‘Big blunder’ to let China and Russia get close – US strategist

Decades of efforts by Washington have gone to waste, according to Michael Pillsbury

US President Joe Biden’s cabinet has made a major policy mistake by driving Russia and China into a strategic partnership, Heritage Foundation fellow Michael Pillsbury said on Thursday.

Pillsbury spoke to Fox and Friends as Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing on his first foreign trip since inauguration.

“To draw, to push together two nuclear powers, Russia and China, it’s really a blunder of the highest order,” he told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade.

According to Pillsbury, China spent much of the past 75 years in conflict with the Soviet Union, “so to see them come together like this to me is just shocking.” 

It’s one of the biggest blunders we’ll see in my lifetime.

Pillsbury has helped Washington formulate its China policy since the 1970s. He held a variety of posts at the Pentagon and as a staff member for the US Senate, before settling at China-centric desks at the Hudson Institute and later at Heritage.

It has long been a policy objective of Washington to keep China and Russia apart, starting with President Richard Nixon’s detente with Beijing in the 1970s. This policy was in effect as late as 2020, with President Donald Trump trying to use tariffs to pressure China into working with the US, noted Pillsbury.

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Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China in Beijing on May 16, 2024.
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“This would never happen under Trump,” he said. “This was one of Trump’s goals never to allow this to happen.”

When Kilmeade suggested that China “needs” the US and EU markets, so the West has leverage over Beijing, Pillsbury pointed out that this “simply isn’t happening under Biden.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also commented on the US attempts to split China away from Russia. In an interview on Thursday, he said that China was “strong enough” to resist the “brazen” attempts at pressure.

China and Russia both “defend the principles of fairness and the democratic world order based on the multipolar realities and international law,” Putin said on Thursday, adding that relations between the two countries “are not aimed against anyone.”

Putin described the Russo-Chinese cooperation as “one of the main stabilizing factors on the international stage.”

Xi agreed, arguing that ties between Beijing and Moscow are a “model of relations between large powers and neighboring states, characterized by mutual respect, trust, friendship and mutual benefit.”

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