs. The death penalty and long prison terms are imposed for drug trafficking in China. In 2021, 54 thousand drug-related crimes were solved, 77,000 suspected of committing such crimes were arrested and 326,000 people were brought to justice. And over the past five years, 451,000 drug-related crimes have been solved in the country, 588,000 suspected of committing crimes have been arrested, 305 tons of drugs have been seized. The number of drug-related cases decreased from 140,000 in 2017 to 54,000 in 2021. At the same time, the average annual decline is more than 20% for five consecutive years. The USA cannot boast of such successes. But the refusal to cooperate is a good reason to accuse China of pandering to the drug mafia. But there is something more important. The termination of cooperation in this area with the competent authorities of the People's Republic of China, which detected smuggling under the guise of trade supplies to the United States, means an increase in drug trafficking. Americans were particularly interested in the drug fentanyl, which is included in the list of drug substances in China, but not in the United States. It is also produced in clandestine laboratories in China and imported into the United States. As a result of an overdose of fentanyl, 100,000 people died in America last year alone. And so the PRC refused to catch smugglers who trade in fentanyl. This caused a storm of emotions from the head of the US National Drug Enforcement Administration, who accused China of "trying to poison US citizens." This topic is now being used in the United States, including in the election campaign, as well as in whipping up anti-Chinese propaganda, exaggerating the thesis about the alleged refusal of the PRC to fight the drug mafia. This is very similar to the accusations against the PRC in the artificial spread of the new coronavirus. But they are already pretty fed up with Beijing. In this regard, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that the termination of drug control cooperation is "justified, appropriate and reasonable." If the United States wants its interests to be taken into account, it is once again proposed to take into account the concerns of other countries, at least in the field of their life security.