Few EU or U.S. policymakers pause to ask what Beijing might want from Brussels or Washington to become more cooperative.
There are several explanations. The overarching one that’s not covered enough in the media is their obsession with Ukraine and their basic misjudgment of its importance for Russian foreign policy.
Outside national capitals, Chinese players are engaging local actors, from mayors, to community groups, to faith-based organizations in dynamic ways. This, in turn, is both entrenching China’s influence and compelling Chinese actors to adapt to and meet local demands.
Evan Feigenbaum offers a compelling analysis of the difficult position that Beijing now finds itself in after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine — unable to reconcile conflicting commitments to China’s strategic partnership with Russia, its foreign policy principles, and its desire to avoid being collateral damage from American and European sanctions.
It’s the essential ingredient for Taipei to achieve its economic diversification goals.
Beijing sees the Ukraine crisis as its opportunity to gain influence over financial markets.
Everyone presumes that China is the senior partner and Russia is the junior. That’s intuitive. But Beijing is now carrying a hell of a lot of freight for Moscow.
Even though the U.S. economic role in Asia is growing in absolute terms, it is receding in relative terms, which means that, to lead, Washington should be leaning harder on the other traditional pillar of its economic leadership, which was to be a rule writer and standard setter.
China may study the new sanctions toolkit U.S. has rolled out against Russia both to figure out how not to become a target and to use as tools to coerce other players in the future.
Beijing’s strategy has been more supple in the past, so its evolution suggests that it has dramatically leaned toward Moscow.