Friday, May 23, 2008

China and Russia move closer

By China Watcher

In a sign of the close strategic partnership forged by the two great and powerful nations, the Presidents of China and Russia signed a statement condemning the planned US initiated missile shield in Eastern Europe that the US thinks can protect its allies from missiles fired by rogue nations, particularly from Iran and remotely North Korea.

In brief, the joint statement stated that, "Both sides believe that creating a global missile defense system, including deploying such systems in certain regions of the world, or plans for such cooperation, do not help support strategic balance and stability, and harm international efforts to control arms and the non-proliferation process. It harms the strengthening of trust between states and regional stability. In this respect our two countries express concern."

In another portion of the joint statement, "Both sides are also concerned about the universal nature of the principle of respecting human rights, but believe that every state has a right to encourage and protect them based on its own specific features and characters". "On the same issue of human rights both countries agreed to oppose politicizing the issue and using double standards, and should oppose using human rights to interfere with other countries' affairs."

The signing of the agreement was in conjunction with the Russian’s President two-day trip to China, the first to a non Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), to promote and strengthen the partnership between the two nations. This signifies the importance stressed by Russia on its genuine strategic partnership with China over that with Western European nations.

The joint statement seeks to create a strong bond and build a common front against Western initiated moves to impose their brand of democratic values on them. The US should take heed that if they continue to push the two countries to a corner, it may not be just a joint statement but more of a military alliance of the NATO kind in the near future. Coming under intense pressure from the existing international political and social order influenced by the US and its allies, the two countries will continue to play a constructive role and cooperate to resolve international and regional issues, providing another alternative other than the viewpoints mainly from the Western dominated world led by the US.

From an analytical point of view, I can deduce that the joint statement made by China and Russia was the result of years of frustrations and annoyance created by the US and its allies in trying to control and dictate how the world order should be shaped and developed. The US has been trying very hard to “contain” China but due to the latter global international economic and political strength, it has integrated its China’s policy with a bit of “engagement” strategies. The US has also stubbornly refused to listen to Russia objections and concerns to the US crafted missile defense shield which will be located dangerously at its doorstep.

Both Presidents also witnessed the signing of a US$1billion deal for Russia to build a nuclear fuel plant in China and supply semi-enriched uranium.

On the Sichuan quake disaster, the Russia President sent a letter of condolence on the same day to the Chinese President, followed by four batches of aid materials and rescue teams. The fast reaction and generous assistance showed not only its care and humanitarian spirit, but also reflected the understanding and friendship between the Russian and Chinese peoples. In a clear support of the Olympic Games, the Russian government has also committed to send a "high-level" delegation to the opening ceremony.

It is certainly comforting to note that China and Russia can put aside its historical rivalries and work together to provide another viable alternative system or order other than the one we know so well – the Western liberal societies which I believe is not an ideal model especially for one which is still at the stage of developing.

For the peaceful development of mankind, I am all for a multi-polar world, one which is less dominated by the US.

No comments: