Saturday, July 12, 2008

China joins Russia to veto US led sanctions on Zimbabwe in the UN

By China Watcher

China supported Russia to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution on Friday which would have imposed an arms embargo against Zimbabwe and financial and travel sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and other key leaders of the country's ruling party.

The concerted Western-led resolution managed to secure nine votes, the minimum needed to gain approval in the 15-nation council. But the resolution pushed by the Bush administration failed because of the strong resistance by two of the five veto-wielding permanent members.

Through the Western media reports, we are being constantly made aware of the intimidation and violence created by the Mugabe’s factions against its opponents in the recently conducted one-sided presidential elections. The West continued to report that the main opponent’s party members numbering 113 were killed during the process of the election.

Using the unfair elections as a basis or perhaps, other reasons that we are not too sure of, the West led by the US initiated the resolution with the hope to pressure the Zimbabwe’s government to share powers with Tsvangirai’s party. But the veto has temporarily killed off whatever desires or designs the Western powers had in changing the government of an independent and sovereign nation.

At the recent summit the African Union (AU) leaders adopted a resolution calling for dialogue in Zimbabwe, but did not directly criticize Mugabe or the runoff vote. The AU leaders said they were "deeply concerned" about the situation but their only promised action was to support "the will" for a unity government. Mugabe's government has already denied responsibility for the bloodshed surrounding the vote, which he won after the rival opposition leader dropped out because of claimed attacks on his followers.

The US Ambassador harshly criticized Russia and China for standing behind the cruel and dictatorial regime of Mugabe and the actions against its own people. The US was clearly disappointed at Russia’s position after what the Russia had given its implicit support of the Mugabe’s resolution at the recent Group of 8 Summit in Japan. The US is now questioning Russia’s dependency and reliability as a G8 member. If that is a “yes” requirement being a member of the G8, Russia should seriously consider pulling out as a member of the “rich countries” grouping who I have always deemed as a “white man” exclusive club other than Japan who has previously been classified “specialized whites” during the apartheid era in South Africa. Fortunately, China is not being invited as a member. Not yet.

I wish to point out here that the Russian and the Chinese are only trying to give the South Africa’s government self-appointed role as a mediator to succeed in bringing the conflicting parties to the tables in the hope of finding a compromised and workable solution. Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said sanctions would have taken the U.N. beyond its mandate in trying to punish political disputes by "artificially elevating them to the level of a threat" to international peace and security. Similarly, Chinese Ambassador Wang Guangya, whose nation is one of Zimbabwe's major trading partners, expressed his views that Zimbabwe should be allowed to resolve its political crisis on its own.

The US stance is not always the best way around the political problem in Zimbabwe and so far, tough economic sanctions on Iran and North Korea have not worked and the fact that the people of those countries suffered more in such a situation have prompted the countries to vote against the resolution. We should praise those countries who voted against the resolution considering the strong pressure of the Western powers. I salute Libya, South Africa and Vietnam.

As for Burkino Faso, Costa Rica, Croatia, Panama who voted for it, you are nothing but merely the pawn of the West made up of the US, France and Italy. Sometimes, I wish these countries could decide independently what is good for the smaller developing countries of the world. But then again, the US and the West still wield a strong political and economic influence especially on the smaller nations.

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