the chinese position

Image: Zhang Kaiyv


The Chinese position on the crisis in Ukraine, far from being one of “strategic neutrality”, is a warning

Understanding the Chinese position in the recent Ukrainian conflict involves noticing at least two facts that mark our time. The first, related to the meteoric rise of China and the emergence of what we call a “new socio-economic formation”, centered on an immense public productive and financial base whose operating logics escape any theory of development. The second has just taken place, but which has been in the works since the end of 2021, when Russia decided to put its own terms on the table in relation to the fate of Ukraine as the last frontier of NATO expansion.

The combination of the two facts/phenomena presents us with a double demoralization of the West: Covid-19 exposed the limits of financialized capitalism in the face of the strength of Chinese socialism; and the current Russian card marks the political and military demoralization of the USA and, consequently, of NATO. We would thus be facing objective conditions for the emergence of a new Westphalian Peace – including one already proposed by the Russian and Chinese foreign ministries. In the document presented by the two countries, it is evident a proposal to the public opinion of “refounding” the international system created by the Europeans four centuries ago.

It is in the context of this letter that the Chinese – urging caution from those involved and suggesting distance from the US – stand. No fuss, no slogans. Just leading to reflection on how unacceptable and without rational logic NATO's expansion waves are. What would be the reaction of international public opinion if Russia positioned missiles and nuclear weapons towards Washington, using the US borders with Mexico, Canada or reopening a military base in Cuba?

And Russian military action. We are between statics and dynamics. Static is the preference of western analysts and journalists. In terms of dynamics, the Chinese position is at least accurate. "I believe Russia's military operation is a reaction by Moscow to Western countries' pressure on Russia for a long time," said Yang Jin, research associate at the Institute of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asian Studies under the Chinese Academy. of Social Sciences, to the Chinese newspaper GlobalTimes.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry is even more objective. According to her spokesperson, "Russia's legitimate security concerns must be taken seriously and addressed." There are reports that Putin considers the best solution is for Ukraine to refuse to join NATO and remain neutral. The convergent opinion concerns not only the Ukrainian case, but also the constant threats to Chinese national sovereignty imposed by the Western military presence.

Today's China is no longer that country that received foreign capital and reverse engineered it. The time of low profile. To the same extent, China's legitimate national security interests have been violated by the US. Taiwan continues to arm itself and is urged to declare its independence. A military alliance was formed by the US, Australia and the UK to contain (sic) such “Chinese expansionism”. Again the bromine. It is as if Chinese aircraft carriers were roaming the Gulf of Mexico with impunity, but the opposite is true. China is constantly teased in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea.

After the complete defeat and demoralization of the USA in the Middle East, and with China quickly occupying the economic space opened by the ballast of destruction left by the “West”, Atlanticism was left with a risky and not very smart move: to unite China and Russia in a a game that had nothing to do with post-1949 ideological expediency, whose fissures went well against the USSR. The movement today is the opposite. A Eurasian union is being imposed from the outside into Russian and Chinese territories.

The Chinese position, far from being one of “strategic neutrality”, is a warning. If the Chinese rise in itself was already the great fact of our time, it is joined by Putin's checkmate over the US and NATO. A new story begins in the world. Perhaps a new Westphalia.

*Elias Jabbour is a professor at the Faculty of Economic Sciences at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). He is the author, among other books, together with Alberto Gabriele, of China: Socialism in the XNUMXst Century (Boitempo).


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