On the eve of the meeting between Joseph Biden and Xi Jinping, American officials are visiting Asian countries to strengthen Washington’s position in the region.
At the same time, most of the United States’ allies fully support Ukraine in repelling Russia’s military invasion, while China officially declares neutrality. Still, numerous facts point out that it condones Russian aggression and helps it economically.
Blinken’s 8-day tour of Asia
Blinken’s tour began in Tel Aviv on November 3. The top US diplomat then traveled to Jordan and Iraq, after which he visited Turkey and recently met with Japanese and South Korean officials. The Secretary of State will soon arrive in India to speak with its Prime Minister.
In parallel, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is also on a tour of the country, visiting Indonesia, India and South Korea.
The US has become more active ahead of the meeting between US and Chinese leaders Biden and Xi. These visits will likely be made to strengthen China’s containment and enhance relations with Asian allies.
How the US is trying to counter China
Under the presidency of Donald Trump, the contradictions between Washington and Beijing have aggravated. However, they primarily occurred in the economic area, and during Biden’s term, this confrontation took on a political shade.
The stumbling block in the Pacific is the issue of Taiwan, which Beijing wants to integrate into its fold despite the disagreement of the Taiwanese people. At the same time, the United States is the guarantor of the security of the unrecognized island nation, and among other things, it supplies it weapons.
To ensure that the reaction to Beijing’s invasion is not limited to “deep concern,” Washington is trying to organize an informal anti-Chinese alliance in the region, which includes South Korea and Japan, in addition to Taiwan. India is also close to this group of countries, seeing China as its main Asian rival, while Indonesia is trying to remain neutral.
Observers suggest that in the event of Beijing’s intervention, not only the United States but also Japan will defend Taiwan, which could lead to a military conflict on an immense scale.
Ukraine’s topic on Blinken’s tour
The other day, the G7 foreign ministers met, and all participants agreed that the war in Israel would not prevent them from supporting Ukraine. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has already thanked the Prime Minister of Japan, which hosted the summit, for this position. In addition, following the phone conversation, the parties agreed that a conference on Ukraine’s reconstruction would be held in Japan next year.
As for the actual talks between the US and Asian countries, no details were released. However, much will depend on how strongly China defends Russia’s interests at the meeting in the United States. This will show how determined Beijing is to challenge the West openly.
Concerns about military cooperation between Russia and North Korea
U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken expressed concern about the growing military cooperation between Russia and North Korea during a visit to South Korea. His comments came during a joint press conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin.
The military ties are increasingly a “two-way street,” in which North Korea provides Russia with military equipment to use in Moscow’s war with Ukraine. In turn, Russia offers military technology and assists with North Korea’s long-range attack capabilities, potentially including ballistic missiles and nuclear technology, according to Blinken.
Speaking about his tour to Asia which includes stops in Japan and India, Blinken emphasized that the military ties between Russia and North Korea are not just a potential threat to their respective neighbors but also the “global non-proliferation regime.”
With Russia’s military stocks running low and domestic production capacity simultaneously hampered by Western sanctions, Moscow has increasingly turned to different sources for military equipment, including North Korea.
Biden’s meeting with Xi Jinping
According to press reports, talks between the leaders of the world’s two largest economies will take place on November 15 at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco. This will be the first visit of the Chinese leader to the United States in the last 5 years.
Before that, Xi Jinping sent a signal to Washington about Beijing’s readiness for cooperation. However, there are many problems in relations between China and the United States, so they exchanged sanctions back in October.
At the same time, there is a lot of evidence that China is preparing for a war against Taiwan. In particular, Beijing is increasing the number of nuclear warheads and the navy, purchasing Iranian Shahed drones, and solving the problem of youth unemployment by increasing conscription, and its scientists are actively thinking about how to circumvent Western sanctions and increase the influence of the yuan on the global economy.