White House boasts about ‘isolating Russia’ in first 100 days
The White House has called the "isolation of Russia at the United Nations" one of President Trump's successes in his first 100 days in office.
Published: May 2, 2017, 9:31 am
But China is not only publicly backing North Korean demands for an end to joint military exercises in the Korean Peninsula between the US and South Korea, but also siding with Russia at the UN on Syria.
The call by China was the first time ever that military exercises and the North Korean nuclear weapons programme were linked publicly, a matter which the US in the past had resisted.
Chinese and Russian cooperation in the UN Security Council, was on full public display last week on the critical North Korea issue, suggesting rather a new closeness.
According to the White House, in their report evaluating their own achievements in foreign policy, the United States successfully isolated both “Syria and Russia” at the United Nations through diplomatic efforts with China.
US Ambassador to the UN and current UN Security Council president, Nikki Haley, issued the report, which stated: “[The United States] further isolated Syria and Russia at the United Nations through successful diplomacy with President Xi Jinping of China,” on Thursday without specifying what the “isolation” meant.
The United States also added their release that they had isolated North Korea and shifted military assets to the Asia-Pacific region for readiness against Pyongyang, as Trump is now countering countries that “pose a threat to US national security”.
Russian Foreign Ministry said in response to the US report that boasting about isolating Russia and minimize its role in the United Nations were rather “strange”, given that Moscow was seeking dialogue and cooperation with all member states of the UN, including the US.
“As opposed to the United States, we are constantly trying to forge ties and cooperate with all members of the organisation, US including”, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said, adding that finding common ground would speed up solutions to existing problems.
Meanwhile Chinese president Xi Jinping has sent a personal message last week to Vladimir Putin to cement their friendship, an unusual step for a Chinese leader. Putin met with Li Zhanshu, Director of the General Office of the Communist Party of China, and chief of staff of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Kremlin.
Both the Chinese and the Russians used Li Zhanshu’s meeting with Putin to publicise the personal message from President Xi Jinping to Putin. The Chinese president said despite Washington’s efforts to drive a wedge between them, both countries not change their policy “of deepening and developing our strategic partnership and cooperation”.
A statement on China’s Foreign Ministry website read: “China is ready to coordinate closely with Russia to help cool down as soon as possible the situation on the peninsula and encourage the parties concerned to resume dialogue.”
British UN ambassador Peter Wilson last week tried too to set the tone for the US discussion against Russia as well as China which, he screamed, had “encouraged” Syrian President al-Assad “to kill his own people”. Wilson however had no illusions about an “isolated” Russia, and included China in all his accusations. Haley echoed the British rant.
China’s angry Ambassador Liu Jieyi told Wilson that his statements were “not to be tolerated…don’t hold water,” and that Britain should stop “abusing the Security Council” and “refrain from such actions”. More than anything else, Syria requires a political settlement, he warned. The major urgent priority right now, he said, is strengthening counter-terrorism.
Russia and China hit back hard, and Bolivian UN Ambassador Sacha Llorentty Soliz reminded the assembly that “we wouldn’t be sitting here today,” after seven years of war in Syria, had it not been for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and regime-change policies that have sowed chaos in the Middle East.
Both the Chinese and the Russians are calling for a suspension of joint US-South Korean military exercises in return for a continued suspension of North Korean nuclear tests. The call gives the North Koreans the diplomatic advantage, because by postponing whatever test nuclear they may have planned, it would help increase Chinese pressure on the US to have the joint US-South Korean military exercises suspended.
In an interview transcript published on Sunday, Trump has meanwhile accused China of possibly hacking the emails of Democratic officials during the 2016 presidential election, countering the view of US intelligence officials who have said Moscow orchestrated the hacks.
Trump gave no evidence backing his latest allegation.
Chinese state media warned on Saturday that Trump would bring “more danger than security” to the world. The influential Global Times newspaper said Trump “may go down in history as the ‘war president’” and added that “[T]he US seems to enjoy a privilege to do whatever it likes.”
John Delury, a senior fellow of the Center on US-China Relations and an Professor of International Studies at Yonsei University, in Seoul, South Korea, warned that Trump’s “bluff” is about to backfire, The Telegraph reported.
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