Soon after the Russian onslaught against Ukraine, most observers agreed that the conflict would gradually become a protracted war. In other words, the fighting would lose intensity, and perhaps ceasefires would be declared, only to be followed by allegations of their violation. As NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said, it is absolutely possible that this war will drag on for months and years.
On November 4, 2022, Chancellor Scholz paid an eleven-hour visit to Beijing with a group of top German business executives. He was the first Western leader visit to China since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, and the first major political leader to meet Xi Jinping after the Chinese Communist Party Congress.[i] At the end of March 2023, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón visited China. He was followed by President Macron and the President of the European Commission von der Leyen last week.
On June 14, 2021, Mr. Biden arrived in Brussels on his first trip to Europe as President. The Brussels Summit Communiqué issued by the NATO Heads of State and Government on that day broke new ground by mentioning China in a NATO public statement for the first time. It said, “China’s stated ambitions and assertive behavior present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and areas relevant to Alliance security.”
On February 23, 2023, the UN General Assembly through its Resolution A/ES-11/L.7, once again called for ending the war in Ukraine and demanded Russia’s immediate withdrawal from the country in line with the UN Charter. The voting was very similar to last year’s Resolution ES‑11/4. And the message of the majority was the same: “End the war.”
Last Monday in an article titled, “Biden’s Surreal and Secretive Journey into a War Zone”by Peter Baker and Michael D. Shear, the New York Times shared some details of President Biden’s visit to Ukraine with the reader.[i] It said the president played his part in the ruse which included a dinner at the Red Hen restaurant with the First Lady where they enjoyed the rigatoni before going back to the White House, hours before his departure for Europe. And that was just the beginning.
In Beijing, President Xi Jinping presented to the Chinese Party Congress the report of the Central Committee in a two-hour-long speech.[i] Having secured a third five-year term as president, he is now regarded as China’s strongest leader since Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.
With the war in Ukraine, “the emerging world order” has become a current topic with conflicting opening gambits.
The West argues for the rules-based international order, the body of rules, norms, and institutions that govern relations. Among those are treaties, international law, formal structures, institutions, and values at the center of which are democracy and respect for human rights.
In another ten days, it will be six months since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The news of the war no longer makes the headlines. Because it only takes time for the most unexpected, for the worst to become the new normal, like in Syria, Libya, and Yemen.
Last Monday, National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby told reporters that nothing about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s possible trip changed US policy toward Taiwan. He said, “We have been clear from the very beginning that she will make her own decisions and that Congress is an independent branch of government. Our Constitution embeds a separation of powers. This is well known to the PRC, given our more than four decades of diplomatic relations. The Speaker has the right to visit Taiwan, and a Speaker of the House has visited Taiwan before without incident, as have many members of Congress, including this year.” He was referring to House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s visit to Taiwan in 1997.