Three trends, accelerated by the Russian war in Ukraine, characterise the changing geopolitical dynamics in Central Asia: Russia’s declining influence in the region, China’s reluctance to step decisively into this void, and the slowly but unevenly increasing ability of the Central Asian countries to provide an alternative framework for managing regional stability.
European Council president Charles Michel heads to Beijing on December 1, the latest in a procession of western leaders to seek an audience with Xi Jinping, in a year when the Chinese president has cemented his position as the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.
US-China talks: Biden and Xi attempt to play down superpower tensions but Ukraine and Taiwan loom large
Presidents Xi Jinping of China and Joe Biden of the United States have held their first face-to-face meeting since 2017.
Ukraine war: latest UN vote shows world wants conflict to end – but can’t agree on how to prevent Putin going nuclear
Each time the United Nations gathers to debate and vote on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it becomes more obvious that the vast majority of the international community condemns the invasion and wants the conflict to stop.
Things are not going well for the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
What had been suspected for some time has now come out into the open: China has “concerns” about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
While G20 foreign ministers were meeting in Bali, Indonesia, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, threatened further escalation in his war against Ukraine, announcing to the world that “by and large, we have not started anything in earnest yet”.
Against a backdrop of unprecedented turmoil – the first major war in Europe in three decades, the highest inflation rates in decades and a rapidly worsening global food crisis – western leaders have met for two major summits.
For the sake of Ukraine, the opportunity, however slim, to cooperate with China on stopping Russia’s aggression should not be discarded out of hand.