Friday, February 27, 2015

That's WAY Different, Eh?

What are the limits of Chinese understanding of Russian security concerns?


Western powers should take into consideration Russia's legitimate security concerns over Ukraine, a top Chinese diplomat has said in an unusually frank and open display of support for Moscow's position in the crisis.

Say, let's continue this unusually frank way of thinking, shall we?

Vladivostok is really close to China, isn't it? No reason for Russia to worry at all, right?

Should China "abandon the zero-sum mentality, and take the real security concerns of Russia into consideration," when it comes to China's control of all of Manchuria?

I know, I know. China would say that's way different.

But really, this isn't about China. It's about Russia and how utterly stupid their rulers are proving to be.

Russia could have joined the West, and European Russia would be a vast safe rear area to guard against the real threats Russia faces to their territorial integrity.

But no, by invading Ukraine, Russia has repudiated any hope of relying on past treaties and agreements or international law under the United Nations system to defend their own territorial integrity should China raise dormant claims on Russia.

Granted, Russia thinks they have this covered, too. Surely Russia thinks, China will get involved in a fight at sea that will keep Russia's Far East safe.

Maybe we should say, as we do about disputes over islands in the South China Sea and East China Sea, that we take no position on who should own the Russian Far East as long as nobody resorts to war against one of our allies to settle these issues outside of diplomacy. Perfectly reasonable, I say.

China is surely taking notes on the new rules that Russia has written. Maybe Peking will start thinking that they have legitimate security concerns about the Russian Far East? Lots of important Chinese assets lie so close to Russian territory there, no?

Maybe China will dust off Russian-established precedents sometime around, oh, the year 2021.

NOTE: I rewrote the fifth-to-last paragraph to clarify it.