Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail: email@example.com).
A significant meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden is scheduled for 16 June 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland. In the past year, the U.S. has issued sweeping sanctions on Russian officials over a long list of charges: election interference, persecuting activists and journalists in Russia, including the now-jailed opposition figure Alexei Navalny; engaging in malicious cyber activities; bullying Ukraine and other actions. Russia, in turn, has criticized the U.S. for interfering in its domestic affairs and threatening international stability. President Joe Biden has pledged to take a tougher stance on Russia than Trump and will seek to restore “predictability and stability,” according to the White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, in a 25 May statement. Geneva was also the first meeting between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985, which helped defuse tensions during the Cold War. Now 90 years old, Gorbachev told Interfax news agency on 27 May that “much has been destroyed in matters of strategic stability, now it is necessary to restore it.” He added that Biden was someone Russia “can negotiate with” and that the previous administration “turned out to be unreliable.” President Joe has no good opinion about President Putin and just recently used the word “Killer” for him. It is a severe breach of all civilized norms and diplomatic etiquettes. However, in return, Russian President Putin wished him good health.
Many things will come under discussion and may encompass a wide range of international affairs. Especially in the backdrop of the Pandemic, where the whole world is suffering, and the global economy is facing severe challenges, the meeting may prove an effective platform to formulate a strategy to address issues of common interests. Other topics may include human rights and cyber attacks. In addition, Russian would discuss “the current state and prospects of the Russian-U.S. relations, strategic stability issues and the acute problems on the international agenda, including interaction in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and settlement of regional conflicts.” Ukraine will undoubtedly be on the top of the agenda. Another hot point may be on the agenda - Belarus’ forced landing of a Ryanair plane to arrest opposition blogger Roman Protasevich on 23 May 2021.
Today, the world is facing even more challenges and reaches the verge of disaster. Such a meeting may prove a ray of hope and may avert any big disaster – an optimistic approach.
Let me go back to history a bite:
The US became the leader of Capitalism and Western-Style Democracy. And was advocating for it since Post World War II and was considering Communism a threat. The cold war was launched, and The U.S. and its allies did everything possible to defeat Communism (China+Soveit Union) during the 1950s and 1960s. Almost after spending two decades, The Western World realized that they could not beat as long as China and Russia are close allies. Then they concentrated all their energies to create a rift between China and Russia and finally succeeded. Russian and China spoiled relations, giving the U.S.-led Western Alliance to penetrate into China and establish formal diplomatic ties with China, isolating Russia.
The U.S. focused all its efforts to counter the Soviet Union alone, as China became a friendly nation and no longer posing a communist threat. Then, concentrated effort in the 1970s and 1980s caused heavy damages to the Soviet Union, disintegrating in 1991.
The U.S. became a single superpower, and the world became a unipolar world. The U.S. shifted its focus from Communism to Islam and targeted Muslim World, initiated Arab Spring, damaging Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, etc. Using the lame excuse of 9/11 in 2011, it attacked Sudan and Afghanistan. Then destroyed Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.
While the U.S. was over-engaged against the Muslim world, China was rising rapidly, emerged as the second-largest economy, and became a geopolitical power. By the time the U.S. realized this threat, China has already surpassed the threshold to be contained or curtail.
On the other hand, Russia-China relations attained depth and strengthened to emerge as a single power. The U.S. is facing a hard time with Russia-China jointly and wanted to confront them one by one separately. Whether this meeting will be fruitful or not, it is rather too early to predict. It was undoubtedly, being optimistic, looking forward to a better world to live in for all.
Scholars, intellectuals, and think tanks in the U.S. are considering creating a rift between China and Russia and then counter them one by one (Divide and Rule Policy). President Joe Bidden’s meeting with President Putin may revolve around this agenda. However, President Putin is a mature and visionary leader and may not be traped by any such attempt by President Joe. Both President Joe and President Putin were very different in nature and did not like each other. They were never good friends, and it will be a miracle to reach any significant breakthrough during-coming meeting. China-Russian unity is a need of time, can save both. China and Russia are complementing each other and may not fall into American trape. What so ever incentive President Joe may offer to President Putin, but the worth of China-Russia relations is much beyond any materialistic gains.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)
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