This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- China threatens to cut off aid to North Korea
- Russia blames the West for fomenting jihadist 'blowback'
China threatens to cut off aid to North Korea
Xi Jinping, China's new president
A highly significant and highly fascinating English language editorial
appeared Friday in China's Global Times, an organ of the Chinese
Communist Party (CCP) in Beijing (emphasis mine):
Not all Peninsula issues China’s problem
In response to UN Security Council Resolution 2087 which was
approved on Wednesday, North Korea vowed that it will carry out a
"high-level" nuclear test. This may not be mere angry words,
because South Korea says preparation for North Korea's new nuclear
test is already in progress.
Wednesday's UN resolution condemned North Korea's rocket launch in
December and expanded existing sanctions. After putting a lot of
effort into amendments for the draft resolution, China also voted
It seems that North Korea does not appreciate China's efforts. It
criticized China without explicitly naming it in its statement
yesterday: "Those big countries, which are obliged to take the
lead in building a fair world order, are abandoning without
hesitation even elementary principles, under the influence of the
US' arbitrary and high-handed practices, and failing to come to
China has a dilemma: We are further away from the goal of
denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and there's no possible
way for us to search for a diplomatic balance between North Korea
and South Korea, Japan and the US.
China should be more relaxed and reduce our expectations on the
effect of our strategies toward the peninsula. We should have a
pragmatic attitude to deal with the problems and pursue the
optimal ratio between our investment of resources and strategic
China can neither take one side of the peninsula conflict like the
US and Japan nor dream of staying aloof. We should readily accept
that China is involved and may offend one side or both sides.
China's role and position are clear when discussing North Korea
issue in the UN Security Council. If North Korea engages in
further nuclear tests, China will not hesitate to reduce its
assistance to North Korea. If the US, Japan and South
Korea promote extreme UN sanctions on North Korea, China will
resolutely stop them and force them to amend these draft
Just let North Korea be "angry." We can't sit by and do nothing
just because we are worried it might impact the Sino-North Korean
relationship. Just let the US, Japan and South Korea grumble about
China. We have no obligation to soothe their feelings.
Due to China's strength, as long as our attitude is resolute, the
situation will be gradually influenced by our principles and our
China is a power adjacent to the Korean Peninsula. This means that
our strategic interests are complex and diverse. China should
maintain our national interest to the full extent instead of any
other side's interests.
China hopes for a stable peninsula, but it's not the end of the
world if there's trouble there. This should be the baseline of
China is doomed to be located in East Asia where the situation is
now quite chaotic. But luckily, China is the most powerful among
the region's countries, so it will be influenced the least by the
situation. China should stay calm.
China has been displaying increasing impatience with its client, North Korea,
but the new leadership, led by president Xi Jinping, is apparently willing
to demonstrate its impatience in a big way.
There's a game of brinksmanship going on here. Is Xi simply bluffing?
China does not want North Korea to run that nuclear weapon test. The
youthful North Korean president Kim Jong-un will look extremely weak
if he now doesn't run the test. If he does, Xi has
apparently backed himself into a corner, and presumably will be forced
to reduce China's assistance. This doesn't mean that all assistance,
particularly food aid, will be cut off, but presumably some
significant component of the assistance will be affected. Let's all
feel some Schadenfreude for the Chinese. This may even turn out to be
fun to watch. Global Times
Russia blames the West for fomenting jihadist 'blowback'
Russian president Vladimir Putin lashed out at the West in recent
days for pursuing what he regards as naive and incoherent Middle East
policies. The reasoning is that the West has supported movements to
oppose dictators in Libya and Syria, and doing that has energized
Sunni Muslim jihadist groups.
According to Putin:
The Syrian conflict has been raging for almost two
years now. Upheaval in Libya, accompanied by the uncontrolled
spread of weapons, contributed to the deterioration of the
situation in Mali. The tragic consequences of these events led to
a terrorist attack in Algeria which took the lives of civilians,
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov added the following:
Those whom the French and Africans are fighting now
in Mali are the same people who ... our Western partners armed so
that they would overthrow the Gaddafi regime [in
With Russia heading deep into a generational Crisis era, the fault
line between Caucasian Muslims and ethnic Russians has been growing
exponentially in recent years, and Putin is implying that the West is
at fault because of Syria and Libya. According to one Russian
Russia is on the frontier, we are in jihad territory.
Our own fringes, the northern Caucasus, Central Asia, and even the
central Volga region are threatened. That's why we're very clear
about who the enemy is... We know this, and you would think that
after 9/11 and other events that our American and European
colleagues would have some clarity about it, too. Yet they always
seem ready to play with fire, and to use militant jihadists
against Russia and its national interests – as they did in
Afghanistan, Chechnya, Libya, and Syria.
The Russian criticism of the West even goes back to the Soviet invasion
of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Instead of blaming themselves for
energizing the Sunni Muslim jihadists there, and creating al-Qaeda
and the Taliban, they blame the West for supplying weapons to those
fighting the Soviets (who, at that time, formed an "Evil Empire" that
was our enemy).
From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, there is very little
to support the Russian analysis. There have been huge, genocidal wars
between the Orthodox Christian civilization and the Muslim
civilization for centuries, and the West didn't cause those wars.
Furthermore, if I had to pick just one event that energized the Sunni
Muslim jihadists from Indonesia to the Maghreb and up to the Caucasus,
that event would be Iran's 1979 Great Islamic Revolution, followed by
the Iran/Iraq war (a regional Shia/Sunni war) of the 1980s.
In the West, we focus on World War II as the most significant war of
the 20th century, but for most Muslim countries that was just another
war -- brutal and bloody like all wars, but not a generational Crisis
war. The Great Islamic Revolution and the Iran/Iraq war shook the
entire Muslim world, and particularly inspired Osama bin Laden to
start his jihadist movement to duplicate Iran's revolution, which was
a victory for Shia Muslims, with a similar revolution for a Sunni
Al-Qaeda and its splinter groups have tried this in
Iraq, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and now in
Mali, and they've failed every time so far. Meanwhile, the Arab
Spring, which was also not caused by the West, is destabilizing the
entire Mideast, which is trending towards a much larger Sunni/Shia
Within Russia itself, the growing fault line is between the (Orthodox
Christian) ethnic Russians and the (Sunni Muslim) ethnic groups in the
Caucasus. However, the mutual xenophobia is not limited to the
Caucasus. Violence between Russians and Caucasians has spread across
the country, particularly in Moscow and St. Petersburg, as we've reported
in the past.
It's affected the army, in that Russians and Caucasians
can no longer serve together. Even the Caucasus itself is becoming
devoid of Russians. There has been a massive outflow of ethnic
Russians from the Caucasus since 1991, when the Chechen leadership
declared a so-called "Islamic state," and conducted a targeted
anti-Russian policy. As a result, the number of Russians in Chechnya
went from 220 thousand in 1991 to just 25 thousand in 1999, and the
outflow has continued since then.
It's very convenient for Vladimir Putin to blame the West for a Sunni
Muslim vs Orthodox Christian fault line that's existed for centuries.
But as Russia's generational Crisis era heads towards a full-scale
war, repeating the genocides of past centuries, Putin is going to have
to leave his fantasy bubble world and figure out how to save Russia.
CS Monitor and Newsland (Trans) (Russia) and Sova Center (Russia)
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, China, North Korea, Global Times,
Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-un, Russia, Vladimir Putin,
Sergei Lavrov, Caucasus
Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail