Another Step in Beijing’s Rise to Global Power

By Alfred Mccoy, Tom Dispatch

All wars do end, usually thanks to a negotiated peace agreement. Consider that a fundamental historical fact, even if it seems to have been forgotten in Brussels, Moscow, and above all, Washington, D.C.

September 30, 2022 Ambassador of China seen voting abstain at Security Council vote on joint resolution to condemn Russian on annexation in UN Headquarters

In recent months, among Russian President Vladimir Putin’s followers, there has been much talk of a “forever war” in Ukraine dragging on for years, if not decades. “For us,” Putin told a group of factory workers recently, “this is not a geopolitical task, but a task of the survival of Russian statehood, creating conditions for the future development of the country and our children.”

Visiting Kyiv last February, President Joseph Biden assured Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, “You remind us that freedom is priceless; it’s worth fighting for, for as long as it takes. And that’s how long we’re going to be with you, Mr. President: for as long as it takes.” A few weeks later, the European Council affirmed “its resolute condemnation of Russia’s actions and unwavering support for Ukraine and its people.”

With all the major players already committed to fighting a forever war, how could peace possibly come about? With the U.N. compromised by Russia’s seat on the Security Council and the G-7 powers united in condemning “Russia’s illegal, unjustifiable, and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine,” the most likely dealmaker when it comes to ending this forever war may prove to be President Xi Jinping of China.

In the West, Xi’s self-styled role as a peacemaker in Ukraine has been widely mocked. In February, on the first anniversary of the Russian invasion, China’s call for negotiations as the “only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis” sparked a barbed reply from U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan who claimed the war “could end tomorrow if Russia stopped attacking Ukraine.”

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