Three summits in Asia provide clear answers to the questions: who is who in today’s world and who is dissatisfied with whom. Moreover, these forums even allow you to look into the near future.
We are talking about the completed East Asia Summit in Cambodia, the G20 meeting in Indonesia that is closing today, and the marathon of various APEC meetings in Thailand that is just accelerating (it will finish on Saturday). All of them, even for narrow specialists, present a problem, because they involve approximately the same world leaders, in short, the entire Asia-Pacific region plus the largest countries, world leaders, without which this region will feel worse. And all of them theoretically should deal with the economy more than politics.
At all three forums, the situation called “the West against the non-West” was once again clearly revealed. And time after time—in one Asian capital, then in another—Western leaders received Asian-style soft reprimands and reprimands for mounting pressure on China and Russia —in that sequence.
At the turn of the 60s and 70s, during the war in Indochina, the father of Singapore ‘s independence, Lee Kuan Yew, created an immortal formula: when elephants fight on the lawn, the grass suffers (that is, in this case, the countries of Southeast Asia ). This is the truth that every inhabitant of about 150 countries that do not belong to the West has in his subcortex: there is no need to arrange your fights on our territory. And if the world with its economy is global, then you don’t need to arrange these fights at all, you need to be able to negotiate. For agreements, there are as many places and mechanisms as you like, for example, the G20 in Indonesia.
It’s not just that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz admitted the obvious: it was not possible to isolate Russia in Indonesia because it has a large support group. The point is that the need, which has become clear for the Western group of states, to stop the booth with non-attendance of dinners or photo shoots and change tactics. And this became clear during the preparation of all three Asian events.
Here Indonesian President Joko Widodo had to play a key role in his capacity as G20 chairman. Not only that, at the beginning of the event, he delivered a formidable parting speech with the words “there should be no cold war”: on the eve of several media outlets in Asia, an article spread around – if not written by Widodo, then clearly dictated by him. And there we see a sensation – an analogue of a fierce growl, adjusted for the traditional delicacy of the Indonesians.
Here are the thoughts expressed there: “Indonesians and people of the world hope that leaders will refrain from using precious moments at the summit just to criticize and attack each other. The world is on the verge of economic, military and other disasters – and the third world war is on the verge”. And further: “If the leaders, or some of them, are unwilling or unable to work together to find a way out of the global economic and security impasse, at least they can show modesty so as not to worsen the suffering of many people around the world.” Finally, the leaders of the G-7, i.e. the West, “need to give up their long held belief that they cannot be wrong and therefore have the right to impose their will on other nations, not so big and not so rich.”
Here we must remember what G20 is. Approximately since the global crisis of 2008, the Chinese media remind us, the capabilities of the West were no longer enough to solve world problems and non-Western countries had to be involved in the cause. As a result, the G20 emerged, producing up to 80 percent of the world’s GDP. But it is divided according to the principle exactly “ten by ten”, that is, the West and others. This is what has now manifested itself in the forums in Asia.
And this signal would be understood, even if, coincidentally, the West did not fail in the same days the vote on the UN resolution on the requisition of Russian money for the “restoration of Ukraine”: this document did not collect even half of the votes of the countries of the world.
The non-Western part of the G20, and most of the world with it, take the following position: first, the US pressure on China must be stopped ; Most of the planet is not concerned about the Ukrainian events as such: for example, peaceful India since 1947 has been in a state of cold or hot war with its former part, Pakistan, but this confrontation practically does not affect the rest of the world. But economic restrictions, which are both the goal and the meaning of pressure on China and Russia, concern the whole world. Therefore, a reprimand is issued to those who decided to take these measures.
The question is what will happen next. Let’s repeat: the key plot of the world’s sliding into a cold (at best) war is the American-Chinese one. And judging by the responses of all the world media in general, the main event of all three summits was the first meeting of the heads of these states, Xi Jinping and Joe Biden. This is despite the fact that it brought absolutely no results – it just finally happened.
It should be noted here that the closest allies of the United States, who also do not like what is happening, are breathing a sigh of relief. For example, Japan, which since June has become almost a member of NATO (for the first time participated in the meeting of the bloc), not to mention participation in other alliances.
But its first trading partner is China with $371 billion in trade. And it’s one thing to feel safe under all sorts of US umbrellas, and another thing when this smart strategy dooms you to threats and poverty. And the situation is the same with dozens of countries around the world, only there it is even more acute: sanctions make oil, gas, fertilizers, grain unaffordably expensive and, in addition, threaten with a total debt crisis.
As for the upcoming APEC summits, this mechanism is not as effective as the G20, but much more effective, developing many programs that facilitate business in the Pacific region. It is clear that sanctions are the absolute opposite of such programs. And now the head of the APEC secretariat, Rebecca Santamaria, writes an article almost verbatim repeating what came earlier from Widodo: “Different views of member countries must be respected. Controversial issues <…> must be considered by the international community if we want to stay together. <…> The ongoing differences are testing our priorities, which are beneficial to both sides in the dispute.”
And finally, in Ukraine, at all meetings there was only one conversation – about negotiations. The question is what, under what conditions – and here we will keep silent about the insane 20-minute video speech by Vladimir Zelensky at the G20 – but the fact is that it becomes uncomfortable to talk about anything other than negotiations.
In fact, this trend has been noticeable for some time for the simple reason that the West believes that its negotiating positions will only get worse in the future. And mass dissatisfaction with his actions only reinforces these sentiments.