News & Views
On Friday, China warned that the plans by the US and South Korea to deploy a missile defence system on the Korean Peninsula could destabilize the region, and were not conducive to achieving the objective of “denuclearisation”. The deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system was decided jointly by the US and South Korea, announced in a late night statement on Thursday. “The Chinese side is strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to this,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The move goes against efforts made in calming regional tensions through dialogue, and severely harms the security interests of countries in the area including China, it added. The Chinese foreign ministry also said that it opposes the imposition of unilateral sanctions on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for the first time, citing human rights abuses.
The United States should do nothing to harm China’s sovereignty and security in the South China Sea, China’s foreign minister told US Secretary of State John Kerry, ahead of a key court ruling on China’s claims in the disputed waterway. Tensions and rhetoric have been rising ahead of a July 12 ruling by an international tribunal/arbitration court hearing the dispute between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea in The Hague. The judgment comes against the backdrop of frequent military brushes between China and its Asian neighbours the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, which ring the waters believed to hold untapped oil and gas reserves. China is conducting military exercises around the Paracel Islands in the north of the region, while US destroyers had been patrolling around reefs and islands in the contested Spratly Islands to the south.
China has accused the United States of militarizing the waterway, while Washington has expressed concern about China’s building of military facilities on islands it controls in the South China Sea. Since Ukraine crisis, Russia is also asserting its position, and is poised to regain influence in the Central Asian Republics that were once part of the Soviet Union. One can see the progressively deepening China-Russia friendship, which will impact our region and the world. Indeed there is powerful and coherent voice of resistance against the US-led world order rising in unison from Moscow and Beijing. It was written on the wall even before last month’s meeting between President Xi and President Putin in Beijing. The joint statement on strengthening strategic global stability signed by the two leaders indicated that they were ready for a more closely coordinated and assertive role in world affairs.
President Putin said: “This document legally recorded the strategic partnership between Russia and China, relations of a new type, based on mutual respect, friendship and consideration of each other’s interests, a partnership which not only serves the fundamental interests of our peoples and the task of long-term development of the two states, but also serves as an important factor in global and regional security and stability”. It appears that both China and Russia are now confident about the solid foundations of mutual trust, multi-faceted cooperation and institutional coordination that they have built bit by bit between them, confident enough to go out and act as one in the international arena. Also the fast-changing global scenario has motivated them to closer joint action. Both countries share the vision of multipolar world, and due to sincere diplomacy and effective coordination between them, a multipolar world could emerge.
China and Russia have similar stances on regional and world affairs already. The joint statement heralded a new phase of their friendship, taking it a notch higher. They are now ready to step together into the international arena, to expand multipolar cooperation and to act collectively against forces of instability and lawlessness. Pakistan has lately realized that improved relations with Russia would strengthen Pakistan’s position, and the US is likely to review its policy towards Pakistan. Already, there appears a visible change in the attitude of the US leadership. In the first week of July, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Arms Services Committee, Senator John McCain visited Pakistan as the head of a congressional delegation for talks on how to reduce tensions between the two countries. He said that Pakistan and Afghanistan are not to blame for situation in Afghanistan, but the US policies are responsible for it.
Anyhow, when the leaders of Russia and China talk about strengthening global and regional security and stability, it is a direct challenge to the lawless adventures of the US cabal, to what it is doing in Syria, Afghanistan, in so many places all over the globe. Besides, they are learning fast about the absolute deviousness of the US diplomacy and the futility of any well-meaning dialogue with it. Of course, it helps that China-Russia friendship is on the right side of history, as the world is ready for change to break free from the tyranny of the US-led empire and the global world order that it would like to impose on every country on the planet. This is being done in the name of bringing democracy and freedom through armed interventions, terrorists proxies and donor-driven color revolutions where necessary, killing innocent civilians, robbing resources and controlling territories in the process.
Last month at the end of its two-day plenary in Seoul, the NSG declared its firm support for the full, complete and effective implementation of the NPT as the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime despite the US lobbying for India. It was a clear indication that no exception will be made in the case of India. The statement by the 48-nation grouping, however, said that it will continue to have discussions on participation of countries, which have not signed the NPT. It is nearly impossible to enter the nuclear club in which every member has veto. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited 42 countries during the last two years including countries of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to seek their support for becoming the member of the NSG. Earlier, Switzerland had showed willingness to support Indian inclusion in the NSG but took a U-turn to join the group of countries that opposed India’s entry in the group.
—The writer is a senior journalist based in Lahore.