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Crisis Over Ukraine Could Spell 'Disaster' for China (Huanqiu, China)


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.




Translated By John Chen


March 18, 2014


People's Republic of China - Huanqiu - Original Article (Chinese)

Vladimir Putin shows no signs of backing down in the face of Western sanctions. How far will the confrontation over Ukraine go?


RUSSIA TODAY NEWS VIDEO: Sanctions against Russia over Crimea 'toothless'?, Mar. 18, 00:05:29RealVideo

The 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.


Putin's 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.


The 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 with Russia.


On 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 restraint.


Even 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.


There 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.


Once 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


To 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.


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Second, 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.


China 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.


Meanwhile, 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.



Asia Times, Hong Kong: Beijing to Kiev to Taipei: Why China Worries About Ukraine

Neatkariga Rita Avize, Latvia: Putin Clears Western Minds of Intelligence, Media 'Delusions'

Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany: Germans Must Now Back Sanctions - Even if they Hurt Us

Diena, Latvia: President Tells Lithuanians: Show Russia No Fear and be 'Ready to Shoot'

Izvestia, Russia: Crimea: 'We Will Never Give Up What We've Won'

de Volkskrant, The Netherlands: Recognize Russia's Legitimate Interests or Ukraine is Doomed

de Volkskrant, The Netherlands: Most Crimeans Don't want Ukraine Split

Gazeta, Russia: Annexing Crimea 'Too Costly for Russia to Bear'

Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany: Finding the Win-Win Scenario With Vladimir Putin

Sol, Portugal: Ukraine May Awaken 'Ghosts of the Great War'

de Morgan, Belgium: Putin Knows: No One in West is Willing to Die for Sebastopol

Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia: Crimea: the Next Puerto Rico?

Russia Today, Russia: VIDEOS: Roundup of Russian Reaction from Russia Today

European Press Agencies: European Reaction to Developments in Ukraine

Moskovskii Komsomolets, Russia: Report: U.S. to Help 'Oust' Black Sea Fleet from Crimea

Novosti, Russia: Looking Toward the West, Ukraine 'Lies' to the East

Yezhednevniy Zhurnal, Russia: Ossified Kremlin Misreads Biden Visit to Georgia, Ukraine

Rceczpospolita, Poland: Banish All 'Magical Thinking' Regarding the Russian Bear

Kommersant, Russia: The Kremlin Offers 'an Ultimatum' to America

Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland: 'Enormous Error' of Bush's 'Georgian Protege'
Cotidianul, Romania:
Georgia Can 'Kiss NATO Goodbye'
Financial Times Deutschland, Germany: Before Georgia - It is Europe that Needs Mediation
Rue 89, France: East Europe Best Not Depend on 'Obsolete' NATO
Liberation, France: Russian President 'Dictates His Peace' to Hapless Europe
Le Figaro, France: Between America and Russia, the E.U. is On the Front Line
Le Figaro, France: War in the Caucasus: Georgia 'Doesn’t Stand a Chance'
Le Figaro, France: A Way Out of the Georgia Crisis for Russia and the West
Le Figaro, France: A Way Out of the Georgia Crisis for Russia and the West
Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany: Did Russia 'Win' the Georgia Crisis? Not By a Long Shot




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Posted By Worldmeets.US Mar. 18, 2014, 8:55am