Crisis Over Ukraine Could Spell 'Disaster' for China (Huanqiu,
Has the world underestimated the consequences of the crisis in
Ukraine? This editorial from China's state-run Huanqiu warns that if the confrontation between the West and Russia
'gets out of control,' countries around the world will reevaluate the global political
climate, resulting in catastrophic changes that Beijing is not prepared for.
March 16 referendum in Crimea laid the legal framework for Russia to take back the
peninsula. The Russian Duma, the lower house of
parliament, has indicated that it will approve Crimea's return, but the central
figure in the controversy, President Vladimir Putin, has yet to weigh on.
ambition is not merely to take what would be 0.2 percent of Russian territory.
He seeks the revival of Russia as a great country with dignity. Moscow believes
that 20 years ago with the end of the Soviet Union, the West began to squeeze
its strategic space, and won't stop until it issues Russia a knockout punch.
consequences of the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea are more far-reaching than
people think. Although military friction has yet to occur, the major powers of
the West and Russia have begun to revisit their mutual hostility. These lines
of thought may eventually destroy the confidence that has been the basis of
cooperation. What's worse, Western hostility toward Moscow has to a large
extent developed into animosity toward the person of Vladimir Putin, which is substantially
the same as closing the most important channel for reaching an understanding
March 17, President Obama announced the beginning of sanctions against Russia.
The same day, the E.U. also announced sanctions. The West may believe it cannot
accept a strategic retreat in Ukraine, but in Crimea, failure for Russia and
Putin is even more unacceptable. The West should be given a chance to extricate
itself. Meanwhile, Russia also need such a chance, as well as Western
if Obama and other Western leaders realize they've pushed Russia too far, readjusting
their strategies against Moscow will be difficult. The consequences of the
avalanche of criticism being heaped on Putin by the U.S. and the West isn't
hard to forecast. Putin and Moscow are preparing for a worst case scenario.
will be no new Cold War in Europe, but a worsening of West-Russia relations is a
major and inevitable setback. If this way of thinking becomes entrenched, the global
political climate will become tense and political uncertainly will worsen.
the confrontation between Russia and the West gets out of control, it will
eventually result in disaster for China. This won't be two crickets threatening
one another - it's is more like two monsters roaring. Many countries will reevaluate
the global political climate, which will lead to major strategic changes - and hence, changes
to China's external strategic environment.
Posted By Worldmeets.US
prevent the emergence of an even worse situation, China must act, first by urging
all sides ease tensions over Ukraine. Beijing should play a more active role
between the West and Russia. At this crossroads of confrontation, China can
exert a significant influence on both sides. Although it cannot be a referee, because
of its influence and posture, China is not just a member of the audience.
China must keep Western embarrassment and Russia's weak GDP numbers in
perspective. In a geopolitical showdown, there is no substitute for military
strength. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union and a long-term economic
slump, Russian military power still has capacity to shock the West in ways that
China, which has a GDP four or five times the size of Russia, still cannot.
need to accelerate the pace of military modernization, particularly the development
of its strategic nuclear forces. Moscow's resistance is likely to prompt the
West to revaluate the relative military strength of the big powers and use of
the issue for exercising diplomatic leverage in the future. It must be said
that China in this regard is relatively weak among the major powers.
China lacks the experience and public spirit to confront the West. At moments
of tension with the West, it is difficult for Chinese society to join forces. China
should of course avoid confrontation, but we must also acquire the capacity not
to fear such eventualities. This is an indispensible element in building more
comprehensive national strength.