The year 2022 witnessed a series of events affecting the relationship between the United States of America and its traditional competitors (China and Russia), within the framework of what can be described as the “cold war” in which various weapons are used, especially on the economic level, among which the “sanctions” weapon emerged.
In this chronology, Sky News Arabia monitors how the “sanctions” weapon was used during the year 2022 in the conflict between the United States and its competitors or adversaries:
The trade war between the United States and China
- From the beginning of the year until its end, the episodes of the trade war between the United States of America and China did not stop, a war that began practically since the era of former President Donald Trump, specifically in the year 2018, and his successor, President Joe Biden, followed the same approach, despite a number of positive indicators in the context of Efforts to contain tension intermittently throughout the year, including the meeting of the Chinese and American presidents.
- Last February witnessed a remarkable development in the context of the trade war between the two largest economies in the world, starting with the approval of the US House of Representatives of the competition law targeting China with the intention of making Washington more competitive with Beijing in the economy and security.
- On the seventh of the same month, the US administration continued targeting Chinese companies, after the Ministry of Commerce added 33 Chinese entities to the list of unverified exports.
The war in Ukraine.. Washington targets Moscow with a series of sanctions
- The most prominent station during the year was the Russian military operation in Ukraine, which began on February 24, and constituted a valuable opportunity for Washington to pursue its Russian adversary with a continuous series of sanctions, in order to besiege the ambitions of the “czar”.
- The day after the Russian operation in Ukraine, the United States quickly announced 8 immediate measures to punish Russia, including sanctions on Russian financial institutions and “sweeping” restrictions on the Russian military.
- On February 26, President Biden’s administration announced the imposition of sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin, in addition to a group of officials in the Russian state and close to the president.
- The next day, Washington joined the European Commission and a group of European countries in announcing 4 new measures against Moscow, including preventing certain Russian banks from accessing the SWIFT banking system.
Sanctions are “a way to fight Russia … and a declaration of war”!
- The following month, specifically on the third of March, the United States imposed 5 new sanctions on Russia and Belarus, which included preventing Russian planes from using domestic American airspace.
- On March 6, Visa and MasterCard announced the suspension of all their transactions in Russia.
- In view of the escalation of sanctions in this way, especially in view of the European sanctions (nine packages of sanctions during the last year in December), President Putin considered during his statements on the seventh of March that “a lot of what is happening and what we are seeing now (referring to the sanctions) is Of course, a way to fight Russia,” explaining that “the sanctions that are imposed are equivalent to declaring war now.”
- On March 12, new US sanctions announced by the Treasury Department targeted two Russian individuals and three entities, but this time for “supporting Pyongyang’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.”
- The Treasury Department continued its decisions, announcing on March 25 sanctions targeting 5 individuals and entities in Russia and North Korea for the same reason.
- On March 13, the ministry imposed sanctions on new people close to the Russian president for allegedly “enabling Putin to wage war in Ukraine.”
- On the other hand, the month of March also witnessed a new episode within the stations of the trade war between Washington and Beijing, when Washington announced in the middle of the month a list of Chinese companies “for possible removal from the stock markets in the United States,” but on March 23, the US customs exemptions returned to a group of Chinese goods. .
The “black list” .. Moscow responds to Washington
- For its part, on April 13, Moscow imposed sanctions on 398 members of the US Congress, in response to the United States blacklisting hundreds of deputies in the Russian Duma.
- On the 20th of the same month, new US sanctions included for the first time a Russian digital currency mining company, as part of a new sanctions package targeting a major bank and a global network of more than 40 individuals and entities led by one of the most prominent Russian businessmen, Konstantin Malofeev.
Putin: “The era of the unipolar world is over”… and Europe has “lost its sovereignty”!
- In a parallel line with the escalation of US sanctions against Russia, President Putin announced on May 23 that his country’s economy is “bearing the impact of the sanctions” and that the government is “implementing a set of measures to confront unfriendly countries.”
- On June 17, Putin described – during his statements at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum – the West’s attempts to “crush” his country’s economy as “unsuccessful”, renewing his talk about “the end of the unipolar world era”, and also attacked the European Union and considered that it had “lost its political sovereignty”. perfect”.
- On June 28, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that 25 Americans were banned from entering its territory, including the wife of US President Joe Biden, and a group of politicians.
The “Beijing-Washington” front is on fire… and Taiwan is the password
- The conflict using the weapon of embargoes and sanctions was escalating between Washington and Beijing as part of the trade war between them, to witness a new episode on June 21, represented by the entry into force of the US ban on Xinjiang imports, in one of the influential steps.
- In August, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan on the second of the same month marked the beginning of a period of tension between the United States and China.
- In the first practical Chinese reaction, on the fifth of the same month, Beijing suspended a number of areas of cooperation with the United States.
- On August 23, a new stage of US decisions targeting Chinese companies was witnessed, when Washington added 7 new entities to the “Export Control List”.
- The same month witnessed a positive step represented by the two countries’ agreement on a set of measures to audit Chinese companies listed in Washington, on August 26.
New Russian sanctions… and Washington targets “Putin’s allies”
- In September, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced, in the first week of the month, the imposition of sanctions on 25 Americans (the list included deputies in Congress, businessmen and intellectuals), and preventing them from entering Russia.
- On the 9th of the same month, the US Treasury announced the imposition of sanctions on an Iranian company, for its alleged role in exporting drones to Russia, while on the 15th of September it announced sanctions targeting Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, and a group of personalities, because of their role in the war in Ukraine.
- President Putin continued to downplay the impact of those sanctions on his country’s economy, and said in his statements on September 21 that “the economic war waged by the West has failed.”
Chinese technology companies are in the crosshairs of the trade war
- The trade war between China and Beijing is still raging. On October 13, Washington announced new export controls on advanced computing and semiconductors to China, as part of moves to stifle Beijing with regard to the semiconductor file.
- Also, one of the episodes of the trade war, was the decision of the United States on November 26 to ban the sale of products of 5 Chinese companies, including Huawei and ZTE.
Ninth package of European sanctions
- In December, US sanctions against Russia continued, starting on December 16 when Washington announced sanctions against more than 20 Russian rulers, and one of Russia’s richest personalities, Vladimir Potanin.
- On the same day, the European Union reached a ninth package of sanctions against Russia, targeting new banks and new officials, as well as targeting Moscow’s ability to obtain drones.
What does the year 2023 hold?
While the Russian military operation in Ukraine constituted an opportunity to continue the US pressure on the Russian bear, and at a time when the year also witnessed increasing US pressure on China in the context of the trade war that has been going on since 2018, the heat of the conflict between the United States and its competitors on the international scene is likely to rise, in In light of the escalation of common concerns about the influence represented by each of the parties.
The conflict takes various forms with vast arenas, in addition to the direct economic conflict, such as the struggle for influence in different regions of the world, including Africa for example, all of which are factors that put the global system at stake. world, and escalating episodes of conflict in the coming periods.
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