Russia and China rapprochement after Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan

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It was predictable that Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia would criticize House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan as an “annoyance” and accuse America of the very thing the West accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of: impunity. According to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, despite China’s warnings that it doesn’t want her in its backyard, Pelosi did what she wanted to and got away with it.

China, of course, cannot dictate the path to US lawmakers, but it can be provoked. “Those who play with fire will not have a good end,” threatened Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The visit has so rattled Beijing that it appears to have led to a near-shore military exercise that will sweep the island nation this week. Given that Ukraine is often seen as a litmus test for China regarding its plans for Taiwan, how does this affect the wider geopolitical picture and, in particular, the escalation of tensions between the United States and Russia, which, in fact, is supported by China?

The answer is no, according to Dmitri Trenin, who served in the Soviet and Russian armies and rose to the rank of colonel before becoming a military and political commentator. Russia and the United States, he said, are waging an indirect war in Ukraine. Trenin told Fox News: “But it (Pelosi’s visit) could make the Chinese give up their lingering illusions about doing business with the United States. It would be good for Russia.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guest House.  4, 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guest House. 4, 2022.
(Photo by Alexey Druzhinin TASS via Getty Images)

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Trenin, who currently holds positions at both the Russian Institute of World Economy and International Relations and the Higher School of Economics in Russia, said that at the same time, “the Chinese interest in maintaining their access to Western markets makes them very cautious so as not to run into the United States on the issue of sanctions against Russia.”

Trenin says the Russians are used to it. “They know that China is always pursuing its own interests and are looking for areas/examples where they match their own.”

Pelosi is the most senior figure in the US. official visit to Taiwan for a quarter of a century. “America has promised to always support Taiwan,” she said. “Today, our delegation came to Taiwan to make it clear that we will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan.”

Trenin believes that “many if not most” in the rest of the world actually perceived the visit as “a reckless provocation in support of the speaker’s purely personal/party ambitions at the cost of risking a direct military clash between the two nuclear-armed superpowers.” But the visit shows, he said, that “the US remains a major player in the world. They can handle both adversaries, Russia and China, simultaneously. In essence, Washington insists that it can do whatever it pleases anywhere in the world, ignoring the protests of the major powers.”

On Thursday morning, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev even added a threatening note, saying that “the United States will now have global consequences,” he said. “No one can guarantee that the next flight of some restless old woman will reach the chosen point.”

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Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (center) poses for photos after arriving in Taipei, Taiwan Tuesday, August.  2, 2022.

Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (center) poses for photos after arriving in Taipei, Taiwan Tuesday, August. 2, 2022.
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan via AP)

According to Trenin, the visit really shows that “the US remains a major player in the world today. They can deal with both adversaries, Russia and China, at the same time. In fact, Washington insists that he can do whatever he pleases, anywhere in the world, ignoring the protests of the major powers.”

Taiwan has certainly welcomed Pelosi with open arms and her remarks about America’s commitment democracy, being “iron”, has proven itself well.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (center) takes part in a video call with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, November 11.  On December 23, 2021, Shoigu and Wei signed a roadmap for military cooperation between Moscow and Beijing and called for more joint exercises and patrols.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (center) takes part in a video call with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, November 11. On December 23, 2021, Shoigu and Wei signed a roadmap for military cooperation between Moscow and Beijing and called for more joint exercises and patrols.
(Vadim Savitsky/Press Service of the Russian Ministry of Defense via AP)

Trenin claims Russian-Chinese relations are also quite strong. According to him, they passed the “stress test” after 24 February. Perhaps most importantly, Trenin concludes, Russia’s turn to the East is complete, ending what he describes as a 300-year western orientation “for better or for worse.”

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“Moscow,” he says, “already redistributes resources in this direction. The post of ambassador in Beijing will be more important than Washington, Delhi more prestigious than Berlin and Tehran. get ahead of Paris.”