The US-Russia summit that some leading foreign policy experts have warned, that it may not have only been a perceived win for Russian President Vladimir Putin, but could have actually emboldened China.
This week, the White House dismissed the claim that the highly anticipated Geneva summit that the US gained with little diplomatic or national security advantages.
Jake Sullivan the National Security Adviser said on CNN, “I just don’t buy the argument which says this was not worth it for the United States, as President Biden himself said, he did what he came to do and I think America’s come out better for it.”
However, not all security officials agree, claiming that it instead bolstered the US’s adversary.
Rebekah Koffler, a former intelligence officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and author of the upcoming “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America,” told Fox News that China is “elated” at how the summit played out.
Koeffler said, “Allowing Putin to berate and discredit us in a solo press conference is quite a mistake for the Biden administration, to give them that ability, China comes out on top.”
The meeting was necessary, others argued. It enabled Putin to boost his public image back home while deflecting allegations of cybercrime attacks that have threatened U.S. national security.
Daniel Hoffman a former CIA Moscow station chief told Fox News in an interview that “Putin got what we wanted, which was a big summit before his parliamentary elections.”
“I think China’s happy that Russia is such a thorn in our side. We take so much of our time and our energy and our resources to deal with Russia we have less to deal with China.”
On Thursday, Sullivan told reporters that Biden plans to “engage in the coming month” with Chinese President Xi Jinping in “some way,” though he did not specify if that would be an in-person encounter like his meeting with Putin.
Biden challenged Putin on “hard issues,” was argued by the national security adviserbut Republicans such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claimed Putin was given a “pass.”
At the American Enterprise Institute, Hal Brands a resident Scholar told Fox News, “It really will be hard to know until we see how…the Russians behave in the coming months and after.”
Putin has put the Biden administration in a “jam,” Brands argued.
He continued, “The United States would like its relationship with Russia to be more stable and quieter so it can focus on China – Putin knows that, that gives Putin an incentive to be disruptive so he can try and raise the price the United States has to pay for calm in its relationship with Russia.”
The U.S.-Russia summit will not have an effect on China’s geopolitical strategy, Brands claimed.
He said, “The drivers of China-Russia relations were pretty strong before the summit, they have a shared geopolitical animus towards the United States and they have a shared ideological imperative in protecting dictatorial regimes in a largely democratic world.”
In the lead up to the Geneva summit when meeting with NATO leaders and the G-7 nations, President Biden hit China hard. Seemingly to solidify ties to better counter China.
Biden urged the allied nations to stand against attempts by China and Russia to break the NATO alliance.
China doubled down on their growing partnership with Russia, far from discouraging Chinese actions in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Earlier this week a Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Zhao Lijian said, “Any attempt to undermine China-Russia relations is doomed to fail, we hope they will not go further down the path of zero-sum game.”
Despite concerns from western nations the China-Russia alliance is an “important force for stability in a turbulent world.” Zhao claimed.
The Chinese leader described Putin as his “best friend” during a Moscow meeting between the two world superpowers, earlier this month.
Xi told reporters, “In the past six years, we have met nearly 30 times. Russia is the country that I have visited the most times, and President Putin is my best friend and colleague.”
“We will strengthen our mutual support on key issues,” Xi said.
Though the partnership between the two nations is a current threat to the U.S., he doesn’t believe it will last in the long term, Brands argued.
Brand stated, “They have more often been rivals than partners, if you go back and look at the Cold War, communist China and communist Soviet Union had lots of geopolitical and ideological reasons to maintain a good relationship…and they couldn’t do it.”
“The only way they can win the competitions against the United States is to separate the United States from its friends, Russia and China aren’t strong enough to take on the United State plus all of its allies.”
Michael Pillsbury, a top China expert for the Hudson Institute and a senior fellow and director for Chinese strategy told Fox News that there’s “no way of knowing quite yet” if China will feel emboldened following Biden’s meeting with Putin.
But Pillsbury argued that contrary to Biden’s tough talk on China, there is “not enough pressure” on the Asian superpower.
Eight major areas of concern in President Biden’s last conversation with Xi in February, which included addressing China’s abuses in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, along with their coercive economic practices, assertive actions in the Pacific, issues surrounding the coronavirus, climate change, and weapons proliferation.
According to Pillsbury, “There has been no sign of progress,” Adding that Biden needs to “develop more leverage on China to make progress” in confronting the top adversary.