World View: Ukraine/Russia Crisis Presents Problems for China

This morning's key headlines from

  • Ukraine - Russia crisis presents problems for China
  • Relations between Ukraine and China
  • China: 'There is no room for compromise'
  • Libya in chaos, war threatened over North Korean tanker

Ukraine - Russia crisis presents problems for China

Ukraine's president Viktor Yanukovich and China's president Xi Jinping in December, signing a military and nuclear pact.  (AFP)
Ukraine's president Viktor Yanukovich and China's president Xi Jinping in December, signing a military and nuclear pact. (AFP)

Some commentators have said that China will face a difficult decision in the United Nations Security Council when it has to decide whether to side with Russia in its military intervention Ukraine's Crimea region. China always takes the moral high ground by declaring that no country should interfere internally with another country (which it ignores when it comes to interfering in African countries). Thus, no outsider should interfere with China's mass slaughtering of Tibetans, for example, since that's an internal matter. So now China wants to side with Russia, but has the dilemma of dealing with its "moral" position of non-interference.

According to one report that I've heard, China has resolved this moral dilemma by blaming the United States. According to China, it was the "biased mediation" by the U.S. that interfered with Ukraine by encouraging the original Maidan anti-government protesters to continue protesting peacefully. Thus, according to this reasoning, it's OK with China for Russia to invade Ukraine, because of the U.S. interference in Ukraine's affairs. VOA and Want China Times

Relations between Ukraine and China

Oddly enough, China has close relations with Ukraine, with military, trade and agricultural partnerships. In 2012 Ukraine became the fourth-largest arms exporter in the world, with many of those exports going to China. Beijing's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was built in Ukraine.

Perhaps even more surprising is that China has a nuclear pact with Ukraine. On December 5, President Viktor Yanukovich signed an accord with a clause that says that in the event of a nuclear attack or so much as the threat of one, China would offer Kiev military support.

This pact is seen as sending a message to China's Asian neighbors that China is a nuclear power and a growing military power and, unlike the United States, is not afraid to use its military power to get what it wants.

What it wants is a great deal of territory in the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and Asia, including regions that have belonged to other countries for centuries, that it would take immediately were it not for the United States. Speaking to the National People's Congress on Saturday, China's foreign minister Wang Yi said:

"We will not take anything that is not ours, but we will defend every inch of territory that belongs to us. We will never bully smaller countries, yet we will not accept unreasonable denunciation from smaller countries.

There will not be any change to this position. We will more actively practice our neighborhood diplomacy guideline of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness. ...

We are also willing to listen to the voices from our neighboring countries and respond to the doubts about China’s neighborhood diplomacy. ... [With regard to the disputes with Japan,] on the two issues of principle, history and territory, there is no room for compromise."

Foreign Policy and Al-Jazeera

China: 'There is no room for compromise'

I'm not sure what Wang Yi means by "We will never bully smaller countries." China has been bullying smaller countries in the South China Sea for years, and has already used its military might to annex territories that have historically belonged to the Philippines and Vietnam. It has clearly stated that it intends to use its military power to annex multiple regions belonging to other countries in the South China Sea, as well as the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands governed by Japan. China has also made repeated military incursions into India, threatening to confiscate regions along their common border.

It would seem that China and Russia are completely on the same page. Russia has invaded Ukraine's Crimea and will probably annex it to Russia, and China plans to invade numerous neighboring regions and annex them.

In fact, China is also threatening Russia's Far East. Population in the Far East has fallen 50% since the 1990s, while China has sent a flood of illegal migrants to repopulate the region, and take advantage of the rich natural resources. ( "22-Mar-11 News -- Russian offer of Japanese resettlement in Siberia raises xenophobic tensions")

This is consistent with what Generational Dynamics has been predicting for years -- that in the approaching Clash of Civilization world war, China, Pakistan and other countries will be allied against the U.S., India, Russia, and other countries. So the current relationship between Russia and China is a friendship of convenience. Russia and China were close to thermonuclear war in the 1960s, and they will be at war again.

American commentators and politicians constantly worry about the danger of war between Russia and the West, when there's actually little chance of that. In the meantime, China is spending billions of dollars every year developing and deploying new weapons systems that have absolutely no purpose other than to permit a preemptive nuclear missile attack on America's cities, aircraft carries, and military installations. Indian Express

Libya in chaos, war threatened over North Korean tanker

Historically, the eastern and western regions of Libya have been in conflict, and during the 2011 revolution that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi, eastern and western rebels fought with each other, as well as against Gaddafi forces. Now the eastern region, formerly known as Cyrenaica and now called the Barqa Region, are the rebels against the new government in Tripoli in western Libya.

On Saturday, a North Korean tanker, the Morning Glory, docked in As-Sidra in eastern Libya, and has been loaded with $38 million worth of crude oil from Libya's wells. Tripoli is saying that the sale is illegal, and has threatened to bomb the ship if it leaves port with the oil. The rebel government says that if any harm comes to the tanker, it would be "a declaration of war." Reuters and CNN

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