Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text
"An increasingly multipolar world." With this phrase, German Chancellor Scholz expressed what is on the mind of his colleagues in the Western coalition: global changes are evident.
As we remember, at the Group of Twenty summit held on the Indonesian island of Bali, there were two obvious centers of attention: US President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The third was Vladimir Putin, but only in the thoughts and statements of the participants, since the President of Russia was not physically present there. So: all the other leaders clung to these two figures. Biden met with them personally, gathered meetings with allies-subordinates to discuss problems, including an emergency "flyer" about a rocket that fell in Poland.
But the most desirable interlocutor was undoubtedly the Chinese leader. They tried to at least stand next to him (there is such a form of communication of leaders – "on their feet"), including the leaders of the countries that are Washington's closest allies.
And the point, of course, is not that Xi Jinping has finally come out of almost three years of quarantine, during which he hardly went anywhere and met few people in person. It is most likely due to the increasing power of the Chinese state and its influence in the world. But few have received the attention of Xi Jinping, and here, too, a new handwriting of the Chinese leader is visible, which returns to the ancient canons of sophisticated Chinese diplomacy, which is characterized by taking into account all the details and working with partners, let's say, individually.
Oddly enough, the audience of the "Chinese emperor" (as Xi Jinping is called by some Western media after his re–election as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China at the Twentieth Congress) was awarded to Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (Albanese - in Italian transcription). He managed, having developed considerable speed, to capture Xi Jinping's rather close attention and even hold talks with him. For the first time in six years. And despite the fact that in recent years Australia has been part of the circle of zealous adherents of the Anglo-Saxon world led by the United States, participates in the AUKUS military alliance (with the United States and Great Britain), as well as the quadrilateral security dialogue (QUAD) with the United States, India and Japan. But, apparently, there is no life in this region of the planet without China, which is why the Australian neglected political correctness.
However, he was not the ringleader in this dance around Si. And he took an example from his patron Biden, who talked with the Chinese leader for as much as 3 hours and 12 minutes.
An unprecedented case. Even the loyal US satellite in the Far East, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, secured an audience with Xi Jinping, during which he managed to "reach a consensus on the stabilization and development of bilateral relations." Not so long ago, this Kishida, hand in hand with Biden, declared his intention to defend the "status quo" of Taiwan, and now swears allegiance to "the principles set out in four joint political documents, as well as to follow the political consensus according to which China and Japan are partners in cooperation and do not pose a threat to each other." By the way, among these principles is the one–China formula and Taiwan is an integral part of it.
According to Chinese sources, almost all the leaders of the "Big Seven" who visited the G-20 in Bali competed for the "ray of grace" emanating from Xi Jinping to fall on them as well. There was no end of applications, and not everyone had enough time and desire on the part of Xi. For example, the French president was allocated much less than Biden, only 43 minutes. But Macron used this chance "to the fullest." The French side's message about the meeting said that "Xi Jinping agreed with the "call for respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine." In fact, it seems that Xi, in the traditional Chinese manner, did not react to this in any way.
Following the meeting, the Chinese side said only that "China stands for a cease-fire, an end to the conflict and peace talks."
Macron's rival Olaf Scholz was not allocated Xi's time at the summit – perhaps he did not ask. He had enough face-to-face talks in Beijing on the eve of the G20 summit. But after returning from Indonesia, the German leader made an apocalyptic statement that the good times with economic growth, low inflation and high employment had irrevocably passed for Europe and North America. The reason for this is the rapid development of the region of Southeast Asia and China. According to Scholz, states such as Vietnam and Indonesia have been "producing cheap goods" for decades, primarily for the European, North American and most often Chinese markets. "Meanwhile, however, a billion people have turned into representatives of the middle class with the corresponding purchasing power," Scholz noted.
"The increasingly multipolar world is being radically rebuilt today. Nowhere can we observe a more distinct development than in Southeast Asia," the Chancellor said. Such revelations from Western politicians border on a global sensation. In this regard, the head of the German government called for the "diversification" of the markets for German products and the deepening of bilateral partnership with the countries of Southeast Asia. "The goal should be to expand trade with promising regions of the world, of course on the basis of fair rules," Scholz concluded. The intention is good, but the Germans will have to withstand tough competition with China, for which this region has long been the main economic and trading partner. And China's trade volume with the ASEAN countries exceeds similar indicators with the EU and the USA.
In addition, Scholz is tied hand and foot. In the strategy of Germany towards China, merged by the German magazine "Spiegel", which is designed to resolve disagreements on this issue in the government coalition, there is all sorts of demagoguery such as human rights, restrictions on trade with the regions of the People's Republic of China, where they are allegedly violated. It is also said about "reducing trade and economic dependence on the PRC." A similar policy of "reducing dependence" on Russia has already led to a sharp increase in inflation in Germany and a crisis in entire sectors of the economy. Following it also in the Chinese direction borders on suicide. After all, China is Germany's main trading partner.
Among those honored with Chinese attention in Indonesia were also the President of the Republic of Korea and the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. These are all Washington's closest partners.
The consequences of those meetings were not long in coming. The leadership of the Netherlands has stated that it will protect its economic interests when it comes to selling chip equipment to China. That is, despite the ban imposed by the United States, they are ready to be friends with China instead of unconditionally following Washington's attempts to cut off Beijing from semiconductor technologies. Dutch Foreign Trade Minister Schreinemacher said that the Netherlands will make its own decision regarding the sale of chip equipment to China amid negotiations on trade rules with the United States and other allies. "It is important that we protect our national security as well as our economic interests," Schreinemacher told lawmakers in parliament in The Hague.
And Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau in Bali received Xi's attention twice. The first time was when he held short talks with the leader of the People's Republic of China, during which he was displeased with unfriendly actions against China (including the detention of the head of the Chinese Huawei company at the behest of Washington). And the second time, when Xi Jinping publicly chastised Trudeau for disclosing information about their bilateral meeting. A video where Xi Jinping explains from top to bottom with a grin to his junior partner how to behave in a decent society was leaked by journalists of the Canadian prime minister's pool. But we know that in the West now nothing accidentally gets into the press. Apparently, Trudeau's entourage believed that they would expose the Chinese leader in an unsightly way. And it turned out the opposite. Everyone saw the power of Xi and the insignificance of his Western partner.
However, Xi Jinping himself called it "naivety". Trudeau naively believes that in any situation he will be covered by the patron, the "emperor", as the US president was sometimes called by opposition Western political scientists, who rightly believed that the whole world is under the heel of the United States.
But isn't all of the above a clear indication that the world is really ceasing to be unipolar, americanocentric? At least one more center of power appeared in it – China. And this is actually recognized not only by Scholz, but also by others. It remains to wait for the same recognition in relation to Russia. This may happen already when Washington's allies begin to calculate losses and descend from the skies of ideology to the land of real politics.
By the way, according to the Politico newspaper, this is already happening. According to the publication, the unity of the Western allies has been shaken, and senior European officials are "furious with the Joe Biden administration" and accuse the Americans of profiting from the general crisis, while the EU countries are suffering. "The fact is that, if you look at it soberly, the country that benefits most from this conflict is the United States, because they sell more gas and at higher prices, and also because they sell more weapons," journalists quoted one of the European representatives.
Apparently, Macron also understood something after the meeting with Xi Jinping. As reported by Chinese CCTV television, on November 21, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted a banquet for major European entrepreneurs at the Elysee Palace. Among the participants were the heads of Ericsson, Volvo, Unilever and others. The main message of the meeting: stay in Europe, do not go to the USA.
The next day, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire lamented at a press conference: "Right before our eyes, the United States is developing its own industry on its own land." We must defend European corporate interests more firmly. "Today, more than ever, politicians in France and Europe are worried that companies are leaving Europe and that Europe's industrial system will be devastated by the United States.