Photo: g20.org

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text

The meeting of foreign ministers of the G-20 countries held in Bali can be considered as a rehearsal for the November summit of the heads of state of this organization.

Without forcing the current chairman of the "Big Twenty" Indonesia not to invite Russian representatives at all, Western countries tried to organize a boycott of Russia already in the process.  Well, or, at least, turn the G-20 platform – originally an economic forum – into a place of flagellation of our country and lamentations about Ukraine. But again it turned out that only half of the members are ready to follow the instructions of the "Washington regional committee". And the rest not only do not support Western aspirations, but are also perplexed about the fact that the world economy, which is not in the best position, is being replaced by pure politics, and frankly self-serving and one-sided.

Western countries tried to compensate for diplomatic failures at the forum with media scandals. As the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova testified, at the command of the White House press service, Western journalists were thrown into counting the time that certain delegates were absent from the meeting room, and they tried to pass it off as a boycott of the Russian delegation. The technique is not new, such attempts have already been made at other international venues, for example at the meeting of financial authorities and the annual meeting of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov used the summit to hold bilateral meetings with colleagues from friendly countries and did not worry about the hysteria of Westerners. "The Indonesian side organized a welcome reception with a concert. Western colleagues did not come there. This is their desire, understanding of the protocol and the rules of ethics," the Russian Foreign Minister commented on the behavior of his opponents. And in his official speech, he emphasized multilateral cooperation and the non-use of force in international affairs. And it is not his "merit" that the West has long been listening to no one but itself.

For the same reason, the summit ended in vain: without a final communique, without a collective photo. The main result is that the meeting took place despite attempts to boycott.

In principle, the alignment of forces was known before. But Westerners, who cherish illusions about prolonging the life of the American-centric world, apparently expected a change in the position of the largest countries, primarily India and China. But nothing like that happened. Accordingly, the rest of the "non-aligned" and those who did not take the "right side of history" also did not join the boycott attempts.

It is characteristic that one of the main bilateral meetings in Bali – between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Secretary of State Blinkin – took place after the official speech of the head of Chinese diplomacy at the summit. That is, the Chinese representative first repeated the initial, fundamental points for a conversation with his American counterpart, and then went to a personal meeting with him. For example, opposing the Americans acting "according to the rules," Wang Yi recalled that "there is only one system in the world, and this is the international system, at the center of which is the UN."

In his speech, the Chinese Foreign Minister, in defiance of Westerners, focused on purely economic problems. He once again called for the main attention to be paid to economic growth and for this not to destroy, but to strengthen free trade and supply chains, to abandon trade sanctions and discrimination. These topics, as well as the fight against poverty and the pandemic, green development, which Wang Yi spoke about, probably caused an attack of boredom among Western colleagues.

They would like to hear from the head of Chinese diplomacy something new about Ukraine. But they heard again what, as eyewitnesses say, made the muscles of the members of the American delegation play harder than ever. The Chinese minister reiterated that the PRC is against escalation, stands for a ceasefire and a settlement of the conflict at the negotiating table. "If we put our security above the security of other countries and strengthen military blocs, it will only split the international community, weakening our protection," Wang Yi said. And again he spoke in favor of a "serious and comprehensive dialogue" between Russia and Europe to create a "balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture." That is, 100 percent supported Russia, which is seeking the same thing.

It was against this background that the meeting of the heads of Chinese American diplomacy took place. Judging by the duration – more than 5 hours – it was not easy. Comparing the statements and reports on the negotiations of the two sides, it can be concluded that attempts to put pressure on China and force it to stand "on the right side of history" have failed again. Apparently, Wang Yi, as has happened before in such negotiations, was patiently silent when Secretary Blinken tried to call his Chinese counterpart "to order" and refuse to support Russia. There is reason to assume that the United States mistakenly believes that China is capable of influencing Russia on the Ukrainian issue. But Beijing at the very top has repeatedly drawn attention to the fact that Russian-Chinese relations are not influenced by third parties and are relations of sovereign powers. 

For his part, Wang Yi pointed to the fundamental misunderstanding of China on the part of the United States and urged the interlocutor to "stop slandering the PRC, attacking its political system and giving signals of support for Taiwan's independence." On the latter issue, the US diplomatic positions look particularly pale. The Biden administration has repeatedly reaffirmed its commitment to the "one China" principle enshrined in the fundamental Sino-American documents. But the practical policy of the United States with this principle is increasingly diverging. And Wang Yi does not miss the opportunity to slap the Americans on the cheeks every time, pointing out their support for separatism in Taiwan and the supply of weapons there. According to Chinese sources, the topic of Taiwan occupied a considerable part of the bilateral conversation. But the parties, apparently, did not come to a common denominator. The United States does not intend to abandon its provocative policy towards Taiwan in order to have leverage over China and the ability to manage the situation in this region.

Washington's other negotiating positions are equally weak. After all, in order to get something from the Chinese, you have to offer them something.  And what? Now the United States is increasingly dependent on the supply of Chinese products. To abandon Chinese imports means to further accelerate inflation, which has already reached record levels. The trade duties imposed by the Trump administration exacerbate the problem. Biden would be happy to reduce or cancel them, but he doesn't know how. As you know, not so long ago he instructed his advisers to study this issue and submit a plan to reduce duties that would allow Washington to save face and improve the economic situation on the eve of the midterm elections to Congress and the Senate.

As a result, Wang Yi put forward, as stated in the official message of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, "four lists: a list of requests to the United States to correct its erroneous policies, words and actions regarding China, a list of key cases of concern to the Chinese side, a list of China-related bills of key concern to the Chinese side, and a list of cooperation in eight areas between China and the United States."

One of the issues that may have been discussed during the Sino-American talks was the likely meeting of the Chinese President and the US president at the G-20 summit of heads of state in November this year. What the result is is still unknown. But we can assume that the situation that developed at the meeting of foreign ministers will be repeated in the autumn. There will be negotiations, but there is no result.