As Trump threatens U.S. allies, Russia and China solidify their ties

By | June 9, 2018

South China Morning Post reports:

China and Russia pledged to support each other on key global issues during a summit in Beijing on Friday, as the two sides hailed an “all-time high” in bilateral ties amid strained relations with the US.

The two countries also signed a raft of deals, including for nuclear cooperation projects totalling 20 billion yuan (US$3.13 billion) and a US$1 billion industrial investment fund.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin ahead of next week’s US-North Korea summit and after the United States withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal.

“President Putin and I both think that the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership is mature, firm and stable,” Xi told reporters after their meeting. “It is the highest-level, most profound and strategically most significant relationship between major countries in the world.”

Xi was also quoted by state news agency Xinhua as saying: “No matter how international situations change, China and Russia always firmly support each other in defending their respective core interests”. [Continue reading…]

The Washington Post reports:

When does a feud become a separation? A separation a divorce? When do arguments, sharp-tongued put-downs and perceived betrayal among allies become the collapse of the Western-dominated order that has ruled the world, under U.S. leadership, for the past seven decades?

As each day brings a new series of punches and counterpunches between President Trump and longtime U.S. partners, the question appears to be moving beyond the realm of the academic.

The most recent episode began with Friday’s Group of Seven summit in Quebec, the annual chat-fest with the United States and the world’s other self-described economic leaders, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. It followed Trump’s decision not to exempt any of them from new U.S. “national security” tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

That ruling came on the heels of nearly 18 months of clashes over climate change, trade, NATO, Iran and other issues on a list so long it is hard to remember everything on it.

“What worries me most . . . is the fact that the rules-based international order is being challenged,” European Council President Donald Tusk said as the G-7 summit got underway. What is surprising, Tusk said, is that the challenge is driven not by the “usual suspects, but by its main architect and guarantor, the U.S.” [Continue reading…]

Christopher Dickey writes:

The so-called Group of Seven “most industrialized countries in the world” is not just a club for the rich, but for leaders who traditionally assumed they shared the same basic values: belief in empirical facts, fundamental human freedoms, sacrosanct democratic processes, and the rule of law. All of which is to say it’s a club where Trump doesn’t fit in. He has shown he shares none of those values. Indeed, from the question of climate change to his dealings with Russia, he’s unapologetically hostile to them.

When French President Emmanuel Macron talked regretfully about making the G7, in fact, G6 plus one, he was essentially recognizing the fact that Trump doesn’t belong.

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