World View: Azerbaijan Threatened with War for Pardoning Axe Murderer

World View: Azerbaijan Threatened with War for Pardoning Axe Murderer

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Hillary Clinton criticizes China’s South China Sea military coercion and intimidation
  • Armenia says it’s ‘ready for war’ with Azerbaijan ‘bastards’

Hillary Clinton criticizes China’s South China Sea military coercion and intimidation

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned against “coercive or intimidating”behavior in the South China Sea, evidently referring to China’s military buildupand it’s creation of “Sansha City” in the Paracel Islands. Speaking inJakarta, Indonesia, she said: 

The United States believes very strongly that noparty should take any steps that would increase tensions or doanything that would be viewed as coercive or intimidating toadvance their territorial claims…

The United States does not take a position on competingterritorial claims over land features, but we believe the nationsof the region should work collaboratively together to resolvedisputes without coercion, without intimidation, without threatsand certainly without the use of force.

One big difference between China and the U.S. is the reaction to criticism.The U.S. gets criticized constantly, so we’re used to it. But Chinareally freaks out when it’s criticized.

China’s position is that the U.S. should butt out of the South China Sea disputes,and allow them to bilaterally threaten each of the countries challenging theirclaim to the entire South China Sea, including regions that have historicallybelonged to other countries. China calls the U.S. “troublemakers,” becausewe’ve been urging the nations around the South China Sea to stand up to Chinaas a group, through the ASEAN organization.

China’s response is to criticize America’s military “pivot” to Asia, and todemand an explanation:

The world’s attention will focus on how the twoU.S. officials will explain to the Chinese side the trueintentions of the Obama administration’s Pivot to Asia policy,especially its new defense strategy.

Since last fall, the Obama administration has been implementingthe Pivot policy by expanding and intensifying its political,diplomatic and military involvement in the Asia-Pacificregion. The fundamental goal underpinning this shift is tomaintain the U.S. dominance in the resources-rich andfastest-growing region, amid heightened concerns about China’srise.

As major part of its Pivot policy, Washington has quickened thepace of increasing its military presence and engagement in theAsia Pacific, including deploying troops in Australia, boostingmilitary cooperation with Japan, and purposely strengtheningmilitary ties with some Asian countries, particularly thePhilippines and Vietnam, both involved in territorial disputeswith China.

The U.S. strategic shift has raised more questions than answers:Is the U.S. Pivot policy really intended to bolster peace andstability in the Asia-Pacific region? Can the U.S. really play afair role over the territorial disputes in the region? Does theU.S. mean it when it pledges not to seek to contain China?

Many of the U.S. actions so far have been counterproductive topromoting peace and stability in the Asia Pacific, as indicated bythe fact that the security situation in the region has beenworsening, rather than improving, mainly due to the recentescalation of the territorial disputes in the East China Sea andthe South China Sea.

Washington, which claims not to take sides in the disputes, ispartly blamed for fueling the tensions because it has apparentlyemboldened certain relevant parties to make provocations againstChina in order to achieve undeserved territorial gains…

However, Washington owes Beijing a thorough, convincingexplanation of the true intentions of its Pivot policy, especiallyon issues related to China’s vital or core interests. And theUnited States also needs to take concrete steps to prove that itis returning to Asia as a peacemaker, instead of atroublemaker.

The words “core interest” are a code phrase from the Chinese, meaningsomething for which there is no compromise, under any circumstances.China is using coercion and intimidation to gain control of regions inthe South and East China Seas, as well as in central Asia, and all ofthese are “core interests.”

This is the typical kind of ping-ponging that goes on prior to a war,as each belligerent statement or action from one side brings a morebelligerent statement or action from the other side. Clinton will bevisiting Beijing on Tuesday, so there may be more to come. AFP and Xinhua

Armenia says it’s ‘ready for war’ with Azerbaijan ‘bastards’

Azerbaijan’s Lieutenant Ramil Safarov used an axe to hack to deathArmenian officer Gurgen Margarian when the two of them were attendinga NATO conference in 2004 in Budapest. Safarov was convicted ofmurder and given a life sentence in a Hungarian court. Azerbaijanobtained the extradition of Safarov back to his home country, based onthe promise that he would serve out his life sentence there. As soonas he came back, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev immediatelydouble-crossed Hungary and not only pardoned Safarove but promotedhim to major, giving him a house and eight years of back pay.Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian issued a statement on Sunday: 

We don’t want a war, but if we have to, we will fightand win. We are not afraid of killers, even if they enjoy theprotection of the head of state…

They have been warned. [Azerbaijan is a country where] illicitorders set free and publicly glorify every bastard who killspeople only because they are Armenians.

Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a very bloody war that ended in 1994with Armenia gaining control of Nagorno-Karabakh, a recion in themiddle of Azerbaijan. Since then, hostilities have been simmeringbetween the two countries. AFP

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