In Celebration of Goodwill
By Von JURY TAVROVSKY | The forces of good and evil constantly oppose each other, sometimes more, sometimes less. These days the good force of „yang“ has been fighting back the dark force of „yin“ at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. The very fact of the opening of the competitions turned-out as a big win for the thousand-year-old idea of reconciliation, goodwill and an open communication without second thoughts. The events in Beijing let remember Noah’s Ark, which gathered „a pair of each creature“ to save them from disaster. The comparison is quite appropriate: The COVID pandemic hit humanity like a Great Flood. The threat of a man-made catastrophe on a global scale and a clash of opposing fronts in style of a Cold War have increased to the extreme. However, the global Olympic festival has strengthened the forces of light and diluted those of evil.
It was not easy for the hosts of the Olympic Winter Games to keep their promise made quite some time before the onset of that natural disaster known under the name of COVID. China‚s neighbour Japan had decided to postpone the Summer Olympics from the year 2020 to 2021. But this time the games have encountered additional stress due to economic sanctions, military pressure and an information war waged by the West. Having suffered a humiliating defeat in Afghanistan and strained by their effort to contain Russia, America is building a worldwide coalition to fight „autocratic regimes“ like Moscow or Beijing. Last November’s „Summit for Democracy“ drew a new line of a global disengagement accordingly.
„Diplomatic boycotts“ have been instigated to call the traditional Olympic opening ceremony into question. Further on, even more dangerous events created new challenges to the organizers: In addition to the usual forces by the US-Navy, two aircraft carrier groups have jointly showed-up close to China‚s shore. In addition to the flagship nuclear aircraft carrier, each group consists of dozens of frigates and submarines with nuclear weapons. That threat had forced the Chinese military to issue their warnings, that it would respond forcefully in case of new provocations.
Key to fulfilling the obligations of China have not been “empty words”, but solid deeds but its current leader, Xi Jinping. It is not the first time for China staging the Olympic Games. In 2008, Xi was assigned to provide the final preparations for the Summer Olympics. He gathered a reputation as „crisis manager“ after a trouble shooting mission in 2007 in Shanghai in the wake of the Expo 2010. The Olympic budget in 2008 amounted to 43 billion dollars. With such huge spending the centre of Beijing has been transformed and the landmark stadium well known as Bird’s Nest was created, which has served again as the centre stage arena for the Winter Olympics this year. Thanks to the already created sports infrastructure, the costs for the current event have been limited to 4 billion US dollars.
However, seven new types of competitions have been added still to the overall sport‚s program of this Winter Games.
Xi Jinping had has demonstrated more than once his ability to win and mobilize the entire nation, whenever found necessary and tackle special challenges during his years of leadership at the helm of the Middle Empire, like enduring the recent pandemic, a global economic crisis, a trade war and a technological blockade by the USA. China‚s president has gathered vast experiences regarding Olympic Games in stressful situations: In 2014 at Sochi it was Xi Jinping, who helped to break the „diplomatic boycott“ by then. Now it has been the turn of Russia to reciprocate.
Among some three dozen of global statesmen, Putin has achieved a place at the centre. This has been emphasized by the Chinese media and was reflected by the protocol of the Olympic events as well. Subsequently the meeting between Putin and Xi Jinping had lasted for three hours! This happened even before the important opening of the Olympic Games so important for the Chinese.
Even before the competition was started, Putin and Xi Jinping had won the first ‚gold medals‚ in the field of the political arena: They have successfully cornered their opponents, performed perfectly in single – & team events and have finally mastered long distance as well as short track in both bilateral – as well as international affairs. The results had been published in the main document of that Olympic Summit under the title: „Joint statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on international relations entering a new era and global sustainable development”
This most comprehensive bilateral document of almost 6,000 words contains a detailed summary of shared views by both great powers on the most important issues of our times. Also listed are the discrepancies regarding the visions, as imposed with vigour on the world community by the West. It is worth mentioning, that Moscow and Beijing have both rejected such protracted Western hegemony with their claim for their own role in world affairs: “… a trend is emerging for redistributing the balance of world powers; the demand of the world community for leadership in the interest of peaceful and progressive development is growing. At the same against the backdrop of the ongoing pandemic, the situation in the field of international and regional security is becoming more and more complicated by the day, whereas global challenges and threats have been multiplying.”
The origin of challenges has been allocated East and West of both powers, which made them to move closer the faster. Moscow and Beijing have the same view of common threats: “The parties oppose the further expansion of NATO, call on the North Atlantic Alliance to abandon the ideologized approaches of the Cold War, respect the sovereignty, security and interests of other countries, the diversity of their civilizational, cultural and historical ways … The parties reject the formation of closed bloc structures and opposing alliances in the Asia-Pacific region and remain highly vigilant regarding the negative impact on peace and stability in this region by the Indo-Pacific US strategy.”
Considerable room is given the theme of democracy, which, after the November Summit for Democracy, acquires not just an ideological, but also a strategic dimension. The US wants to divide the world into „democratic“ and „authoritarian“ countries and have them played-out against each other. Thus, the formation of fronts along a Cold War 2.0 takes shape. The document says: “Democracy is not built according to a single template. Depending on the socio-political structure, history, traditions and cultural characteristics of a particular state, its people have the right to choose such forms and methods of implementing democracy that correspond to the specifics of this state. The right to judge whether a state is democratic belongs only to its people. Reformatting the world order according to ideological criteria is rejected by our two powers.” Both parties oppose attempts to replace generally accepted formats and mechanisms consistent with international law, by certain rules developed by “closed circles” of individual countries or blocs of countries, and both parties oppose solutions of international problems not on the basis of consensus.”
The “Statement” of some 6,000 words has further addressed an analysis of specific security problems emanating from the militarization of space, cyberspace research, artificial intelligence, chemistry and bacteriology. Due attention is paid to successfully developing bilateral economic cooperation and trade with interactions within the framework of the SCO, BRICS, APEC, the EAEU including the One Belt and One Road initiative.
However, the main attention of analysts seems to be drawn to the inclusion of the following words into that „Statement“: “The parties confirm that the new type of Russian-Chinese interstate relations is superior to the military-political alliances of the Cold War. Friendship between the two states has no borders, there are no forbidden zones in cooperation, the strengthening of bilateral strategic cooperation is not directed against third countries and is not influenced by the changing international environment and situational changes in third countries.”
“The world order has entered a new era,” Liu Xiang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, wrote in the Beijing Global Times newspaper. “Russia and China jointly outlined a new definition of the world order and named the main threats to stability. Now only Russia and China have the ability to protect their fundamental interests and peace in the world.”
The London Daily Telegraph believes that the publication of the „Statement“ by Putin and Xi Jinping, „symbolizes the transition to a fundamentally new structure of international relations, the advent of a new geopolitical era. From now on, the dominance of the US-led global West will no longer be taken for granted, will not be tolerated.” According to the authors,“after decades of humiliation,” Russia and China, “have risen from their knees and will now turn the unjust world order that has developed after the Cold War.”
The „Olympic Consensus“ has demonstrated the acceleration of the process for synchronizing the positions of Russia and China on the problems of our times that are vital for them as well as the world. At the same, there is still room for further progress. Everything will depend on the assessment of the proximity of national interests of Moscow and Beijing versus the degree of enmity between Washington and the other capitals of the West.