Bobby Naderi / 13-Jul-2023/ https://news.cgtn.com/
U.S. President Joe Biden (L) delivers his speech as he is flanked by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during an event with G7 leaders to announce a Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine during the NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, July 12, 2023. /AFP
Editor’s note: Bobby Naderi, a special commentator on current affairs for CGTN, is a London-based journalist, guest contributor in print, radio and television, and documentary filmmaker. The article reflects the author’s opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.
The new NATO charge that China is aiding Russia in the conflict in Ukraine is unfounded and ignores China’s ongoing efforts to open channels of communication between Moscow and Kyiv. In addition to ignoring China’s positive engagement throughout the crisis, the joint statement released by NATO members in Vilnius, Lithuania, exaggerates China’s claimed support for Russia.
By looking at the facts, it is evident that China has continuously pushed for peaceful solutions and even put out a peace proposal, which the West regrettably rejected. It is imperative to clarify the myths advanced by NATO already committed to fighting a forever war, as there is scant evidence to substantiate its claim that China is aiding Russia’s actions or the strain of the conflict is placing on a world economy poised between starvation and survival.
A propagandistic fairy tale
China is charged in the propagandistic communique from the American-led former Cold War alliance with undermining the international system of rules. But it fails to recognize China’s status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the value it places on preserving universally recognized principles.
China is charged in the communique for spreading Russia’s false narrative over the conflict. To support this assertion, it does not offer any specific instances or trustworthy references. The claim that China is unwilling to denounce Russia’s conduct is also false, since China has taken a non-interfering and diplomatically active stance.
China is charged by NATO for spreading false information about the conflict. However, this fairy tale doesn’t offer any concrete examples or proof to back up this assertion. It is critical to distinguish between China’s viewpoint on the conflict and intentional deception tactics.
China is also seen by NATO as a strategic rival, as seen by their worry over its relationship with the Asia-Pacific countries and its potential impact on global dynamics. The regional countries’ participation in the NATO conference, however, shows a desire for greater collaboration and funding to solve regional concerns. It is incorrect to interpret China’s cooperation with these countries as a sign of hostility towards NATO.
Given the shifting global dynamics, the traditional Western-centric approach to international diplomacy must be abandoned as it’s a lost game. Since the United States and NATO no longer enjoy uncontested global leadership, it is imperative to acknowledge and welcome the emergence of other major states as mediators. If China is disregarded only due to its geopolitical position, whatever potential contributions it might make to conflict resolution are diminished.
Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, speaks at the Munich Security Conference, Munich, Germany, February 18, 2023. /Chinese Foreign Ministry
China is committed to ending bloodshed and preserving other nations’ sovereignty, as seen by its 12-point document for Ukraine. NATO’s dismissive attitude and allegations ignore the potential advantages of Chinese mediation, notwithstanding the adverse response from Western officials who saw China’s initiatives as little more than a diversion from its relations with Russia.
NATO’s mistakes and consequences
In addition to causing the Ukrainian people great hardship, the conflict has brought attention to some mistakes that NATO made that led to the escalation of tensions, including a victory culture filled with relics from the Cold War era, arms agreements aimed at prolonging the war, and the alliance’s Bucharest promise that Ukraine would become a member someday.
NATO’s refusal to appropriately address Russia’s real security concerns was one of the organization’s biggest mistakes. Russia’s concern about being encircled and losing its regional sway increased as a result of NATO’s eastward expansion, especially into former Soviet states. NATO unintentionally aggravated tensions in Ukraine by failing to have a thorough conversation with Moscow to address these worries.
Another critical error was NATO’s hasty assistance for Ukraine after the Maidan protests in 2014, which was done without a thorough knowledge of the complicated internal dynamics of the nation. Supporting democratic ideals and human rights is important, but NATO’s open support for the Ukrainian government without taking the complexity of the crisis into account only served to widen divides within the country and spark a vehement Russian response.
Another key error was NATO’s failure to anticipate and assess the possible effects of its operations in Ukraine in the name of “victory.” The alliance ignored the potential of a Russian response when it made decisions like the one to give military assistance and training to Ukrainian forces. The subsequent takeover of Crimea and the current fighting in eastern Ukraine are stark examples of how NATO’s engagement had unanticipated consequences that led to a protracted and terrible catastrophe.
Even though it appears to have been forgotten in Brussels and Washington, the prolonged conflict along with insufficient evaluation of implications has been greatly impacted by NATO’s strategic blunders in Ukraine, particularly its failure to address Russia’s concerns and support China’s efforts to bring all parties to the table and encourage them to honor their signatures on a peace deal.
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