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magz
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06 Sep 2022, 7:08 am

SkinnedWolf wrote:
The Second Republic pursues the diplomatic principle of "Non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries" - at least they must on the surface.

On surface, they are also still Communist :mrgreen:

China the way it has been so far indeed avoids entering external conflicts - but, as I've said, the History has speeded up and the mess started by Putin can have wide and unpredicatble consequences - including Islamist radical parties going wild across the world (i.e. high food prices in Africa and Middle East are great fuel for them).


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06 Sep 2022, 8:23 am

If the US were smart they would have left China alone to concentrate their efforts against Russia.

They could have potentially wooed China on their side and they might have believed it was in their interests to pivot to US.

I use the past tense because that ship has sailed. The idiocy of Trump`s anti China rhetoric followed by Biden`s belligerence including the recent Nancy Pelosi trip put an end to that possibility.

China are not going to see Russia defeated to they can be isolated & ringed with US missile bases in Siberia and be next for "regime change".


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07 Sep 2022, 3:35 am

magz wrote:
SkinnedWolf wrote:
The Second Republic pursues the diplomatic principle of "Non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries" - at least they must on the surface.

On surface, they are also still Communist :mrgreen:

China the way it has been so far indeed avoids entering external conflicts - but, as I've said, the History has speeded up and the mess started by Putin can have wide and unpredicatble consequences - including Islamist radical parties going wild across the world (i.e. high food prices in Africa and Middle East are great fuel for them).

My main basis is actually:
Swiss set to match EU sanctions if China invades Taiwan - agency chief
Panama Papers

There is no prospect of this changing.


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11 Sep 2022, 4:24 am

9/8/2022 Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations

Quote:
The Ukrainian crisis has once again proved in a brutal way that pursuing power politics, seeking absolute security, being obsessed with military power, and creating division and confrontation cannot bring peace and stability, nor reconciliation and tranquility. All parties concerned should remain in contact and communication, and leave room for diplomatic negotiations, so as to create conditions for a political settlement and achieve the cessation of hostilities at an early date, he added.

On the issue of Ukraine, China has always believed that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states should be respected, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be followed, the legitimate security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously, and every effort conducive to the peaceful resolution of the crisis should be supported. China will continue to stand on the side of peace, the side of dialogue, and the side of humanity, and will play a constructive role in the proper settlement of the Ukraine crisis, said Geng.


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21 Sep 2022, 3:57 am

For the first time, Chinese officials directly expressed their support for Russia, instead of sticking to (seemingly) neutrality. At the same time, this is not mentioned in China's domestic news.

China Gives Clearest Support for Russia's Invasion of Ukraine So Far

Quote:
Asenior Chinese official has offered Beijing's strongest support yet for the Kremlin's war in Ukraine, footage released by Russia's State Duma shows.
...
Official Chinese media hasn't reported on the Duma video, a sign of the sensitivity surrounding its content.


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magz
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21 Sep 2022, 4:04 am

I wonder how it all ends... I still suspect the goal of China is to get weakened Russia for their satellite - or, in case or Russia falling apart, to have "independent" Yakutia etc. for satellites.

To achieve this, I'd expect many nice words of "friendship" but not much actual help.


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21 Sep 2022, 4:11 am

But in new summit meeting, Putin praises Xi for 'balanced' Ukraine position.


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21 Sep 2022, 4:19 am

magz wrote:
I wonder how it all ends...

China now provides support to Russia in the hope of obtaining Russian support in the future crisis of its own.


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magz
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21 Sep 2022, 4:21 am

Yeah, we all anticipate a big SHTF on Pacific some day.


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28 Sep 2022, 3:35 am

9/21/2022
https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/fyrbt_673021/jzhsl_673025/202209/t20220921_10769226.shtml

Quote:
Bloomberg: President Putin said in his latest television speech that he would use all available means in the war against Ukraine. This is Putin's latest statement on the escalation of force in Ukraine. How does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: China's position on the Ukrainian crisis is always clear. We call on the parties concerned to resolve the issue through dialogue and negotiation and find a solution that takes into account the legitimate security concerns of all parties as soon as possible. We also hope that the international community will create conditions and space for this.
...
Tass News Agency: "Donetsk People's Republic", "Lugansk People's Republic", Kherson Prefecture and Zaporoge State will hold a referendum on joining Russia from September 23 to 27. How does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: China's position on Ukraine is consistent and clear. We have always maintained that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter should be respected, the legitimate security concerns of all countries should be valued, and all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of the crisis should be supported. China calls on all parties concerned to properly resolve their differences through dialogue and consultation, and is ready to work with the international community to continue to play a constructive role in promoting the easing of the situation.


9/26/2022
https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/fyrbt_673021/202209/t20220926_10771881.shtml
Quote:
Bloomberg News: Ukrainian President Zelenskyy said that the communication channels between Ukraine and China have decreased, especially at the leadership level. Can you explain why?

Wang Wenbin: China and Ukraine are strategic partners...China is willing to work with Uzbekistan to continue to maintain the momentum of bilateral cooperation in various fields and enrich the connotation of China Uzbekistan strategic partnership.
China's position on the Ukrainian crisis is consistent and clear. We have always been objective and fair, always on the side of peace, and will continue to play a constructive role in promoting the easing of the situation in our own way.


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28 Sep 2022, 4:03 am

9/21/2022
https://thediplomat.com/2022/09/chinas-public-opinion-is-shifting-away-from-russia/

Quote:
China’s Public Opinion Is Shifting Away From Russia
Anyone relying only on official pronouncements and the state media may have missed that Chinese public opinion is turning against Russia – and toward Ukraine – as the war drags on.

At the beginning of the Ukraine war, I wrote an article for The Diplomat telling the world it was impossible for China to support Russia invasion of Ukraine. It has been proved correct by the facts of the war; the developments at the 2022 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit also point in this direction.

The Ukrainian war has been going on for seven months, but Russia received little recognition even from the international organizations it leads. In the Collective Security Treaty Organization, for example, only Belarus supports Russia; in the SCO, no member or partner state publicly recognizes the legitimacy of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While commentators in the West often conflate a lack of criticism and open support of Russia’s invasion, they are not the same thing.

Clearly, war has exposed a weakness in Russia. Geopolitically it has been isolated to such an extent that even “pro-Russia” international organizations have no way to lend a helping hand. So the SCO summit did not form the anti-American or anti-Western united front with China and other partners that Russia had hoped for.

On the contrary, Russia’s focus on Ukraine has created a Russian power vacuum in Central Asia and the Middle East. Turkey and China emerged as winners in filling the vacuum. Turkey is only a dialogue partner of the SCO, but President Recep Erdogan was as active as the host (the Uzbek president) at this SCO summit. Central Asia is seeking new friends and finding them in spades. Based on the flurry of new dialogue partners, the future expansion of the SCO will focus on the Middle East, which reflects the increasingly close relationship between China and the Middle Eastern countries through the Belt and Road Initiative.

As a result of these developments, the game between China, the U.S., and Russia is becoming more and more interesting. At the SCO summit, the official statements issued by China and Russia clearly mentioned the strengthening of cooperation between the two countries. Putin offered clear support for China’s position on the Taiwan issue, but China has not publicly endorsed Russia’s Ukraine war.

After the SCO summit, U.S. President Joe Biden claimed in an interview that he did not see concrete measures and promises by China to support Russia, but mentioned that he would help defend Taiwan against attack. His comments reflect the fact that Russia is more dependent on China, and the United States is more afraid of China.

The recent developments suggest that the future of Sino-Russian relations may not be as optimistic as some Russians think.

After the SCO summit, Putin suddenly declared a partial mobilization and the plan to hold referendums in several areas of Ukraine it occupied. This obviously shows that Sino-Russian relations have not been able to ease the pressure of Russia’s war. As Ukraine makes advances on Russian-occupied territory, China did not offer increased support for Putin – on the contrary.

I personally support the friendship between China and Russia. After all, they are two big countries and neighbors. Just like the U.S. must be friendly with Canada, China and Russia must have friendly ties so that they can maximize the benefits. A big contradiction between both countries – as seen in the later days of the Soviet Union – would be damaging to their national interests.

But supporting Sino-Russian friendship does not mean agreeing that everything Russia does is correct. I believe Chinese officials have the same attitude.

However, only paying attention to the attitude of the Chinese government is a flawed way to understand Sino-Russian relations. The West has often fallen into this trap, as has Russia.

Recently Igor Morgulov, formerly the Russian deputy foreign minister, came to Beijing as the new ambassador to China. He is an old China hand and does not need to be told how to understand China. But he was stationed in Beijing more than 10 years ago, and today’s China is entirely different from that era.

In my opinion, in the context of the Ukraine war, the new Russian ambassador should pay more attention to two issues in order to have a more complete and accurate view of a complex China – which will be beneficial for Sino-Russian friendship.

First, focus more on the changes in Chinese public opinion. The idea that establishing a friendship with the government will solve all problems once and for all is out of date. The Chinese government is also increasingly concerned about changes in public opinion. If the people are dissatisfied with some policies, the government will consider revising them to prevent the problem from expanding and affecting social stability.

It also should be normal for Russia to take into account the influence of Chinese public opinion when developing relations with China. But I have noticed some recent cases where Russia’s government is content to ignore Chinese public opinion.

For example, on August 15, the anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War II, an article by the Russian embassy in China criticized Japan, but the accompanying picture showed Chinese soldiers against the background of the Japanese flag. The Chinese public was dissatisfied with this, and a large number of messages asked the embassy to correct the error, but there was no response from Russia.

Before that, in July, the Russian media posted an image highlighting the SCO on Chinese social media. The image depicted land claimed by China along the unsettled Sino-Indian border as India’s territory. The image also triggered a large number of protests from ordinary Chinese, so Russia had to apologize for it.

And even earlier, the Russian state-owned media posted on Chinese social media about the commemoration of the founding of Vladivostok (Haishenwai in the Chinese language). That stimulated public anger as well, because Russia seized the area from China through unequal treaties 150 years ago, which is widely regarded as a historical source of shame for China. Trumpeting the founding of Vladivostok on Chinese social media was an easily avoided misstep by Russia; doing so will only deepen the Chinese people’s distrust of Russia.

At a time when Russia is already feeling immense pressure from its war in Ukraine, Moscow needs the Chinese people to understand Russia’s position. Yet, its many PR mistakes can easily worsen the Chinese people’s impression of Russia, thereby reducing their support for Russia. Obviously, these problems would not have arisen if Russia had understood Chinese public opinion more carefully. That may be a challenge for the new Russian ambassador to China.

Second, the new ambassador should pay more attention to voices that oppose Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian embassy in China is certainly hearing a lot about the support of Russia’s position from Chinese officials and pro-Russian figures. On the contrary, the Chinese voices speaking against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may not be heard enough by Russian policymakers.

Russia should understand that true friends can criticize each other. When faced with the fact that some Chinese support Ukraine against Russia, the Russian embassy should seek to understand the reason and not turn a blind eye.

In the past seven months, Chinese doubts about the Ukraine war have grown. For example, in the first few weeks of the war, China’s state television network, CCTV, invited many famous international experts to discuss the situation. Many openly said that Russia would definitely win. But these voices have recently disappeared from the state-owned media, and their past comments have become a favorite joke among some Chinese netizens.

Meanwhile, opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is growing in Chinese public opinion. Although it is not possible to express open criticism of Russia in state-owned media outlets, discussions on the Ukraine war have grown on Chinese social media over the past few months. The debates are easy to find, and the pro-Russian group is more passive than before.

In one sign, some ordinary people even gave Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu nicknames, mocking Russian military purchases of weapons from Iran and North Korea. And pro-Russian netizens have a hard time rebutting these insults. They will only say Putin is playing a grand chess game and he is waiting for winter to come.

The quieter pro-Russian voices are a sign that some Chinese who supported Russia in the past see that the war situation is getting worse. These people are beginning to worry about the consequences. Many of my journalist friends were optimistic about Russia’s victory over Ukraine at first, but now they are even thinking about the impact on China if the Russian army fails. This change is not only related to the battlefield situation, but also to the more cautious judgment of the Chinese media and even Chinese officials on Russia’s future.

The Chinese are not anti-Russian; if there were no war they would not take a side between Russia and Ukraine. But many see the situation very simply: Russia launched a war against a country that has diplomatic relations, defying a peace treaty to seize its land and population. This is not only against international law but may also be risky for China.

For example, the news that Russia will hold referendums in Ukraine to annex territory has made some Chinese wary. This reminded them of what they learned in Chinese textbooks: More than 70 years ago, Russia inked a similar referendum in Mongolia, which carved off part of China’s territory. One netizen’s comment on the news represents the mainstream opinion: “It seems the Russians have not changed after so many years.”

It is interesting that some pro-Ukrainian Chinese have used the Russian referendum as a weapon to counter pro-Russian groups. “Can the result of a referendum on a part of a country seceding be recognized?” they argue. “Taiwan is a part of China. If Taiwan holds its own referendum to declare independence in the future, will you accept it?”

China’s business elite and urban middle class are the main force driving social progress. They are relatively independent in their thinking. Although they are reluctant to express their views publicly, they are the least optimistic about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A businessman friend of mine doesn’t usually pay attention to politics, but he revealed his concerns: The Ukraine war has disrupted the international market order, and his asset returns are shrinking. He said he supports Western sanctions against Russia. “How can the Russians make fortunes in the war, at the expense of others losing their assets? It is not fair, and Russia must be responsible for it.”

As China develops, the number of people holding similar opinions continues to grow. It may complicate the future of Sino-Russian relations.

I wonder if the new Russian ambassador to China has any interest in hearing these anti-war opinions, the ones that can’t be voiced in state-owned media?


2/17/2022 from the same author
https://thediplomat.com/2022/02/why-china-will-not-support-a-russian-invasion-of-ukraine/
Quote:
Why China Will Not Support a Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The reputational cost – both on the international stage and with the Chinese people – would be great if Beijing threw its support behind Russian aggression.

Facing the Ukraine stand-off, the United States is very concerned about Russia and China’s interactions. For example, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby called China’s “tacit support” for Moscow “deeply alarming.” Kirby seemed to imply that China supports Russia’s possible invasion of Ukraine.

U.S. concern is understandable, but some U.S. officials seem to be misjudging both China-Russia relations and China’s broader foreign policy.

First, some Americans do not have a clear understanding of China-Russia military relations. China and Russia are not military allies. In other words, when one side is at war, the other side has no treaty or legal obligation to help. This is completely different from the military alliances between the United States and NATO countries.

Therefore, even if Russia and Ukraine go to war, China has no obligation to support Russia. Indeed, during the Crimea crisis seven years ago, China did not openly support Russia’s position.

On February 4, China and Russia issued a joint statement in which China did mention its support for Russia. But the nuance is important: China’s support for Russia focused on insisting that Moscow’s security concerns must be guaranteed by the West and opposing the threats to Russia’s security from NATO and other Western countries. Everyone knows China also faces pressure and security threats from the United States in the Asia-Pacific region, so it is not surprising that Beijing would support Russia in the face of similar pressure. However, this is not the same as China offering its approval of a Russian invasion against Ukraine.

A comparison can help clarify China’s support in this case: China’s attitude to Russia is equivalent to its support for North Korea or Iran in their demands that the U.S. lift sanctions. China’s support does not mean Beijing would support North Korea starting a war on the Korea Peninsula or Iran striking Israel.

China has maintained friendly relations both with Russia and Ukraine for a long time, which is a basic and balanced policy. During the Ukraine crisis, China never criticized Ukraine, only condemned the U.S. and NATO. Ukraine is well aware of it.

2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Ukraine. President Xi Jinping of China and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine exchanged congratulatory messages a month ago. Xi clearly mentioned he has always been committed to strengthening the friendly and cooperative relations with Ukraine. It is impossible for China to change its position after a month.

In addition, the Chinese ambassador to Kyiv published an article in the Ukrainian media, publicly emphasizing that China has always supported Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. This is a clear sign that China could not support Russia’s possible invasion to Ukraine – especially because China has never publicly stated a view that Crimea belongs to Russia.

If China is against a Russian invasion of Ukraine, why has Beijing not criticized Russia, like the West did? There are two main reasons. First, considering the Sino-Russian friendship, China’s public questioning of Russia will damage the friendship. At this time, Beijing should show solidarity, rather than emphasize differences – this is a question of both face and diplomatic skills. China will express its true attitude behind closed doors.

Second, Russia may have privately assured China that it will not mount a direct invasion against Ukraine. That would explain why China has been accusing the U.S. and the NATO of exaggerating the crisis, and why Beijing has remained indifferent as the West withdraws both diplomats and citizens from Ukraine.

In addition to jointly coping with Western pressure, there is a basic logic in the development of Sino-Russia relations: That is, the two neighboring countries must be friendly, and this friendship will benefit both sides. For example, China’s energy security can be met through Russian overland oil and gas pipelines, which reduces the risk of energy transportation in the Persian Gulf and the Malacca Strait. Russia will also gain huge economic benefits from its exchanges with China. As neighbors, it is a natural process for China and Russia to establish a partnership.

Some Pentagon officials merely think about the issue of China-Russia cooperation from the perspective of the countries mutually facing Western pressure, without seeing this as a case of both international common sense and Chinese diplomatic skills.

In the past year, there have been many high-level contacts between China and the United States, and they all said the two countries should avoid misjudgment of each other. The Pentagon’s interpretation of China’s support for Russia is exactly the sort of misjudgment that must be avoided. If a similar misinterpretation impacted an issue directly impinging China-U.S. relations, I am afraid this risk will be even greater.

There are indeed some people in China who have similar views to some U.S. officials, believing the Chinese government actually supports Russia in a possible war. But they are mostly young people and nationalists with little experience. Their logic is that war in Eastern Europe will contain U.S. support for Taiwan, and mainland China can use this opportunity to recapture Taiwan. Therefore, when the nationalists heard Putin was going to negotiate more with the West, and even withdraw some troops from the military drills, they felt very disappointed. They thought China lost a good chance to solve the Taiwan issue.

Although this idea is naive, it does exist in Chinese society. These nationalists, like some U.S. officials, completely miscalculated China’s freedom of action on the Taiwan issue.

Just like Russia does not consider the Taiwan issue when it has a dispute with Ukraine, China will not consider the relationship between Russia and Ukraine in order to resolve the Taiwan issue. It’s quite different. If Putin insists on invading Ukraine one day, China can’t stop it. If China one day sends troops against Taiwan, Putin will not able to prevent that either.

In my view, China will think more about morality and reputation when it comes to the Ukraine crisis, largely in order to take into account public opinion and Chinese people’s attitudes. American commentators don’t seem to realize the importance of either of these factors in China’s foreign policy.

What would happen if China supported Russia’s possible invasion of Ukraine?

First, it would put China in an awkward position in the international community. China has been shaping an international image of justice for decades. The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence were China’s foreign policy in the 1950s, and in the era of Xi Jinping, China still embraces these principles as the basis for international exchanges. The core of the Five Principles is mutual respect for each country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and mutual nonaggression.

If China supports Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, it would be a violation of the bedrock of its 70-year-old foreign policy. China will lose its international moral high ground, as well as damage its international reputation and image. This will make it a little awkward for China to promote its Good Neighbor and Friendship Policy and the Five Principles. At times, urgent national interests may take precedence over principles, but China has no compelling interests at stake in Ukraine, certainly not enough to make Beijing willing to abandon its foundational foreign policy.

The Chinese people also agree that China should uphold justice in the international arena. If China publicly endorses Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, it may be difficult for the Chinese people to understand the sudden change. As a result, such a move will cause the Chinese government to lose some ordinary Chinese support.

Not long ago, a U.S. research institution suggested that China has a “silent majority” who do not like Chinese government policy, which is consistent with my observation. In my view, these people are not all anti-government or anarchists, but more silent dissenters who subtly boycott the overly nationalist atmosphere in today’s society.

The Chinese government must know this as well. When making policies, it will consider the attitudes of as many people as possible and satisfy the interests of the most possible people, in order to smooth the way for domestic social management.

With that in mind, it’s important to know that most Chinese have mixed views about Russia; some are outright negative. After all, Russia was one of the European powers that encroached on China during the “century of humiliation.”

For many Chinese people, when the see the Ukraine crisis, they think of Russia’s territorial expansion into China more than 100 years ago. You will never see this point raised in the state media, but you can find it easily on Chinese social media. Many people comment on the Weibo page of the Russian embassy in China, asking Russia to return Haishenwai (Vladivostok in Russian) to China. As the crisis in Ukraine deepens, many Chinese netizens accuse Russia of being an aggressor.

In this context, should China’s government support Russia in invading Ukraine, it will make more Chinese people doubt the justice and legitimacy of their own government, which is not good for maintaining social stability.

Russian diplomats are well aware of this strain of Chinese public opinion. They treat it calmly and only emphasize Sino-Russian friendship. It shows that both China and Russia have left some flexibility and maneuvering space for each other. Beijing and Moscow understand they will not always be completely in lock-step. It’s time for Washington to grasp this point as well.


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