Global Eyes Grandissimo
Let us pause to explore the world. At length.
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BREAKING AND OBVIOUSLY URGENT:
Well, what can we do but wait and watch—nervously.
G20 overview: China is hinting that it’s becoming fed up with Moscow. The Xi-Biden meeting seems to have been reasonably positive: China and the US will resume talks that Beijing froze after Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, and Blinken will visit China early next year to follow up on the Xi-Biden meeting.
On the eve of the summit, Chinese premier Li Keqiang underlined the “irresponsibility” of nuclear threats.
During the summit, China called for respecting Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Moscow found itself isolated when the assembled world leaders, including Xi, condemned the war.
Unnamed Chinese officials at the G20 summit complained about Putin to the Financial Times. The FT is usually quite reliable. I wonder if these were authorized leaks? (Paywalled.)
Xi and Putin formally hailed a “no limits” partnership between their countries when they met in Beijing in February just 20 days before Russia’s president ordered his military into Ukraine. But according to four people briefed on the February meeting, Xi was caught off-guard by an invasion that Putin did not warn him of in advance—thus jeopardizing the safety of thousands of Chinese nationals then living in Ukraine.
“Putin didn’t tell Xi the truth,” a Chinese official told the Financial Times. “If he had told us, we wouldn’t have been in such an awkward position,” the official added. “We had more than 6,000 Chinese nationals living in Ukraine and some of them died during the evacuation [although] we can’t make that public.”
An unnamed US official said there was “undeniably some discomfort in Beijing about what we’ve seen in terms of reckless rhetoric and activity on the part of Russia,” despite its formal partnership with Moscow. “I think it is also undeniable that China is probably both surprised and even a little bit embarrassed by the conduct of Russian military operations.”
From the White House, the readout of the Xi-Biden meeting:
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