By Herman Tiu Laurel

President Xi Jinping arrived in Moscow to meet his “good old friend” President Vladimir Putin just about two weeks after the historic “miracle” China pulled off with Iran and Saudi Arabia sealing a peace pact that put an end to the nearly half-a-century conflict between the two major Middle East power.

The question in many minds watching the “miracle peace worker” China unfolding its plan for restoring stability and cooperation in the world is: Is Xi about to pull off another miracle, this time in Ukraine where China’s peace proposal has been positively welcomed by the Zelenskyy government notwithstanding the unambiguous frown the United States and European Union have expressed about it.

There is cause for optimism even among cynics as news coming out of Western media itself that as the Reuter headline said, “China's Xi to speak with Ukraine's Zelenskiy - WSJ”- but Chinese media is more circumspect as Global Times reported, “Xi, Putin hold talks at crucial moment of Ukraine crisis, stress peaceful approach.”

I am careful when reading Western reports as I always assume Western media is up to no good, in this case maybe to raise expectations from Xi’s visit and later depress the perception if there is no peace deal achieved. Still, with the nuanced headline of Global Times, the official English reportage from the CPC’s viewpoint, the prognosis is good.

The Americans put up a stiff but correct face before the prospect of China succeeding in making a start of peace talks between Ukraine and Russia. This headline from the South China Morning Post declared, “White House hails possibility of Xi Jinping speaking with Ukrainian president Zelenskyy, but very soon after the US tone turned sour.

The West’s resentment for China’s successful peacemaking is seen in the BBC’s deliberate omission of China’s intermediation in the Iran-Saudi Arabia peace deal. In its March 10, 2023 report it was as if China’s pivotal role in inviting the two parties -- Iran and Saudi Arabia -- to Beijing to negotiate and sign the peace pact never existed at all.

After hailing the possibility of Xi-Zelenskyy talks the US quickly turned around and announced that it is “firmly opposed” to a ceasefire that Xi’s peace plan proposes to present to Putin then Zelenskyy to kick of the peace talks. We can see the malice, cynicism and nihilism of the US when prospects of peace arises.

As an example of US malevolence this month, March, also saw the AUKUS discussions pop up as the the three-nation pact met in San Diego, California early in the week to “unveil their highly anticipated plan for equipping Austarlia with nuclear-powered submarines.” This news was met with the “blistering” tirade from former Australian prime minister Paul Keating.

The Guardian reports, “Keating calls Aukus submarines ‘worst deal in history,” a headline that was echoed in most of the reports on the matter by Western media. Monitoring the Australians discussion on the subject I saw a ton of anti-AUKUS reactions too and the massive popular reaction against the “China threat” mongering of ASPI and sections of the Australian media.

ASPI is the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, funded by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, BAE Systems and the US Department of Defence, among other warmongers. Along with ASPI are various Australian newspapers, nine of which recently published a “Red Alert” series including The AGE headlining “Australia ‘must prepare for threat of China war” and Sydney Morning Herald with “War risk exposed.”

9News of Australia had this headline “Australia facing threat of war with China within three years.” The “China threat” overkill triggered a massive counter-reaction from the critics of the “China threat” scaremongering, along with former Prime Minister Paul Keating many independent news analysts and commentators spoke out to condemn the colossal “China war” campaign.

One of the fables the “China threat” mongers use is the “China’s imminent attack on Taiwan” yet, just two weeks ago on March 9, US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines in a US House of Representatives hearing testified that “It’s not our assessment that China wants to go to war,” over Taiwan. That is clearer than daylight, yet the lie continues to circulate - even in our Philippines EDCA debates.

In the next two days we will see the results from the Xi-Putin meet of “friends with no limits” and if it will also lead to a new stage in the restoration of durable peace on the Eurasian continent and the world. In Asia ASEAN is moving to stop the US “invasion” with AUKUS, QUAD, NATO, EDCA incursions as Indonesia warns it will not allow AUKUS submarines to pass its waters and ASEAN rush the Code of Conduct while the peoples of ASEAN see to it that ZOPFAN and SEANFZ is adhered to.

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in the foregoing article are solely the author’s and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the Philippine News Agency (PNA) or any other office under the Presidential Communications Office.

About the Columnist

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Herman Tiu Laurel is a veteran journalist and founder of think tank PHILIPPINE-BRICS Strategic Studies.