Opinion | No peace without China --- American chickens coming home to roost in Ukraine
By Philip Yeung, a university teacher
In the chess game of geopolitics, one wrong move can leave one outplayed. That's what happens in Ukraine.
The US and its allies see Chinese conspiracy everywhere. UK's foreign secretary, Liz Truss, in the wake of the invasion, made demented remarks begging China to stop the Russian aggression, as if China was guilty of covertly aiding the aggressor. In a moment of Western impotence, they knee-jerked and blamed China for their collective erectile dysfunction.
But China has no existing military alliance with Russia. This is made abundantly clear when, at the height of the China-India border conflict, Russia pointedly sold billions of dollars' worth of deadly advanced weapons to China's adversary.
China's economic relationship with Russia, however, is substantial, now even more so because of America's heightened hostility towards the middle kingdom, pushing it tighter into Russia's embrace.
China religiously believes in neutrality and non-intervention in the affairs of other countries.
Besides, China enjoys a warm and mutually beneficial relationship with Ukraine. The Chinese feel for the Ukrainian people. My son's beautiful and smart Ukrainian girlfriend in Vancouver says that her family is cowering in fear from the bombs in the subway stations in Kiev.
Before his troops crossed into Ukraine, Putin knew full well that his act of war would trigger painful economic sanctions from the West. But he made sure that he has bundles of large trade deals with China in his back-pocket, prior to the launch of hostilities. He needs China's oversized economic umbrella against severe financial retaliations that would rain down on his government.
Biden dares not go the whole hog with his economic punishments, again because of China. In announcing sweeping sanctions, Biden has stopped short of invoking its severest form requested by the President of Ukraine, i.e. kicking Russia out of the SWIFT international banking system, the mechanism for global financial communication. Doing that would risk pushing Russia and China into setting up an alternative global banking system, thereby ending the era of the almighty American dollar.
Everywhere you look, China looms large.
In a nutshell, Putin would think twice about risking crippling economic sanctions without the certainty of access to China's huge market. Economically, China has become Russia's cushion, courtesy of American hostility.
America has been too busy bad-mouthing and bashing China to see that encircling China comes with a costly unintended consequence: inadvertently enabling Russia's military and territorial ambitions. With China pumping its economic lifeblood, Russia never has to fear US sanctions again.
This is a bitter lesson for the US. It must now totally rethink its global strategy: either befriend China to deter Russia or suffer subsequent serial military humiliations. It has no hope of taming the Russian bear without riding the Chinese tiger. China is the main pillar in the architecture of peace. If removed, the whole structure will come crashing down. It is true now. it will be true in the future.
If the West wishes to co-opt China into a global peace partnership, it must first kick its bad habit of manufacturing groundless and relentless accusations of "genocide" and "repression". It must also leave its double standards at the door.
Russia has the military muscle, China the economic clout. The US has both and more, with its global media mouthpieces, louder since Trump gate-crashed planetary politics.
Forget trying to outmuscle Russia. It fights to win. It is ominous that Russia has seized the disabled Chernobyl nuclear plant. Could it be thinking of weaponizing its potential deadly radioactive leak, should the war take a turn for the worse? Why else would it seize this crippled facility at the first opportunity? That prospect alone is enough to terrorize Ukraine and EU countries into submission without firing a single nuclear-tipped missile. The mere mention of Chernobyl will scare the Europeans witless.
Like it or not, China is your indispensable partner for peace--and prosperity. You have no other alternative.
Give China a second look. Give peace a second chance.
The views do not necessarily reflect those of DotDotNews.
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