(CNN) China’s new foreign minister warns of conflict with US, defends Russia ties. Quoting,
“Why does the US talk up respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity on the Ukraine issue, but does not respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity on the issue of Taiwan? Why does the US ask China not to provide weapons to Russia while keeps selling arms to Taiwan?” Qin said.
There are two classes of reason for “not”, harms and benefits. Harms:
- Further erosion of the principle of national sovereignty.
- Complicity in massive loss of life and possible genocide.
- Europe would forever hate China. Despite recent trade blockages, there is much potential in the future.
- Tipping the ground situation towards Russia would tempt use of nuclear weapons.
- During the Brezhnev period, in 1969, the Soviets asked the U.S. for permission to conduct a nuclear first strike against China. We refused. See (pdf) Department of State, Memorandum of Conversation.
- During the period of Putin’s rule when Russian foreign policy searched for partners in the West, we were asked to identify China as the common main enemy. We refused.
- You fought the Sino-Soviet border war in 1969, preceded by the Sino-Soviet conflict of 1929.
- A Russian victory in Ukraine would strengthen the hand of the militarist nationalists, who dislike China.
Benefits. In contrast to the conquest of a small rocky island full of truculent people, great benefits may accrue to China if Russia is defeated in Ukraine. It would disarm the ideological basis of Russian imperialism. A body of opinion holds that this would result in the disintegration of the multi ethnic federation into a purely Russian component surrounded by smaller states free to choose alignments.
This may happen literally or figuratively. In either case, it affords China the opportunity to extend its sphere of influence, and possibly, dominion. At a minimum, the states of central Asia would seek Chinese protection against the remnants of Russian imperialism.
Even if a formal breakup does not occur immediately, the Russian far east would be vulnerable to the strategies so successfully used by China before the 16th century to manage the barbarian tribes of central Asia, to corrupt their wills with provision of luxuries. In modern terms, the Russian Federation, away from Moscow, can be uniquely bought. This has been the bedrock of Putin’s strategy to govern the otherwise ungovernable. It worked for Putin, and it can work for you.
This is your opportunity to rectify those Unequal Treaties which are still in force with Russia. Vladivostok was ceded by by the Treaty of Airgun, forced on the Qing Dynasty in 1858. The flag of China can fly over Vladivostok. The mineral wealth of Siberia can be yours.
Unlike the small rocky island, devoid of natural resources and full of truculent people, the event of the above would raise very few complaints.
See also CNN: Trump’s biggest nightmare? China and Russia’s new friendship Part 2 and Vladimir Putin, Child of History.