Putin Hits. The. Wall, at the G20 in Australia, Nov 2014

This article gets an A+ for its discussion of diplomatic protocol, an F for geopolitical discernment, and a Z for objectivity. I’ve translated it from the Chinese, and included it in this section because diplomatic protocol is SO important for the Meher Baba Community. I’ve put some geopolitical comments at the end. – Vish.

The Governance Mysteries behind “Bullied Diplomacy”

2014.11.18 Chinese-language Source: news.sohu.com

Introduction: Australian President Abbot had announced that she could “body slam” Putin at the G20 summit. Although such a scene of physical violence was not acted out, nevertheless what Putin experienced at the G20 summit was another kind of “collective body slam” from the western nations. After encountering frequent cold receptions and many-sided denunciations, Putin “withdrew” ahead of schedule on the 16th. Whether this diplomatic attack that was “not even seen during the Cold War” will exacerbate further negative repercussions on the part of Putin cannot be forseen, but “Bullied Diplomacy” will leave a lasting impression on the world’s people.

Putin shamed at the G20: Marginalized in the group picture, he recieved “relays of criticism.”

  It is reported that during the G20 summit, hundreds of people demonstrated against Putin in Brisbane. Quite a few of the demonstrators were from those of Ukrainian descent in Australia, and their denunciations were that Putin had undeniable responsibility for the crash of Malayasian Airlines Flight MH17 in the Ukraine in the middle of July.

  Besides all these forthright and all-sided attacks, Putin was obviously isolated at this session of the G20. For example, who met him at the Brisbane airport on last Friday evening (the 14th) were the Governor of Queensland representing the federation governors, the Vice-Secretary of Defense, and Attorney General Brandeis, but American President Obama who landed a few hours before was met by Federation Governor Cosgrove, Queensland Governor Newman, and Australia Attorney General Brandeis, and high officials such as Newman came forward to welcome Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping and German Priminster Merkel, who arrived with Putin.

  If these demonstrations and deliberate arrangements weren’t sufficient to make the “tough guy” withdraw, then the formidable pressure of the American leader was the last straw that ousted Putin. American President Obama, in a meeting ouside of the summit, pointed out that the Russian invasion of the Ukraine is a threat to the entire world, and he also stated publicly that America stands in “The front line of opposition to Russian encroachments in the Ukraine.” Shortly after that, Canadian media reported that when it occurred to Putin to shake Canadian Prime Minister Harper’s hand in the summit meeting, Harper directly used “You should get out of the Ukraine” as his request in the hand-shaking.

  At the same time, European Concil Chairman Herman Van Rompuy said that European Foreign Minister would hold talks to discuss the situation in the Ukraine, in order to evaluate whether it is necessary to institute further measures against Russia, including increased economic sanctions. German Prime Minister Merkel also strongly put forth that the European Union is just in the process of considering whether to enact increased economic sanctions against Russia, and apart from this, an English official leaked that Putin and David Cameron had a fierce falling-out in a 50-minute phone conversation. Cameron explained clearly that at present we’re already at the critical stage, and that Russia needs to comply with the Minsk 5 Sep cease-fire agreement. or else face increased sanctions.

In arriving late, shaking hands, and dining, the diplomatic “run on the bank” was all in the details.

  In conducting and making known a “snub” of the opponent at a diplomatic function, three “small activities” are often used strategically by government officials. The first is the late arrival. When leaders go out on business, they always arrange a lot of activities, and there can be many sudden developments in the meantime, and every single time an activity is dragged out, it influences the scheduling down the line. But in diplomatic functions, sometimes there is the phenomenon of deliberate late arrival. American President Obama is totally versed in this.

  According to the American Washington Post statistics, so far this year Obama has been late by a total of 2121 minutes, and has arrived late some 200 times, on average being late by 11 minutes, and sometimes arriving late close to an hour. On 5 Sep last year when the G20 summit was held in St. Petersburg, on the occasion of a working dinner, Obama arrived all alone and 30 minutes late. Before the summit, because Russia had covered Edward Snowden, who was in America’s “eves-dropping” lead role, a fierce confrontation had already broken out between America and Russia. Public opinion universally recognized that Obama deliberately arrived late to express his attitude and position.

  The Putin who could meet with a cool reception at the G20 summit is also the reigning “Late Arrival King” of international political circles, and from the Queen of England, the Prime Minister of Germany, and the King of Spain to the President of Korea, all have been the recipients of Putin’s instructions on Leisurely Late Arrival. It is said that this is the result of caution in conducting affairs. For example, before an important meeting, he often repeatedly searches out information sources, and an inquiry turns into an investigation, with the result that he is somewhat late. But sometimes he is also deliberately late. For example, in 2012 when negotiating with Ukranian President Yanukovych about natural gas, en route to the appointment he stopped and got down to look up at the sky with his friend the driver and as a result he was late by close to four hours. Specialists have pointed out that Putin’s “deliberate late arrival” originates in his hope and thirst to emerge as the one with “the Czar’s standing” in international political circles.

  The next item (in the list of snub-markers) is the handshake. When on 10 Nov China’s Chairman Xi Jinping met with the not formally recognized head of ASEAN, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinsho, in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, their handshake in which neither of them cracked the slightest smile instigated the extensive attention of the entire globe. The diplomatic handshake is a courtesy, but it is also a (transmitted) art form, and the handshake between leaders is called “the diplomatic handshake,” in which when there is not the slightest smile that appears in the handshake, the relations between the two countries have become cool. When on 22 Sep 2006, with American mediation, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Pakistan National Authority Chairman Abbas finally sat at the negotiation table, the indifferent attitude towards cooperation of both sides really irritated the host, American President Obama. The faces of both men showed no feeling, and when they courteously shook hands, it seemed that they were both unwilling.

  The “dining” of leaders in a diplomatic context is even more elaborately developed. A cold reception at the dining table is not simply replete with mysterious governance implications, but it can also bring huge trouble. In 1965, Sihanouk announced that Cambodia was breaking diplomatic relations with America. That a small country like Cambodia dared to challenge America went back to the cold reception that Sihanouk recieved when visiting America in 1953. At that time, in struggling for Cambodia’s independence, he went to America seeking aid, and the American Congress unexpectedly proposed that he spend his free time at the circus. It went so far that during the whole time of his visit, Eisenhower was unable to arrange a state banquet for him, and he very deeply felt that the American people didn’t respect him and his country. Three years later, Sihanouk travelled to China for the first time, and the courteous reception that he recieved in China made him finally trust China, and he ultimately enjoyed his last years in China.

  In 2013, when China Chairman Xi Jinping and President Obama were conducting “no-necktie” villa meetings in California, it just made America’s greatst ally in Asia, Japan, come up with “glass heart” troubles. Japanese mainstream public opinion was amazed that the American and Chinese heads of state could progress to two days of “villa diplomacy” in less than three months from (Xi Jinping) taking office, and the final outcome was that when the Japanese Prime Minister officially visited America in February of this year, he just barely recieved a luncheon reception. Japan was very inquisitive about what it was that the American and Chinese heads of state finally discussed, worrying about whether America could turn its back on Japn in proceeding with “diplomatic deals.”

Can Xi Jinping lend Putin a hand, after he has experienced G20’s ire?

  What serious after-effects can come about from Putin taking a grudge or perhaps anger home with him? I’m afraid that this is what western public opinion, including that of politicians, is worried about. From Putin’s tough attitude and personality, Putin cannot easily admit defeat and compromise with the West, and western sanctions just make Putin turn towards Asia, and especially to embrace China, and China’s need for resources can also pick up Russia’s tired economy. If after returning home Putin takes a step forward in totally supporting Ukranian insurgents, or possible publicly announces that he is dedicating troops to invade the Ukraine, apart from (merely) verbal attacks, condemnations, and sanctions, can the Western nations complete the preparations for a military response?

  And in reality, under the dual heavy effects of sanctions and the slide of the ruble, Russia is necessarily going to inherit a more serious economic attack, and one fears that it is very unrealistic to think that Putin can walk away from the G20 crisis by relying on his own power, and just looking at the present perspective, perhaps it is only China’s Chairman Xi Jinping who has both the desire and the capability to “save” Putin. China has always viewed Russia as a friend in diplomatic strategy, and that China and Russia can mutually be most primary and most important partners in overall cooperative strategy. The leaders of both countries can often come together by being united in action in international and local affairs, and so be very able to clarify problems.

  Pursuant to that, China, just in the middle of ascending diplomatically, is the only nation that has the capacity to save Putin. China, which has only just concluded the APEC summit in Beijing and again has successfully applied to host the 2016 G20 summit, is continuously gaining recognition in international affairs. Concomitant with the accumulated speed of the Chinese economy, China is the only nation that has the capital to “save” Putin. In recent years, the scope of cooperation in Chinese foreign trade has continuously expanded, and its domain has continuously broadened, from traditional domains of energy resources and other natural resource domains to developing domains of agriculture, investment, service, finance, infrastructure, and medium and small enterprize and so forth. It can be said that China of the bounteous waist purse will recieve extensive welcome.

  Using China’s power of influence, to make good representations of Putin, is also something that Xi Jinping can do for Putin. Until now, Chinese diplomacy has been completely without treacherous phenomena, particularly with respect to the problem of Russia being “encircled and annihilated” ((this phrase is a reference to the KMT’s attempts to eliminate the CCP during China’s war of independence, and its use here bodes ill for the future continued polarizing of this issue by China –vshr)) by the West in the Ukraine, China’s attitude has been prudent throughout. Putin has also publicly thanked China, India and others for maintaining an objective attitude on the subject of the Ukraine problem. And when in the Ukraine crisis Russia encountered sanctions by the West, China signed a one-time oil deal with Russia with a total value of US$270 billion. Perhaps it is exactly for this reason that Xi Jinping is the only one that can rescue Putin from the G20 crisis.

Sogou News Center (搜狐新闻中心), Editor Hai Tian (海天), Chief Editor Wang Chen (王晨)
((These are nomes de plume – vshr))


IMO, Xi Jinping is structurally incapable of caring about any country but his own. Both Russia and America are only pieces on a chess board for him, and for Xi, “Saving Putin” is only to throw stones at a dog that is just too damned stupid to do anything but chase the stone, when the stone is Putin and the dog is Obama. Obama finally got one up on Putin at this G20, but it took 3,000 failed attempts, and the help of every other geopolitical player on the planet, with the exception of Xi Jinping. Xi was also not Putin’s friend at this conference. He just stood there with his poker face hanging out and watched Putin be systematically taken apart by experts, and then made his own sweet economic deal with the hostess of the party and the prime instigator of the whole piranha attack on Putin. Will Putin ever really be able to trust Xi after that, no matter how much money changes hands? I doubt it. Chinese money is never free, “gratitude” is always required when you’re dealing with east Asians, and Putin just doesn’t have any.

And overall, I think the Chinese view represented here underestimates the importance of Russia’s historical ties to Europe. An axis between Russia and China is like Hitler’s axis with Japan – it’s simply unnatural, and it will tend to push the Asian partner into a losing conflict with America. I think that both Obama and Xi are realistic enough to prevent that, and the casualty will be Sino-Russian ties, again! When did such “co-operation” ever get past happy talk and ritual behavior? The Ukraine is just a lot of theatre for Putin, it’s just a way to make Obama stupid, and it is a minor problem for Putin compared to a working relationship with either China or America, and Xi will not finally buy him into his camp, against America, by making like a simple tool, and going along with him on this little Ukraine picadillo. Russia faces Europe, not China. There’s no way to change that. What China and Russia instinctively do with respect to each other is to protect their own backs against each other. There’s no way to change that either.

Hillary would see all of this in a nano-second. Obama may never actually see it, but it probably makes little difference because I just don’t see how he can screw it up any worse than it already is. I agree with Hillary when she was running for President against Barak: “The Presidency is no place for OJT.” Amen, Hillary Clinton, Amen nuiloa pao’ole.

Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai,


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