A long-distance, long-distance call | International

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The telephone conversation last Wednesday between Xi Jinping and Volodímir Zelenski has been a much-requested and long-awaited initiative. That the Chinese president has agreed has an important significance. Partly because he supposes that behind him there is a very worked diplomatic jewelery. Also because it indicates that Xi has decided to take a step forward to implement his 12-point guide, understanding that the precise conditions are in place for it. That Xi agrees to use the good offices of a mediator, his special representative for Eurasian Affairs, Li Hui, may indicate that there is no going back on that involvement. In this sense, the gesture cannot be considered a toast to the sun, but rather a commitment that will now require him to roll up his sleeves. In this process, it is possible to think that he will not act alone; he will rely on the involvement of third parties in a list that, led by President Lula, could grow in the coming weeks.

There is a lot of skepticism to overcome, but the fact that the call has been made would also indicate a positive assessment of a certain receptivity noticed in kyiv. Zelensky has always been especially prudent in relation to Beijing, with whom he will be able to establish a more direct and in-depth dialogue, also more normalized.

Because right now? Does it introduce any nuance in the proximity of Beijing to the Kremlin? After justifying that it does not deliver lethal weapons to Russia or announcing more involvement in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, the position expressed by Xi yearns to recover and make visible a certain balance. But the long distance of the call is in this case synonymous with long distance. Much remains to be done before a serious dynamic of negotiation can open up. Let's not expect immediate results. The first challenge is to stop the clock from the next climb.

On the other hand, it is not going to mean any weakening of the Moscow-Beijing relationship, which has been greatly strengthened in the commercial sphere, partly due to Western sanctions. The mutual commitment to establish a strategic counterweight to the interests of the West goes far beyond the nuances that can be deduced from this episode.

And the context matters. We should not overlook the fact that the initiative has taken place in a special framework: with the previous and spectacular Riyadh-Tehran mediation and the call to the parties in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the launch of various global initiatives (security, development, etc. .) or the reinforcement of acronyms such as the BRICS or the OCS, on the verge of new and important expansions that will materialize in the coming weeks. The Chinese diplomatic effervescence, called upon to supplant actors with greater merits, is advancing at the top of its lungs to elevate its role in areas that are not of its traditional influence. After the Middle East, Xi will test Beijing's appeasement here again.

And it could have a message added in times of capsizing in the Taiwan Strait. In the end, it would be difficult to explain that while he claims to be working for peace in Europe, he is preparing to unleash a war crisis in the Straits. It would be worth reflecting on this before further fueling tensions by hastening our military ships 10,000 kilometers from European shores.

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We do not know if this step by Xi will be a turning point in the war, but in any case it will be in Chinese involvement in the search for political solutions. Of course, it will be done with a different approach to the Western one, a premise that today weighs heavily on the visibility of Chinese diplomacy and its effort to shape this new global order "under construction".

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