Non-action as the highest virtue and the consistent interpenetration of opposites are the tenets of traditional philosophy, but also a thoroughly applied way of conducting international business. We will leave an in-depth analysis of this phenomenon to specialists, but it is worth paying attention to the fact that the departure of such a worldview towards the more familiar ideological and geopolitical confrontation occurred when China adopted the Western communist doctrine , which is generally foreign to itself. . Mao Zedong tried to reverse not only the social system, but also the culture of the Chinese people. However, his reign ended with an agreement with the United States, that is, a return to a strategic balance much more in line with the Chinese worldview. Mutual recognition did not mean consent and harmony; it responded to the tasks of the parties for this period. The period, which, by the way, lasted until recently, signs of its irreversible end, we see only today.
The role and weight of the PRC on the international scene has reached such a level that it is no longer possible to maintain a contemplative detachment
In America, there is now a lot of talk about the past decades complaining that it was China that benefited from the interaction in the first place. The criteria may vary, but in general it’s hard to disagree that Beijing won more. At least in terms of transforming the country and changing its place on the international scene. Deng Xiaoping, with his strategy of gradual and silent ascent, acted entirely in the Chinese spirit, and the result was undoubtedly justified. He justified it so much that it was extremely difficult for Beijing to think that this super favorable and beneficial situation for everyone would end at some point.
But the latter turned out to be inevitable for one simple reason: China seized power, which, whatever its wishes and intentions, made it a potential rival to the United States. And, as a result, it caused a natural evolution in the American approach to China. After all, the style of the United States is the exact opposite of what is described above as classical Chinese. And China’s attempts in the late 1910s and early 1920s to slow growing U.S. pressure came up against Washington’s firm intention to turn the relationship into the category of strategic rivalry. In fairness, we note that China’s assertiveness and self-confidence have also increased, but if it were up to Beijing alone, the period of beneficial interaction would last for several more years.
There is no need to expect sharp turns from China, it also contradicts their understanding of decency
Anyway, another era has begun. China’s diplomatic activism aims to demonstrate that Beijing has no intention of shying away from its role in global politics. The form of participation still bears the imprint of the previous period and this same traditional approach – the sterile correctness of the wording of the Chinese peace proposals on the Ukrainian question is proof of this. However, this is also subject to change. Moscow is satisfied with China’s willingness to maintain well-meaning external neutrality, but the West is eager to point out Beijing’s insincerity, moreover, it does so in an indecent tone for the Chinese. It is not necessary to expect sharp turns from the PRC, this also contradicts their understanding of decency, but the direction of movement has been determined.
And the question is not whether or not Beijing shares Russian assessments of what is happening in Ukraine. China diligently avoids expressing opinions, as it does not consider this to be its business. However, the consolidation of forces on the world stage is taking its course, China and Russia, whether they like it or not, find themselves on one side, the United States and its allies on the other. And then it will become more and more noticeable. In his 10 years at the helm of the PRC, Xi Jinping has significantly changed the country’s domestic and foreign policy. On the one hand, it places more emphasis on the classical Chinese worldview than its predecessors, on the other hand, the slogans and ideas associated with socialism are more pronounced. The first implies self-sufficient harmony, the second, as a rule, is directed outward no less than inward. This symbiosis is likely to determine China’s positioning over the next five or ten years of Xi’s rule. The aggressive international environment will increasingly test Beijing’s ability to maintain a balance that suits it. Everything will depend on the success of these attempts, including for Russia.
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