World View: China and Ukraine Develop Closer Ties, as Russia Looks on

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov (
Kota Kyogoku/AFP/Getty Images

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Japan and South Korea leaders attempt to rewrite history textbooks
  • China and Ukraine develop closer ties, as Russia looks on

Japan and South Korea leaders attempt to rewrite history textbooks

Street protests in Seoul, South Korea, over government plan to write a history textbook (AFP)
Street protests in Seoul, South Korea, over government plan to write a history textbook (AFP)

Japan’s prime minister Abe Shinzo is proposing that school history textbooks be rewritten to stop over-emphasizing Japan’s colonial past, and stop presenting a negative image of Japan, and instead to instill a sense of national pride among Japanese citizens.

South Korea’s president Park Guen-hye is proposing that school history textbooks be rewritten so that they will not be so ideologically biased, and instead to instill a sense of pride among the South Korean citizens.

This appeal to nationalism in both countries is typical of the grown-in nationalism in countries around the world, as the world enters a generational Crisis era, as the survivors of World War II continue to die off.

But for both Abe and Shinzo, these attempts to rewrite history go beyond their country’s nationalism, and are extremely personal.

Abe’s grandfather, Nobusuko Kishi, worked under prime minister Hideki Tojo during World War II, enslaving thousands of Koreans and Chinese, and ended up serving three years in jail as a Class A war criminal, before later becoming the prime minister of Japan in 1957. Since assuming office, Abe declared his intention to restore the honour of his grandfather as well as other wartime veterans.

Park’s father, Park Chung-hee, led South Korea from 1961 until 1979, when he was assassinated. He brutally crushed democracy protests during his reign in which thousands were killed, and also carried out massive human rights violations in the name of economic development in South Korea. Park believes that her father’s history should more greatly emphasize his accomplishments.

All of these proposed changes are extremely controversial, and many people and scholars in both countries strongly oppose attempts by the government’s leaders to revise school textbooks to reflect their own biases. Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS – India) and BBC and Japan Times and Korea Herald

China and Ukraine develop closer ties, as Russia looks on

A lot of people believe that Russia and China are close allies, because they both annex other countries’ territories, because they both support each other in the United Nations Security Council and veto the same things, and because they both oppose the West in general and the United States in particular in many areas.

Countering that view is that Ukraine is the world’s fourth-largest arms exporter (behind the U.S., Russia and China), and that China is one of Ukraine’s most important customers.

Ukraine and China have just agreed that a Ukraine firm will open manufacturing plant in Odessa next year to manufacture China’s Hongdu L-15 light attack aircraft.

There are many ironies in this situation. When the Soviet Union collapsed in December 1991, many Soviet military assets were split up among the 15 newly independent countries. Since then, Ukraine has continued manufacturing jet engines and supplying them to Russia for some of Russia’s warplanes.

However, after Russia illegally invaded, occupied and annexed Crimea in March 2014, Ukraine embargoed exports of the jet engines to Russia. Now those same jet engines will be components of the Hongdu L-15 warplanes being sold to China. Russia, in the meantime, has had to develop and manufacture its own variants of the same jet engines.

It is not just military hardware that China is importing from Ukraine. 90% of China’s imported corn and 95% of imported sunflower oil comes from Ukraine. There are plans for China to invest in Ukraine’s energy industry, infrastructure and construction.

As regular readers know, I’ve been writing for years that Generational Dynamics predicts that Russia will be our ally and China will be our enemy in the next world war. In brief, China will be allied with Pakistan, while the US will be allied with India, which will be allied with Russia and Iran. (See “15-Jul-15 World View — Arab views of Iran nuclear deal”)

Since being isolated internationally after invading Ukraine, and because of crashing oil prices, Russia’s economy has been collapsing, and Russia has desperately turned to China for help, signing energy deals highly favorable to the Chinese. China’s growing relationship with Ukraine illustrates the China really doesn’t care what Russia thinks, and history shows that Russia and China are much more certain to be enemies than allies. Jamestown and (Ukraine) and Xinhua

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Japan, Abe Shinzo, South Korea, Park Guen-hye, Nobusuko Kishi, Hideki Tojo, Park Chung-hee, China, Ukraine, Russia, Hongdu L-15 warplane
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