But the diplomat not only expressed his desire to avoid what is becoming an increasingly dirty scandal that may pre-date the 2020 election – but a fundamental principle of China's foreign policy.
In the 1950s, China acted on the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Indeed, many of Beijing's complaints with other countries stem from the notion that they are doing just that, inciting dissent and encouraging protests or separatism.
In an interview with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump seemed to confirm China's worst suspicions of the US in this regard. According to two people familiar with the discussion, Trump has promised to keep quiet on the ongoing anti-government riots in Hong Kong if trade talks go on (they don't have one and he doesn't).
Whether China actually adheres to its principles of non-interference is very debatable. But the idea that Beijing will ever openly agree to a cigarette deal for something like the Biden investigation is a big misunderstanding of how Chinese politics works, and perhaps provides a clue as to why Trump has failed to make any breakthroughs in other areas of Beijing.
China's policy of non-interference refers to the 1
956 Sino-Soviet split that reinterpreted the Cold War as a tripolar dispute and created a basis for rapprochement between Beijing and Washington.
In accordance with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, China – along with other non-aligned states such as India and M & Y, agreed to maintain "mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual assault, non-interference with each other" affairs, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence. "
In the years and decades after the principles were first disclosed, China started a war with India and Vietnam, fought a border conflict with the Soviet Union, expanded its military en masse and that
But despite the fact that many other principles have been openly violated, non-interference remains a key social principle of China's foreign policy – as it requires it in practice.
For example, at the UN, where the People's Republic of China has been sitting in the Security Council since 1971, Beijing has worked to "move beyond civilian development goals related to rights." people and to economic development as the main goal, "to the recent report on China's role in the UN.
He has also repeatedly voted against any outside interference in the affairs of other countries. Beijing was a strong critic of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, although it initially supported actions against Saddam Hussein in the 1990s after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
In 2007, Beijing joined Moscow, vetoing any criticism of the Myanmar about its human rights; The following year, they both vetoed sanctions on Zimbabwe as they repeatedly target Syria. China also carried out the strongest scrutiny at the UN of any action against North Korea's nuclear ambitions, holding back what it could do when the international community did.
This remains unchanged, even as Beijing intensified its role in peacekeeping efforts abroad, expanded its military footprint to Africa and all of Asia, and lobbied country after country to refuse Taiwan's support for China.
"China seems to have reached the most comfortable – and insightful – balance of selective legitimate foreign intervention and power efforts, while maintaining the capacity for both Beta Council resolutions as it deems fit and depriving itself of any reproach. its internal policies and strategies, "according to Sheriff A. Elgebeili, director of the London Center for the Study of International Peace and Security.
A tactical wrong move
Although often combined in noble plans, the principle of non-interference applies to China, avoiding criticism or interference with its own policies. From the perspective of Beijing, no matter what other countries think of its actions in Xinjiang, Tibet or Hong Kong, their responsibility or ability to do anything about them rests on China's borders.
Speaking to the United Nations last month, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said this, "if China-US relations are to remain stable, it is paramount that we respect the territorial sovereignty, social system and development path, and try not to impose wills or models on others. "
" China never interferes in US internal affairs. We believe that the American people are capable of resolving their own problems, "Wang said. "We also expect the United States to treat China in the same vein and not interfere with China's domestic affairs."
That is why it is so bizarre – and such a potential tactical misstep – to ask China, both privately and now openly, to investigate one of its potential rivals in the election.
Beijing may not adhere to its principles in practice, and there is plenty of evidence that China is conducting the type of influential campaigns and backstage diplomacy that both Moscow and Washington are capable of, but it is never going to admit it publicly or agree. for a "cigarette" deal.
This will open the door to foreign intervention in China's own affairs, which Beijing has spent decades trying to shut up as soon as possible.