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Sunday, July 3, 2022

THE WEST AND CHINA #378

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Mr Graham Perry
Graham Perry
Experienced Arbitration Lawyer | China & Chinese Business Affairs | Public Speaker/Lecturer.

GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON

The West is always wrong about China. A bold statement on my part that will provoke contempt and disdain among some readers. But it is true. The West was wrong about China in the 1930s when Mao Tsetung led the people of China against, first, the Kuomintang, and, second, the Japanese invaders. And the West is wrong about China today.

It always predicts gloom + doom. It is wishful thinking. It hopes the big China experiment will fail. That is the reason why West’s reporting on China is uniformly negative. The reporting is also unhelpful because it fails to inform its readers of the true situation.

The Communist Party was dismissed, in the 1930s, as “dreamers” or “cutthroat terrorists” or “uneducated bandits”. But the Party was in power and in control of a devastated country. It set about the task of rebuilding the nation. It was shunned by the world, except for the USSR, as it set about land reform and the revitalisation of agricultural production.

China’s undoubted successes were overlooked just as their failures were magnified. And this has remained the approach of the West to China to the present day. China, in the view of the West, cannot succeed because it rejects the West’s basic notions of freedom, democracy and the rule of law. There is only one way, says the West, and that is “Our Way”.

So the West tries to put China “in its place”. Sanctions, more sanctions and even more sanctions. They are an inconvenience at worst – not a game-changing event. Military pressure in the South China Sea merely increases China’s re-armament numbers and neutralises the threat. Boycotting the Winter Olympics was an empty gesture. The West’s vision of China is very blurred + until the scales fall from their eyes, the World will remain on the edge of World War III.

Friends

This is a note to let you know that my daily work commitment will be high over the next five weeks and I need time to give it the appropriate focus. There will, therefore, be a period of quiet from me on my twin topics of, first, Dispute Resolution, and, second, China. The Posts will return at the beginning of May.

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  1. Since discovering “Graham Perry On China”, I have developed high regard for his views and have been voicing similar views online. I recently uploaded this commentary to one of my websites, and if I may, I’ll share it here as well:
    RE: CHINA’S STANCE ON THE UKRAINE CRISIS Mar 2022
    Many people are upset that China has declared themselves neutral regarding the Ukrainian crisis. In addition to China, some of the other 35 neutral nations are Israel, Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. However, it’s only with China that the US has voiced their displeasure, even though it’s India that has announced their plans to buy more cheap Russian oil. However, the nature of China’s neutrality reflects the bitter truth of the matter. China has expressed their concern for the suffering Ukrainian people, and thus are sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine and attempting to use what influence they may have, to help find a diplomatic solution. China has previously declared their close friendship with Russia, but one of the things that true friends do is tell that friend when they’ve made a mistake. When questioned by Bloomberg TV whether Ukraine feared China’s possible military support for Russia, Deputy Chief of Staff, Ihor Zhovkva said “No, I think China is a wise country and they will not do this, but China’s role in this settlement is very important.” Of course, that’s the last thing the US wants. Biden, very cynically has seen this as another opportunity to smear China. Meanwhile, Biden did nothing to try and prevent this war and at one point was even warned by Zelensky that his inflammatory rhetoric was not helpful. Nevertheless, Americans love their war presidents, and now Biden’s polls are up.
    That said, we all know that Russia is run by a corrupt, thuggish autocracy, but that in itself doesn’t completely negate their argument. Ukraine only ended up controlling Crimea and the Donbas on a technicality, when Khrushchev ceded administration of these predominantly Russian regions to Ukraine under the Soviet umbrella, as a goodwill gesture of solidarity. Now these regions are controlled, against the will of many of the Russian people living there, by an independent Ukraine seeking NATO membership. Ethnic Russians of the Donbas have been fighting for independence since 2014, after Russia easily occupied Crimea. For years Russia has been complaining about NATO expansion into almost all of the former Soviet satellite states. Many notable Americans such as Henry Kissinger, Clinton’s defense secretary, Bill Perry, and for the wrong reasons and so I’m loath to admit it, Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson, warned against expanding NATO in this fashion. If the cold war was over, why has the US and Europe been adopting those dozen or so countries into NATO’s formal military alliance, against what is now only a weakened Russia? Why have these countries been encouraged to formally declare themselves to be, essentially, enemies of Russia? Just such a system of formal military agreements is what needlessly turned what should only have been a dispute between Austria and Serbia, into World War I, being that the terms of these types of agreements require allies to engage in military combat to defend each other.
    When NATO began to negotiate Ukraine’s entry into the alliance, Russia finally drew its red line and vehemently opposed the move. Ukraine, being a large country with the most extensive Russian border and pro-Russian ethnic majorities in eastern regions, presented what the Kremlin perceived to be a particularly egregious threat. China does not support the Russian military invasion into Ukraine, but neither do they condone the opposing red line which was drawn by president Biden, confirming Ukraine’s intention to join NATO. And now, Ukraine’s President Zelensky is pleading for NATO to protect his skies, but it’s probably for the best that Ukraine’s inclusion into NATO has not yet been finalized, and therefore NATO can stand back militarily without defaulting on its Article 5 formal commitments. It’s questionable whether Russia’s current Ukraine invasion is the product of a rational decision. It may best be understood through the analysis of a forensic psychiatrist, and should Russia’s economy be totally crushed by sanctions and their suffering and humiliation complete, it’s not hard to imagine the regime taking on a nuclear Hitleresque murder-suicide mentality. If that situation should unfold, then it doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong and we all lose. The battle is against this regime, not the Russian people. This regime is the unintentional disastrous product of the people’s desire for overnight western-style democracy, in 1990. Putin is Yeltsin’s hand-picked successor and his repugnant style of leadership should not taint fair and pragmatic negotiation.
    NATO should be scaled back to its original membership and not be locked into Article 5. The safeguarding of former Soviet satellite states would be better served through case by case negotiation. In truth, NATO is at best a toothless tiger, or at worst an instigator of World War III and possibly the nuclear annihilation of humanity. Three of France’s five party leaders have called for NATO’s dissolution, and a fourth, President Macron, is questioning its value. The reality is that a bitter tasting compromise with Russia regarding NATO, would be the best solution.
    Americans like to believe in the myth that President Kennedy successfully stared down the Russians during the Cuban Missile crisis. The truth though, is that the US agreed to remove their nuclear missiles from Turkey in exchange for Russia removing its Cuban missiles. Abhorrent as the Ukraine invasion is, it’s no worse than the US false flag invasion of Iraq, conducted under the false pretense of Saddam having weapons of mass destruction. Sure, Saddam ruled through severe repression, but the same is true with US ally, Saudi Arabia. The main difference between Iraq and Ukraine is that with the Iraq war, the countless numbers of victims and refugees have all been brown skinned, not a blonde haired, blue-eyed victim in the lot. US hot-headed hypocrisy must not stand in the way of peace negotiations.

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