Forgetful Fury

There’s a lot of talk about China feeling uneasy about Russia these days – which may be so.

But don’t expect China to support any measures that could topple Russia’s regime. For one, they need Russia on their side if they try to invade Taiwan: politically for sure, and militarily (in terms of arms supplies or other kinds of technical support), probably. Also, it is generally useful to have a permanent backer at the UN Security Council (if the Chinese ambassador there forgets his smelling salts, for example, and passes out at a critical moment for feeling uneasy, next to Russia).

If you know China’s North Korea policy, you’ll know it’s Russia policy even better. North Korea is a disaster zone with missiles, and Russia is a gas station with missiles, working warheads, and veto power. And with tanks, obviously, but that doesn’t matter to China.

If China did anything that toppled Russia’s regime, it would be inadvertently.

But there’s another reason for China’s reservations, too. China’s regime is much worse than Russia’s. It’s fascinating how easily the hell named Xinjiang has been forgotten on the international scene. Do those who ask China to condemn the invasion of Ukraine really know who they are talking to? Do they want to prove the obvious, because they know the answer? Or do they hope for a moderating effect of Beijing’s unease, on Moscow’s killing spree?

The last point would be the likeliest. But it doesn’t look like a gamechanger either.

Be mad at Moscow, if you have to, but don’t be forgetful.


We cannot even die for a cause like them, Uyghur Times, March 2, 2022

3 Comments to “Forgetful Fury”

  1. Very good points.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think use of nuclear weapons by Russia might be the point at which China properly distances itself from this mad adventure by Putin but not otherwise. Borrell’s statement that they might be useful as a mediator is hard to credit, and of a piece with other recent embarrassing statements (e.g., making public the plans to provide Polish jets to Ukraine).

    China, arguably, isn’t better than Russia in any meaningful way, isn’t any more restrained by morality or law than the Russian leadership. A regime that conducts genocide will have no trouble with invading other countries without even the flimsiest of pretexts. China isn’t going to abandon Putin because of anything he’s done so far.

    But then let’s look the other way – will China support Russia? Diplomatically, of course the answer is yes, they will support them. Militarily I have my doubts – you won’t see Chinese tanks in Europe, you might see logistical support as Russia seems to lack this. The Chinese may not care about Russian victory but they do not want a Russian defeat. A prolonged war, including NATO intervention, would suit them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We won’t agree about “genocide”, but East Turkestan is one of the really big reasons for me to believe that China is the actual problem. It’s (still somewhat hidden, but rising) aggression against Taiwan is another.

    Russia is still better than China. Either, Russia’s treatment of dissidents is better than China’s, or Russian dissidents are still tougher than the Chinese – I’ll rather not speculate. China has gone through a kind of (re-)education that doesn’t leave much hope (in my view) that it can become a decent country.

    Liked by 1 person

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