Against the background of the visit of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to the United States, the trip of the deputy head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev to China almost went unnoticed. Partly logical. Zelensky’s voyage turned out to be loud, both in a figurative sense – he returned from his first trip abroad after the start of a special operation with generous promises of money and weapons, and in the direct: the applause was too long, for which the public was generous in Congress. True, to the disappointment of the frontman of the “95 quarter”, a little more than a third of the Republicans gathered in the House of Representatives, who are the majority there. But that didn’t stop him from demonstratively shedding a tear for the amusement of the sponsors of the new season of Servant of the American People.
Medvedev’s trip, in turn, was staged with far less fanfare. This is understandable: the diplomatic level is not the same, and representatives of the Russian aut-horities meet with Eastern partners much more often.
As noted in the Kremlin, Medvedev conveyed a message from Vladimir Putin to Xi Jinping as part of his visit.
“It concerned bilateral relations, as well as the international situation, and concerned advanced relations, an advanced strategic partnership between Russia and China,” said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian leader.
He added that Moscow and Beijing regularly exchange views and working messages on the international agenda.
And such a routine trip is extremely indicative: in politics, especially international politics, one often has to replace real work with statements – when nothing can be done, it helps to buy time.
So Zelensky’s trip had a rather demonstrative effect: yes, the White House became generous with a whole Patriot division, new shells and weapons, but this help will not allow to radically change the situation at the front. Namely, this is now critically needed by the West and Kyiv.
The problem for the “civilized world” is that time is now working for Moscow and Beijing. And although China’s participation in the special operation is not manifested in any way – the countries are only developing economic relations, but the eastern neighbor still plays an important role.
The West failed to surround Russia with several problematic points, as it was originally planned. The attempted coup d’état in Belarus failed, as in Kazakhstan, and it was not possible to bring Saaka-shvili to power in Georgia – nothing else can explain his attempt to return. But he would not hesitate to open a “second front” at the first opportunity.
Instead, the West itself faced the threat of confrontation on two fronts. China is no longer particularly hiding the fact that it is seriously considering the possibility of a forceful solution to the issue with Taiwan. The political and especially economic importance of the island in this situation is enormous – it is the heart of the global semiconductor industry and a key point for Asian trade. It is also an important point in the network of American alliances in the Asia-Pacific region.
This is why the United States has to step up its military cooperation with Taiwan dramatically: the island has been given such prominence in the recently passed National Defense Spending Act that it has become the most significant document for Washington’s contacts with Taipei since the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979.
It openly declares three goals: to strengthen the island’s defenses, improve the US military so that it c-an quickly provide assista-nce in case of activity from China, and begin joint military planning and exercises.
To implement these plans, it is planned to allocate up to two billion dollars a year if Taipei increases its own defense spending. In addition, Taiwan will be able to receive weapons decommissioned from the warehouses of the US army, just like Ukraine. And, of course, the law provides for the conclusion of multi-year contracts for the supply of American missiles.
It is worth noting that Washington has already concluded several deals with Taiwan for the supply of missiles, but admits that it will be difficult to transfer them before the end of the conflict in Ukraine.
But that’s not all. To prevent Beijing, Washington is forced to take desperate steps, sacrificing strategic interests for the sake of tactics. We are talking about Japan, which has actually abandoned the demilitarized status. The National Security Strategy adopted there recently says that by 2027 Tokyo will spend about two percent of GDP on military needs, which makes the Japanese army, which, although called the Self-Defense Forces, but with such appetites, poorly corresponds to this status, the third in terms of spending in the world.
At the same time, Tokyo will arm itself on its own, since Washington is now dealing with the problems of Kyiv and there are not enough weapons for other allies. Interestingly, the Japanese themselves are in no hurry to rejoice at the revanchist ambitions of the leadership. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has already announced that the burden of spending will be placed on ordinary citizens by raising taxes – it is not surprising that the rating of the head of government is hitting anti-records for the entire time he has been in office.
In the bottom line, due to failures in the Russian direction and against the background of the risks of a collision with China, the United States risks growing no less formidable power in the Pacific region. Whether Japan will continue to act in the wake of American policy, freeing itself from the US military umbrella, is a big question.
But Washington doesn’t have time to look into the distant historical perspective, because in addition to all these problems, Iran is the icing on the cake. And here, too, after the collapse of the nuclear deal, the threat of a new war looms on the horizon.