Xi Jinping promotes a world order where everything is negotiated

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When he spoke of “win-win cooperation” during his meeting with Vladimir Putin last week, Xi Jinping put forward his vision of the world order, no longer governed by universal values, but as a transactional system of agreements between great powers, reflecting the balance of their balance of power.

So in Ukraine, China played its part, ruthless and efficient. Its objectives: to subordinate Russia while taking care not to weaken it too much; to create an image of a peacemaker in the eyes of the emerging world; and, with an eye on Taiwan, undermine the perceived legitimacy of Western sanctions and military support. Xi Jinping cynically calls for “respect for the sovereignty of all countries”, but fails to mention that Russia occupies more than a sixth of its neighbour.